139. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there has been a recent audit of Garda property seized in the course of arrests or investigation; his views on the security of such seizures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20275/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will appreciate that the manner in which property is seized by Members of An Garda Síochána during the course of their official duties is an operational issue for the Commissioner, and his management team, and I have no role in such matters. 
This notwithstanding I have requested a report from the Garda authorities on this issue and I will contact the Deputy again when the report is to hand.
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140. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the protocol regarding the way in which money and drugs seized in investigations are handled, stored and returned to the person from whom they were seized in the event of an unsuccessful prosecution. (Question 20276/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I have raised the matter referred to by the Deputy with the Garda Authorities and requested a report on the issue. I will reply to the Deputy when the report is to hand. 
 ...

151. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 189 of 1 May 2018, if he will direct officials in his Department who are engaged with the cross-agency group to meet with representatives of organisations (details supplied) in order that they may contribute their local expertise to finding a solution to the issue. (Question 20508/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will be aware, officials in my Department intend to consult with local authorities in the context of the positive engagement fostered by local authorities with local communities, examples of which include community and youth-centred projects. The experiences of local authorities involved in these and other projects will be very informative to my Department in terms of assessing the contribution that such approaches can m...

189. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 319 of 20 March 2018, the status of the work of the multi-stakeholder group and the meeting that was due to be held on 25 April 2018. (Question 18807/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 189 and 197 together.
I can inform the Deputy that a cross-agency meeting took place at my Department on 25 April 2018. The meeting was attended by officials from the Departments of Justice and Equality; Transport, Tourism and Sport; Housing, Planning and the Environment; and Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht; An Garda Síochána; the Road Safety Authority; and the Revenue Commissioners. My Department...

197. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the meeting which had been scheduled for 25 April 2018 of interested bodies and parties to discuss the issue of problem quad and scrambler use has taken place; if so, the steps and timelines to address this ongoing issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19051/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 189 and 197 together.
I can inform the Deputy that a cross-agency meeting took place at my Department on 25 April 2018. The meeting was attended by officials from the Departments of Justice and Equality; Transport, Tourism and Sport; Housing, Planning and the Environment; and Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht; An Garda Síochána; the Road Safety Authority; and the Revenue Commissioners. My Department...

168. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will report on An Garda Síochána’s Operation Chain; the number of persons arrested and charged to date; the number of successful convictions obtained to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17138/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of resources and the conduct of Operations. 
I have asked the Commissioner for a report on Operation Chain and will revert to the Deputy directly when the information is to hand. 
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169. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will report on An Garda Síochána’s Operation Tugboat; the number of persons arrested and charged to date; the number of successful convictions obtained to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17139/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of resources and the conduct of operations. 
I have asked the Commissioner for a report on Operation Tugboat and will revert to the Deputy directly when the information is to hand. 
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98. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the meeting which had been scheduled for 28 February 2018 of interested bodies and parties to discuss the issue of problem quad and scrambler use and which was cancelled due to bad weather conditions has been rescheduled and taken place; if so, the next steps and timelines to address this ongoing issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16229/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I refer the Deputy to my response to Question No. 319 of 20 March 2018, which details the up to date position in relation to the rescheduled meeting to discuss the serious public safety issues associated with the misuse of scramblers and quad bikes. This meeting is now scheduled for 25 April 2018. The Deputy will be aware that my concerns in relation to this matter are already on the public record of this House. I can assure the Deputy...

541. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on the matter of drug dealers who are informers being allowed to sell drugs in communities; if this is an official policy; if his attention has been drawn to the prevalence of this policy and the quantity of illegal drugs sold here annually due to this policy; and the steps he has taken to measure the impact of this policy on local communities. (Question 15657/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I have raised the matter referred to by the Deputy with the Garda Authorities and requested a report on the issue. I will reply to the Deputy when the report is to hand. 
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566. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 272 of 13 February 2018 and 340 of 20 March 2018, if the matter has been referred to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission; when a determination will issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16245/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy is aware that the earlier questions referred to in the Deputy’s current question were disallowed on the basis that I have no role, as Minister for Justice and Equality, in relation to Garda investigations, which constitute operational matters and are properly dealt with by An Garda Síochána in the first instance. 
Aside from the matters comprehended by Section 91 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, which relate to the investigat...

570. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if serving Garda personnel may assist with voter registration on third level campuses or institutes of technology; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16306/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I should say at the outset that I, as Minister, have no responsibility to direct An Garda Síochána operationally or in the assigning of personnel to relation to particular operations. Section 26 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 (as amended) vests full control of An Garda Síochána in the Garda Commissioner and I, as Minister, have no power to interfere or intervene in such matters.
Further, voter registration is not a matter in relation t...

319. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 287 of 28 November 2017, the position regarding the promised liaison between his Department, An Garda Síochána and other relevant stakeholders to address the issue of nuisance quad bike and scrambler use; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12124/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I share the Deputy’s concern in relation to the serious public safety issues associated with the misuse of scramblers and quad bikes, and my concerns are on the public record of this House. 
As the Deputy will be aware, a multi-agency approach is required to tackle this anti-social issue effectively. To facilitate this, I have written to the relevant Government Departments and State agencies in order to ascertain whether there are add...

329. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the way in which An Garda Síochána protocols during national emergencies could be improved to provide more prompt response time and more extensive general surveillance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12263/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy may be aware that national emergency management arrangements are in place, involving all the different agencies of the State.  These arrangements are governed by the Framework for Major Emergency Management. Co-ordinated by the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning and the Office of Emergency Planning, all the various agencies and bodies continue to work closely together in supporting co-ordinated responses to any nati...

189. Deputy Jim O’Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the support services in place to provide assistance to members of An Garda Síochána suffering from stress as a result of their employment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10945/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am assured by the Garda Commissioner that An Garda Síochána is committed to ensuring that members exposed to workplace stress receive the appropriate organisational response and in that regard there are a variety of supports in place for Garda members.
The Garda Employee Assistance Service is available to members of An Garda Síochána and supports them in managing and resolving personal and work-related difficulties. All employee assi...

336. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the 2017 Garda overtime spent on operation Thor for the Sligo Leitrim Garda division compared to other divisions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9828/18 asked on 27 Feb 2018 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 336 to 338, inclusive, together.
The Deputy will be aware that the allocation and management of Garda resources, including the overtime budget, is the responsibility of the Garda Commissioner having due regard to his operational needs. As Minister, I have no role in the matter.
I have been provided with the details below which set out the nationwide expenditure relating to Operation Thor for 2017 by Di...

337. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the 2017 Garda overtime spent on operation Thor for the Sligo Leitrim Garda division, by rank; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9829/18 asked on 27 Feb 2018 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 336 to 338, inclusive, together.
The Deputy will be aware that the allocation and management of Garda resources, including the overtime budget, is the responsibility of the Garda Commissioner having due regard to his operational needs. As Minister, I have no role in the matter.
I have been provided with the details below which set out the nationwide expenditure relating to Operation Thor for 2017 by Di...

338. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the 2017 Garda overtime spent on operation Thor for the Sligo Leitrim division on front line operational duty for crime prevention versus administration duty; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9830/18 asked on 27 Feb 2018 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 336 to 338, inclusive, together.
The Deputy will be aware that the allocation and management of Garda resources, including the overtime budget, is the responsibility of the Garda Commissioner having due regard to his operational needs. As Minister, I have no role in the matter.
I have been provided with the details below which set out the nationwide expenditure relating to Operation Thor for 2017 by Di...

77. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the resources provided to winter phase of Operation Thor; the way in which it can help to address rural crime in areas such as County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5675/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I want to assure the Deputy that I am very much aware of the impact of crime on rural communities, including the serious damage done by organised gangs who target rural areas to engage in burglary and other property-related crime. Such incidents cannot be tolerated in our society and this Government will continue to support An Garda Síochána in tackling the gangs, including mobile criminal gangs, who target rural areas, including Co. ...

276. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the control measures which have been put in place by An Garda Síochána to ensure that the practice of non-issuance of manual summonses for fixed charge notices and fixed penalty notices has ceased; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3232/18 asked on 23 Jan 2018 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy is aware that An Garda Síochána carried out internal examinations into (i) a range of issues relating to Fixed Charge Notices (FCNs) and road traffic summonses and (ii) the recording of breath tests at Mandatory Alcohol Testing (MAT) (now Mandatory Intoxicant Testing/MIT) checkpoints, culminating in the production of reports by Assistant Garda Commissioner, Michael O’Sullivan, on 11 August 2017. These reports were submitted ...

546. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the steps being taken to tackle rural crime in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 55057/17 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I want to assure the Deputy that I am very much aware of the impact of crime on rural communities, including the serious damage done by organised gangs who target rural areas to engage in burglary and other property-related crime, whether in Donegal or elsewhere across the country. Such incidents cannot be tolerated in our society and this Government will continue to dedicate very significant resources to support An Garda Síochána in t...

138. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on whether it is normal practice for An Garda Síochána to monitor the activities of political parties (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53434/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I can assure the Deputy that is it is not the normal practice for An Garda Síochána to monitor the activities of political parties.
The functions of An Garda Síochána in respect of providing policing and security services to the State are set out in the Garda Síochána Acts 2005-2015.  In conducting those functions, there may on occasion be a requirement for policing deployments in respect of managing public gatherings or demonstrations...

219. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a detailed report on Garda Operation C-Point will be provided; the number of persons arrested and charged to date; the number of successful convictions obtained to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52949/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will be aware, the conduct of Garda Operations are a matter for An Garda Síochána, in which I have no direct role. 
However, I sought, and have received, the following information from the Garda authorities on Operation C-Port.  
Operation C-Port is a Garda initiative to provide for the effective policing of Dublin Port and its environs. The purpose of the initiative is to ensure a visible Garda presence and to provide a...

124. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the annual breakdown of the staffing commitment of An Garda Síochána and the immigration services to Operation Gull since 2008. (Question 52553/17 asked on 07 Dec 2017 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I refer the Deputy to my reply to Dáil Question No. 225 of 5 December 2017.
I am advised by An Garda Síochána that it is not possible in the time available to provide the details requested by the Deputy beyond those supplied in my reply of 5 December 2017, and that efforts to do so would require the expenditure of a disproportionate and inordinate amount of Garda resources and time. However, the Garda National Immigration Bureau are ex...

125. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the annual breakdown of the number and nationality of persons arrested or detained by An Garda Síochána or the immigration services as part of Operation Gull since 2008. (Question 52554/17 asked on 07 Dec 2017 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I refer the Deputy to my reply to Dáil Question No. 225 of 5 December 2017.
I am advised by An Garda Síochána that it is not possible in the time available to provide the details requested by the Deputy beyond those supplied in my reply of 5 December 2017, and that efforts to do so would require the expenditure of a disproportionate and inordinate amount of Garda resources and time. However, the Garda National Immigration Bureau are ex...

77. Deputy Jim O’Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if disciplinary action will be taken against the 14 chief superintendents who did not respond to the then assistant Commissioner’s request to examine the MAT discrepancies in their own area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51694/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - Garda Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will be aware, I have previously put on record my deep concern at the serious failures of the Garda organisation in relation to mandatory alcohol testing checkpoints and fixed charge notices.
In relation to the particular issue of whether disciplinary action should be taken against individual members of An Garda Síochána arising from the mandatory alcohol testing checkpoints issues, this is solely a matter for the Garda C...