Requests to move Adjournment of Dáil under Standing Order 31.

Thursday, 29 November 2001

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 545 No. 3

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An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Before coming to the Order of Business, I propose to deal with a number of notices under Standing Order 31 dealing with two different topics. I propose to deal with these topics separately and I will call on Deputies in the order in which they submitted their notices to my office.

Mr. M. Higgins: Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  I seek the Adjournment of the Dáil under Standing Order 31 to debate the following matter of grave urgency: to ensure the Minister for Foreign Affairs makes a statement and answers questions on such actions as Ireland, in its own right and as a member of the UN Security Council, proposes to take to ensure compliance with the Geneva Convention in relation to prisoners in Afghanistan, their taking and protection; if the Security Council proposes to investigate the recent mass killings and if he has raised these matters with the participants in the conflict and those who support them.

Mr. Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins  Zoom on Joe Higgins   (Dublin West): I, too, seek the Adjournment of the Dáil under Standing Order 31 to debate this crucial matter: the need for the Government to immediately withdraw its support for the military campaign led by the United States and Britain in Afghanistan in response to the wholesale slaughter of prisoners by their allies in Mazar-i-Sharif and Kunduz in total contravention of the Geneva Convention; the need for the Government to explain why military personnel of an EU member state, namely, Britain, were instrumental with US personnel in directing the bloody massacre and complete extermination of hundreds of trapped prisoners in the Mazar-i-Sharif compound and the need to state clearly that the Irish people do not support these atrocities.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Having considered the matter fully, I do not consider it to be in accordance with Standing Order 31. On the second topic, I received notice from Deputies McManus, [578] Gay Mitchell, Neville, Ring and Sargent. I call on Deputy McManus to state the matter.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  I seek the Adjournment of the Dáil under Standing Order 31 to debate the following matter of public interest requiring urgent attention: the serious implications for those on low incomes of the announcement by the Minister for Health and Children that there will not be any increase in income eligibility for medical cards for the year 2002 and the urgent need for the Government to review this decision. In view of the importance of this matter, I hope the Ceann Comhairle will accede to this request.

Mr. G. Mitchell: Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell  I seek the Adjournment of the Dáil under Standing Order 31 to debate the following urgent matter of national importance: the scandalous failure of the Government to extend eligibility to medical cards to everyone on low income in a year which saw the extension of medical cards to all those aged 70 and over, regardless of their income.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Charlie strikes back; so much for the health plan.

Mr. Howlin: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  The gloss did not last long.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Order, please.

Mr. Neville: Information on Dan Neville  Zoom on Dan Neville  I seek the Adjournment of the Dáil under Standing Order 31 to debate the following urgent matter of national importance: the fact that 250,000 people continue to face financial barriers at the first point of contact with the health services and the failure of the Minister for Health and Children and the Government to extend medical card eligibility to these people which highlights the failure to recognise the importance of primary care.

Mr. Ring: Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  I seek the Adjournment of the Dáil under Standing Order 31 to debate the following urgent matter of national importance: the report by the Irish Medical Organisation that 250,000 people cannot afford medical treatment and the Government's decision not to extend eligibility to medical cards to the most vulnerable citizens in society.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  I ask that the Dáil be adjourned under Standing Order 31 in order to address the Government's rescinding of its commitment to extend medical cards to the most vulnerable people in Irish society and the need for this unacceptable decision to be reversed immediately in order to begin providing an adequate health care system for this country.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  I hope you will permit a debate on this issue, a Cheann Comhairle.

[579] An Ceann Comhairle: Having considered the matter fully, I do not consider it to be in accordance with Standing Order 31.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  This issue ought to be debated.

Mr. Creed: Information on Michael Creed  Zoom on Michael Creed  There is money for Carr Communications but none for medical cards.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Deputies should not criticise the Chair. I intend to give some consideration to Private Notice Questions on this matter if they are submitted for later today.

Mr. G. Mitchell: Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell  My reference to quality and fairness was not aimed at the Chair. I hope you did not misunderstand, Sir. It was aimed at the Minister.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Thank you.


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