Wednesday, 11 May 1994
Dáil Éireann Debate
The Taoiseach: It is proposed to take Nos. 2, 4 and 5. It is also proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that the sitting shall not be suspended at 1.30 p.m.; the proceedings on No. 2 shall be brought to a conclusion within 90 minutes and the following arrangements shall apply in relation to the debate: (i) the speech of each Member called upon shall not exceed 20 minutes; and (ii) a Minister or Minister of State shall be called upon not later than ten minutes before the debate is due to conclude to make a speech in reply; and Private Members' Business shall be No. 9 and the proceedings thereon shall be brought to a conclusion at 8.30 p.m.
An Ceann Comhairle: Is it agreed that the sitting shall not be suspended at 1.30 p.m.? Agreed. Are the proposals for dealing with No. 2 satisfactory and agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with Private Members' Business agreed? Agreed.
Mrs. Owen: I would like to raise two issues. The first deals with the operation of the House and the treatment by the Government of business being dealt with in the House and in, committees. This morning a select committee to deal with  the Family Law Bill was called for 11.30 a.m. The Dáil did not meet this morning to allow Members attend the Arbour Hill ceremonies. The Minister for Equality and Law Reform, who is responsible for the Family Law Bill, attended the ceremony and went on to a party political function. As the relevant Minister did not attend the committee, although a Minister of State from a different Department attended in his place, the committee was forced to adjourn as it considered it required the relevant Minister to be present.
Mrs. Owen: Will the Taoiseach indicate to his Ministers that they have a job of work to do with regared to the committees of the House and unless they are prepared to attend committees they will make a farce of the work of this House?
Mrs. Owen: Will the Taoiseach accept the Fine Gael occupier's liability Bill introduced by Deputy Deenihan some months ago as the Law Reform Commission has now reported on the matter? When will such legislation be introduced? The Taoiseach has given an indication that he will introduce such legislation. He could proceed to introduce our Bill and amend it if necessary.
The Taoiseach: Organisations are being given two weeks to make submissions to the Minister for Equality and Law Reform and the Government will  introduce legislation at the earliest possible time.
Miss Harney: Thank you, a Cheann Comhairle. I am pleased the Minister for Enterprise and Employment is present. Does he intend to make a statement about a replacement company for the Fielderest site? Did he make a premature announcement when he said a company was going to make an investment? It is important the Minister makes a statement on this matter. The Minister may make an announcement but the head of Forfás is expected to deal with the catastrophe that arose.
Proinsias De Rossa: On promised legislation, last year the Government defeated a Private Members' refugee Bill and stated it would introduce one. In view of the urgency of the matter and the appalling way in which people seeking refugee status or asylum are being treated under current regulations, when will such a Bill be introduced?
Mr. Rabbitte: Having regard to stories in two Sunday newspapers to the effect that a much watered down Ethics in Public Office Bill has run aground because of opposition from his party's backbenches, will the Taoiseach indicate when, if ever, it will see the light of day, and in what shape has it come through the backbenches?
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