Parliamentary Question: Commencement of Legislation

Question to the Minister for Social Protection (Ms. Joan Burton, TD)

To ask the Minister for Social Protection when a commencement order will be signed regarding section 16 of the Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2014, which inserts section 51(2A) in the Civil Registration Act 2004, providing for marriages to be conducted in outdoor locations; and if she will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer

For WRITTEN ANSWER on 19, May, 2015.

REPLY

The Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2014 was enacted on 4th December 2014.

The provisions of the Act will be put into operation on the basis of an implementation plan involving both procedural and system changes. This work is being progressed as quickly as possible in order that the various provisions of the Act can be commenced.

The Act includes provisions to clarify what constitutes a “place that is open to the public”. This is to ensure that the public policy objectives with regard to the solemnisation of all marriages (whether civil, religious or secular) in both outdoor and indoor venues are upheld. These provisions are being prioritised for commencement.

It should be noted that marriages by religious or secular solemnisers may currently be solemnised at an outdoor venue with the agreement of the parties and the solemniser. The position in relation to venues (both indoors and outdoors) for civil marriages solemnised by registrars is that, under section 52 of the Civil Registration Act 2004 these are subject to ” matters specified” by the Minister.

These “matters specified” have been revised to reflect the updated position and will be published very shortly. Civil marriages may then be solemnised outdoors with the agreement of the parties and the registrar.

Posted under Parliamentary Questions, Social, Social Protection

Same sex marriage will ensure a more tolerant and respectful Ireland – Buttimer

Until gay couples can walk down any street hand in hand without fear of abuse, we have not reached our ultimate goal

Speaking during statements on the Constitutional Convention Report on Same Sex Marriage in the Dáil this evening (Tuesday), Fine Gael Cork South Central Deputy and Chair of the Party’s LGBT Group, Jerry Buttimer, said the progress that has been made over the last 20 years in advancing gay right has been remarkable but that a considerable amount of work still needs to be done if we are to create an Ireland in which all people, gay and straight, are treated equally.

“In the last 20 years, we have moved from being a country where being lesbian or gay was seen in only in the context of shame; where gay people were criminals in the eyes of the State; where many lesbian and gay people had to leave Ireland in order to find the space to be themselves; and who were not permitted to share their real selves with their families and friends.

“We are now at a point where lesbian and gay couples can openly celebrate their love and commitment through civil partnerships.  However, we have yet to reach a point where gay couples can walk down the street in any town or village in Ireland, hand in hand, without fear of being subjected to abuse.

“In April, the Constitutional Convention debated the issue of same sex marriage and the generosity, openness and respect with which these issues were discussed was heartening. During the debate, people gave serious consideration to the type of Ireland they wanted to see, one which they have a unique role in shaping. The delegates voted overwhelmingly to recommend that this Ireland, our new Ireland, should ensure equal treatment of lesbian and gay couples and that the law should take account of their family structures and make provisions to protect them. 

“On the back of this, Minister Shatter is bringing forward the Family Relationships and Children Bill next year which will deal with adoption for lesbian and gay couples in 2014 and the Government has committed to putting a referendum to the people on same sex marriage in the first half of 2015.

“In giving this commitment, the Government is sending a loud signal that it believes in an Ireland that cherishes all citizens equally, recognising that we all benefit from fair treatment and from equal status in the eyes of the law; allowing lesbian and gay couples the right to be civilly married in Ireland and affording their relationships the same protection and recognition in our Constitution is the best way of achieving that goal and fostering an open, tolerant and respectful Ireland.”

Posted under Social

Parlimentary Question: Funding for Community Groups

Question to the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government (Mr Phil Hogan, TD)

To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide details of the funding available for community groups to assist older persons to continue to live securely in their homes; if he will consider permitting such funding to be used for cameras and CCTV systems; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer

For WRITTEN answer Tuesday, 1st October 2013

REPLY

The Seniors Alert Scheme aims to encourage community support for vulnerable older people in our communities by providing grant assistance towards the purchase and installation of personal monitored alarms to enable older persons, without sufficient means, to continue to live securely in their homes with confidence, independence and peace of mind. The Scheme is administered by local community and voluntary groups with the support of my Department.

The funding allocated for Seniors Alert in 2013 is €2.35m. In the year to date, approx. €1.9 million has been grant-aided to 8,439 beneficiaries.

The maximum grants for equipment are as follows:

-   Monitored personal alarms (with pendant) – €250
-   Additional pendant/Re-installation – €50

The Scheme does not provide funding for costs associated with cameras and CCTV systems for home security and I have no plans to extend its scope to include such equipment.

Posted under Environment, Parliamentary Questions, Social