726. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice the number of bench warrants issued to gardaí in the R district in 2020 and to date in 2021, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9816/21]


Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): The Deputy will be aware that the Garda Commissioner is, by law, responsible for the administration and business of An Garda Síochána, including the allocation of Garda resources in respect of identified operational demands. As Minister, I have no direct role in these decisions.
As the Deputy will appreciate, difficulties in relation to the execution of warrants, including bench warrants, are a long-standing issue for many police services around the world; notably relating to persons actively seeking to evade detection and where limited identification information might be available to support enforcement. I am assured, however, that An Garda Síochána execute warrants as expeditiously as possible, giving priority to the execution of warrants relating to serious crimes.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that the following table shows counts of bench warrants issued in the Garda R District (Coolock District) during 2020 and to date in 2021:

Issue Year Bench Warrants Issued to Coolock District
2020 199
2021* 44

*Up to and including 21 st February 2021.
I have been informed that these figures were collated based on PULSE data as of 1.30 a.m. on the 22nd of February 2021.