Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Disadvantaged and Handicapped Areas.

Thursday, 16 June 1983

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 343 No. 8

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9.

Mr. Wilson: Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  asked the Minister for Agriculture the criteria for the inclusion of farms in the severely handicapped category; the stage reached in the present review; the units of division which will be considered in Counties Cavan and Monaghan; and if he expects to have conclusions from the review before June 1983.

10.

Mr. Brennan:  asked the Minister [1887] for Agriculture whether his Department have submitted a list of areas for which they intend to seek inclusion in the EEC disadvantaged areas schemes as a matter of urgency pending the review of these areas which has been promised by the EEC Commission; and, if so, if he will list the areas.

11.

Mr. J. Walsh: Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  asked the Minister for Agriculture the plans he has for the extension of the severely handicapped areas under the disadvantaged areas scheme.

12.

Mr. Kitt: Information on Michael P. Kitt  Zoom on Michael P. Kitt  asked the Minister for Agriculture the criteria which will allow extra areas of the 12 western counties to be included in the severely handicapped areas for cattle headage payments under the disadvantaged areas scheme.

13.

Mr. Aylward: Information on Liam Aylward  Zoom on Liam Aylward  asked the Minister for Agriculture if it is his intention to have the inclusion of additional areas in the disadvantaged areas scheme discussed as part of the current EEC discussions on the agricultural price review; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

14.

Mr. Aylward: Information on Liam Aylward  Zoom on Liam Aylward  asked the Minister for Agriculture the progress made to date to have an area (details supplied) in County Kilkenny included in the disadvantaged areas scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

15.

Mr. Aylward: Information on Liam Aylward  Zoom on Liam Aylward  asked the Minister for Agriculture the progress made to date to have an area (details supplied) in County Kilkenny included in the disadvantaged areas scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

16.

Mr. Leonard:  asked the Minister for Agriculture when the proposed scheme for the extension of the severely handicapped areas will be submitted to the EEC.

17.

Mr. G. Collins: Information on Gerard Collins  Zoom on Gerard Collins  asked the Minister for Agriculture the progress made in regard to the review of the disadvantaged areas scheme in County Limerick with a [1888] view to including further areas of west Limerick in this scheme; when it is likely that a decision will be made by the Government on the review; when it will be submitted to Brussels for decision; and when it is likely that benefits from positive decisions on this will accrue to the people in the areas concerned.

18.

Mr. Foley: Information on Denis Foley  Zoom on Denis Foley  asked the Minister for Agriculture the progress made to date in the review of the disadvantaged areas scheme; and if it is his intention to include the whole of Kerry in the scheme.

19.

Mr. F. Fahey: Information on Frank Fahey  Zoom on Frank Fahey  asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will outline in detail the criteria being used for the assessment of areas in the west of Ireland as severely handicapped in the review currently being carried out by his Department; if he will give details of the number of townlands being examined under the townland-by-townland approach in the review; the percentage of the work which has been completed to date; and the date on which his Department hope to complete their review.

20.

Mr. Yates: Information on Ivan Yates  Zoom on Ivan Yates  asked the Minister for Agriculture when an area (details supplied) in County Wexford will be designated as a disadvantaged area for the purpose of the special drainage grants areas outside the western region.

21.

Mr. Daly: Information on Brendan Daly  Zoom on Brendan Daly  asked the Minister for Agriculture the present position regarding the review of areas for inclusion as severely handicapped under the disadvantaged areas scheme; when final decisions will be made by the Government and the EEC; and the areas of County Clare that are being examined for inclusion.

22.

Mr. Enright: Information on Tom Enright  Zoom on Tom Enright  asked the Minister for Agriculture the present position in regard to the submission from his Department to the EEC of the case in regard to having further lands in Ireland classified as severely disadvantaged; and the total acreage that will be covered by this latest extension of the disadvantaged area scheme.

[1889]23.

Mr. McEllistrim: Information on Thomas McEllistrim Jnr.  Zoom on Thomas McEllistrim Jnr.  asked the Minister for Agriculture the progress made in regard to the review of the disadvantaged area scheme in County Kerry, with a view to including further areas in north Kerry; when it is likely that a decision will be made by the Government; and when it will be submitted to Brussels for decision.

24.

Mr. F. Fahey: Information on Frank Fahey  Zoom on Frank Fahey  asked the Minister for Agriculture the number of townlands in County Galway that have now been surveyed under the review of the severely handicapped areas; and when this survey will be completed and the results submitted to the EEC.

25.

Mr. Reynolds: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  asked the Minister for Agriculture the progress made in regard to the review of the disadvantaged area scheme in County Longford with a view to including further areas as recommended by the County Longford ACOT Committee; when a decision will be made by the Government; and when a submission will be made to Brussels.

26.

Mr. S. Byrne: Information on Seán Byrne  Zoom on Seán Byrne  asked the Minister for Agriculture if the Galtee mountain area, County Tipperary, will be included in the disadvantaged area scheme.

27.

Mr. S. Byrne: Information on Seán Byrne  Zoom on Seán Byrne  asked the Minister for Agriculture if the Ballymacarby/Nire valley, County Waterford area will be included in the disadvantaged area scheme.

Mr. Deasy: Information on Austin Deasy  Zoom on Austin Deasy  It is proposed to take Questions Nos. 9 to 27, inclusive together.

Mr. Wilson: Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  Ah, no.

Mr. Noonan: Information on Michael J. Noonan  Zoom on Michael J. Noonan  (Limerick West): This is making us all disadvantaged.

Mr. Wilson: Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  Just because the Minister was asked about the sugar plant in Tuam, he is not going to lump the whole lot of these questions together.

Mr. Noonan: Information on Michael J. Noonan  Zoom on Michael J. Noonan  (Limerick West): On a [1890] point of order, we totally object to the approach taken by the Minister. Also, I ask the Chair what length of time will be allotted to supplementary questions since the Minister is taking 16, no, 19 questions together?

Mr. Deasy: Information on Austin Deasy  Zoom on Austin Deasy  Could we take these questions separately, a Cheann Comhairle?

Mr. Wilson: Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  I do not think this is a joke.

Mr. Noonan: Information on Michael J. Noonan  Zoom on Michael J. Noonan  (Limerick West): On a point of order——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Deputy Noonan, the Chair has no control over how questions are answered and I want to make that perfectly clear.

In regard to the number of supplementaries and the time that I will allow, I will exercise my discretion and hope that I will be reasonable.

Mr. Leonard:  On a point of order, there are 19 questions and we have only roughly 24 minutes. Could we continue the supplementaries into the next day we have Question Time?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  The Chair has no authority to do that. Uimhir 9.

Mr. Wilson: Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  On a point of order, does the Chair think that it is just and equitable that I should have a question down since last Christmas, that now it will be lumped with 18 or 19 other questions and that I should be treated in that way?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  The Chair does not have any views on matters over which the Chair has no discretion.

Mr. Wilson: Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  I would point out to the Chair, as a matter of precedent, that there was a time when the then Minister for Education, Deputy Burke, tried this and he did not get away with it. The House did not allow him to get away with it and he had to come back to answer the questions individually the following day.

[1891]Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture (Mr. Connaughton): Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  It is proposed to take Questions Nos. 9 to 27, inclusive, together.

As regards changes in the boundaries of the disadvantaged areas in this country I would refer the Deputies to the reply to a question on the subject on 15 February. The criteria used in the classification of the more severely handicapped parts of the disadvantaged areas are laid down in detail in Article 3.4 of Council Directive 75/268/EEC which in the case of Ireland should be read in conjunction with Council Directive 75/272/EEC; they may be summarised as: adverse physical handicaps, such as infertility of the soil, low economic returns and low or dwindling population depending mainly on agriculture.

Mr. Wilson: Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  I cannot hear the Minister.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Could we have silence in the gallery? You are very welcome and we are glad to have you here, but you must be silent.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  For the purposes of the present review it has been decided that consideration should be given to townlands or groups of townlands, rather than to entire district electoral divisions as has been the practice heretofore. The position in over 600 district electoral divisions comprising a total number of townlands estimated to be in excess of 10,000, of which 1,332 are in County Galway, is being given detailed consideration in the course of the present review. The position in all the areas mentioned in the questions will be considered in the context of the present review.

It will be necessary to await the outcome of the present boundary review before approaching the EEC authorities with any list of areas for designation as disadvantaged or reclassification as more severely handicapped. It will take some months yet before the review is completed and I would not like to forecast at this stage how soon the question will be finalised by the Government or, eventually, by the EEC authorities. Changes in the boundaries of the disadvantaged [1892] areas in member states have not been an issue in this year's EEC discussions on agricultural prices and no proposals from the Commission in this regard are before the Council of Ministers.

Mr. Wilson: Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  Does the Minister accept that Deputies on this side of the House who have put down these questions have a just cause for anger at the way they have been treated by the Minister who not merely treated all 19 questions in a lump fashion but did not answer adequately the questions asked about the principles?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  That is hardly a supplementary question.

Mr. Wilson: Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  Would the Minister accept that we have a just cause for anger?

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  I should be delighted to answer any supplementary questions Deputy Wilson asks about the question he put down. All the questions relate to the same topic. On numerous occasions the same type of answers have been given. I will answer the Deputy's supplementaries.

Mr. S. Byrne: Information on Seán Byrne  Zoom on Seán Byrne  This report should have been in Brussels last May. What is the Department doing about it? We are dragging our heels because the Minister for Finance does not want to spend one penny on this scheme.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  I should like to explain——

Mr. S. Byrne: Information on Seán Byrne  Zoom on Seán Byrne  We want action not explanations.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Order, please.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  Before the last general election it was suggested that a report had been sent to Brussels and it had not.

Mr. S. Byrne: Information on Seán Byrne  Zoom on Seán Byrne  That is not true.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  Approximately [1893] four million acres are involved in this survey. As Deputies are no doubt aware, that is a huge job. As I said, it is hoped to have the entire survey completed within my Department in two or three months time. The next step will be to bring it before the Government and then send it to Brussels.

Mr. Wilson: Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  How many people are engaged on this full-time in the Department?

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  I am not able to give the exact number of people.

Mr. Wilson: Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  The Minister has no interest in it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  The Minister should be allowed to answer the question.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  I have great interest in it. It is a continuing process. This is by far the largest survey we have attempted to complete since we joined the EEC.

Mr. Leonard:  In his reply the Minister mentioned one county and a number of townlands. The question related to six or seven counties, including the two which comprise my constituency, and the Minister did not deal with them. I asked when the submission would be made to Brussels. The Minister gave no indication of when that would take place. Will the Minister not try to redress the imbalance which has been evident in the designation of areas up to now? All the Minister has to do is examine this map of the 12 western counties——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  No exhibits please.

Mr. Leonard:  Only 20 per cent of Cavan-Monaghan has been included. I hoped on this occasion that these two counties would be included.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  Areas will be selected in accordance with the criteria which exists. As soon as the survey has [1894] been completed we will know exactly how much of it meets the criteria laid down in Brussels. All the areas which were mentioned in the questions put to me are included in the survey.

Mr. F. Fahey: Information on Frank Fahey  Zoom on Frank Fahey  In Question No. 24 I asked the Minister the number of townlands which had been surveyed in County Galway. In view of the Minister's inadequate answer is it his intention to treat this question by writing further fiction in the Irish Independent——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  That is argument and the Chair will not allow it.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  It is not my intention. If any Deputy requests the number of DEDs being included in their own constituency or county——

Mr. Wilson: Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  The Minister said “townlands”.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. F. Fahey: Information on Frank Fahey  Zoom on Frank Fahey  I asked the Minister the number of townlands which were being surveyed in County Galway. If the Minister does not want to answer that let him say so.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  I have no control over the Minister's answers.

Mr. F. Fahey: Information on Frank Fahey  Zoom on Frank Fahey  The Minister should say he does not want to answer.

Mr. Aylward: Information on Liam Aylward  Zoom on Liam Aylward  In view of the fact that the Government and the Minister have been dragging their feet in submitting this scheme to Brussels does he not agree that we will lose the advantage over other EEC members who have submitted their plans? Will he ensure as a matter of urgency that this scheme is finalised and submitted to Brussels so as to avail of the benefits under the scheme?

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  I wish to make it clear that we are not dragging our feet as regards this issue. It is a huge survey covering four million acres of land. Every [1895] effort is being made to complete the survey.

Mr. Aylward: Information on Liam Aylward  Zoom on Liam Aylward  My question has not been answered. Other members of the EEC have made submissions.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  I am calling Deputy Walsh. I will not allow argument.

Mr. J. Walsh: Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  Can the Minister see any merit in making a submission to Brussels for the whole country to be designated a disadvantaged area given the financial chaos we are in? Only commercial farmers are earning in excess of an adequate income. All other categories of farmers, development and transitional, need income supplements. It would cut out this hotch-potch townland approach to it.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  We must meet the criteria laid down by the EEC in relation to handicapped areas. There are many areas which can be included under that criteria. It is obvious that until we have reached our limit on that we could not go back to the EEC and ask them to change that criteria. We have vast acres of land which would still come under that criteria.

Mr. Daly: Information on Brendan Daly  Zoom on Brendan Daly  The Minister gave us some details in relation to Galway. I asked a specific question in relation to the areas in Clare which are being surveyed. The Minister will be aware that surveys have already taken place in Clare. What areas have been surveyed? Is the whole county included? Was it not grossly negligent on the part of the Minister for Agriculture not to have this issue put before the recent farm council? Why was this issue not put on the agenda?

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  It would have been inappropriate to put it on the agenda since we did not have the areas surveyed and presented to Brussels in the normal way. There were items on the agenda which had to be fought for. As Deputies are aware, there is machinery available which will allow us to negotiate on disadvantaged areas. This would seem to be the thing to do. I will communicate to the [1896] Deputy the areas in Clare that are being surveyed.

Mr. N. Treacy: Information on Noel Treacy  Zoom on Noel Treacy  In view of the Minister's earlier reply, is the area criterion used townlands or district electoral divisions? Also, regarding the report which the Minister tells us he expects to be completed within the next two to three months, will that be submitted to Brussels before the next session of the Dáil?

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  On the first part of the question, up to now the method of calculation was based entirely on district electoral divisions but that has been found not to be very helpful and to have resulted in some peculiar results. One can have a district electoral division with very good land and with very bad land. It is proposed to have townland divisions where necessary and one would hope that that system would be more appropriate to the type of terrain involved. Regarding the timetable aspect, it will be two to three months before the survey is completed. After that it will be sent to the Government and then to Brussels, so I cannot give an exact time span.

Mr. N. Treacy: Information on Noel Treacy  Zoom on Noel Treacy  Arising out of that reply——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Permission to ask one supplementary does not entitle a Deputy to ask a whole litany of questions. I shall take a supplementary from Deputy Byrne.

Mr. H. Byrne: Information on Hugh Byrne  Zoom on Hugh Byrne  Has the Minister submitted any list to the EEC in respect of areas for inclusion in the scheme? Is it intended, for instance, to include the Maccamore and Rathangan areas of Wexford?

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  I will communicate with the Deputy later as to whether these areas are included, but as of now there is no application before the EEC concerning any area. We are awaiting the outcome of the survey on the four million acres.

Mr. Wilson: Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  I wish to ask a fundamental [1897] question. Is the decision, as distinct from sanction, made in the Department with regard to what areas are to be included in the severely disadvantaged areas and, arising from that, if the substantive decision is made in the Department will the Minister change the assessor for the constituency of Cavan-Monaghan because the small farmers in that area regard him as prejudiced and unwilling to listen to their argument though taking into account their high productivity — second to south west Cork — but not taking into account the inputs that are necessary in that severely disadvantaged area?

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  As Deputy Wilson will be aware, I have had long discussions with the farming community both in Counties Cavan and Monaghan and I am very well aware of their problems. The criteria used is laid down by Brussels. So far as the area of land being surveyed currently, is concerned, inclusion or otherwise in the scheme will depend entirely on the number of acres that are deemed by Brussels to fit the criteria.

Mr. Wilson: Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  Is that not a legal fiction? I asked if the decision is made in the Department and then passed on to Brussels.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  I am amazed at Deputy Wilson.

Mr. Wilson: Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  The Minister need never be amazed at me.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  This debate has been going on for the past ten years and the criteria are in black and white for anyone to read. Unless the criteria are met, Brussels will not regard an area as severely handicapped.

Mr. Wilson: Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  That does not answer the question.

Mr. Kitt: Information on Michael P. Kitt  Zoom on Michael P. Kitt  I posed a question regarding the criteria used. Is there a change from the district electoral division to the townland system or will the criterion remain [1898] the same regarding falling populations and the level of income in those townlands? Would it be possible to have a second asessment for investigation of lands in County Galway? I ask the question because we have had difficulty in having some areas of the county identified as severely handicapped.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  So far as the second part of the question is concerned, I am not aware of any machinery that would allow us do what the Deputy suggests. Either an area meets or does not meet the criteria laid down in Brussels for inclusion in the disadvantaged areas scheme.

Mr. Noonan: Information on Michael J. Noonan  Zoom on Michael J. Noonan  (Limerick West): Is the Minister aware that the appropriate forum for changing the criteria is at the annual agricultural price review by the Council of Ministers? Would the Minister consider this in future years and would the Department have any input into the changing of the criteria?

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  We would have an input in the sense that there would be certain proposals that we could put to Brussels and which in our view would be of the greatest advantage to us. It is possible that at some future time it will be possible to have price fixing and so on on the agenda at EEC negotiations. Because of the factors I have explained, it was not possible to have proposals of that kind on the agenda on the last occasion.

Mr. Wilson: Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  People should not be penalised for productivity.

Mr. Leonard:  Would the Minister agree that up to now the officials have not been concentrating on the areas of population and fertility but instead have left out areas simply because of their being milk-producing areas even if the milk was produced on marginal land and where the heather was growing on the other side of the hedge? We have had officials of the Department in the county but instead of taking note of the problems of the area, because the farmers concerned were by and large milk suppliers [1899] and because there were a number of creameries in the county, these officials considered the farmers to be in the higher income bracket. Consequently, all we got was 20 per cent when we should have been getting 80 to 90 per cent.

Mr. Wilson: Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  And not a word about the cost of the inputs.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Order, please.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  In reply to Deputy Leonard, the problem he raises was one that resulted from the district electoral division system. That scheme produced distortions. This was because a district electoral division can include a big area, perhaps two parishes. It is conceivable that because there were good farmers, be they big or small farmers, in such division people who should be entitled for inclusion in the scheme were not included. This resulted from the standard way in which the criteria was used. As a result of the system being broken down to townlands this problem may be overcome.

Mr. Leonard:  There is no justification for penalising farmers for their efforts.

Mr. Naughten: Information on Liam Anthony Naughten  Zoom on Liam Anthony Naughten  Is all of County Roscommon being surveyed with a view to having it included in the severely-handicapped area or is the survey confined to the Suck and Shannon Valley?

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  The survey is not confined to those areas. I will communicate with the Deputy later as to the portion of Roscommon that is under review.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  I am not allowing any more supplementaries on this question.

Mr. Noonan: Information on Michael J. Noonan  Zoom on Michael J. Noonan  (Limerick West): I have asked only one supplementary so far.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  I think Deputies will agree that I have been fair in respect of supplementaries.

[1900]Mr. Noonan: Information on Michael J. Noonan  Zoom on Michael J. Noonan  (Limerick West): That is a matter of opinion, but I always accept your ruling.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  I will allow a final supplementary from Deputy Noonan as spokesman.

Mr. Noonan: Information on Michael J. Noonan  Zoom on Michael J. Noonan  (Limerick West): Apart from the personnel of the Department, are there other agencies involved in the compilation of information in regard to deciding on the areas to be considered further in the light of their being included in the disadvantaged areas scheme?

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  Some data was collected by personnel in the Land Commission.

Mr. Molloy: Information on Robert Molloy  Zoom on Robert Molloy  On a point of order——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Deputy Tomás Mac Giolla, No. 28.

Mr. Molloy: Information on Robert Molloy  Zoom on Robert Molloy  On a point of order, why has the Chair excluded Deputy Treacy from putting a supplementary question and called on Deputy Naughten who had not offered before Deputy Treacy? Why is the Chair denying a Deputy from a western constituency the right to ask a question? The Deputy has made several attempts and the Chair has ignored him.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Will the Deputy resume his seat?

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Molloy: Information on Robert Molloy  Zoom on Robert Molloy  The Chair has given priority to that side of the House. Will the Chair allow Deputy Treacy to ask his question?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Deputy Molloy raised a point of order and he should allow the Chair to deal with it. The Chair gave Deputy Treacy an opportunity to ask questions. The Chair called on Deputy Treacy several times today. There were two supplementaries from that side of the House.

(Interruptions.)

[1901]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  I am calling the next Question.

(Interruptions.)


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