Order of Business.

Wednesday, 10 December 2003

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 576 No. 6

First Page Previous Page Page of 216 Next Page Last Page

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  The Order of Business today shall be as follows: No. 14, Supplementary Estimates for Public Services – Votes 5, 10, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 26, 33, 40 and 42, back from committee; No. 15, motion re report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings; No. 15a, motion re referral to joint committee of proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Bovine Diseases (Levies) Regulations 2003; No. 4, Social Welfare Bill 2003 – Second Stage (resumed); and No. 23, Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Bill 2003 [Seanad] – Order for Report, Report and Final Stages.

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that the Dáil shall sit later than 8.30 p.m. tonight and business shall be interrupted not later than 10.30 p.m.; Nos. 14, 15 and 15a shall be decided without debate, and in the case of No. 14, Supplementary Estimates for Public Services, Votes 5, 10, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 26, 33, 40 and 42 shall be moved together and decided by one question which shall be put from the Chair and any division demanded thereon shall be taken forthwith; the proceedings on the resumed Second Stage of No. 4 shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 7 p.m.; Report and Final Stages of No. 23 shall be taken today and the proceedings thereon shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 10.30 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 Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment; and Private Members' Business shall be No. 37, Broadcasting (Amendment) Bill 2003 – Second Stage (resumed) to conclude at 8.30 p.m.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  There are four proposals to put to the House. Is the proposal for the late sitting agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with Nos. 14, 15 and 15a without debate agreed?

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  No. While No. 14 is not a request to the Dáil for additional moneys, it is a request to use surplus appropriations-in-aid from the group Vote within sections. For instance in Vote 19, the Vote of the Office of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, the main subheads are commissions and special inquiries, criminal legal aid and the Criminal Assets Bureau. In view of the work being undertaken by, for example, the CAB would it not be important for the House to be informed as to what moneys from the surplus appropriations-in-aid are being channelled into facilities and resources? What are the commissions and special inquiries in question?

[1324]Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  On the same point, while I am sure the Government has distributed the report required on this item, we do not appear to have received it. How is it proposed to bring the Barron report into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings into the public domain today? At what time will this happen? Will it be published by the committee? Will the meeting of the committee be in private session?

Mr. Boyle: Information on Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  Given the widespread public interest in No. 15 and given that we are fast approaching the 30th anniversary of these two horrific events, the Green Party seeks clarity on the Government's proposals for the publication of the report. To what extent will this House be able to debate proposals and findings of the report? We believe the public interest demands such a debate.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  I refer to No. 14, particularly Votes 26 and 33. Vote 26 refers to the Office of the Minister for Education and Science. Will the payments of certain grants provided for in the additional €65 million in the Supplementary Estimate include the refunding to local authorities of the interest element they must bear annually for the provision of third level grants?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  That does not arise under proposal No. 2.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  It certainly arises.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  It will arise when the Estimate comes for debate.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  I seek clarification of a specific payment which is required by local authorities and which has been withheld.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  We cannot have a debate on the issue.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  This places an undue burden on local authorities.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  It does not arise from the question of whether the Estimate is to be referred to committee without debate or not.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  There is no debate if this is agreed.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  We cannot debate the matter.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  This is the only opportunity open to me to raise the matter.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Chair has ruled repeatedly that, where the proposal is to submit business to a committee, we cannot discuss its detail. That is a matter for the committee just as it is a matter for this House.

[1325]Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  In this instance the Estimate is back from committee. It is not being sent to the committee. Unfortunately, the committee's debate had to be guillotined because an inadequate time provision was made. I was in attendance. We did not reach discussion of the specific issues to which I refer. The Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Deputy Parlon, was also present and can confirm my statement. These are questions one wished to have the opportunity to ask at committee, but was denied.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The length of time for which a committee sits is not a matter for this House. The way in which it conducts its business is a matter for the committee itself.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Surely it is up to the House. With respect, we are not restricted as the Dáil from addressing this.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  We cannot debate a matter which has already been debated. It is a matter for the committee to debate this issue.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Not at all. This Estimate is back from the committee. It is now properly before the Chamber. I do not accept the Chair's ruling that, as a Member of this House, I do not have the right to question the detail of a proposal to which I am being asked to give my assent.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy will have to accept the ruling of the Chair. The Deputy has the right to ask questions, but he does not have the right to debate this matter at this point in time.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  I would like to receive subsequent to this discussion the detail of the Ceann Comhairle's ruling. I find it strange. This Estimate is back from committee and is before the House as a substantive item. This is the only opportunity Members have to address the detail of the proposal.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  We are not debating the Estimate here. The Deputy is well aware of that.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Of course we are not debating the Estimate. I am asking whether a specific item is included in the €65 million allocation I am requested to approve.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Perhaps the Deputy will listen for one second. At this point in time we are debating whether Nos. 14, 15 and 15a be agreed without debate. A brief comment from the Deputy is acceptable, but we cannot have a debate on any Estimate. If that were the case, every Member would feel he or she could debate anything arising from the Estimates.

[1326]Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  If any Member so chose, I would not object.

If whoever is operating the microphones would afford me the chance to continue by switching mine back on, I would appreciate it. The co-ordination between the Chair and other aspects of the House is unbelievable at times.

Perhaps the Ceann Comhairle will also rule my next comment out of order. Provision of €62.5 million is made under Vote 33 – Health and Children. Does this include provision for the self-assessed performance payments to chief executive officers and other senior managerial staff in the health services?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  We cannot debate this.

Mr. M. Smith: Information on Michael Smith  Zoom on Michael Smith  The Deputy should show some respect for the Chair.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  I turn now to No. 15.

Ms O'Sullivan: Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  That was dealt with in committee.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  With respect to the Deputy, we were at the committee as her colleague can confirm.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I must put the question.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  On No. 15—

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  This item is to be taken without debate. Deputies will have an opportunity to provide their judgment on it shortly.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  The proposal for No. 15 states the committee is to report back to Dáil Éireann within three months on specific elements. I have just outlined what happens when committees report back to the House. Will this Chamber have the opportunity to discuss fully and debate the report of the committee on the Barron report on the Dublin and Monaghan bombings?

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  The Estimates have all been discussed in committee and are now back.

Mr. Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  Are there reports from the committees?

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  I understand parties have received the reports. I have details of the main specifics. The Department of Health and Children Vote report discusses the general medical scheme, dental treatment and the SARS outbreak. The report on the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform Vote refers to the International Monitoring Commission, the Criminal Assets Bureau, to which Deputy Kenny referred, criminal legal aid and commissions and special inquiries. I am not certain what those special inquiries are. I can check to see whether they are tribunals of inquiry or not.

[1327]The Vote for higher education is reduced by €12 million. The Residential Institutions Redress Board is also covered. We are switching savings to areas in which there are shortfalls. One such area was student grants, a second was the civil redress board and a third was the European Social Fund allocation, which was the highest amount at €17 million.

The Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women's Rights is meeting in private session at 2 p.m. today to decide how and when to put the report on the Dublin and Monaghan bombings into the public domain. I thank Mr. Justice Barron and his group on behalf of the Government and the House for their extensive work. I have no doubt the report will be debated in the House in the new year. In the meantime, it would be wise to debate the matter at the committee and for everybody to read Mr. Justice Barron's long report. While it is obviously a matter for the committee, I understand it intends to publish the report this afternoon.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Is the proposal for dealing with Nos. 14, 15 and 15a without debate, agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 4 agreed to?

Mr. Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  This proposal will guillotine debate on the Social Welfare Bill. The proposed allocation of time will provide the Labour Party with three speaking slots. Many Labour Members, as well as Deputies from other parties on this side of the House, wish to speak on the Bill, in which there is wide interest. The 20 minute speaking slots will allow each speaker 75 seconds to discuss each cut in the social welfare code. The House has a duty to provide proper scrutiny and accountability in respect of this type of Bill. We should not simply provide enough time for soundbites on a Bill of this nature. My party opposes the guillotine.

Mr. Boyle: Information on Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  While I acknowledge the widespread interest in the Bill's contents and the need to allow more people to contribute to the debate, a motion has been tabled to the effect that Second Stage should not be read. If there is a vote on the Second Reading of the Bill at 7 p.m., which is likely, a division will eat into Private Members' time. I would like the Tánaiste and the Chief Whip to assure me that the full 90 minutes of Private Members' time will directly follow a division.

[1328]Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Like other Deputies, I object to the guillotine to be applied to the Social Welfare Bill, which is an important matter at this time. The Bill follows both the savage social welfare cutbacks which were imposed before the budget and the measures contained in the budget itself. The Government's proposal means that just two of my colleagues will be able to intervene in the debate and will have to do so in a limited manner. This is not adequate. My party objects to this proposition and refuses to approve it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I must put the question.

Mr. Boyle: Information on Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  Can I have an answer to my question about Private Members' time?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  There is no provision in Standing Orders to address the matter.

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  I am not in a position to accede to the Deputy's request. We have already agreed that the House will sit until 10.30 p.m. A substantial number of amendments have been tabled on Report Stage of the Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Bill 2003. Any extra time allocated for Private Members' time would eat into that.

Mr. Boyle: Information on Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  I cite the precedent set last week during Private Members' time. After the Government mixed up its times, it reordered business the following day. I ask that the same precedent be followed today.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  That is only fair.

Mr. Boyle: Information on Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  Private Members' time is being eaten into.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy has made his point.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  On a point of order, I support Deputy Boyle's position. We have established a precedent whereby provision for extra time is made where a division erodes Private Members' time, especially when the House is sitting outside normal sitting hours.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  The Government could arrange a vote every Wednesday.

Mr. J. Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins  Zoom on Joe Higgins  This is very bad.

Question put: “That the proposal for dealing with No. 4 be agreed.”

Ahern, Michael.
Andrews, Barry.
Ardagh, Seán.
Aylward, Liam.
Blaney, Niall.
Brady, Johnny.
Brady, Martin.
Brennan, Séamus.
Browne, John.
Callanan, Joe.
Callely, Ivor. Carey, Pat.[1329]

Carty, John.
Cassidy, Donie.
Collins, Michael.
Cooper-Flynn, Beverley.
Coughlan, Mary.
Cregan, John.
Curran, John.
Davern, Noel.
Dennehy, John.
Devins, Jimmy.
Ellis, John.
Fahey, Frank.
Fitzpatrick, Dermot.
Fleming, Seán.
Fox, Mildred.
Grealish, Noel.
Hanafin, Mary.
Harney, Mary.
Haughey, Seán.
Healy-Rae, Jackie.
Hoctor, Máire.
Jacob, Joe.
Keaveney, Cecilia.
Kelleher, Billy.
Kelly, Peter.
Killeen, Tony.
Kirk, Séamus.
Lenihan, Brian.
Lenihan, Conor.
[1330]McDaid, James.
McEllistrim, Thomas.
McGuinness, John.
Martin, Micheál.
Moloney, John.
Moynihan, Donal.
Moynihan, Michael.
Mulcahy, Michael.
Nolan, M.J.
Ó Cuív, Éamon.
Ó Fearghaíl, Seán.
O'Donnell, Liz.
O'Donovan, Denis.
O'Flynn, Noel.
O'Keeffe, Batt.
O'Keeffe, Ned.
O'Malley, Fiona.
O'Malley, Tim.
Parlon, Tom.
Power, Peter.
Power, Seán.
Roche, Dick.
Sexton, Mae.
Smith, Brendan.
Smith, Michael.
Wallace, Dan.
Wallace, Mary.
Wilkinson, Ollie.
Wright, G.V.

Allen, Bernard.
Boyle, Dan.
Breen, James.
Breen, Pat.
Broughan, Thomas P.
Bruton, Richard.
Burton, Joan.
Connaughton, Paul.
Connolly, Paudge.
Costello, Joe.
Coveney, Simon.
Cowley, Jerry.
Crawford, Seymour.
Crowe, Seán.
Cuffe, Ciarán.
Deasy, John.
Deenihan, Jimmy.
Durkan, Bernard J.
English, Damien.
Enright, Olwyn.
Ferris, Martin.
Gilmore, Eamon.
Gogarty, Paul.
Gormley, John.
Harkin, Marian.
Healy, Séamus.
Higgins, Joe.
Higgins, Michael D.
Hogan, Phil.
Howlin, Brendan.
Kehoe, Paul.
Kenny, Enda.
McHugh, Paddy.
McManus, Liz.
Mitchell, Gay.
Mitchell, Olivia.
Morgan, Arthur.
Naughten, Denis.
Neville, Dan.
Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
O'Dowd, Fergus.
O'Keeffe, Jim.
O'Sullivan, Jan.
Penrose, Willie.
Perry, John.
Quinn, Ruairí.
Rabbitte, Pat.
Ring, Michael.
Ryan, Seán.
Sherlock, Joe.
Shortall, Róisín.
Stagg, Emmet.
Twomey, Liam.
Upton, Mary.
Wall, Jack.

Question declared carried.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Is the proposal for dealing with No. 23, the conclusion of Report and Final Stages of the Companies (Auditing and Accounting Bill) 2003, agreed? Agreed.

Mr. G. Mitchell: Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell  I realise this is a little tenuous, but there is a Bill to deal with diplomatic immunity and diplomatic relations on the Order Paper. Could some opportunity be found before we go into the recess to make a statement on, or inform the House of, the situation regarding an Irish citizen in Iran who has been kidnapped, apparently for ransom? Some opportunity should be found to address the matter in the House.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I suggest that the Deputy find another way of raising the matter.

[1331]Mr. G. Mitchell: Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell  I tabled a special notice question yesterday. The issue should be addressed in the House.

Mr. Cassidy: Information on Donie Cassidy  Zoom on Donie Cassidy  I support that call.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  The Deputy is a good man. The Tánaiste wishes to answer.

(Interruptions).

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Allow Deputy McManus to speak without interruption, please.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  It is good to see the Christmas spirit breaking out. I would like to ask the Tánaiste about the health service executive announced by the Minister, which appears not even to have met yet. What is happening on the reforms in the health service? Is the Tánaiste able to tell us when the health service executive will be put on a statutory footing and when it will meet?

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  The Minister has already said the legislation will take effect from January 2005.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  The health service executive has not met. How is this body going to work if it is not put on a statutory footing?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  That does not arise. I suggest the Deputy submit a question to the Minister for Health and Children.

Mr. Gogarty: Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Earlier I pointed out a matter under Standing Order 31 regarding the Irish Prison Service headquarters in Clondalkin. It relates to the Prison Service Bill. Will the Bill be delayed because people are being moved from Clondalkin to Longford?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  There is no time to make a statement. We will get an answer from the Tánaiste on the Prison Service Bill.

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  I share a constituency with Deputy Gogarty, and it is good that we are decentralising the Prison Service from Clondalkin. It is not possible to state when we will have the Bill.

Mr. Gogarty: Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  We do not want it.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  On the Local Government Bill, could the Tánaiste tell me how I can get information on the accumulated debts of local authorities?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I am sorry, Deputy, but the matter does not arise on the Order of Business.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  You said it was a matter for the Minister, and surely we are entitled to know the accumulated debts of local authorities.

[1332]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy will have to find another way of raising the matter.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Surely we are entitled to know the debts accumulated by local authorities.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Deputy, the question does not arise on the Order of Business.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  On a point of order, whose responsibility is it?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  That is not a point of order. I call Deputy Sherlock. The Deputy's Cork colleague is entitled to the courtesy of being heard without interruption.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  I am entitled to an answer.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  On a point of order, this is the Order of Business and my colleague has asked a question and is entitled to an answer.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  He is not entitled to ask the question on the Order of Business.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Surely on the Order of Business—

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  He is not entitled to an answer. It does not arise on the Order of Business. The Chair has ruled and that is the end of the matter.

Mr. Sherlock: Information on Joe Sherlock  Zoom on Joe Sherlock  I ask the Tánaiste to end imprisonment, where practical, for inability to pay fines and to provide for new ways of enforcing fines. Is it likely that the enforcement of fines Bill will be introduced? How soon will it be introduced?

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  It is not possible to say at this stage.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  On a point of order, I have a simple question. Why is the level of debt of local authorities not a matter for—

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy is being disorderly now, and the Chair will have to deal with disorder. I call Deputy Crawford.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  I am entitled to ask that question.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Yes, the Deputy is entitled to ask his question, but not on the Order of Business. I call Deputy Crawford.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Why am I not allowed to do so?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy knows Standing Order 26 as well as the Chair.

Mr. Crawford: Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  At the time of the foot and mouth disease problems in the State, the House gave the Minister, Deputy Walsh, its total support. He promised to return to the House to discuss some of those emergency regulations within [1333]12 months. When can we have the animal health Bill, the veterinary medicines Bill, the land Bill or any other Bill to allow the Minister for Agriculture and Food to answer questions in this House on what he promised to do some three years ago?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Three questions are in order, Deputy.

Mr. Crawford: Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  He promised to come back to the House but he has not done so.

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  The Bills in question will be published early next year.

Mr. Crawford: Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  All three?

Dr. Upton: Information on Mary Upton  Zoom on Mary Upton  The National Nutritional Surveillance Centre report was published yesterday showing that about 30% of the population do not eat the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables each day. A proposal to amalgamate Bord Bia and Bord Glas is before the House. When will the Bord Bia Bill be taken?

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  The Bill will be taken before Christmas.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Which Christmas?

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  Will the Government write and explain its reasons to the 70 towns which were unsuccessful with their decentralisation applications?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  That does not arise on the Order of Business.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  What are we doing here?

Mr. Cassidy: Information on Donie Cassidy  Zoom on Donie Cassidy  The bottle is half full.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy is well aware of Standing Order 26.

Mr. M. Smith: Information on Michael Smith  Zoom on Michael Smith  The Deputy is going against his leader.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  It is not so long ago that the Minister for Defence went against his leader.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Sorry, Deputy Connaughton.

Mr. M. Smith: Information on Michael Smith  Zoom on Michael Smith  I was standing up for the Deputy.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I ask the Minister not to interrupt when the Chair is speaking.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  What about—

Mr. Cassidy: Information on Donie Cassidy  Zoom on Donie Cassidy  Loughrea and Ballinasloe.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I ask Deputy Connaughton to resume his seat.

[1334]For the benefit of Deputy Connaughton, Standing Order 26 is quite specific. It states that questions may be raised in regard to business on the Order Paper, the taking of business which has been promised – including legislation which has been promised either within or outside the House – the making of secondary legislation, arrangements for sittings, when Bills and other documents on the Order Paper laid before the House will be circulated, subject to the proviso that the Taoiseach or whoever is answering may defer replying to a question relating to the making of secondary legislation to another day. The Chair is obliged to implement Standing Order 26 and does not have a choice on the matter. It is a matter for the Dáil reform committee to change the Standing Order if that is its desire.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  I hope that day will come.

Mr. Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  It is unlikely since the chairman will not call a meeting.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Chair will be pleased to implement the new Standing Order 26. In the meantime, I ask all Deputies to accept the Standing Order.

Mr. Deasy: Information on John Deasy  Zoom on John Deasy  When will the Government make a statement to the House in respect of the Nally report?

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  I do not have information on that. I will have to discuss it with the relevant Minister who is the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform.

Mr. Deasy: Information on John Deasy  Zoom on John Deasy  There has been too long a delay. The Attorney General said there would be—

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  I will speak to the Minister and ask him to speak to the Deputy.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  In regard to the serious issues addressed by the “Prime Time” programme earlier this week about child sex abuse and the Internet, when can we expect the Hague convention on the protection of children and the international co-operation in respect of inter-country adoption Bills to be brought before the House?

When will the House be presented with the Cory report for public scrutiny and debate and when will it be an item for debate on the floor of this Chamber?

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  It is not possible to say when we will have the report or the legislation at this point.

With the Ceann Comhairle's permission, I wish to revert to something I said earlier in the House. Unfortunately, I inadvertently misled the House when I said that parties had received a report on the Estimates from committee. That was incorrect and I apologise for the statement.

Mr. Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  I thank the Tánaiste.

[1335]Mr. Boyle: Information on Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform has given a commitment that solicitors with qualifications obtained outside the jurisdiction will be able to practise within this jurisdiction by the end of this year. Will this commitment be met and will it require either primary or secondary legislation?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Is legislation promised?

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  I do not know. I will get the Minister to respond.

Mr. Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  On a point of order, the House previously decided that we should have reports from committees when we are dealing with the subject matter they debated. Perhaps the chairpersons could be re-instructed on the matter.

Ms Hanafin: Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  On a point of information, the committees were instructed to report back in regard to motions which were referred to them. We can change that order if the Whips agree.

Mr. Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  I thank the Minister of State.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I understand that Standing Order 85 covers the issue raised by Deputy Stagg.


Last Updated: 10/09/2010 02:11:32 First Page Previous Page Page of 216 Next Page Last Page