Written answers

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform

Proposed Legislation

12:00 pm

Photo of Jim O'KeeffeJim O'Keeffe (Cork South West, Fine Gael)
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Question 214: To ask the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the extent of begging here; his views on the legality following the 2007 High Court decision (details supplied); if he has proposals for new laws; and the proposed timetable for legislation. [44385/09]

Photo of Dermot AhernDermot Ahern (Louth, Fianna Fail)
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In the case of Niall Dillon -v- The Director of Public Prosecutions, the High Court found that the statutory provision under which prosecutions for begging were brought, namely Section 3 of the Vagrancy (Ireland) Act 1847, was unconstitutional. Arising from that judgement, new legislation is being prepared. I hope to be in a position to bring the Bill to Government shortly, for its approval to publish.

As regards the extent of begging, the Garda Síochána Act 2005 makes provision for the compilation and publication of crime statistics by the Central Statistics Office, as the national statistical agency, and the CSO has established a dedicated unit for this purpose. I have requested the CSO to provide relevant statistics directly to the Deputy.


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