Business of Dáil: Motion.

Wednesday, 29 September 2004

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 589 No. 1

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Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Ms Hanafin): Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  I move:

[3]

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  I move amendment No. 1:

I have also tabled amendment No. 2 which states: “In paragraph 3, line 6, to delete “3 hours” and substitute “5 hours””. I have tabled these amendments because this is the first meeting of the Dáil since the summer and, as Taoiseach’s questions will not be taken today, I would like them to be taken tomorrow morning. I understand the Taoiseach is to announce the Ministers of State as well as new members of the Government at 3.30 p.m. and appropriate time should be set aside for discussion on that. I recommend five hours for that discussion. It appears the only safe Member on the Government side is Deputy Walsh. Perhaps the emphasis should be on the line in the prayer, “happily ended”.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy has two amendments. He has moved amendment No. 1 and has spoken to both of them. Is that correct?

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Yes.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  My party supports both amendments. I make no issue of the fact that there are no Leaders’ Questions today or questions to the Taoiseach, given this day. However, it is entirely reasonable that we should have Leaders’ Questions and Taoiseach’s Questions in the normal way tomorrow.

On the amendment for an extension, if I heard the Fine Gael leader correctly, of two hours of debate on the appointment of the Government that time is, if anything, too short.

Mr. McCormack: Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  It is too long.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  The Taoiseach has been discussing it since 11 June last while the media have [4]been debating it for three or four months. This House is apparently supposed to dispose of it in three hours before the adjournment. That is entirely inadequate. My party will have two slots to contribute on whatever changes are proposed. Other colleagues who want to contribute are in the same position. It is entirely too short and, for that reason, I too support the amendment.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  The Green Party has no hesitation or difficulty in supporting these amendments. Our party will probably get 12 minutes to respond to the raft of changes that will be announced. Having had a summer recess during which the Government was uncannily quiet and behaving itself for reasons that have been speculated upon by those seeking to report and those seeking preferment, it is important that we should resume and get down to the business of holding the Government to account. The amendments seek to do so and the Green Party asks the Government to accommodate the need for Leaders’ Questions and to provide more time so that smaller parties are not unfairly disadvantaged by not having enough time to comment fully in the debate on the proposed changes, which we expect the Taoiseach to provide.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  As other Deputies have stated, we have no Order of Business, no Leaders’ Questions, no Taoiseach’s questions, we have no opportunity to raise urgent matters and, even at the start of business, we have no Taoiseach. I was not aware of the proposition from Deputy Kenny to amend the Government proposal on taking Leaders’ Questions tomorrow and I am not sure that is necessarily the correct approach. That should have happened today. It is absolutely correct and it should be expected that the Taoiseach should come to the House today to face the questioning of the leaders of the Opposition parties. There is no good reason for deferral of the normal expected practice of the House on the resumption after such a long break.

I strongly object to the Government’s proposition. I will reluctantly agree to the proposal in Deputy Kenny’s amendment and, in particular, the element that seeks to extend the time for participation in the debate soon to the addressed by the House. I emphasise that real and important issues need to be addressed and the Taoiseach should be here to address them, not least of which is the indication of a proposed statement by the Northern Secretary of State, Paul Murphy, that the British Government is considering unilateral action on an amendment to the Good Friday Agreement and its outworking in terms of the business of the Assembly. It is an internationally binding Agreement. I would like to hear the Taoiseach’s response to that statement and that revelation this morning. It is a serious matter.

[5]Mr. J. Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins  Zoom on Joe Higgins  We have waited for months to have the Taoiseach and the Government accountable to the people on critical issues that face us. Over the months in which the Dáil was not sitting, for example, 1,300 jobs in Aer Lingus were wiped out and the privatisation of our national airline was plotted behind the scenes with the Government in consonance with a management team engaged in a massive conflict of interest. They were appointed allegedly to guard the rights of the taxpayer but, in reality, they were plotting for their own massive enrichment by privatising this national asset.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  We cannot have a debate on this. This is a narrow procedural motion about how we do our business this afternoon.

Mr. J. Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins  Zoom on Joe Higgins  I cannot wait until next week for an opportunity to question the Taoiseach on many issues, one of the most critical being the future of our national airline and thousands of its workers. The Taoiseach should attend the Dáil, if not today, at the very latest tomorrow morning to answer such questions. It is incumbent upon the Government to provide answers for ordinary people through public representatives such as myself.

Ms Hanafin: Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  As this is the first day back, we are devoting the whole of Government time to [6]discussing the ministerial nominations. The Opposition is correct in so far as it would take far longer than three hours to highlight the Government’s progress over the past two and a half years——

(Interruptions).

Ms Hanafin: Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  ——and our plans for the next two and a half years.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  That is good.

Ms Hanafin: Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  That being said, we are willing to be modest today and to confine our contributions to three hours.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  The Minister of State has a lot to be modest about.

Mr. Ring: Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  Where is the Minister of State going?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Minister of State, without interruption, please.

Ms Hanafin: Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  I know the Opposition will take its opportunity as well. The Taoiseach will be in the House tomorrow to take the Order of Business as usual on a Thursday. Mar sin, tá súil agam go nglacfaidh an Teach leis an rún atá os ár gcomhair.

Question put: “That the words proposed to be deleted stand.”

[5]The Dáil divided: Tá, 78; Níl, 61.

Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  Ahern, Dermot. Information on Michael Ahern  Zoom on Michael Ahern  Ahern, Michael.
Information on Noel Ahern  Zoom on Noel Ahern  Ahern, Noel. Information on Seán Ardagh  Zoom on Seán Ardagh  Ardagh, Seán.
Information on Niall Blaney  Zoom on Niall Blaney  Blaney, Niall. Information on Johnny Brady  Zoom on Johnny Brady  Brady, Johnny.
Information on Martin Brady  Zoom on Martin Brady  Brady, Martin. Information on John Browne  Zoom on John Browne  Browne, John.
Information on Joe Callanan  Zoom on Joe Callanan  Callanan, Joe. Information on Ivor Callely  Zoom on Ivor Callely  Callely, Ivor.
Information on Pat Carey  Zoom on Pat Carey  Carey, Pat. Information on John Carty  Zoom on John Carty  Carty, John.
Information on Donie Cassidy  Zoom on Donie Cassidy  Cassidy, Donie. Information on Michael Collins  Zoom on Michael Collins  Collins, Michael.
Information on Beverley Cooper-Flynn  Zoom on Beverley Cooper-Flynn  Cooper-Flynn, Beverley. Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  Coughlan, Mary.
Information on John Cregan  Zoom on John Cregan  Cregan, John. Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  Cullen, Martin.
Information on John Curran  Zoom on John Curran  Curran, John. Information on Noel Davern  Zoom on Noel Davern  Davern, Noel.
Information on Síle de Valera  Zoom on Síle de Valera  de Valera, Síle. Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Dempsey, Noel.
Information on Tony Dempsey  Zoom on Tony Dempsey  Dempsey, Tony. Information on John Dennehy  Zoom on John Dennehy  Dennehy, John.
Information on Jimmy Devins  Zoom on Jimmy Devins  Devins, Jimmy. Information on John Ellis  Zoom on John Ellis  Ellis, John.
Information on Frank Fahey  Zoom on Frank Fahey  Fahey, Frank. Information on Michael Finneran  Zoom on Michael Finneran  Finneran, Michael.
Information on Dermot Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Dermot Fitzpatrick  Fitzpatrick, Dermot. Information on Seán Fleming  Zoom on Seán Fleming  Fleming, Seán.
Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Gallagher, Pat The Cope. Information on Jim Glennon  Zoom on Jim Glennon  Glennon, Jim.
Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  Hanafin, Mary. Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  Harney, Mary.
Information on Seán Haughey  Zoom on Seán Haughey  Haughey, Seán. Information on Jackie Healy-Rae  Zoom on Jackie Healy-Rae  Healy-Rae, Jackie.
Information on Joe Jacob  Zoom on Joe Jacob  Jacob, Joe. Information on Cecilia Keaveney  Zoom on Cecilia Keaveney  Keaveney, Cecilia.
Information on Billy Kelleher  Zoom on Billy Kelleher  Kelleher, Billy. Information on Peter Kelly  Zoom on Peter Kelly  Kelly, Peter.
Information on Tony Killeen  Zoom on Tony Killeen  Killeen, Tony. Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Kirk, Seamus.
Information on Tom Kitt  Zoom on Tom Kitt  Kitt, Tom. Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Lenihan, Brian.
Information on Conor Lenihan  Zoom on Conor Lenihan  Lenihan, Conor. Information on Charlie McCreevy  Zoom on Charlie McCreevy  McCreevy, Charlie.
Information on Michael McDowell  Zoom on Michael McDowell  McDowell, Michael. Information on Tom McEllistrim  Zoom on Tom McEllistrim  McEllistrim, Thomas.
Information on John McGuinness  Zoom on John McGuinness  McGuinness, John. Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  Martin, Micheál.
Information on John Moloney  Zoom on John Moloney  Moloney, John. Information on Donal Moynihan  Zoom on Donal Moynihan  Moynihan, Donal.
Information on Michael Moynihan  Zoom on Michael Moynihan  Moynihan, Michael. Information on Michael Mulcahy  Zoom on Michael Mulcahy  Mulcahy, Michael.
Information on M. J. Nolan  Zoom on M. J. Nolan  Nolan, M.J. Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  Ó Cuív, Éamon.
Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Ó Fearghaíl, Seán. Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  O’Connor, Charlie.
Information on Willie O'Dea  Zoom on Willie O'Dea  O’Dea, Willie. Information on Liz O'Donnell  Zoom on Liz O'Donnell  O’Donnell, Liz.
Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  O’Donoghue, John. Information on Dennis O'Donovan  Zoom on Dennis O'Donovan  O’Donovan, Denis.
Information on Noel O'Flynn  Zoom on Noel O'Flynn  O’Flynn, Noel. Information on Batt O'Keeffe  Zoom on Batt O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Batt.
Information on Fiona O'Malley  Zoom on Fiona O'Malley  O’Malley, Fiona. Information on Tim O'Malley  Zoom on Tim O'Malley  O’Malley, Tim.
Information on Tom Parlon  Zoom on Tom Parlon  [7]Parlon, Tom. Information on Peter Power  Zoom on Peter Power  Power, Peter.
Information on Seán Power  Zoom on Seán Power  Power, Seán. Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  Roche, Dick.
Information on Mae Sexton  Zoom on Mae Sexton  Sexton, Mae. Information on Brendan Smith  Zoom on Brendan Smith  Smith, Brendan.
Information on Michael Smith  Zoom on Michael Smith  Smith, Michael. Information on Noel Treacy  Zoom on Noel Treacy  Treacy, Noel.
Information on Dan Wallace  Zoom on Dan Wallace  Wallace, Dan. Information on Mary Wallace  Zoom on Mary Wallace  Wallace, Mary.
Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  Walsh, Joe. Information on G. V. Wright  Zoom on G. V. Wright  Wright, G.V.



[7]Níl
Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Allen, Bernard. Information on Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  Boyle, Dan.
Information on James Breen  Zoom on James Breen  Breen, James. Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Broughan, Thomas P.
Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  Bruton, Richard. Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  Burton, Joan.
Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  Connaughton, Paul. Information on Jerry Cowley  Zoom on Jerry Cowley  Cowley, Jerry.
Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  Crawford, Seymour. Information on Sean Crowe  Zoom on Sean Crowe  Crowe, Seán.
Information on Ciaran Cuffe  Zoom on Ciaran Cuffe  Cuffe, Ciarán. Information on John Deasy  Zoom on John Deasy  Deasy, John.
Information on Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  Deenihan, Jimmy. Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Durkan, Bernard J.
Information on Damien English  Zoom on Damien English  English, Damien. Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright  Enright, Olwyn.
Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Gilmore, Eamon. Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Gogarty, Paul.
Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  Gormley, John. Information on Tony Gregory  Zoom on Tony Gregory  Gregory, Tony.
Information on Tom Hayes  Zoom on Tom Hayes  Hayes, Tom. Information on Seamus Healy  Zoom on Seamus Healy  Healy, Seamus.
Information on Joe Higgins  Zoom on Joe Higgins  Higgins, Joe. Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  Higgins, Michael D.
Information on Philip Hogan  Zoom on Philip Hogan  Hogan, Phil. Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Howlin, Brendan.
Information on Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  Kehoe, Paul. Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Kenny, Enda.
Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Lynch, Kathleen. Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  McCormack, Padraic.
Information on Dinny McGinley  Zoom on Dinny McGinley  McGinley, Dinny. Information on Paddy McHugh  Zoom on Paddy McHugh  McHugh, Paddy.
Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  McManus, Liz. Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  Mitchell, Olivia.
Information on Arthur Morgan  Zoom on Arthur Morgan  Morgan, Arthur. Information on Breeda Moynihan-Cronin  Zoom on Breeda Moynihan-Cronin  Moynihan-Cronin, Breeda.
Information on Gerard Murphy  Zoom on Gerard Murphy  Murphy, Gerard. Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten  Naughten, Denis.
Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  Noonan, Michael. Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  Ó Snodaigh, Aengus. Information on Fergus O'Dowd  Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd  O’Dowd, Fergus.
Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Jim. Information on Brian O'Shea  Zoom on Brian O'Shea  O’Shea, Brian.
Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  O’Sullivan, Jan. Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Pattison, Seamus.
Information on Willie Penrose  Zoom on Willie Penrose  Penrose, Willie. Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  Perry, John.
Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Quinn, Ruairí. Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Rabbitte, Pat.
Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  Ring, Michael. Information on Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan  Ryan, Eamon.
Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  Sargent, Trevor. Information on Joe Sherlock  Zoom on Joe Sherlock  Sherlock, Joe.
Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  Shortall, Róisín. Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  Stagg, Emmet.
Information on David Stanton  Zoom on David Stanton  Stanton, David. Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  Timmins, Billy.
Information on Liam Twomey  Zoom on Liam Twomey  Twomey, Liam Information on Mary Upton  Zoom on Mary Upton  Upton, Mary.
Information on Jack Wall  Zoom on Jack Wall  Wall, Jack.  

[7]Tellers: Tá, Deputies Hanafin and Kelleher; Níl, Deputies Durkan and Stagg.

[7]Question declared carried.

Amendment declared lost.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  We now come to deal with amendment No. 2 in the name of Deputy Kenny.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  May I make a point?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The amendment has already been discussed with amendment No. 1.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  I have made my point in speaking to these two amendments in the debate on amendment No. 1. I see the results of the vote and I do not wish to upset unduly those who want to celebrate——

Mr. Kelleher: Information on Billy Kelleher  Zoom on Billy Kelleher  Unlike Mayo.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  ——or those whose remit in Government is happily ended. I will not move the second amendment because people throughout the country are waiting for the chairs to be filled and the announcements to be made by which all [8]problems that ever existed are to be sorted by this new look whatever it is.

Amendment No. 2 not moved.

Question, “That the motion be agreed to”, put and declared carried.

Sitting suspended at 2.55 p.m. and resumed at 3.30 p.m.


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