Tuesday, 21 May 1974
Dáil Eireann Debate
The Taoiseach: It is proposed to take business in the following order: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 15, 9, 16 and 17 (Vote 9— Resumed). By agreement it is proposed to interrupt business at 7 p.m. to take the Second and remaining Stages of the Prisons Bill, 1974, and then resume the Order of Business.
Mr. J. Lynch: In respect to the Order of Business, and particularly No. 3 which the Taoiseach announced would be taken at 7 p.m. and all Stages of which are to be concluded, that Bill has not yet been circulated. I understand that it has been indicated on behalf of my party that we will facilitate the passage of all Stages. However, I should like to protest. It was known that the necessity for this Bill was there and that the existing legislation would run out in a day or two. This Bill should have been introduced sooner so that adequate time would have been made available for discussion.
Mr. Blaney: Would the Taoiseach  not agree that an urgent debate on the security arrangements within the Twenty-six Counties is an appropriate matter for discussion here without delay? The recent happenings precipitate such a debate. This is a subject which we should be discussing not merely because it will reflect in any way on the Government for their lack of security arrangements. A debate on this matter would be very desirable. Has the Taoiseach given this matter consideration?
Mr. J. Lynch: As a result of statements made it was generally believed last week that the report of the Law Commission would be published tomorrow. It was then suggested that it might be published on Thursday. I understand that there is some doubt as to whether it will be published on Thursday. Will the Taoiseach state when it is likely to be published and will he have a debate on the report in advance of the publication of whatever legislation will follow publication of the report?
Mr. Blaney: A suitable and immediate vehicle for a debate such as I have requested would be an item on the Order Paper for the repeal of the Offences Against the State Act. In this regard might I also ask if the Taoiseach is aware if that particular statute is being applied to any organisation other than one and, if not, why?
The Taoiseach: I would regard it as singularly inappropriate to discuss security. As I said, I will consider those other aspects. I take it that the Deputy is anxious to assist in having the maximum possible security, and it is a matter for consideration whether such a debate is the most appropriate way of assisting.
Mr. Blaney: That is my intention. It is because of my personal experience of the methods employed in  securing the safety of our citizens on this side of the Border while others are trying to take care of those on the other side that I feel assistance could be given to the Government and a debate or discussion should be arranged. It is very necessary. I say that with all honesty and after careful consideration.
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