Order of Business.

Thursday, 21 April 1994

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 441 No. 7

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The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  It is proposed to take Nos. 1, 2 and 3. It is also proposed, nothwithstanding anything in Standing Orders that: (1) No. 1 shall be taken without debate; and (2) the Second and Remaining Stages of No. 2 shall be taken today and the proceedings thereon shall be brought to a conclusion not later than 4.45 p.m. by one question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, in relation to amendments, include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for the Marine.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Is the proposal that No. I shall be taken without debate satisfactory and agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal that the Second and Remaining Stages of No. 2 shall be taken today and the proceedings thereon brought to a conclusion not later than 4.45 p.m. by one question which shall be put from the Chair satisfactory? Agreed.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  Before we make arrangements to debate No. 5, Vote 18, will the Taoiseach say whether it is true, as has been alleged by an MEP, that neither the Tánaiste nor the Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications have complained to the European Commission [1478] in regard to the proposed THORP nuclear reprocessing plant?

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  That is not true.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I am sure the Deputy realises the matter referred to is not in order now.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  It is an important matter.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  Did the Taoiseach say it is not true?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Is Deputy Harney offering.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  The Taoiseach wants to answer.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  I do not decide what is in order.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  In relation to the Vote for the Department of Transport, Energy and Communications, did the Minister, Deputy Cowen——

Mr. Carey: Information on Donal Carey  Zoom on Donal Carey  The Minister for arrogance.

Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications (Mr. Cowen): Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  The Deputy is welcome down in Shannon.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  ——or the Tánaiste protest to the European Commission about the THORP nuclear reprocessing plant? Following a meeting with the Commission, it has been alleged that they did not even bother to make a protest.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  The allegation is not true.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Order, please. This is not the appropriate time to raise a matter of this kind.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  Who is telling the truth?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  It is in order to refer to an Estimate but it is not in order to establish a debate arising from it.

[1479]Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  I do not wish to do that. My purpose is to establish the basis on which this debate will take place. We need to know if it is true that the Government failed even to complain about THORP.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Order, please. There are many ways for dealing with this matter.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  The Taoiseach is shaking his head.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  The Chair usually decides the order, not the Taoiseach of the day. This is a matter for a question and if the Deputy puts one down it will be answered.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  Are we to infer——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Bruton should respect the Chair.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  The Deputy should not infer anything, the matter is not in order.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  The Taosieach said it was not true, but he said it under his breath.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Bruton still continues to speak despite the fact that the Chair is on his feet.

Mr. Cowen: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  Cop yourself on, Deputy.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  The Minister should take lessons in cop on. He is failing to do his job.

Mr. Cowen: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  Cop yourself on, Deputy.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  The Minister slipped up.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I invite the Deputy to deal with this matter in a more appropriate fashion.

Mr. Barrett: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  The arrogant reputation is going to the Minister's head.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Harney [1480] is offering. Order, please, we cannot hear the Deputy.

Miss Harney: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  When will the ethics in public office Bill be published?

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  It is well advanced and as soon as it is ready we will be glad to publish it. The House should take this opportunity to congratulate Deputy Harney on being elected Woman of the Year last night.

Deputies:  Hear, hear.

Mr. E. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  This is the thirteenth time the Taoiseach promised that Bill.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  Will the Taoiseach indicate whether steps are being taken by the Government in regard to the ongoing attack on Gorazde where Irish people are under threat from the guns of the Bosnian Serbs?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I should like to facilitate the Deputy, but not at this time. He will have to pursue the matter in accordance with the proceedings of the House. There are many ways open to him to do so.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  I appreciate the Chair's difficulty. As a Private Notice Question on this matter was tabled earlier this week, it is unlikely that we will be allowed table another one. Will the Taoiseach take into account the fact that we are concerned about the ongoing position in Gorazde?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy made his point.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  Perhaps the Tánaiste might convey to the party Leaders what steps have been taken.

Miss Harney: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  I thank the Taoiseach for his congratulations. I look forward to the day when there will be a man of the year award and it will no longer be necessary to have women of the year awards.

[1481]Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  I wish to be associated with congratulations to Deputy Harney. It was a fitting tribute to a person who has made a big impact in a relevant way. I ask the assistance of the Chair in respect of the point raised by Deputy De Rossa. That matter was raised on Tuesday and Foreign Affairs questions will not be raised again until 25 May. Unfortunately, because of the length of time devoted to the Taoiseach's questions we only reached Priority Questions yesterday and questions tabled on this matter were not dealt with. Will the Tánaiste convey to his fellow foreign Ministers that there is a need for them to meet again today to decide what action can be taken. They should not sit idly by while we read the heartbreaking letter from an Irish citizen written from a bunker in Gorazde and killings continue day in day out.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  That should be sufficient. Let us not have a breach of order at this time.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  This matter was raised on the Adjournment debate in the Seanad last night and the Tánaiste covered that aspect comprehensively.

Mr. Noonan: Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  (Limerick East): I understand the Solicitors Bill is going into committee. Does the Government intend removing the embargo on solicitors or barristers acting as the legal Ombudsman as proposed in the Bill in view of its seeing no problem with a civil servant acting as an Ombudsman in inquiries into the Civil Service?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  That is not anticipated legislation.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Will the Taoiseach agree that his acting as Chairman of the Council of Ministers when Euro funding was approved for THORP might account, as stated by Deputy Bruton, for the Government feeling constrained in protesting about the THORP monstrosity?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  It is unfair for Deputies to continue to raise matters [1482] which the Chair has clearly ruled out of order.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  The Deputy should get his facts right.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  On a matter of promised legislation, is the legislation to set up An Bord Bia underway and will he proceed to break up the unified exports drive by setting up a separate board?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Is there legislation in this area?

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  The legislation is ready for publication. It has passed all stages by the Government and will be published shortly.

Mr. Deenihan: Information on Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  On promised legislation, when will the Government introduce proposed legislation to implement an EU directive on package holidays?

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  It is being prepared at present.

Mr. Deenihan: Information on Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  It was promised before Christmas.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  Will the Taoiseach do a tour? Barbados would be nice.

(Interruptions.)

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  Some Deputies are travelling to South Africa.

Mr. Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  When will the juvenile justice Bill be published?

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  It looks as if it will be published next session.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I call Deputy Quill.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  The Deputy is overcome.

Miss Quill: Information on Máirín Quill  Zoom on Máirín Quill  I am. The matter I am about to speak on is not the one on which I rose to speak. The delay in publishing [1483] the juvenile justice Bill is an absolute disgrace.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy can raise those matters when we come to deal with the Bill.

Miss Quill: Information on Máirín Quill  Zoom on Máirín Quill  I wish to raise another issue.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I have advised the Deputy she may raise all those matters when the measure comes before the House, but not now.

Miss Quill: Information on Máirín Quill  Zoom on Máirín Quill  I rose to raise another issue. Regarding the issues raised by Deputies De Rossa and Owen and in the light of the daily worsening situation in Gorazde and the heartrending letter of a brave young doctor from County Cork this morning——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I appreciate the urgency and importance of this matter. I hope through the Whips or through some other media the matter can be discussed in the House. It is not in order now. I call Deputy McCormack.

Miss Quill: Information on Máirín Quill  Zoom on Máirín Quill  ——the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs should assure the people all steps that can be taken to assist in that situation are being taken.

Mr. McCormack: Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  On promised legislation, will the Taoiseach indicate when the ethics Bill will be introduced as I still have a problem with one of his Ministers in Connemara?

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  Has Deputy McCormack been listening to the Order of Business because I answered that question earlier?


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