Order of Business (Resumed).

Thursday, 5 July 1990

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 401 No. 2

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Mr. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter Barry  I understand from Deputy Jim Higgins that at some stage today it is proposed to interrupt the proceedings to give the Government the opportunity of referring briefly to what is happening in the House of Commons, is this correct? Perhaps the Taoiseach could give me some details?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I have no details at this stage, but the situation is still developing. I would hope that at some stage in the afternoon we would be able to have a brief reference to it and perhaps the party Leaders could contribute briefly also.

Mr. Spring: Information on Dick Spring  Zoom on Dick Spring  A Cheann Comhairle, with your permission may I seek clarification on the same matter? My understanding is that the Taoiseach has sought time to make a statement to the House and that has been agreed. Is that not the situation? If it is the situation, may I ask the Taoiseach, as a matter of courtesy that he give us copies of the statement in advance so that we will have some time to consider it?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Of course, Deputy, I will be happy to do that, but I intend to have a very brief statement.

Mr. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter Barry  I think Deputy Spring is referring to, and I concur with him, the statement being made in the House of Commons, and should it be available before we refer to it, I would like to see it. Is that correct?

Mr. Spring: Information on Dick Spring  Zoom on Dick Spring  Yes.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  If I have it, certainly I will give it to the Deputies.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  There are two items I wish to raise on the Order of [375] Business. First I understand that the Constituency Boundaries Commission, which the Minister for the Environment established two months ago was to report to him within two months and, as this time limit was up yesterday, I wonder if the Commission has reported and, if so, when the report will be made available to Deputies? Second, is it intended to make the Fair Trade Commission report on Restrictive Practices in the Legal Profession available to Members — I understand it is available to a former Member of the House who works for The Irish Times— and when is it intended to do so?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Some of the aspects which the Deputy has raised appertain to legislation.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  The commission has not yet reported to the Government.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  Are they due to report to the Government?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Of course. This vital document will be made available to all Deputies——

Mr. J. O'Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  In which we all have more than a passing interest——

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  ——and we might even give it to Senators.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  We would like to sweat over it for the summer.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  With regard to the other report, it is voluminous and the Government have not yet considered it. How it got into the hands of the media, I have no idea.

Mr. McCartan: Information on Patrick McCartan  Zoom on Patrick McCartan  In regard to this very important and voluminous report, may I ask the Taoiseach if it is intended to make any inquiries as to how it was available to a journalist, because its status has clearly been undermined by the way it has been leaked in this willy-nilly way. It is not the [376] first time that this particular journalist has been able to find out what goes on——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Please, Deputy McCartan, we cannot debate this matter now.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  The Workers' Party, I believe, have had access to documents before they were made public.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  Only after you had drawn the blue pencil through them.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  With your permission, Sir, I wish to raise on the Adjournment the extraordinary damage that has been done to employment prospects in the construction industry in the city as a result of the current work-to-rule in the planning Department, caused by the total failure of the Minister for the Environment to provide adequate resources.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  This is another management mess, of which we have seen many in the past year.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  There are building cranes like flags around Dublin——

Mr. J. Mitchell: Information on Jim Mitchell  Zoom on Jim Mitchell  In the designated areas——

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  ——by contrast with the complete desolation that prevailed in the construction industry when the Labour Party had responsibility for the situation.

Mr. J. Mitchell: Information on Jim Mitchell  Zoom on Jim Mitchell  Did the Taoiseach ever consider that they are in the areas designated by the former Minister, Mr. John Boland?

(Interruptions.)

Mr. J. Mitchell: Information on Jim Mitchell  Zoom on Jim Mitchell  Has the Taoiseach noted that?

[377]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Order, please, Deputies.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  I hope the Taoiseach swallows that pill.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I have called Deputy Connaughton.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  I thought Ceaucescu had gone.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  May I ask the Taoiseach to give special Dáil time next week to discuss the ever worsening crisis in Irish agriculture? It is a disgrace——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy might put down a question on that matter. It is not in order now, Deputy Connaughton.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  It is a very serious crisis. The Minister for Agriculture and Food can solve the problems of the farmers in Europe but he is running away from Irish farmers——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Connaughton has ways and means available to him to raise that matter.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  There was nobody to buy the cattle and sheep offered for sale at Irish marts this week.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I am calling Deputy Seán Ryan.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  I tried to raise this matter on the Adjournment last week——

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter Barry  They are only laughing at you.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  The smiles will be taken off the faces of the Minister and the Taoiseach——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Order, please.

[378] Deputy Connaughton will now resume his seat. Deputy Ryan.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  On a point of order——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Ryan has been called and I will hear no point of order from Deputy Connaughton now. Deputy Ryan.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  May I ask the Taoiseach to respond——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Please, Deputy Connaughton.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  Will we be given an opportunity to debate this very important issue next week?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  If the Deputy persists I shall have to ask him to leave the House.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  I do not want to upset the House but I want to hear what the Taoiseach has to say.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy must either resume his seat or leave the House.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Deputy Connaughton is rapidly turning into the Hanrahan of this House. He ruins the farmers once a week.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  We know what happened with Hanrahan — he won his case.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I have called Deputy Ryan.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  On a point of order——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  No, Deputy, I have called Deputy Seán Ryan. Deputy Connaughton has created enough disorder and he will now resume his seat or leave the House.

[379]Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  A Cheann Comhairle——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Connaughton, resume your seat forthwith or leave the House.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  I do not want to upset the House——

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  Look at the smiles on their faces. The farmers in Ireland are under pressure and the Minister should be ashamed of himself.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I must now ask Deputy Connaughton to leave the House.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  I will leave——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Leave it forthwith, Deputy.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  They should be ashamed of themselves for laughing.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Connaughton, there is no need for this disorder. The Deputy has many ways and means open to him to raise that matter.

Deputy Connaughton withdrew from the Chamber.

A Deputy:  The Government are laughing at the farmers. It is a disgrace.

Mr. Ryan: Information on Seán Ryan  Zoom on Seán Ryan  I seek your permission to raise on the Adjournment a matter of great urgency in my constituency, that is, the compensation due to Swords Community Council in respect of the old vocational school at Swords which needs the sanction of the Department of Education for payment by the VEC.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I will be in touch with the Deputy concerning that matter.

[380]Mr. M. Higgins: Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  I seek your permission to raise on the Adjournment the failure of the Minister for Finance to replace essential staff in the section of the tax office which deals with part-time workers and the consequences of this.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I will communicate with Deputy Higgins in relation to that matter. Deputy John Connor has been offering for some time.

Mr. Connor: Information on John Connor  Zoom on John Connor  Am I in order in asking to raise two matters on the Adjournment?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy is being covetous. The Chair finds it difficult enough to deal with so many single requests from Deputies without having duplication.

Mr. Connor: Information on John Connor  Zoom on John Connor  I accept your great wisdom in these matters.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy wants two bites at the cherry but it is not on.

Mr. Connor: Information on John Connor  Zoom on John Connor  Thank you very much, a Cheann Comhairle. I must decide which item to seek to raise. May I raise on the Adjournment the destruction of archaeological sites throughout the country due to private afforestation? I might remind you, a Cheann Comhairle, that this is the sixth time I have asked to raise this matter on the Adjournment.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I will communicate with the Deputy. Deputy Jim Higgins has been offering.

Mr. J. Higgins: Information on Jim Higgins  Zoom on Jim Higgins  In view of the total insensitivity displayed by Members on the other side of the House when they collectively laughed at the plight of the farmers of Ireland——

(Interruptions.)

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  It is a disgrace.

Mr. J. Higgins: Information on Jim Higgins  Zoom on Jim Higgins  ——I seek your permission to raise a similar and related [381] matter on the Adjournment, that is, the need for the Minister for Health to revise downwards, due to the dramatic fall in agricultural incomes, the medical card guidelines which are based on national but now exaggerated and obsolete figures.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I will be in touch with the Deputy concerning that matter.

Mr. Boylan: Information on Andrew Boylan  Zoom on Andrew Boylan  I wish to raise on the Adjournment the subject matter of Question No. 40 on yesterday's Order Paper.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I will be in touch with the Deputy concerning that matter.

Mr. Boylan: Information on Andrew Boylan  Zoom on Andrew Boylan  While I am on my feet, I want to plead with the Taoiseach not to turn a deaf ear to the appeals made by this side of the house in relation to Irish farmers——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Please, Deputy Boylan. Deputy Michael Moynihan has been offering.

Mr. Boylan: Information on Andrew Boylan  Zoom on Andrew Boylan  The Government should give time next week for a debate on this issue——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Boylan, please desist.

Mr. Boylan: Information on Andrew Boylan  Zoom on Andrew Boylan  They should make time for a one day debate next week so that we can do something for the farmers.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Michael Moynihan.

Mr. Moynihan: Information on Michael Moynihan  Zoom on Michael Moynihan  I again seek your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, to raise on the Adjournment the sudden termination of the EC funded scheme to encourage rural electrification in the poorer farming regions.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. Garland: Information on Roger T. Garland  Zoom on Roger T. Garland  On the Order of Business, it is not at all clear to me what will [382] happen at 9 p.m. this evening. According to the Resolution we passed last Friday the House is due to rise at 9 p.m. but as item No. 7 is due to conclude at 9 p.m. I do not know when it is proposed to take item No. 8.

Mr. Howlin: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Co-operation.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  There is no item No. 8 ordered for today but I am very glad to see that the Deputy has been ungagged this morning.

Miss Flaherty: Information on Mary Flaherty  Zoom on Mary Flaherty  I seek your permission for the umpteenth time to raise on the Adjournment the plight of homeless young people and the inadequate provisions being made by the Minister for Health to deal with this problem. While I am on my feet I, as an urban Deputy, want to express my solidarity with the points made by my colleagues in relation to the plight of farmers——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  This is an extraneous matter, Deputy. I will communicate with the Deputy in respect of her plea for the Adjournment——

Miss Flaherty: Information on Mary Flaherty  Zoom on Mary Flaherty  Many farmers now have to seek social welfare aid——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  ——but she may not make a speech.

Mr. McCormack: Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  I wish to raise on the Adjournment the means used by the Department of Social Welfare in assessing farmers for eligibility for social welfare payments due to the collapse of farm incomes. Many farmers have no income——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. McCormack: Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  ——and they are being assessed on 1988 rather than 1990 figures——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  There is no need for the Deputy to make a speech.

[383]Mr. McCormack: Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  The Minister for Social Welfare——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy McCormack, resume your seat, please. I am calling Deputy Allen.

A Deputy:  The Minister for Agriculture and Food is laughing at us.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  I wish to raise on the Adjournment the refusal of the Department of Education to allow repeat leaving certificate papers for students who were seriously ill and hospitalised on examination day.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. Sherlock: Information on Joe Sherlock  Zoom on Joe Sherlock  Some time ago we were promised that the report of the Commission on Health Funding would be introduced in this House before the summer recess. I want to ask if this will now be the case?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Does this appertain to legislation promised in the House?

Mr. Sherlock: Information on Joe Sherlock  Zoom on Joe Sherlock  The Commission on Health Funding concluded their report——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy should put down a question for clarification.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  As I understand it, the Taoiseach will visit County Donegal this weekend. I should like to ask him to clarify the position in relation to Letterkenny airport. Will the Taoiseach make a statement in that regard when he is in Donegal?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  This does not arise now, Deputy Harte.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy is flying too far now.

[384]Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  We want to get it off the ground.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I am calling Deputy Garland.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  There will be no turbulence when I fly into Donegal.

Mr. Garland: Information on Roger T. Garland  Zoom on Roger T. Garland  On the Order of Business, I should like to ask the Taoiseach the arrangements which will apply in relation to the Sea Pollution Bill, 1990, which will be guillotined this evening. What time limit is being put on speeches and at what time will the Minister reply to the debate?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  It is a Second Stage debate and there is no limit on speeches.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I am proceeding now to item No. 11.


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