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Parliamentary Questions

  • 14-12-2004 4:45pm
    #1
    Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks


    Since these tend to crop up every so often, I thought a thread was warranted. At some point we should go through the archives I suppose, but that can wait for a cold wet weekend :D

    Today's PQ (as in, this was asked today):
    *330. To ask the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of fire arm certificates issued to date in 2004; the number issued in 2002 and 2003 under section 3 of the Fire Arms Act 1925; the make, model and type of each fire arm for which such a certificate was issued; the conditions that were applied to such certificates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. — Michael Noonan. [33338/04]

    I'll stick up the response as soon as the minutes are up on the web...


«13456736

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,047 ✭✭✭ civdef


    the make, model and type of each fire arm for which such a certificate was issued

    Isn't that a rather broad question?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,047 ✭✭✭ civdef


    One exchange from the 26th February makes very interesting reading:

    Firearms Licences.

    4. Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the policy on the issuing of licences for 0308 firearms and other similar armaments; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that this policy prevents marksmen from representing Ireland internationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6399/04]

    Mr. McDowell: The Deputy will appreciate that there is a difficult balance to be drawn between, on the one hand, having a firearms policy which seeks to limit the availability of particular classes of firearm for reasons of public safety and national security and, on the other hand, endeavouring to meet the requirements of those who wish to participate in international shooting competitions.

    Since 1972 the general approach has been that the use of all rifled firearms of a calibre exceeding .22 inches and all handguns should be curbed. It was the view of successive Ministers for Justice that public safety and security was best served by that approach as it was designed particularly to make it more difficult for pistols, revolvers and heavy calibre rifles to come into the hands of those who would misuse them, not least in the context of the then prevailing security situation. The policy has not been inflexible in that in 1993 the then Government authorised an increase in the calibre of firearms which might be licensed for deer culling and competitive target shooting from .22 inch to .270 inch.

    Granting firearms certificates, which authorise possession, use and carrying of a firearm, is a matter at the discretion of Garda superintendents in accordance with the relevant legislation. The Supreme Court found in May 2002 that in exercising that statutory function, superintendents could not be subject to directions from the Garda Commissioner. However, where a licence is required for the importation of firearms this, under law, is a matter for the Minister, and the long-standing policy would exclude the issuing of a licence for the importation of the type of firearm referred to by the Deputy.

    I have heard from and met people who consider that policy antiquated. I can see some considerable force — this is a view which Deputy Deasy might share — in the proposition that the real danger to Irish society probably does not come from misappropriated sporting firearms or competitive shooting firearms, and that the prevalence of firearms and their availability from other sources is probably much more obvious as a problem than this particular problem. I want to review the position and address the difficulties that competitive shooters currently encounter.

    Mr. Deasy: I appreciate the response. The problem is that this has been going on for about five or six years. The Minister spoke of balance in the policy, but there does not appear to be much of that. There does not seem to be much common sense here. A European champion applied for a licence and he poses no threat to national security, yet he was not allowed a licence.

    This is officialdom gone mad on drugs. It is crazy that somebody like Nicholas Flood — we do not have many European champions — cannot get a certificate for a 0308 firearm. There must be some way out for those people who represent Ireland in these shooting competitions. The Minister informs me that neither he nor the Garda Commissioner has the power to direct a superintendent in this case. The person concerned has been informed that the superintendent has consulted his superiors and that they have said “no”. It is does not make sense; this is madness. He is caught in a bureaucratic minefield — a crazy tangle of bureaucracy and officialdom.

    Somebody needs to step in and make sense of this. It does not seem the gardaí are willing to do that. The Minister must address this from a common-sense standpoint. I appreciate the Minister said he will review this but, in the meantime, this country is losing money by not being able to hold these events. Somebody must step in, make sense of this and provide a way out for these people who represent our country.


    Mr. McDowell: I agree with Deputy Deasy. The situation at present is unduly conservative and a political steer is needed. I confess that I met some of the relevant interests over a year ago and promised them early action. For one reason or another, I have been blown off course on that issue.


    Mr. Costello: The Opposition was not co-operative, I presume.


    Mr. McDowell: I am glad Deputy Costello is interrupting me while I am admitting to fault. An intelligent, common-sense approach will make for a situation which would be more satisfactory. I share Deputy Deasy’s view that people engaging in a competitive sport recognised at Olympic level and the like should not face insuperable or impossible odds on a domestic legislation front just because they live in Ireland, which is not wholly different from any other society in the world in terms of the firearms issue, when we all just wish them well when they go abroad to represent the State.


    Mr. Deasy: The Minister said he will undertake a review. How soon will he do so? These people have been put on the long finger for years.


    Mr. McDowell: I will stick my neck out and say that I will ask my officials to set in train a review with a view to coming to a firm decision by mid-summer of this year.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 801 jaycee


    On the face of it, it seems pretty positive , if a little unclear.
    As long as it all dosen't get "blown off course"


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks


    It was blown off course though JC :(
    It's interesting to note, however, that the NARGC announced in their AGM (covered by this month's Irish Shooters Digest that they're drafting their own Firearms Amendment Bill with Fine Gael. Hopefully, they'll talk to the other shooting bodies about this (I know the NTSA hasn't been included in these talks, at least not since April of this year) so that we don't inadvertantly get something that makes life harder for other shooting bodies (Hint, hint guys! :D).


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks


    Minutes went up on the web a bit before 1100 this morning...
    *330. To ask the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of fire arm certificates issued to date in 2004; the number issued in 2002 and 2003 under section 3 of the Fire Arms Act 1925; the make, model and type of each fire arm for which such a certificate was issued; the conditions that were applied to such certificates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. — Michael Noonan. [33338/04]
    Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell):
    A breakdown of firearm certificates granted by make, model, type and by the conditions attached is not readily available and could be obtained only by a disproportionate expenditure of Garda time and resources. However, I am informed by the Garda authorities that they are compiling summary figures for the number of certificates granted for the years in question but that these are not readily available. They will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as they are available. Firearm certificates may be subject to conditions under the Firearms Act 1925 and restrictions under section 29(5) of the Wildlife Act 1976.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,637 ✭✭✭ Rovi


    Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell):
    A breakdown of firearm certificates granted by make, model, type and by the conditions attached is not readily available and could be obtained only by a disproportionate expenditure of Garda time and resources. However, I am informed by the Garda authorities that they are compiling summary figures for the number of certificates granted for the years in question but that these are not readily available.
    So much for 'PULSE' :D

    All my firearms certs have unique PULSE numbers, so you'd think that this sort of information would be readily available. The minister's response conjures up an image of some unfortunate Guard in every station in the country having to rummage through mountains of paperwork!
    That’s probably closer to the truth than someone in Garda HQ searching a database :)

    Anyhow, does anyone know why Michael Noonan wants this sort of detailed information??? :confused:
    .


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks


    All my firearms certs have unique PULSE numbers, so you'd think that this sort of information would be readily available.
    True, but you'd have 230,000-odd pieces of information to produce statistical information from (how many 10/22s, how many CZ rifles, how many shotguns, etc, etc.). If you ask "how many shotguns, rifles, pistols" then that gets answered (there's a PQ put on that a few years ago), but more detailed answers don't seem to be readily available. Perhaps an FOI request...
    does anyone know why Michael Noonan wants this sort of detailed information?

    It wouldn't be Noonan himself Rovi, he's just the TD whose name gets signed to the question (all questions have to go through a TD - last time I asked one, it went through Trevor Sergant, for example). The question itself was probably asked by the NARGC given their ties to Fine Gael.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 152 ✭✭ gouda


    Sparks wrote:
    The question itself was probably asked by the NARGC given their ties to Fine Gael.

    Careful,it's not very clever to make such an assumption from such a small amount of info. Sparks,you should know better than that. Perhaps an apology to the board is in order?


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks


    Not really gouda. It was a guess, not a statement or an assumption. Don't go inferring defamatory intent when none was implied!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,637 ✭✭✭ Rovi


    Sparks wrote:
    It wouldn't be Noonan himself Rovi, he's just the TD whose name gets signed to the question (all questions have to go through a TD - last time I asked one, it went through Trevor Sergant, for example).
    Oh I know that Sparks, I should have phrased my question a bit better. :)

    What I should have asked was- does anyone know who is behind the question, and can we infer anything from their request for such detailed information?
    .


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,047 ✭✭✭ civdef


    does anyone know why Michael Noonan wants this sort of detailed information?

    Article about this in the Times today, maybe someone with access to the electronic version can post.

    Michael Noonan states that he came into information that there has been a large rise in the number of licenced firearms this year "particularly handguns". He also states he was "very surprised " at the level of gun ownership in Ireland and that it seemed "very high indeed".

    Given the fairly tiny numbers of handgun licences that have been granted up to now, and the fact that the number of firearms licences quoted in the article of 213k seems little changed from past years, this is a worrying story.

    We seem to be seeing the first stages of a political football match on the firearms issue, and it seems clear what side Noonan is togging out for.


  • Registered Users Posts: 381 ✭✭ les45


    Five weeks ago there were 96 Handgun Licences issued in the State, slightly at odds with the 100 Tons of "Kit" held by the I.R.A , with all due respect to Mr Noonan I think his efforts should be directed in a slightly differant direction,and perhaps he should enquire as to the whereabouts of the handgun used in the shooting in his own backyard last night. I am sick and tired of political spin and point scoring by all of the various parties, we are not the cause of Gun Crime !!


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks


    213,000 legally held guns in State
    Conor Lally

    There are more than 213,000 legally-held firearms in the Republic, The Irish Times has learned.

    Responding to queries last night the Department of Justice confirmed that there were a total of 213,563 legally held firearms in the State.

    The Department of Justice was unable to provide figures for the number of legally-held weapons when Mr Michael Noonan TD (FG) sought the information last week.

    The department told Mr Noonan current gun ownership figures and figures for the last number of years, which he had sought, were not readily available and would be compiled by gardaí and sent to him when collated.

    However, following queries from The Irish Times, the department said the number of firearms certificates on issue was just over 213,000.

    The certificates are issued in respect of each weapon and are renewed every 12 months.

    Mr Noonan said he was "very surprised" at the level of gun ownership in Ireland. It seemed "very high indeed". He was also disappointed that gardaí and the Department of Justice were unable to furnish him with the information he was looking for on historical ownership trends since 2002.

    "You would have thought that they'd have this information on a computer database that could be easily accessed. I came into information that there had been a big increase in the number of gun certs issued in the last 12 months, particularly hand guns, and I was trying to see if this was true," he said. The Department of Justice or gardaí were unable to furnish any historical details to The Irish Times for the number of legally held weapons.

    © The Irish Times


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks


    les45 wrote:
    with all due respect to Mr Noonan I think his efforts should be directed in a slightly differant direction,and perhaps he should enquire as to the whereabouts of the handgun used in the shooting in his own backyard last night. I am sick and tired of political spin and point scoring by all of the various parties, we are not the cause of Gun Crime !!

    Well, that's certainly a valid and worthwhile personal feeling on the matter. What worries me is that I've been saying this was going to kick off to the NTSA for five months now only to be dismissed as being a worrywort every time; and it's a little galling to predict what's going to happen only to find it happening right when you can't do anything.

    I can also predict that if the NRPAI are left "handle" the situation, the response will be the same as you just wrote les, and while that's fine for your personal feelings, writing that as a representative will do nothing but polarise the situation - and if that happens, the NRPAI will have done nothing but hasten the rendering illegal of all pistols.

    Right now, they need to be pushing the Safe and Harmless image of target shooting, but somehow I can't see the NRPAI pointing out that image or leading with Olympic shooting as the good example. And I can see a tirade being called from from the grassroots in a letter-writing campaign. Unfortunately I saw what happened the last time that was done - the paper in question was so hounded by a tiny but very loud and rude minority that when the offical representatives called, they never had a chance to get any sort of positive coverage entered at all.

    Edit:
    You have to wonder why it's Fine Gael making this point, don't you?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,047 ✭✭✭ civdef


    A bit of searching Dail archives might have produced the required information.
    Dáil Éireann - Volume 555 - 22 October, 2002

    Written Answers. - Licensed Firearms.

    Mr. P. McGrath Mr. P. McGrath

    365. Mr. P. McGrath asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of licensed firearms per category here and the annual licence fee associated with each type of firearm. [19357/02]

    Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell)

    1494

    Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): I have been informed by the [1494] Garda authorities that the latest year for which comprehensive statistics are available is the year ended 31 July 2001. The statistics for that year are:


    Category
    No. of Firearms

    Rifles and Air Rifles
    40,302

    Shotguns
    166,231

    Cross-Bows
    64


    The relevant annual fees are as follows: €38 per rifle or air rifle; €25 for first shotgun or crossbow; €6 for second or subsequent shotgun or crossbow.
    Dáil Éireann - Volume 486 - 10 February, 1998

    Written Answers. - Firearms Licences.

    Mr. McGahon Mr. McGahon

    130. Mr. McGahon asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of licensed firearms registered with the Garda Síochána; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3155/98]

    Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue) John O'Donoghue

    Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue): I propose to take Questions Nos. 34, 57, 68, 72, 91 and 130 together.

    I have been informed by the Garda Authorities that the number of firearms certificates issued to residents of the State by the Garda Síochána for the year ended 31 July 1997 was 199,819.
    Dáil Éireann - Volume 475 - 05 March, 1997

    Written Answers. - Firearm Certificates.

    Mr. O'Donoghue Mr. O'Donoghue

    201. Mr. O'Donoghue asked the Minister for Justice the number of legally held firearms in the State for each of the past five years by county. [6323/97]

    Minister for Justice (Mrs. Owen) Nora Owen

    Minister for Justice (Mrs. Owen): Statistics of firearm certificates issued to residents are compiled on the basis of the year ending 31 July. The following statement sets out the number of firearm certificates issued to residents by county from 1993 to 1996 inclusive. The statistics for the year ended 31 July 1992 are not readily available.

    County|Year ended 31 July 1993|Year ended 31 July 1994|Year ended 31 July 1995|Year ended 31 July 1996
    Carlow|3,542|3,617|3,700|3,806
    Cavan|5,278|5,350|5,383|5,472
    Clare|6,765|6,820|6,851|6,953
    Cork|19,821|19,988|20,104|20,218
    Donegal|9,185|9,222|9,319|9,455
    Dublin|15,960|16,104|16,181|16,239
    Galway|12,541|12,671|12,822|13,049
    Kerry|7,070|7,254|7,290|7,401
    Kildare|7,522|7,685|7,813|7,951
    Kilkenny|5,627|5,667|5,753|5,831
    Leitrim|2,652|2,675|2,677|2,711
    Laois|5,152|5,181|5,203|5,286
    Limerick|8,414|8,410|8,483|8,527
    Longford|2,910|2,933|2,948|3,030
    Louth|4,268|4,300|4,380|4,458
    Mayo|8,803|8,866|8,919|9,057
    Meath|8,106|8,250|8,276|8,369
    Monaghan|5,076|5,110|5,194|5,280
    Offaly|5,502|5,567|5,653|5,760
    Roscommon|5,012|5,020|5,071|5,229
    Sligo|3,909|3,914|3,932|3,972
    Tipperary|11,720|11,853|11,976|12,201
    Waterford|4,947|4,965|5,043|5,103
    Westmeath|5,831|5,975|6,069|6,174
    Wexford|9,604|9,640|9,673|9,758
    Wicklow|6,327|6,412|6,484|6,596
    Totals|191,544|193,449|195,188|197,886


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 272 ✭✭ Irishglockfan


    As somone who knows Mr Noonan personally for a very long time.[He was my geography teacher in secondary school in the 80s here in Limerick ]and has helped me out with some personal matters ,some firearm related as well.It would surprise me very much that he is going or is anti gun.Like most politicos here he is ambivlant to the matter unless it is a vote catcher or some constituent or somone else in a group either pro or anti asked this matter to be raised as a parlimentary question.

    It smells to me more like the Irish Times has taken the interview and "worded" it to look like that there is an alarming increase in handgun lics being issued.

    [INMHO I never think much of the IT as being a worthwhile paper anyway.Especially on the shooting or fieldsports issues .Since once after spelling out my fornameand surname twice for one of their reporters they still printed it wrong.Not to mind screwing up royally the report on a PI case I was involved in,and the IT reporters sitting in the same courtroom ]

    As well as that Noonan as a former min of justice would know the procedure[or should] know how difficult or easy it is to aquire this info in the DOJ.Maybe that is why HE was used to ask this question?Or he thought and belived that PULSE is up and running correctly?
    I can always drop by and ask whats up?Or make sure a letter is deliverd from somone or some organisation giving him the correct "safe&harmless" line and the facts as they stand.
    All in all,lets not judge on one newspaper article that doomsday is nigh.Tempests in teacups and all that.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks


    .Like most politicos here he is ambivlant to the matter unless it is a vote catcher
    Yes - but have you seen the campaign we've been running to educate the general public on how safe firearms are?
    I can always drop by and ask whats up?
    Yes please!
    All in all,lets not judge on one newspaper article that doomsday is nigh.Tempests in teacups and all that.
    Ah, but it's not just this one...


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks


    So the Dail returns to session today, as we all know, and here's the first batch of questions submitted for written answer today:
    *796. To ask the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of prosecutions in the past couple of years under the firearms legislation for not having a licence or other breaches of legislation. — Jim O’Keeffe. [2055/05]

    *797. To ask the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the average age profile of licensed firearms holders here. — Jim O’Keeffe. [2056/05]

    That one should prove interesting even for us, I think...
    *798. To ask the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of cases of stolen firearms in 2002, 2003 and 2004; the type or category of firearm that was stolen in each case; and the location from which the firearm in each case was stolen. — Jim O’Keeffe. [2057/05]

    Again, I'll post the answers as soon as they go up, server willing!


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks


    Two more questions today:
    *181. To ask the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of serious
    crimes (details supplied) using firearms which took place during 2003 or during the latest
    year for which figures are available; the number of these which were carried out with
    legally held firearms; the number with previously legally held firearms which had been
    stolen from their owners; and the number carried out with firearms which were not legally
    held at any time here. — Trevor Sargent. [2322/05]

    This one's useful as there's been a series of stories in the media in the past year or so alleging that firearms stolen from legitimate firearms owners are a major component of those used in crimes (which I've always thought odd given the large number of assault rifles and sidearms that get used in crime in this country). This question can either give statistics disproving this assertion, or reveal that no such statistics exist, thus undermining the claim.
    (Assuming, of course, that this isn't a real problem)
    *182. To ask the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if the amendments to
    the Firearms Acts which he intends to introduce via the Criminal Justice Bill 2004,
    including those amendments to be announced at the Committee stage, will not render
    illegal or unlicenceable those pistols needed to compete in the Olympic Games that is, air
    pistols and .22 calibre pistols, in view of his statement in Dail Eireann on 26 February
    2004 that competitive target shooters are not a threat to the public safety. — Trevor
    Sargent. [2323/05]

    Again, I'll post the answers as soon as they show up.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 801 jaycee


    These last two should be very telling ...

    At first I thought it was a pity it didn't look for a maximum calibre in
    rifles but on a second reading I realise that it would only provoke a
    "Currently under review" type response ......

    Actually it still might .... :(


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  • Registered Users Posts: 207 ✭✭ Gun Shy


    *182. To ask the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if the amendments to
    the Firearms Acts which he intends to introduce via the Criminal Justice Bill 2004,
    including those amendments to be announced at the Committee stage, will not render
    illegal or unlicenceable those pistols needed to compete in the Olympic Games that is, air
    pistols and .22 calibre pistols, in view of his statement in Dail Eireann on 26 February
    2004 that competitive target shooters are not a threat to the public safety. — Trevor
    Sargent. [2323/05]

    Very disapointed with whoever drafted this one for Trevor Sargent, obviously somebody looking after their own little niche.

    The "I'm all right Jack, let the rest of ye swim for it" attitude does shooting in Ireland as a whole, no great service.

    OK so its only a "PQ" you might say but now the debate in the Dail is about .22's and Olympic Shooting events to the detriment of everyother shooting sport out there.

    So what do we do now?

    Develop a fragmented and disorganised approach to the Government and let everyone stick in their own oar and for good measure lets start fighting amongst ourselves over the issues.

    OR

    One approach, One voice REPRESENT EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!! (Same Hymn Sheet)

    YEAH YEAH I KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I'm asking a lot here, but basically be very careful the way these questions are being phrased.

    You got to remember that Mick Mc etc. has a team of spin doctors (along with being a Barrister) to make sure that they dont paint themselves into a corner when speaking, I dont expect normal individuals to have the same resources but wouldnt the phrase

    "International Competitions and just the word Pistols"

    Sufficed just as well in the above "PQ"

    You then wouldn't have alinated me and a lot of others and by default made our choice of shooting sport somewhat less than yours.

    Be careful out there or else the SUPER will be looking for 2 Landowners with 500 acres each, Monitored alarm with satelite link and an Olympic Gold Medal before he issues a licence


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks


    Gun Shy wrote:
    Very disapointed with whoever drafted this one for Trevor Sargent, obviously somebody looking after their own little niche.
    The "I'm all right Jack, let the rest of ye swim for it" attitude does shooting in Ireland as a whole, no great service.
    OK so its only a "PQ" you might say but now the debate in the Dail is about .22's and Olympic Shooting events to the detriment of everyother shooting sport out there.
    I don't agree with this. For a start, in the past it's been Nicholas Flood who's been mentioned in Dail debate - and if we can be mentioning individual shooters, then we're past individual events, no? And I don't remember anyone from the NARGC asking anyone else if they'd like some input to the drafting of the firearms amendment bill that they've been working on with Fine Gael. Nor do I remember anyone looking out for target shooting (of any kind) when the visitors permit issue was being decided and as a result we don't have a free visitors permit for target shooting competitions which is a serious obstacle to holding competitions here - if a northern Irish shooter wants to take part, he needs to have a full licence down here, where as in the vice versa case, we just send off a form and get a free pass back for that competition. And there have been many such instances between the various shooting bodies in this country, mostly not caused by malice (if not all not caused by malice), but they've happened nonetheless - so no, I don't think this is a new departure, nor do I think it's some sort of heinous act.

    But aside from that, you do realise that it's not just olympic pistols being mentioned there? It's air and .22 pistols, which covers ISSF, IMSSU and plinking. So if it's an example of "I'm allright Jack", it's a remarkably inclusive one!
    Develop a fragmented and disorganised approach to the Government and let everyone stick in their own oar and for good measure lets start fighting amongst ourselves over the issues.
    OR
    One approach, One voice REPRESENT EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!! (Same Hymn Sheet)
    Who's voice to represent us? And if you think that it'll work, please note some things:

    1) The SSAI's AGM thread in this forum as an example of the problems there;
    2) Shooting in this country is represented by the SSAI and it's constituent organisations, the NARGC, the ICPSA, and the other bodies in the North. These bodies have different agendas, different constraints, different foci and cover different areas - some are 26-county bodies, some are 32-county. Some of them (like the NTSA and IPC), simply cannot be merged into one body. How do you propose to merge all of them into one body?

    wouldnt the phrase
    "International Competitions and just the word Pistols"
    Sufficed just as well in the above "PQ"
    No. Firstly, it wouldn't have looked as innocous or as prestigious (you may not like that, and it may not make logical sense when you know what's involved in the different disciplines, but that's public perception of the word "olympic", and secondly, the most recent example of shooting getting good PR from the government was when Derek Burnett's performance in Athens got a lot of coverage and praise. Given that, it's harder to say "oh, but it's not that important" about the Olympics. Now, add to that the fact that the definition in the PQ covers everything from Toz-35s to CZ Kadets, including those used for ISSF, Silhouette, and plinking, and ask yourself if it was really that exclusive?


  • Registered Users Posts: 150 ✭✭ oldzed


    What a crap question to ask in the dail , whoever put it together didnt even think of the fact that issf centrefire uses .32 centrefire. . And screw the rest of us that might want to shoot big bore handgun sils , bulls eye and all the other competitions out there . on top of that the use of the whole olympic argument is giving me a pain . The olympics have no intrest in shooting and are paring back the events every time ,this time the running boar got the chop, or sorry i mean the running circle as the boar was too much for the assholes who forget where their sport originated from , in a few years they will be firing laser beams at a tv screen if they are lucky . The whole issf mind the olympic shooters thing is a bad joke , all it will do is take away every one elses guns . Pigs will fly before anyone gets an olympic gold for shooting in ireland outside of clays and thats the truth , we neither have the money or the people or the intrest to field a proper team . All it will do is screw up everyone elses shooting and we do quite well on the world stage in the non issf shooting disciplines .


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks


    oldzed wrote:
    the use of the whole olympic argument is giving me a pain
    You and I know that public perception has rarely a great deal to do with reality. If you have a discipline that the public thinks is great, you use it. That's basic pragmatism for you.
    Pigs will fly before anyone gets an olympic gold for shooting in ireland outside of clays and thats the truth
    No it isn't. It's a complete denial of the truth. The real truth is that we've proven that we have the ability to field a world class team in air rifle from a tiny club in the middle of nowhere with a miniscule catchment area - which proves that we have the native ability. The only reason it didn't happen sooner is because people kept going about saying "oh, we can't do it". Argue your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours.

    Remember, the Irish team in clay pigeon weren't doing this well a decade ago. And prior to '72, we had a world-class fullbore rifle team. And right now, our CISM team is doing very well, but they weren't there a decade ago either. (By the way, we did win an olympic gold medal in the past, though quite a ways in the past - 1908 to be exact).

    So frankly, this "we'll never get a gold medal" idea is the real defeatist attitude.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 152 ✭✭ gouda


    Sparks wrote:
    if a northern Irish shooter wants to take part, he needs to have a full licence down here, where as in the vice versa case, we just send off a form and get a free pass back for that competition.

    Not after the 1st Feb ,we don't. We will need a Northern Ireland sponsor to fill out the application, similar to the UK. Anyway €38 to allow a visitor to shoot as many times as they wish is still cheap when compared to £10 every time in the UK. Be realistic, the licence fee is the least amount shooters will spend so it should not even be an issue. Anyway, why not publish your letters to the NARGC and the DoJ asking them not to change the law with regard to visiting shooters. Presumably you did write to them with your concerns at the time?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 152 ✭✭ gouda


    Sparks wrote:
    You and I know that public perception has rarely a great deal to do with reality. If you have a discipline that the public thinks is great, you use it. That's basic pragmatism for you.


    (By the way, we did win an olympic gold medal in the past, though quite a ways in the past - 1908 to be exact).
    Didn't Joshua Millner represent Great Britain, not Ireland as suggested, in 1908, while other Irish competitors withdrew rather than compete under an English flag?


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks


    gouda wrote:
    Not after the 1st Feb ,we don't. We will need a Northern Ireland sponsor to fill out the application, similar to the UK.
    Yes, and it's a large step backwards :( But the situation between us and other countries like Germany, for example, is pretty much the same - the competition organisers send on an invitation and that's pretty much all their authorities need (well, EFP and so on, but you already have those). That's what we want here, both to drive up attendance levels and competitive score levels, but also for the larger picture goal of increasing tourism.
    Anyway €38 to allow a visitor to shoot as many times as they wish is still cheap when compared to £10 every time in the UK.
    But €38 to drive for an hour to shoot down here isn't cheap, and it is one reason why shooters up north aren't seen down here as much as they once were. It's bad enough they have to drive a long way without the added requirement of getting a licence and paying for it. What club-level shooter is going to do that for the one or two shoots they might come down to in the RoI per year? And what about other shooters invited over here from other countries for a competition? The fewer obstacles, the better, basicly.
    Anyway, why not publish your letters to the NARGC and the DoJ asking them not to change the law with regard to visiting shooters. Presumably you did write to them with your concerns at the time?
    At the time, I didn't know the law was going to be changed. That's not that much of a change either - the NARGC's discussions with Fine Gael weren't common knowlege in the NTSA until we saw it in the Irish Shooters Digest either (in fact I never heard of it till then, despite being on the committee). This isn't an example of malice, by the way, don't think I've got a vendetta going on here - it's just that there's a mindset that we see a lot of in shooting in Ireland that says "keep the heads down, don't say much, don't stand up and risk rocking the boat, keep it all quiet", and while I know why that started (and even agree with it in part - in that shouting and screaming in a meeting with the Minister wouldn't be terribly productive), it's gone too far now and no-one talks to anyone, even within our sport. No-one's innocent of this, by the way - an example from our own side: the SSAI's AGM agenda was well-published before the AGM: but none of the motions in the AGM were on it. Why not? Possibly because noone thought it important because they thought they were widely known - except that they weren't, not even by the NTSA committee (and I understand the text of one motion was actaully drafted at the meeting!). And the minutes weren't put up on the web afterwards or anything like that. There's an inertia in here with regard to "declassifing" information. Ask for it, and odds are you'll get it (though not always), but a casual curiosity won't do it, you have to actively seek it out, and that tends to start rumours that do nothing but foster ill will. It shouldn't be a case of "ask and we'll tell you", it should be a case of "hey, here's the latest update", because how do you ask about something if you don't know it's going on?

    It's a mindset that needs changing!


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks


    gouda wrote:
    Didn't Joshua Millner represent Great Britain, not Ireland as suggested, in 1908, while other Irish competitors withdrew rather than compete under an English flag?
    Millner had to represent Great Britain because there wasn't a seperate Irish state at the time. Same way that the Scottish now compete in the Games as part of the GB team. And while some Irish competitors withdrew, the others went along and competed; and when they won their medals, used them as a peaceful, highly public political protest for a seperate state. The questions of which decision was the more effective is an interesting one, and rather relevant to this thread in that it's a conflict between the purely idealist way of proceeding and the pragmatic approach. By staying away, the athletes didn't support the GB team; but by going and protesting, the athletes drew attention to the political dispute in a highly public and peaceful manner.

    Personally, and this is just my way of thinking, the pragmatic approach is more effective. But it's a choice everyone has to make for themselves, in the end.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks


    Got the answers from thursday's PQs back:
    181. Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of serious crimes (details supplied) using firearms which took place during 2003 or during the latest year for which figures are available; the number of these which were carried out with legally held firearms; the number with previously legally held firearms which had been stolen from their owners; and the number carried out with firearms which were not legally held at any time here. [2322/05]

    Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): I wish to
    inform the Deputy that the number of offences recorded in 2003 in which a
    firearm was used are outlined in the following table:

    2003:

    Murders: 20
    Manslaughter: 0
    Robberies: 251
    Aggravated burglaries: 62
    Possession of a firearm: 374
    Discharge of a firearm: 210



    A breakdown of the offences by reference to whether or not the weapon used was legally held is not readily available and could only be obtained by a disproportionate expenditure of Garda time and resources.
    (I've had to reformat that table to a list because I can't get the board to format the table correctly, btw)

    It's a very interesting answer because it basicly shows that the claim that stolen firearms are a serious problem is one which the DoJ and the Gardai have no evidence for on anything beyond an anecdotal level. Since that claim's shown up in the media a great deal over the past year, it's a good thing to have cleared up, and it means that a response to such a claim can now have a bit more authority than "it's not because we say it's not and we know better than the head of the gardai when it comes to crime statistics"!
    182. Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if the amendments to the Firearms Acts which he intends to introduce via the Criminal Justice Bill 2004, including those amendments to be announced on Committee Stage, will not render illegal or unlicenceable those pistols needed to compete in the Olympic Games that is, air pistols and .22 calibre pistols, in view of his statement in Dáil Éireann on 26 February 2004 that competitive target shooters are not a threat to the public safety. [2323/05]

    Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): The Criminal Justice Bill, as published, contains one proposal in relation to firearms which is to provide for their secure custody. Other provisions on firearms will be brought forward in the form of amendments to the Bill on Committee Stage. I propose to bring those amendments to Government shortly for approval. They will then be presented to the House in the normal way.

    Gah. A total avoidance of the question. Which is a rather worrying thing to see, because if there were no plans to eliminate air and smallbore pistols, the Minister could have gotten some cheap PR right there by answering the question directly. Which means that the ISSF shooters, the Irish Pony Club tetrathlon shooters, the silhouette pistol shooters, and pretty much all the plinkers are back to wondering what's going to happen :(


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 152 ✭✭ gouda


    Sparks wrote:


    Gah. A total avoidance of the question. Which is a rather worrying thing to see, because if there were no plans to eliminate air and smallbore pistols, the Minister could have gotten some cheap PR right there by answering the question directly. Which means that the ISSF shooters, the Irish Pony Club tetrathlon shooters, the silhouette pistol shooters, and pretty much all the plinkers are back to wondering what's going to happen :(

    Shouldn't that read "plonkers"? :D:D:D:D


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