369. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason requests from both her Department and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport in the summer of 2014 for extra civilian staff to deal with passport control at Dublin Airport were not approved. [11687/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The Deputy will be aware that I formally announced a major programme of reform in September, 2014 to civilianise immigration functions currently undertaken by members of An Garda Síochána. When completed this programme will release 125 full-time Garda equivalents to core Garda duties. The programme includes the use of civilian immigration officers to undertake front line immigration checks at Dublin Airport. The initiative involves the deployment of 80 civilian staff at the airport at border control booths on a 24/7 basis. The project is now underway and the move to a 24/7 civilian operation in Terminal 1 is expected to be completed this summer (since 30 March 2015, civilians have been operating in Terminal 1 from 07:00 to midnight - Monday to Friday; 35 civilian staff are currently deployed there) with Terminal 2 to be completed by December 2015.
The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform gave sanction to proceed with the various elements of the project in August 2014 based on a detailed business plan submitted by my Department.
I am looking at further deployment of civilian officers to other major ports of entry to the State (where this makes sense from a cost and efficiency perspective).