Cooney, Patrick Mark

Wednesday, 30 June 1976

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 291 No. 14

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Vote 22: Office of the Minister for Justice.

I move:More Button

I think that week was well spent.More Button

I disagree with the Deputy.More Button

He is the first Minister for the Gaeltacht to give attention to the area. That is his success.More Button

To deal first with Deputy Callanan's question, I wish to assure him that the Land Registry have a statutory obligation to investigate all applications coming before them but they must take every appli...More Button

As Deputy Callanan is aware, there was a differing interpretation by different registrars of their right to make available instruments from the Registry. I think that is the explanation of it.More Button

I would not be prepared to comment on that. That is a matter for the Registration of Title Act and I have no intention of interpreting it. I thought, listening to Deputy Collins speech, how glad I wa...More Button

Indictable offences.More Button

Yes, indictable offences reported. Perhaps I might be allowed give some comparisons for this city and some cities across the water in the year 1975. In the Dublin Metropolitan area the number of off...More Button

No, the statistics on which the crime report is based are compiled on the basis of reported offences, not detected offences. Therefore, if there were no police at all the number of crimes being repo...More Button

The point is that offences are reported. There is no suggestion of any reduction in the level of reporting offences. I have taken steps to ensure that the recording of crime is now more rigidly done...More Button

If I have that information before I finish I will give it to the Deputy. It is a specific question relating to a specific time.More Button

Again, I have not got that information, but I think very few, because, happily, murder is not a common crime. Unsolved murders could include murders unsolved since the foundation of the State.More Button

I am afraid I cannot say. Actually I am not aware of any, but I cannot be definite on that. The fact that they are not solved does not mean they may not be solved. On the matter of overtime, Deputie...More Button

I have not had an opportunity of reading that particular article in full. I have only read comments on it.More Button

There is nothing in Question No. 108 or Question No. 109 about statistics. If there are statistics they will be checked out. I do not know the source of them because this particular magazine does n...More Button

If they can be checked they will, of course, be checked. I am happy to report that the position painted by Deputy Collins is not the real position. Notwithstanding that, I am aware that there is une...More Button

I accept the point. May I assure the Deputy that neither the Department nor I have any intention of misleading anybody. Deputy Tunney was making the case—he will correct me if I am wrong—that in tel...More Button

The Deputy should quote me.More Button

I answered a number of questions.More Button

Possibly it is wrong for the Deputy and myself to speak from recollection; we should check the record. My attitude with regard to increasing the overall level of the force was that I was anxious to w...More Button

Does the Deputy disagree with the decision of the Government to increase the number?More Button

Then the Deputy should not complain.More Button

Is the Deputy saying we should not increase the number until next year?More Button

There are only two things that would make the Opposition happy in regard to this situation. First, not to recruit the extra gardaí, possibly even to reduce the level of the gardaí——More Button

Secondly, the Opposition would be very happy if there was a state of lawlessness in this country. There is not a lawless state in this country. Vote put and agreed to.More Button

Vote 23: Garda Síochána.

I move: That a sum not exceeding £57,837,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 1976, for the salaries and expense...More Button

Vote 24: Prisons.

I move:More Button

Vote 25: Courts.

I move: That a sum not exceeding £2,792,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 1976, for such of the salaries and ...More Button

Vote 26: Land Registry and Registry of Deeds.

I move: That a sum not exceeding £1,477,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 1976, for the salaries and expenses...More Button

The delay is confined to one sensitive area. It involves mapping. With regard to Land Registry work generally, there has been a vast amount of speeding up. Vote put and agreed to.More Button

Vote 27: Charitable Donations and Bequests.

I move:More Button

Family Home Protection Bill, 1976: Committee Stage (Resumed).

I appreciate the concern which inspired this amendment. In considering it I would recall to Deputies opposite what the Bill provides for. It provides that a sale cannot take place without the consent...More Button

May I say I do not believe the Deputy is right?More Button

I sympathise with the motives behind the amendment.More Button

That is all I can offer. Amendment, by leave, withdrawn. Section 4 agreed to. SECTION 5.More Button

I move amendment No. 3: In page 4, subsection (2), line 23, after “the other spouse” to insert “or any other person”.More Button

Yes.More Button

A third party who was in collusion with one of the spouses.More Button

With the guilty spouse, with the spouse against whom the action was being taken. It might be a person who was in collusion with the spouse to render the home uninhabitable, perhaps by interfering wit...More Button

The Interpretation Act would cover that.More Button

Yes.More Button

There is nothing the law can do about that situation. If the person against whom an order is made directing him to pay damages is no mark, to use the legal colloquialism, there is nothing anybody can...More Button

I move amendment No. 4: In page 4, subsection 2, line 25, after “order” to insert “directed to the other spouse or to any other person.”More Button

In section 2 it says that “family home” means, primarily, a dwelling in which the married couple ordinarily reside. Should there by any doubt as to whether that applies to one or more houses it would...More Button

No.More Button

Yes, because a dwelling is defined in subsection (2) of section 2 as “any building, or any structure, vehicle or vessel (whether mobile or not).” As regards the other point Deputy Collins raised, it i...More Button

No. I accept that completely.More Button

First of all, I would like to clear the administrative consequences of the amendment. It would involve the Minister for Justice in decisions relating to matters falling within the scope of the Minist...More Button

That is a good idea. I will certainly draw the attention of the Minister for Local Government to it. If he were to issue a circular to all local authorities directing them in the application form the...More Button

Deputy Andrews has no doubt about his position. He is completely in favour of compulsory joint ownership. He says that when they get married that is the time for them to be required to place the hom...More Button

I mention that as a practical difficulty——More Button

——to invoking compulsory joint ownership. That is a practical difficulty and not an unusual one. Deputy Andrews is talking about marriage and the happiness at that time, but unfortunately we know so...More Button

That is the point. If the purchase of the house is five years after marriage and the marriage is not going well, should we inflict joint ownership on the couple in all cases?More Button

The point is that after five years or even ten years of marriage, if the marriage is not going well and the wife has her own fortune and decides to invest in bricks and mortar for herself and her chil...More Button

I am quite satisfied that the point I am making is valid. It arises inevitably from compulsory joint ownership. Perhaps it could be provided for in the legislation setting as Deputy Andrews will appr...More Button

“Of course it could.” That is a very easy way to deal with what I have just pointed out is a highly complex social and legal problem.More Button

Unfortunately the world is not as simple as Deputy Andrews would like it to be. Again, it might be very likely that some spouses might prefer not to have the property in common ownership. Are we goin...More Button

Or is this another simple matter that is to be made an exception of in the legislation? These are two serious practical difficulties in respect of what Deputy Andrews proposes. We are losing sight a...More Button

I explained with regard to the second part of it what is proposed is that in the case of certain purchases, where a house is being purchased in the joint names, it should be exempt from stamp duty. T...More Button

I move amendment No. 4a: In page 4, after line 56, to add a new subsection as follows:More Button

The situation envisaged by the Deputy is one where a wife takes over the mortgage payments and commences payment to the lending institution. This Bill would not give her any right to a particular sha...More Button

The submission is guilty of one serious misstatement, and it is a pity. It states that the Bill “completely disregards the people in this unhappy situation and does nothing to help them”. That is wr...More Button

Deputy Andrews criticised the Bill because FLAC stated that it completely disregards people in this unhappy situation. I am pointing out that they have based that on a misreading or a non-reading of ...More Button

It is a lot better than nil.More Button

Deputies are forgetting when they talk of this as piecemeal legislation—I have heard this adjective used before—that it represents a staged programme of family law reform. The alternative would have ...More Button

Deputy Desmond raised the point of the giving of notice. I explained earlier that it was not possible to provide a specific legal obligation because of the difficulties in providing the sanction to e...More Button

She is also entitled under the Maintenance Act to sue her husband for maintenance.More Button

If the husband has deserted and gone to England, he can be proceeded against in England through the courts here. All the wife has to do is go to our courts and take out maintenance proceedings which ...More Button

Of course, but we cannot provide for that. If he cannot be found and the house is subject to a mortgage, and the wife is not able to meet the mortgage repayments—I dealt with the problem on Second St...More Button

If there is a mortgage on the house it would be wrong for the law to interfere with the mortgagee's rights of sale when no repayments are being made. Where repayments are being made or are likely to...More Button

This Bill cannot solve the financial position of a woman in that difficulty, and that is what you are suggesting. That gets back to the finances of the individual person.More Button

I did not boast. I just stated a fact.More Button

There is no question of that.More Button

I move amendment No. 5: In page 5, subsection (1), lines 1 and 2, to delete “after an adjournment of the proceedings under section 7” and to substitute “after proceedings have been adjourned under sec...More Button

I move amendment No. 6: In page 6, subsection (4), to delete lines 34 and 35 and to substitute: “(4) Where the rateable value of the land to which the proceedings relate exceeds £100 or the value of t...More Button

I move amendment No. 7: In page 6, to delete subsections (6) and (7) and to substitute the following subsections:More Button

These amendments have three purposes. Firstly, they are designed specifically to ensure that in proceedings referred to in section 7 of the Bill, where a mortgagee or a landlord is seeking an order f...More Button

I move amendment No. 8: In page 6, before section 11, to insert the following section: “In any proceedings under or referred to in this Act each of the spouses as well as any third person who has or m...More Button

To avoid confusion, amendment No. 8 will, in effect, be a new section and has nothing to do with section 11. It is merely inserted before section 11. On the question of what searches are to be made ...More Button

Would the Deputy please repeat the question?More Button

Yes. Her written consent must be obtained under section 3 of the Bill.More Button

Yes.More Button

Has the Deputy been in the Law Library lately?More Button

Then he should know that the dispute, hopefully, should be near a settlement. I am hoping that the proposals made will settle the dispute.More Button

Married.More Button

The Deputy reported me as saying something I did not say. This habit he has of attributing statements without having the record right is not one to be commended. A married couple in the Bill means, o...More Button

Dublin South-West and Donegal. Question put and agreed to.More Button

Adoption Bill, 1976: Instruction to Committee.

I move: That it be an instruction to the Committee on the Adoption Bill, 1976, that it has power to make provision in the Bill that a reference in any Act of the Oireachtas passed after the passing of...More Button

I believe it is in accordance with Standing Order 95. I am so informed by the authorities in the House.More Button

Yes.More Button

Adoption Bill, 1976: Committee Stage.

That is correct but it would appear—I do not want to offer an opinion on this doubt—the particular order in question is probably no longer an order by virtue of that decision.More Button

There is provision for hearings in camera but not specifically in cases arising under the adoption Acts. The practice is—unfortunately it has been breached by some journals —that the names of the par...More Button

The criterion for in camera is the question of the custody of the child. In determining the question of custody welfare is relevant. In proceedings under the adoption Acts simpliciter there is no ex...More Button

Even if proceedings were to be held in camera, having regard to the size of our society, the identity of parties would be known.More Button

Yes.More Button

Yes, in section 3.More Button

No question of it. Certain new procedures are provided for in subsequent sections which will remove the difficulties that arose in the case that gave rise to this section but without in any way inhibi...More Button

No. The danger apprehended has to do with the exercise of judicial functions by the Board. Section 5 is designed to shut the door on all possible challenges under the Adoption Acts, but it cannot shu...More Button

That applies to everything, and not just to section 2, under the parent Act and all amending Acts. May I say it is only a point of view with regard to the 1952 Act and the presumption is in favour of ...More Button

The implication of what the Deputy says is that the board did not do what it should have done. I understand the particular case was an exception and the purpose of this section is to cover any other e...More Button

No, it cannot be set aside.More Button

That is something on which I would not like to offer an opinion. I am sure they will take legal advice. There might possibly be other grounds under other legislation for proceeding on the question o...More Button

Is this in reference to the particular case?More Button

The Society can intervene only under the Children's Acts. If a child is not having proper care and attention the society may proceed under those Acts to remove the child.More Button

The society would have no right to intervene. Question put and agreed to. SECTION 3. Question proposed: “That section 3 stand part of the Bill.”More Button

This section relates to future cases and it is designed to provide for certain changes in adoption procedure, primarily with a view to enabling the board to maintain substantially its present practice...More Button

I agree entirely with the Deputy that it would be unsatisfactory. In fact, it would be contrary to all proper adoption procedures for the parties to be in an adversary situation at an adoption hearing...More Button

We do not anticipate administrative difficulties nor do we anticipate that there will be many applications by mothers to be heard. Even if there are, we do not think it will give rise to administrativ...More Button

Yes.More Button

It is the chairman and two ordinary members. Question put and agreed to. SECTION 4. Question proposed: “That section 4 stand part of the Bill.”More Button

This section proposes that the board may request and authorise any organisation or person, whether in or outside the State, of whose suitability the board are satisfied, to make inquiries on their beh...More Button

They are not so believed.More Button

I said there were certain apprehensions but the presumption must be in favour of constitutionality. Naturally, the board have to act through agents in many of their activities and this will be an ext...More Button

This section provides that an adoption order shall not be declared invalid where the court, having regard to the interests of the child and to the rights under the Constitution of all persons concerne...More Button

This is one of the matters which will have to be considered in the framing of the question.More Button

We are agreeable to continue.More Button

Perhaps we could carry on for 15 minutes.More Button

The point raised by Deputy O'Malley may have to be faced in the framing of the question, but not necessarily so. The matter is being teased out in the drafting process and in the discussion process. ...More Button

I cannot specify what they might be because they would depend on what rights the advisers of a particular person would find as being infringed when that person found his challenge was closed off by th...More Button

Yes.More Button

It could refer to those. Presumably the people who would be moving would be the natural parents, but it is not exclusively referable to them.More Button

I think section 5 always was referable to all persons having an interest which, of course, would include the adoptive parents.More Button

So I believe.More Button

It would, because they would be persons concerned and would have to be heard.More Button

I should not like to make any comment on that in case I would be commenting on court procedure, which would not be appropriate for me to do. We would all prefer that all parties would be heard, but t...More Button

That might be a helpful suggestion in the drafting. Question put and agreed to. SECTION 6. Question proposed: “That section 6 stand part of the Bill.”More Button

This section is designed to sever the issue of invalidity of an order where a declaration of invalidity is made from the issue of custody of the child. The section proposes that, when an adoption ord...More Button

Anomalous is hardly the word. It would be a legal consequence of the adoption order being declared invalid. It was the adoption order which gave those rights and, when it was found invalid, those ri...More Button

Section 6 is essentially a simple section.More Button

The consequences to which Deputy O'Malley refers were there anyway. The section sets out to prevent a situation where custody will automatically follow the declaring invalid of an adoption order. Th...More Button

I understand a custody order was made in the recent case. What we want to ensure is that the two things are severed and, if they are not severed and it is going to be dealt with there and then, that t...More Button

I move amendment No. 1: In page 4, before section 7, to in insert the following section: 7.—Where, in any Act of the Oireachtas passed after the passing of this Act, there is a reference to a child of...More Button

I move amendment No. 2: In page 4, before section 7, to insert the following section: 8.—A court shall not make an order under section 22 (5) of the Principal Act or an order for the discovery, inspec...More Button

Adoption Bill, 1976: Report and Final Stages.

Let me say, lest the remarks Deputy O'Malley has made cause apprehension, we are well satisfied that the measures proposed to cure the situation raised by the Supreme Court decision are adequate. To ...More Button


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