Recently two written questions were put forward to the Minister for Rural and Community Development by Clare Daly.
* To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development his plans to introduce funding schemes in the Fingal area to address the rapid expansion of population and lack of facilities to accommodate the large scale growth of the adolescent population in recent years in view of the fact that many are turning to anti-social behavior due to lack of facilities.
* To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development his views on the growing issue of anti-social behavior displayed in adolescents residing within newly established areas due to a lack of facilities offered to them especially in areas such as Lusk and Fingal.
In short both are asking how does the minister plan to accommodate for and help the expanding young population in Fingal.
The response returned was less than satisfactory. It lacked any genuine proof of changes that were being or planning to be made. It did not recognize any forms of facilities that could be used to prevent said behavior (for example youth groups or sports clubs). It failed to mention any specifics related to adolescents only mentioning anti-social behavior. What it managed to mention felt drenched in avoidance and a lack of understanding of the growing problem which is not the fault of the adolescents but in fact a fault of the system.
To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress made to enact the Irish Sign Language Act 2017.
REPLY: The National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2017 – 2021 contains several commitments in respect of the development and expansion of Irish Sign Language (ISL) services for deaf citizens, as follows:
- Extension of ISL remote interpretation service;
- Resourcing of the Sign Language Interpreting Service (SLIS) to increase the number of trained sign Language and deaf interpreters, to put a quality-assurance and registration scheme in place and to provide on-going professional training and development for interpreters;
- Legislation that will ensure that all public bodies provide ISL users with free interpretation when accessing or availing of statutory services.
As the Deputy will be aware, the Irish Sign Language Act 2017 was signed into law in December 2017 and provides for the following:-
To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the initiatives taken or proposed by him to tackle rural crime.
As the Deputy will be aware, this Government is committed to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and to deter crime.
As part of the Garda approach special targeted patrols are carried out with the assistance of Garda National Support Services against criminals who are committing crime inter-regionally. This includes a focus on the use of motorways by criminal gangs so as to disrupt and arrest those involved.