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Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Inquiry into the Death of Mr. Shane O'Farrell (24 May 2022)

Bríd Smith: I acknowledge that the Minister's answer is progress from the previous answers we have received. Being on the verge of completion is not an answer as to a timeframe. It then has to go to the Attorney General for his view and that will be sought before there is any publication of the scoping report. I remind people generally in the public that this scoping exercise was sought as part of...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Inquiry into the Death of Mr. Shane O'Farrell (24 May 2022)

Helen McEntee: I thank the Deputy for her contribution. The very fact that this is an independent inquiry and that the retired judge, Judge Haughton, is independent in the work that he is doing means that I am not able to give the Deputy the timeframe because I do not have it. I know, however, that the report is at its final stages. I am aware that this may not be much comfort at the moment without...

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Departmental Priorities (24 May 2022)

Departmental Priorities

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Departmental Priorities (24 May 2022)

Michael Lowry: 4. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the progress that has been made to date in implementing recommendations of the report of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice and Equality on reform of the family law system; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26527/22]

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Departmental Priorities (24 May 2022)

Michael Lowry: I ask the Minister for an update on the progress to date in implementing the recommendations of the report of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice and Equality on reform of the family law system. Further, I ask the Minister whether she could or would consider moving the family law court hearings to a dedicated private sitting on a specific day, or to a separate location from the general...

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Departmental Priorities (24 May 2022)

Helen McEntee: I thank the Deputy for raising the issue. Delivering family justice more effectively is a priority for me and is a major element of my Justice Plan 2022. The report of the joint Oireachtas committee, to which the Deputy referred, made 38 recommendations across a range of areas in family justice relating to the family court structure; the specialisation and training of professionals,...

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Departmental Priorities (24 May 2022)

Michael Lowry: I welcome the fact the family court Bill will be published before the recess. The Minister has captured the essence of what the problem is. The family law system in Ireland, as it currently stands, is archaic. My difficulty - and the message I get from my constituents - is that those attending their local District Court on family law matters are obliged to sit in the court where there are...

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Departmental Priorities (24 May 2022)

Helen McEntee: I absolutely agree. Unfortunately, when it gets to a court setting, there are situations where the process has most likely become adversarial, and in many cases - although, not always - other avenues, such as mediation, have been tried. Before Covid, people would sit across from each other in tight spaces, many of whom would be waiting all day for their case to be heard. At the end of the...

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Departmental Priorities (24 May 2022)

Michael Lowry: I thank the Minister. I acknowledge the fact that both the Minister and the Minister of State, Deputy Browne, are making reforms and are progressive. They have taken a lot of very positive initiatives in the Department to date. I am glad that the Minister has acknowledged that the current system is failing people. The District Courts are overcrowded. It takes an unreasonable amount of...

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Departmental Priorities (24 May 2022)

Helen McEntee: On the Deputy's final point, and it is a significant point, we need to make sure that the system is well resourced. We can introduce legislation, but we also need to ensure that the structures and the judges are in place. I believe that in the Deputy's own county recently, a number of sittings had to be cancelled simply because the judge was sick. We need to ensure that through the...

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: An Garda Síochána (24 May 2022)

An Garda Síochána

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: An Garda Síochána (24 May 2022)

Richard O'Donoghue: 5. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the way that gardaí can be integrated into communities in a way that is visible to the public. [26523/22]

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: An Garda Síochána (24 May 2022)

Richard O'Donoghue: I ask the Minister how gardaí can be integrated into our communities in a way that is visible to the public in towns, villages and rural areas in County Limerick and around the country.

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: An Garda Síochána (24 May 2022)

Helen McEntee: I thank the Deputy for raising the question. I assure him that along with the Government, I am particularly committed to ensuring there is strong, visible policing throughout the country. The budget provided by Government to the Garda this year is the largest to date, with an allocation of more than €2 billion for 2022.  I have just come from an event in the Gresham Hotel to...

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Departmental Funding (24 May 2022)

James Browne: The point the Deputy touches on is correct. Nobody is born a criminal or with criminal inclinations. Young people are often groomed and drawn into crime. The key purpose of the Greentown Project, using evidence-based research, is to tackle the grooming of young people into crime. Money is often used to lure them into criminal activity. That is an important part of our youth justice...

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Crime Prevention (24 May 2022)

Crime Prevention

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Crime Prevention (24 May 2022)

Martin Kenny: 3. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if she will report on the engagement that her Department has had with the National Rural Safety Forum. [26526/22]

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Crime Prevention (24 May 2022)

Martin Kenny: I would like to get an indication from the Minister of State on the engagement the Department has had with the National Rural Safety Forum and the work that stems from it. Have there been any initiatives or progress following the meeting of the forum? The last time we raised the issue of rural crime in the House, Tom Niland from County Sligo was in a coma. I am glad to report that he has...

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Crime Prevention (24 May 2022)

James Browne: I thank the Deputy for raising this very important matter involving the National Rural Safety Forum. As he may be aware, the purpose of the forum is to develop a nationwide network for the distribution of consistent highly-effective crime prevention advice, increase engagement within communities, and prevent and reduce opportunities for crime. The forum is co-chaired by...

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Crime Prevention (24 May 2022)

Martin Kenny: I welcome this initiative and the work that has been done, as well as the collaboration with so many rural organisations that represent people in rural communities. At the core of this issue, as I said as the outset, is the fear many people who live in isolated areas have. When they go to a Garda station to get a form signed, they cannot find a garda. It gives them little confidence that...

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