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Question

753. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice if the consent of the Minister which has been given to the Legal Aid Board in relation to the leasing of premises at Railway Square, Waterford can be reviewed on foot of concerns raised by law centre staff for their safety regarding antisocial behaviour in the vicinity of the premises; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52648/21]

754. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Justice the premises currently in use by the Legal Aid Board for the provision of legal services under the Civil Legal Aid Act 1995 and the Civil Legal Aid Regulations; if each premises has been acquired by leasehold agreement by the Board; if in each case the consent of the Minister was given to the Board to acquire a leasehold interest; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52691/21]

756. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Justice if she will consider establishing a commission of investigation into the cancellation of 999 calls. [52713/21]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): As the Deputy will be aware, I consider any inappropriate cancellation of 999 calls a very serious matter. This falls significantly below the high standards that the public expect from the Gardaí and the high standards that An Garda Síochána set for themselves. I am particularly concerned that anyone experiencing domestic abuse, or indeed anyone in a vulnerable position, who summoned the courage to seek assistance may not have received it.
I have asked the Policing Authority to oversee the review being conducted by An Garda Síochána in relation to this matter, which is in keeping with the Authority's overall oversight role, and I believe this is the most cost effective and appropriate mechanism to evaluate and, most importantly, to resolve this matter. There have been a number of engagements between the Authority and An Garda Síochána this year, most recently on 28 October, and this work is ongoing.
I share the Authority and the Commissioner's concern about the continuation of what appear to be inappropriate cancellation and classification of calls since the introduction of the new procedures. These circumstances will of course be considered by the Authority as part of their continuing oversight of the Garda review of this matter, and will be taken into account in the work being carried out by an external policing expert who has been appointed to assist the Authority in this task.
I await the outcome of the Authority's work on this matter and will of course consider any recommendations arising from its work.