Foreign nationals pile into Ireland

Tens of thousands granted Irish citizenship.

Estimated 9,000 work permits issued 2016 to enable companies to hire workers from India, Pakistan and other non-EU countries.

Countless undocumented migrants employed in the restaurant, catering, domestic, cleaning sectors.

Sligo News File Online

Nearly 129,000 out-of-state nationals have been granted Irish citizenship.

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has revealed the details in response to a parliamentary question.

She said that the number naturalised here between 2000 and 2016 ran to 128,500 approximately.

The total may be higher as the Minister pointed out that the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service had advised her that the retrieval and compilation of the actual figure “would necessitate a disproportionate use of time and resources which could not be justified…”

She said that in the period 2000 to 2009, 17,400 foreign nationals received certificates of naturalisation.

According to records, the government granted citizenship in Ireland to 24,262 people in 2013.

In a recent radio interview, the leader of the newly formed National Party estimated that 850,000 immigrants had entered the State.

Citing data published by the Central Statistics Office, the Irish Migrants Centre has stated that “immigrants represent 578,000 in Ireland.”

In a submission to the Low Pay Commission, the Centre noted that “undocumented migrants are employed in a range of jobs across a number of sectors.

“The top three sectors of employment are restaurant and catering (32%), domestic work (29%) and cleaning and maintenance (12.8%)”

“A high proportion of these (66%),” they stated, “have been in their current job for over 2 years and of this 31% have been in the same job for over 5 years.”

They added that of the undocumented respondents in the survey, “69.5% indicated that they are working over 30 hours, with 60% earning over €300 a week.”

Undocumented migrants are persons not having the official documents needed to enter, live in, or work in the country legally.

Various bodies are piling pressure on the government to open the country to thousands more refugees in the immediate future.

Ireland already has almost 7,000 ‘officially homeless’ persons. The figure has increased by over 40% in the last year alone. One in three of those in emergency accommodation is a child.

Concern is growing over heightening pressure on health services, schools and the existing levels of unemployment among young Irish job seekers, particularly in the North West.

In 2015, the government granted 7,353 work permits to non-EU citizens to work in Ireland. These were issued to foreign nationals from among other places India, Pakistan and Brazil. The figure for 2016 is expected to be about 9,000, with the number of permits increasing by 20% annually to enable companies to bring workers from abroad to Ireland.

Data published cross-channel has confirmed that Britain’s foreign-born population has now exceeded eight million, indicating one in eight of those living there were born abroad.

An Taisce to monitor sewage at Sligo hospital

The body may also have a role in overseeing farm emissions.

Sligo News File Online.

There’s reportedly much excitement in Sligo where An Taisce is moving in with a programme to measure waste at the general hospital.

Enthusiasts behind the venture are hoping it will encourage a greater appreciation of the environment.

According to a source, the project is designed to reduce or measure sewage and water at the hospital.

Under the arrangement, the hospital will have to engage in a 7 step process. It will include gathering information on the pile of waste produced by the hospital, as well as collecting baseline data on water and energy usage.

Sligo University Hospital

The programme will also be geared to enabling student learning and leadership.

It is not clear if An Taisce will be policing the initiative or that increased water usage and sewage loading will be subject to penalties.

As far as is known, patients will be consulted, and their advice sought on how to progress the aims of the An Taisce scheme.

It’s believed the hospital, which is currently known as Sligo University Hospital, may eventually be renamed the Sligo University Green Campus Medical Centre.

An Taisce is understood to have been so impressed with its school’s green flag project that they decided to extend the programme to hospitals, with Sligo the second to register for the activity.

The Eco Schools Flag

There are some hints that the government may assign An Taisce a role in the environmental policing of farms where the reduction of emissions from agricultural operations is a concern. The move is expected to be welcomed by the farming community.

Sligo has the distinction of being the first Irish county adopted by a previous Fianna Fail-led government for the rollout of a pilot scheme focussed on the metering of the water supplies to farms. It led to spirited protests when the county council told farmers in the county that they would have to pay for the meters.

No detention facilities at Sligo Garda Station

Persons in custody have to be taken nearly 16 miles to Ballymote.

New Sligo garda station in ‘longer term.’

Sligo News File Online.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has said that a new garda station will be built in Sligo “in the longer term.”

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald. New garda station for Sligo 'in the longer term.'
Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald.
New garda station for Sligo ‘in the longer term.’

The Minister was responding to concerns about the state of the existing building which, it was pointed out, has been condemned as unfit for purpose in a report prepared by “independent engineers.”

She was told that a number of “significant fire, health, and safety issues had been identified.”

It was also indicated that that owing to the condition of prisoner facilities in the existing building, arrested or detained persons have to be transported almost 16 miles for remand in the South of the county, at Ballymote.

The Minister said she was aware of the risks and had been assured “local garda management and the Office of Public Works are working closely to address the issues.”

Both bodies were also working to identify how the station should be reconfigured. The works will involve refurbishment of the public office, custody management and welfare facilities for the station party.

“It is obviously important that the custody facilities meet standards that ensure the proper treatment of persons in custody,” she said.

Sligo Garda Station.
Sligo Garda Station.

She added that “in the longer term” a new station is to be built in Sligo as part of the Garda Síochána’s Building and Refurbishment Programme 2016 – 2021.”

The delay is seen as yet another body blow to the North West capital. A few weeks ago it was reported that 36 government officials are being relocated from Sligo to Dublin.

The local Dail deputies are Martin Kenny, Sinn Fein, Tony McLoughlin, Fine Gael, and Eamon Scanlon and MarcMacSharry, Fianna Fail. Fianna Fail are supporting the current Fine Gael-led Government.

Driving licence form to be updated following questions over legality of the document

Minister acting after taking legal advice on existing provision.

Issues raised by TD Clare Daly about obligation on drivers to prove PPSN.

Sligo News File Online.

The application form which drivers seeking driving licences are being forced to complete has no proper legal footing, it would appear.

Clare Daly TD, Independent
Clare Daly TD,
Independent

Under current arrangements, drivers are also being ordered to provide independent evidence showing that the PPSN they have entered on forms is registered to them.

However, it now seems that the process is devoid of lawful authority.

This has been revealed following questions put to the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross by Dublin Independent TD Clare Daly.

She raised the matter after complaints that applications for licences were being refused where, among other things, the driver failed to submit proof of their PPSN.

But an investigation has shown, however, that the requirement for proof of the PPSN looks to have been inserted in the application form after the Statutory Instrument governing the process was brought into force.

The Road Safety Authority is body responsible for managing driving licence system under the Department of Transport.
The Road Safety Authority is responsible for managing the driving licence operation under the Department of Transport.

In her question, Deputy Daly asked Minister Ross if his attention had been drawn to the fact that the driving licence application form currently being used by the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) differed from the statutory form contained in statutory instrument number 420 of 2013.

She also asked him to state whether the National Driver Licence Service or any other agency has the authority to change or alter the statutory driving licence application form as contained in the statutory instrument.

The Minister said that after taking legal advice on the situation, he was now “in the process of preparing regulations to update the form.”

Minister for Transport Shane Ross, TD
Minister for Transport Shane Ross, TD

Despite his decision indicating that the form and by extension the Statutory Instrument by which it is governed has to be updated to conform to the requirement of the relevant Act, officials of his department have stated the current version of the form is valid within the meaning of the Interpretation Act. If indeed this is the case, why then would the minister be preparing regulations to update the contents of the existing form?

The Minister did not respond to the point concerning whether the wording of a statutory instrument, in this case the driving licence application form, can be amended without the statutory instrument being first updated by ministerial order.

 

Government gives go-ahead for the upgrade of Rosses Point pier.

Project sanctioned under ‘specific piers funding mechanism.’

Sligo News File Online

The government has sanctioned works to upgrade the pier at Rosses Point.

Tony McLoughlin, T.D., Fine Gael.
Tony McLoughlin, T.D.,
Fine Gael.

Local Fine Gael TD, Tony McLoughlin said that Minister for Local Government Simon Coveney has informed him that the enhancement works have been approved by his department.

Funding can now be applied for “under the specific funding mechanism for piers,” he said.

The upgrade, he added, will involve the extension to the slipway and remedial works to the existing slipway. There are also proposals for the provision of a floating pontoon, access gangway and mooring/anchoring arrangements site.

Cost of tyre change to rocket.

Meanwhile, Roscommon junior minister for the environment, Denis Naughton has come under fire over pending legislation to up the cost of a tyre change.

Michael Healy-Rae called Naughton’s attention to a protest outside the Dail where, he said, “hard working people” were objecting to measures that are set to drive up the cost of tyres.

The Kerry TD said the measure would inflate the cost of car tyres by a sweeping €13. For hauliers, the increase would be €15 or more.

This apparently is high on the government agenda.

Healy-Rae went on to remind Naughton of the likely consequences of the proposed measures.

He said, “Surely at a time when we are trying to keep our customers spending their money in the Republic, we do not want people from the midlands and elsewhere buying their tyres in the North.”

Naughton said a handful of people were protesting outside the Dail.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: “There is more than a handful.”

Naughton said his new recycling charge for car tyres will be “approximately” €2.80.

‘Unaccompanied’ young asylum seeker held in connection with death of EU official’s daughter in Germany

19-year-old medical student allegedly raped and drowned while cycling home from a party.

Helped out at a refugee home in her spare time.

Sligo News File Online.

Maria Laderburger (19) Photo/Facebook
Maria Laderburger (19) Photo/Facebook

Tensions are running high in Germany where a 17-year-old Afghan asylum seeker is being held for questioning following the killing of an EU official’s daughter.

Maria Ladenburger, 19, a medical student, was killed while cycling home from a party in the university city of Freiburg, near the border with Switzerland, on 16 October.

She was allegedly drowned after being raped. Her body was later recovered from the River Dreisam.

Her father is Dr. Clemens Laderburger, a lawyer who since 2008 has been an assistant to the director of the European Commission’s legal division.

Maria helped out at a refugee home in her spare time.

According to German media reports, a suspect will stand trial early next year.

It is believed that crime among unaccompanied male refugees has been increasing in the country.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is said to be facing a growing wave of anger over her open-door refugee policy.

 

 

 

ICSA Chief slates multi-billion euro Food Wise strategy as ‘ludicrous.’

The ten year €19 billion Food Wise 2025 projection for the Irish agri-food sector was announced in 2015 by the then Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney.

Launched by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Food Wise also envisages the creation of 23,000 new agri-food related jobs by 2025.

Sligo News File Online.

The President of the ICSA has said Teagasc figures “showing a likely drop of more than 10% drop in beef prices in 2017” have highlighted “how much current agriculture policies and the national strategy for expansion are out of touch with reality on the ground.”

Patrick Kent, President. ICSA.
Patrick Kent, President. ICSA.

Speaking following the release of the Teagasc Outlook for Agriculture Income in 2017, Mr. Kent said the Food Wise 2025 strategy, which he referred to as a call on beef farmers to expand production, “can now only be described as ludicrous advice.

“It simply does not make sense anymore…new policies need to be explored,” he said.

Branding the Teagasc report as “shocking in terms of the outlook for the beef sector in 2017,” he said this was “not surprising. It has been blatantly clear that this was coming down the line for beef farmers.”

Simon Coveney, Former Minister for Agriculture.
Simon Coveney,
Former Minister for Agriculture.

Figures, he said, “indicate that there are too many cattle in the country. With an additional 200,000 head of cattle for slaughter forecast for 2017, it is evident that new policies will have to be considered to address this new reality.

“Advising expansion in a loss making enterprise seems insane when it will only result in greater losses. When cattle numbers are up, prices have always gone down. The idea of cutting production in the beef sector now needs to be given serious consideration.”

Continuing, Mr. Kent said “adding insult to injury, the Teagasc figures also indicate that dairy incomes are set to hit record levels 2017. We have seen continued rescue packages for that sector while other sectors are addressed merely as an afterthought.

The figures, he added, “must be seen as a wake-up call given that none of what Teagasc has predicted for beef farmers should come as a surprise to anyone.”