Written answers

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Department of Justice and Equality

Garda National Immigration Bureau

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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107. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to the fact that persons are queueing for hours each week in order to secure an appointment with the Garda National Immigration Bureau, Cork; his plans to improve the process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49473/19]

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois, Fine Gael)
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As the Deputy may be aware, my Department register persons residing in the Dublin area only. The Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) are solely responsible for registering persons who reside in the Cork area. 

However, the issues in Cork have been brought to my attention.  I have had enquiries made and I am assured that the GNIB are aware of the issue and are seeking to address the situation.  

Queries in relation to GNIB appointments outside Dublin should be made to the individual Garda Station dealing with such appointments. Further information is available on the Registration pages of the Immigration Service website. 

An enquiry can also be made to GNIB at the following email address: gnib_dv@garda .ie.  

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to my Department by email using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider  using the e-mail service except in cases where the response is , in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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108. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of staff working in the Garda National Immigration Bureau offices in Cork and Dublin over the past year in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49474/19]

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois, Fine Gael)
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It is important to be clear that under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner has responsibility for management of An Garda Síochána and for the allocation and efficient use of Garda resources. This includes responsibility for personnel matters and the distribution of personnel across the various Garda Divisions. As Minister I have no direct role in these matters. I understand however that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities, to ensure their optimum use.

As the Deputy will be aware, a record €1.76 billion was allocated to the Garda Vote for 2019 and this is increasing to an unprecedented €1.882 billion for 2020. With the benefit of this investment, An Garda Síochána is a growing organisation. We currently have approximately 14,200 Gardaí nationwide, supported by over 2,900 Garda staff. A further almost 200 probationer Gardaí are scheduled to attest as members tomorrow, 29 November. As part of the Government’s plan to achieve an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021, there is also ongoing recruitment of Garda staff.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the following table sets out the number of Gardaí assigned to the Garda National Immigration Bureau on a national level as at 31 October 2018 and 31 October 2019.

G.N.I.B. Garda Sergeant Inspector Superintendent Chief Superintendent Total
31/10/2018 96 14 3 2 1 116
31/10/2019 94 13 4 2 1 114

I am further advised that there were 18 Garda staff members assigned to the Garda National Immigration Bureau at 31 October 2018 and this number remains unchanged at 31 October 2019.

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