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Question

478. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Dublin returns that were issued to Italy, Spain and Malta since December 2014; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19936/15]

479. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the top five countries of return under the recast Dublin Regulation, since the beginning of 2015; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19937/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 478 and 479 together.
Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 (Dublin III Regulation) establishes the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member Stats by a third-country national or a stateless person.
The European Union (Dublin System) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 525 of 2014) provide for the detailed arrangements to apply in the State where the application of the Dublin III Regulation arises. This includes the interviewing of each applicant at first instance by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and the right to appeal a transfer decision to the Refugee Appeals Tribunal with the transfer suspended pending the outcome of the appeal. As these Regulations provide for more safeguards for applicants this has resulted in longer processing times for such cases. In addition, the enforcement of a transfer decision once issued may be impeded by the applicant's evasion.
There has been one Transfer Decision completed by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner in respect of Italy and none for Spain and Malta since December 2014. As would be expected, due to geographical and other reasons, the majority of transfer decisions completed by ORAC under the Dublin III Regulation are in respect of the United Kingdom and in that regard a total of 4 individuals have been returned to the United Kingdom under the Dublin Regulation since the beginning of 2015.
In order to provide a more complete picture of the situation regarding the expulsion of non-Irish nationals from the State, it should be noted that, in addition, since the start of this year to the end of April, 30 Deportation Orders have been effected, 13 Removal Orders have been effected in respect of EU nationals and 909 persons have been refused leave to land in the State at ports of entry.