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Question

445. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there have been changes to the indicative timetable for the holding of referendums (details supplied) agreed on 26 September 2017. [24787/18]

458. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to hold a referendum on Article 41.2 of the Constitution; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24387/18]

446. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when it is planned to establish the Garda insurance fraud unit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24933/18]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Recommendation 26 of the ‘Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance’, published in January 2017, relates to exploring the potential for further cooperation between the insurance sector and An Garda Síochána in relation to insurance fraud investigation. Specifically, this involves considering the feasibility of establishing a specialised and dedicated insurance fraud unit within An Garda Síochána, funded by industry.
The Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) has engaged with Insurance Ireland, submitting a mechanism for further cooperation and a costed proposal to Insurance Ireland in the latter half of 2017. Insurance Ireland has agreed to explore the proposal further, subject to a full cost benefit analysis, to be carried out by Insurance Ireland’s Chief Financial Officers Working Group. The intention would be that such a dedicated Garda unit would be funded by Insurance Ireland members and non-members alike, i.e. all entities writing non-life insurance business in Ireland.
Further progress on this recommendation is dependent upon the outcome of this cost benefit analysis, which is currently awaited. As I have previously informed the House, Insurance Ireland has indicated that it expects to be in a position to provide an update in this regard by the end of June 2018.
Any proposed agreed mechanism will, of course, ultimately be subject to the approval of the Garda Commissioner and myself, as Minister for Justice and Equality.