Written answers

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Department of Health

Juvenile Offenders

5:00 pm

Photo of Pearse DohertyPearse Doherty (Donegal South West, Sinn Fein)
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Question 50: To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she has met with the Department of Justice and Equality on the issue of extending the remit of the Children's Ombudsman to take complaints from children resident in St. Patrick's Institution, Dublin; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40373/11]

Photo of Frances FitzgeraldFrances Fitzgerald (Minister, Department of Children; Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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As the Deputy may be aware, it is intended that responsibility for Children Detention Schools (Part 10 of the Children Act 2001) and for remand places (under section 88 of that Act) will transfer from the Minister for Justice and Equality to me as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. It is intended to transfer these responsibilities by a Transfer of Functions Order with effect from 1 January 2012. While I have had many meetings with my colleague in Government, Minister Shatter, and with his officials in the context of the intended transfer of functions, I have not met with the Department of Justice and Equality specifically on the issue raised by the Deputy. Responsibility for St. Patrick's Institution will remain with Minister Shatter. I have recently visited St. Patrick's Institution and I am aware that it is suggested that the remit of the Ombudsman for Children should be extended to take complaints from children resident in St Patrick's Institution. I will be considering this issue in consultation with Minister Shatter in 2012.

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