Order of Business.

Wednesday, 13 October 1993

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 434 No. 5

First Page Previous Page Page of 71 Next Page Last Page

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  It is proposed to take Nos. 6 and 7. It is also proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that Private Members' Business shall be No. 13 and the proceedings thereon shall be brought to a conclusion at 8.30 p.m. tonight.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Is that satisfactory? Agreed.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  I welcome the Government's initiative in seeking a meeting with Mr. Jim Molyneaux, Leader of the Official Unionist Party and the fact that the Government is taking action in this area. Arising from questions last week on this matter, when does the Taoiseach consider it will be possible to have a debate in the House on Northern Ireland issues?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Requests for debates are not strictly in order now. There are other ways of raising the matter.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  I realise that but I am sure the Taoiseach would like to be forthcoming. We have had several requests for debates which have been admitted. There is no subject more important in terms of lives than that of Northern [862] Ireland. The House should debate the issue and I am sure the Government would wish it to be debated.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  These matters have been adverted to and responded to unintentionally from time to time.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  I am sure the Taoiseach will respond.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Proinsias De Rossa.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  It is time this House debated the issue of Northern Ireland and the developments that have taken place.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy is compounding something I have ruled out. I apologise to Deputy Harney for not calling her in the first instance.

Miss Harney: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  I hope that was only because I lead a larger party.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  May I extend to her hearty congratulations and much success?

Miss Harney: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  Thank you, a Cheann Comhairle. Will the Taoiseach consider briefing Opposition Leaders in relation to political developments on Northern Ireland?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I would prefer if these matters were dealt with in another way.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  It would save time if the Taoiseach replied.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  At Question Time we also sought this information and the Taoiseach refused to give it. It would be appropriate at this stage if the Taoiseach would indicate when he intends to have a debate on Northern Ireland. It is time the Government clarified what the policy is.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  There are many [863] ways of raising these matters, by way of question, motion, Adjournment debate and so on. It is not in order now.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  I do not wish to be unduly persistent but it is important that some procedure should exist and perhaps the Government would consider amending Standing Orders to allow us request a debate on a subject of this importance, such as Northern Ireland. Would the Taoiseach consider that?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  This would be a matter for the Committee on Procedure and Privileges in the first instance.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  I appreciate the approach Opposition parties are taking to this delicate process in which we are engaged, but I do not regard it as appropriate to have a discussion now on this subject. I do not believe it would be helpful at this time to have a debate on Northern Ireland as the process in which we are engaged is delicate. It is a difficult time and I hope the House will bear with us in our strategy.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  I consider any subject benefits from frank and honest debate.

Mr. Andrews: Information on David Andrews  Zoom on David Andrews  That would be bad political judgment.

Miss Harney: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  I do not necessarily disagree with the Taoiseach but he is asking too much if he will not brief Opposition Leaders privately on developments on Northern Ireland. This is my first request to him in this position.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  We cannot debate this matter now.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  The Irish people should be briefed.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  The Taoiseach and members of the Government should stop fooling themselves. The Seanad is debating the Opsahl Commission report, which was compiled by a group of people with [864] no axe to grind who went around the country and Northern Ireland and spoke to a wide variety of people about this issue. Many people talked to them in public.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  It must not lead to argument or debate now.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I am proceeding to the Order of Business proper. I call Deputy Rabbitte to raise a matter relevant to the Order of Business.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Having regard to the published schedule of legislation, has the Taoiseach made any provision for the bringing forward of legislative proposals to give effect to the likely findings of the tribunal of inquiry into the beef industry? Has he had discussions with the Tánaiste about a joint Government response to this major event and is any preparation being made by the Government to deal with the matter legislatively?

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  There is no legislation.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  What legislation is the Deputy referring to?

(Interruptions.)

Mr. G. Mitchell: Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell  Will the Taoiseach indicate at what stage of preparation is the extradition legislation?

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  I have already stated it is on the list for this session and will be taken in this session.

Mr. Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Will the Taoiseach or the Minister for the Environment indicate when local government legislation on the establishment of the three new county councils in Dublin, which is due to take effect from 1 January, will be taken in the House?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Is legislation promised?

[865]The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  It will be published in this session.

Mr. R. Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  When will the Bill be introduced to give privilege to witnesses appearing before Oireachtas committees? In the interim will the Taoiseach consider giving committees, such as the Enterprise and Employment Committee which is now examining the Glackin report, at least the authority to call witnesses, pending the final tidying up of the status of witnesses?

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  It is on the list for publication this session.

Mr. R. Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  I asked for an indication of time. This is of the essence since this report has been the subject of three meetings of that committee and the committee is effectively blocked from making further progress.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy can pursue that matter in a much more appropriate way.

Mr. R. Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  This is the time to ask when business will be ordered.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  You have been facilitated in asking the question.

Mr. R. Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  Yes, but not in the answer.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  On 11 March the Government promised legislation to give a statutory basis to the rights of mentally handicapped people not to be the victims of discrimination as provided in its Programme for Government. Why has the Minister for Equality and Law Reform omitted this legislation from his priority items for this session?

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  Work has commenced on the preparation of this Bill. Because it is not absolutely certain when it will be published, it was not on the list. If it is ready it will be added to the list and the fact that it is not already there does not preclude it from being published this session.


Last Updated: 22/05/2011 06:23:16 First Page Previous Page Page of 71 Next Page Last Page