Road Traffic Bill 2004: Report Stage.

Tuesday, 7 December 2004

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 594 No. 3

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An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  I advise Members that a printing error has resulted in incorrect line references in pages 5, 6, 13, 18, 20, 23 and 25 of the Bill, which affect amendments Nos. 1 to 3, inclusive, 21 and 24 to 26, inclusive. In the case of these amendments, Members are advised that the line references referred to relate to the actual number of lines of text contained in the relevant pages of the Bill and not the incorrect numbers printed in the Bill.

Minister for Transport (Mr. Cullen): Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I move amendment No. 1:

This amendment provides for a clearer statement of the part of the Title to the Bill relating to the legislation to which it relates. It is a technical amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I move amendment No. 2:

This amendment is to correct a typographical error, noted in subsection (1), that “therefor” is incorrectly spelt.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I move amendment No. 3:

As was noted during the debate on Committee Stage and was the subject of a proposed amendment by Deputy Olivia Mitchell, the reference in the text of the Bill to the legislative provision relating to the definition of “administrative area” is incorrect. It should refer to the Act of 2001. I thank Deputy Mitchell for that observation.

Amendment agreed to.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  I move amendment No. 4:

I spoke on this issue at length on Committee Stage. It is one about which I feel very strongly. The Government has been talking for years about introducing random breath testing. It was promised as far back as 1999. As far as I can see, no progress has been made on the matter. The Minister and his two predecessors said they would look at this matter and take legal advice on it.

The abuse of alcohol is a major contributory factor in 40% of serious road accidents. The culture of alcohol is a problem in Ireland. People still go out, get tanked up and drive cars. It is time to end that and to introduce random breath testing. That is the only way to end the culture of drink driving. I will press the amendment.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I appreciate how strongly Deputy Shortall feels about this issue. We are all in that same space. The key issue is to ensure that the most appropriate way of achieving the objectives set out in the road safety strategy to combat drink driving is identified and pursued. The strategy identifies a level of enforcement to be achieved within its lifetime, based on the number of vehicles to be screened on an annual basis. The level determined, which will see the drivers of more than 46,000 vehicles being checked annually, will place us on a par with countries such as Sweden and Finland, which are the best performing states in the EU in terms of drink driving enforcement.

The first step in providing for the extension of the powers of the Garda to test for drink driving has been put in place. The gardaí are now empowered to check all drivers involved in road collisions or detected committing a traffic offence, in addition to the power to demand a test of a driver who, in the opinion of a garda, has consumed alcohol. The range of powers now available reflects the position in the United Kingdom.

The introduction of full random breath testing is a matter which must be considered with great care. I do not intend to pursue a policy which would give rise to questions in relation to the overall powers currently available to the gardaí to test for drink driving. Acceptance of the proposal presented in the amendment before the House could create such a situation. Experience has shown that virtually every initiative taken on drink driving has been the subject of intense scrutiny in the courts. From a legislation perspective, such scrutiny is to be welcomed in that it either provides confirmation of the legislative measures or leads to their improvement. The principle of ensuring that the existing provisions relating to the preliminary testing of drivers are maintained will inform my pursuit of the question of the introduction of an additional and more broadly based option for the taking of such tests.

During the debate on Committee Stage I referred to the consultation process in which I am engaged with the Attorney General. That process [594]is at a very advanced stage and if the outcome supports the further extension of the grounds for the pursuit of preliminary testing, I will introduce the appropriate legislation as soon as possible.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  I do not know what the Minister means when he says we are all in the same space. What on earth does that mean? The Minister is in a position to do something about this matter. He has access to legal advice, as had his predecessors, and has failed to act.

I do not accept what the Minister says about European rates of enforcement. We are nowhere close to those and we will not be, even with the additional gardaí being provided. The only way to clamp down on the widespread problem of drink driving, which is a major contributory factor to our high levels of road deaths, is to allow for the introduction of random breath testing. That has been accepted time and again. It was recommended in the previous road safety strategy and in the current one.

I do not accept what the Minister has said. He has had sufficient time to do something about this problem, as had his predecessors. He knew we would deal with this legislation and he had notice of my amendment. I would have been happy to withdraw the amendment if the Minister had presented his own wording. I want to see this matter dealt with and I do not want to see any more foot dragging by the Government, particularly the Minister for Transport, on this serious issue. It is time we tackled it. I am pressing the amendment.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  What I meant is that we all have the same concerns with regard to the abuse of alcohol and driving.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  The Minister can do something about it.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  Deputy Shortall knows I am not in a position to bring defective legislation before the House.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  The Minister has not given one legal reason for not doing so.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I cannot bring legislation before the House unless it has been cleared by the Office of the Attorney General. It is not in my power or in the gift of Deputy Shortall to do so.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  There is clearly no urgency about this matter.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I would like this matter to be resolved. I would like to present to the House the legislative basis for the measure proposed by Deputy Shortall, which all Members would like to see, but I do not have clearance to do that. As soon as I have clearance from the legal experts in [595]the Attorney General’s office that such a measure is as safe as it can be, I will introduce it.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  Has the Minister received advice on the matter.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I am in negotiation at present.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  I am fed up with this situation. Negotiations between the Minister’s Department and the Attorney General’s office have been [596]going on for years. There is clearly no political will to tackle this problem. If this matter had been addressed when it was first promised in 1999 and the Government had introduced random breath testing, several hundred people would still be alive today and several hundred others would not have sustained serious injuries. I am forcing the issue today as I have had enough of the excuses of various Ministers on the matter. Clearly no political will exists to tackle the huge problem of alcohol abuse and drink driving.

Amendment put.

[595]The Dáil divided: Tá, 27; Níl, 69.

Information on Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  Boyle, Dan. Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Broughan, Thomas P.
Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  Burton, Joan. Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  Costello, Joe.
Information on Sean Crowe  Zoom on Sean Crowe  Crowe, Seán. Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Gilmore, Eamon.
Information on Tony Gregory  Zoom on Tony Gregory  Gregory, Tony. Information on Seamus Healy  Zoom on Seamus Healy  Healy, Seamus.
Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  Higgins, Michael D. Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Howlin, Brendan.
Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Lynch, Kathleen. Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  McManus, Liz.
Information on Breeda Moynihan-Cronin  Zoom on Breeda Moynihan-Cronin  Moynihan-Cronin, Breeda. Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
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 Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Quinn, Ruairí. Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Rabbitte, Pat.
Information on Seán Ryan  Zoom on Seán Ryan  Ryan, Seán. 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 Mary Upton  Zoom on Mary Upton  Upton, Mary.
Information on Jack Wall  Zoom on Jack Wall  Wall, Jack.  


[595]Níl
Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Ahern, Bertie. 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 Barry Andrews  Zoom on Barry Andrews  Andrews, Barry. Information on Seán Ardagh  Zoom on Seán Ardagh  Ardagh, Seán.
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 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 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 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 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 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 Noel Grealish  Zoom on Noel Grealish  Grealish, Noel. 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 Máire Hoctor  Zoom on Máire Hoctor  Hoctor, Máire. 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 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 James McDaid  Zoom on James McDaid  McDaid, James. Information on Tom McEllistrim  Zoom on Tom McEllistrim  McEllistrim, Thomas.
Information on John McGuinness  Zoom on John McGuinness  McGuinness, John. 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 Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  Ó Cuív, Éamon.
Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Ó Fearghail, 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 Ned O'Keeffe  Zoom on Ned O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Ned. 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 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 Ollie Wilkinson  Zoom on Ollie Wilkinson  Wilkinson, Ollie. Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  Woods, Michael.
Information on G. V. Wright  Zoom on G. V. Wright  Wright, G. V.  

[595]Tellers: Tá, Deputies Stagg and Broughan; Níl, Deputies Kitt and Kelleher.

[597]Amendment declared lost.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  I move amendment No. 5:

This amendment relates to problem of hand-held mobile telephone use while in charge of a car, which has been identified by the Road Safety Council and other bodies as a major problem, and all of the attendant dangers involved. This was discussed on Committee Stage and, like the question of random breath testing, the Minister and his predecessor put it on the long finger and spoke of legal difficulties. No legal advice has been published, however, and the Minister has not come up with a single reason we cannot ban hand-held mobile telephones. The Minister raised the dangers associated with hands-free telephone sets but those can be dealt with another time. Now we have the opportunity to deal with the pressing problem of hand-held mobile telephones where people try to control a car with one hand.

  6 o’clock

Ms O. Mitchell: Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  I agree that this matter must be addressed now. The Minister said he does not like to bring forward defective legislation and his predecessor, when newly appointed two and a half years ago, brought forward such legislation in a rush of blood to the head, found it was unworkable and withdrew it temporarily, but it still has not been sorted out. The Minister said on Committee Stage that it is an offence to drive dangerously, but many people still use hand-held mobile telephones. When they hold them in their hands, they are at their safest. The most disturbing thing is seeing someone trying to catch a telephone between his shoulder and his ear while turning corners and manoeuvring.

Mr. Deasy: Information on John Deasy  Zoom on John Deasy  Or texting.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  Or putting on make-up and shaving.

Ms O. Mitchell: Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  If the fact that it is careless driving were sufficient, we would not see it so often. The public do not know it is an offence to use a hand-held mobile telephone when driving or, if they do, we are not a law-abiding people. It cannot be that difficult to introduce legislation to deal with hand-held mobile telephones. We should keep it simple.

[598]Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I said I would think about this after the debate on Committee Stage. The 2002 regulations that prohibit the use of hand-held mobile telephones while driving may now be ultra vires. The Attorney General has advised that in 1961, the Oireachtas would not have envisaged the need to regulate for mobile telephone use in vehicles. As a result, the power to make regulations under the 1961 Road Traffic Act would not extend to the regulation of mobile telephone use.

My Department has considered how to frame appropriate primary legislation to address the mobile telephone issue. The legislation will have to be non-specific to take account of the proliferation of vehicle-based information and communication technologies now and in the future. In-car navigation aids, vehicle tracking for logistics companies, active cruise control and other vehicle safety measures are all based on applications of mobile telephone technology. The advent of Bluetooth access in vehicles to mobile information and communication devices is a further complication.

In addition, research evidence indicates that it is not holding the telephone that poses the main hazard for a driver. It is the distraction created by having a telephone conversation with someone unseen while driving that creates the greater risk. A prohibition on hand-held telephones might not address the main road safety concern with such equipment. Legislation to deal with mobile phone use by drivers must have a wide scope while dealing positively with the road safety aspects.

I am currently developing proposals for such a broad based legislative framework with a view to inclusion in the new road traffic Bill. I, therefore, ask the Deputy to withdraw her amendment. Notwithstanding the doubt concerning the validity of the mobile phone regulations, drivers who use mobile phones in a way that constitutes careless or dangerous driving leave themselves open to prosecution with the possibility of penalty points. That is the honest position. I cannot put it any clearer than that. The issue is not just related to holding the mobile phone. It relates to the technologies involved which are included in all the other activities one does in a car. I thought I would come back with an honest and full approach as to where we are but it appears all these factors are driven by the same technology that is used in mobile phones.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  I cannot accept that it is beyond the ability of the Attorney General’s office and the Parliamentary Counsel to come up with a definition of a hand-held mobile phone. Deputy Mitchell said this goes back two years. Originally penalty points were to attach to the use of mobile phones in cars as part of the 1998 road safety strategy. What we need is a definition. We are not talking about all the other activities people do in cars but the specific difficulty related to the prevalence of people holding a mobile phone in one hand and having a telephone conversation [599]while driving a car. It is a matter of coming up with a definition for a hand-held mobile phone. It is not enough for the Minister to say he will look at this issue. There is no sense of urgency in what the Minister has said. If he is prepared to give an undertaking in respect of a time frame I will consider withdrawing the amendment. We cannot be fobbed off any longer as the Minister’s predecessor fobbed us off during the past two-and-a-half years.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I appreciate the points the Deputy has made. I have tried to demonstrate that I would prefer to deal with this issue. There is no gain for me in not being able to do so. While the Deputy narrows down the issue to the actual holding of a mobile phone the bottom line is that will not stand up in law. I said earlier that we are trying to develop a wider framework to capture all the safety technology which is driven by the same technology as that used in mobile phones. I propose to agree the legislative framework for the road traffic Bill and to introduce it next year. That is the Bill to which I referred on Committee Stage. I have no problem with the issue. The Deputy may be frustrated as I am. I have told the House what is driving this issue. The more one examines the issue the more it becomes clear that the technology is the issue rather than the physical holding of a mobile phone.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  It is a definition.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I knew Deputy Shorthall would say it was a simple and straightforward matter to legislate for holding a mobile phone. I have given the answer as to why it is not a simple matter. However, I am giving an undertaking that I want it to be part of the next Bill. Rather than deal with the narrow definition, which is not possible, I am trying to work out a broad legislative framework to capture all the technology so that it will stand up. That may be the way to get it done.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  I shall withdraw the amendment for the time being. I will give the Minister six months to see what he will come up with from the Attorney General’s office. In the event that there is no progress at that stage I will introduce a Labour Party Bill on the issue.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I appreciate that.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I move amendment No. 6:

The purpose of this amendment is to restate the provisions relating to the consultation that must be pursued by local authorities in making special speed limit by-laws with other local authorities and the Garda. The changes are purely of a formatting nature and have no impact on the substantive issue presented in the section.

Amendment agreed to.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  I move amendment No. 7:

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  As I outlined in response to this proposal during the deliberations by the select committee, the reference to the establishment of offences in this section is consistent with the approach adopted in the past in regard to speeding offences. In the case of section 4, which relates to ordinary speed limits, the actual speed limits are established by way of regulations. Section 11, which provides for the substitution of the current section that establishes the offences of breaching speed limits, refers to a speed limit that applies in respect of a vehicle. It would not be appropriate to add a reference to the speed limit in question being subject to regulations made under section 4 as it is the regulations that establish the speed limits for selected vehicle classes in the first instance. In the same manner where a regulation is made under section 9(8) that would change a special speed limit referred to in subsection (2), that subsection continues to have effect, albeit in accordance with that regulation. Where such a regulation is made the parameters of the offence are established with reference to that regulation. However, the offence is still one of breaching a special speed limit.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Amendments Nos. 8 and 9 are related.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  I move amendment No. 8:

These are drafting amendments. Will the Minister accept them?

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  Following the consideration of the Bill by the select committee I was in contact with the office of the Parliamentary Counsel on the points raised by Deputy Shortall. I have been assured that the current text of the section provides for the appropriate approach to the references to section 9. From the Parliamentary Counsel’s point of view it is as it is.

[601]Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  I bow to the superior knowledge.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment No. 9 not moved.

Ms O. Mitchell: Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  I move amendment No. 10:

I tabled this amendment on Committee Stage. Under this section the Minister is being empowered to engage a company who will be paid to issue notices and receive payments on behalf of the Minister. Yet in a subsection of the same section the company or the Minister is being absolved from taking any action. Effectively they can sit back and do nothing. The presumption is that the notice will have been deemed to have been served and the person deemed to have refused to pay. I recognise that people will go to court about almost any issue in terms of the Road Traffic Act. I am not seeking proof that the notices were actually delivered but that there is an attempt to deliver them. The subsection appears to remove that requirement. It is an intolerable position and it is not common in legislation to have a presumption.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  The section provides that the notice has to be served. I note that the amendment proposed by Deputy Mitchell relates to a notice under the section being issued in regard to a prosecution for a fixed charge offence. The notice referred to in the section is the notice of the fixed charge offence. That notice is served either on the accused person, the registered owner, or is placed on the vehicle. As I indicated during the debate on Committee Stage the section is relatively silent on the various methods of service, some of which are referred to in the Deputy’s amendment. I did not think it was appropriate to place any limitations on the possible methods of service. That remains the position. I do not think the Deputy and I have differing views on the issue but we are coming at it from different angles. I do not wish to limit the methods of service but the section provides that a notice must be served. That meets the same point.

[602]Ms O. Mitchell: Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  I have debated this issue at length on Committee Stage so I will not pursue it. If anything is challenged in this section it will be that presumption.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Ms O. Mitchell: Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  I move amendment No. 11:

I think the Minister is in agreement with the intent if not the content of this amendment. The purpose of this amendment is to rule out any doubts about agreements with any out-sourcing company that it would be paid on a commission basis, in other words, that any companies employed would be paid but the payment would not be related to the actual number of cases dealt with for fear of the course of justice being subverted by the need to raise revenue. It is something we should include in the legislation. Regardless of what the Minister thinks at the moment, we may well see in years to come that companies will negotiate such contracts, for example on the grounds of efficiency. It has been noted that such contracts generate public resentment. A contract that was negotiated in respect of clamping comes to mind. Although the companies in question deny that the revenue they raise was part of the deal, it is clear that it was. The general level of respect for the law is diminished when gardaí are required to reach a certain level of detection, because one assumes that gardaí should be involved in prevention rather than detection.

The provisions of this amendment should be included in the Bill. I know the Minister agrees with the intent of the amendment, but I would like it to be part of the legislation.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  The point the Deputy made would be relevant if we were going to the next step, where there is a real danger.

Ms O. Mitchell: Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  Yes.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I am familiar with the public’s view on the matter. The Deputy rightly cited the example of the public’s perception of clamping. There is no relationship with the administration of the scheme in this instance, however, because the Garda will become involved when an offence is committed. The Garda will be responsible at that level. The administration system relates to administration only, so there is no relationship. The administrative side of this will not receive a specific fee and no built-in system is being put in place to encourage it. It will not be able to make any more money from it because it does not have any role in charging in the first instance. The [603]Deputy’s amendment would be appropriate if I was proposing to outsource the task of catching people. This is the next step, at which a real danger would arise. I am conscious that we should not allow that to happen if we move to the next step. It is not relevant at the moment, however.

Ms O. Mitchell: Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  Is there any suggestion that outsourcing will involve the management and maintenance of the cameras?

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  No, definitely not.

Ms O. Mitchell: Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  If such matters are involved, there is a danger that——

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  That would require further legislation.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  As amendments Nos. 13 to 18, inclusive, are related to amendment No. 12, amendments Nos. 12 to 18, inclusive, may be taken together, by agreement.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I move amendment No. 12:

A group of technical amendments is being taken together. The amendments——

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  They are agreed.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I move amendment No. 13:

Amendment agreed to.

[604]Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I move amendment No. 14:

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I move amendment No. 15:

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I move amendment No. 16:

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I move amendment No. 17:

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I move amendment No. 18:

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I move amendment No. 19:

Amendment agreed to.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  I move amendment No. 20:

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I move amendment No. 21:

[605]

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Deasy: Information on John Deasy  Zoom on John Deasy  I move amendment No. 22:

The Minister is aware of what is entailed in this amendment, the history of which I will outline. When I was in the square in Dungarvan three or four years ago, a relative of a disabled driver approached me. I was informed that the driver in question found it hard to locate an unoccupied disabled parking space in the square because able-bodied people were constantly taking such spaces. The person I met argued that the existing fine did not act as a deterrent for able-bodied drivers. The person felt that it should be considered as a serious quality of life issue for disabled drivers, rather than simply as a case of their being inconvenienced.

I was surprised, when I checked the matter out, to find that the fine imposed on those who commit such acts is similar to a regular parking fine. When I spoke to traffic wardens, gardaí and representatives of disabled drivers, it became clear that the problem is found not only in my home town, but throughout the country. In many cases, local authorities have not provided enough spaces for disabled drivers.

When I have raised this matter on previous occasions, I have been told by representatives of the Government that those who do not pay the fine go to court, where it is doubled or trebled to a maximum of €800. It is argued that such a fine acts as a disincentive, but that it not really the case. Disabled parking spaces are often found in key locations in towns, such as near banks, post offices and newsagents, so that people can access them easily. They are being abused.

I understand that the Minister will not accept my amendment. I appreciate his comment on Committee Stage that he would not have any difficulty with dealing with this matter by regulation. The previous Minister did not respond to my request in any great detail. He did not suggest a comprehensive solution to the problem when we discussed it on a number of occasions. The Minister, Deputy Cullen, is aware that steps have been taken in this regard by Dungarvan Town Council, Tramore Town Council, Waterford City Council and Waterford County Council.

[606]The Disabled Drivers’ Association of Ireland and the Irish Wheelchair Association support my solution to this problem, which continues to arise quite often. It is a quality of life issue for disabled drivers. My amendment proposes a simple measure that will act as a deterrent to those who take parking spaces they are not entitled to use. If the Government accepts it, it will benefit the lives of people who find it difficult to get around on a day-to-day basis. I appreciate the Minister’s previous comments on the matter. I hope he can take action by means of regulation as soon as possible.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I appreciate the Deputy’s decision to raise this subject again. We had a good discussion on the matter on Committee Stage. We are in agreement about the effects of able-bodied people parking cars in disabled parking spaces on those who badly need such spaces, which are properly provided by local authorities to assist those who need to access many facilities. The spaces are often provided in the locations that are easiest for people with disabilities to access successfully. It is absolutely disgraceful that people who are not disabled abuse those who are disabled by parking in spaces which have clearly been provided to assist the latter group, for example by helping them to enjoy a better quality of life.

When Deputies Olivia Mitchell and Shortall spoke about this matter on Committee Stage, I indicated that the fine suggested was too high because it would not be possible for the courts to impose it. I confirm that the fine suggested in Deputy Deasy’s amendment is close to the fine I am considering. I intend to pitch the fine at a high level that is similar to the figure mentioned in the amendment. I appreciate the Deputy’s comments. I assure him that I will take steps in this regard in the New Year. The measures I will introduce will be of great benefit to disabled people throughout the country. It is right that people who park in disabled parking spaces should feel the pain of an on-the-spot fine.

Mr. Deasy: Information on John Deasy  Zoom on John Deasy  I thank the Minister.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Ms O. Mitchell: Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  I move amendment No. 23:

This amendment seeks to increase the prison sentence that will be imposed on those who sell cars to young people under the age of——

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  To minors.

Ms O. Mitchell: Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  I am not sure whether the Bill refers to those under the age of 16 or 17. I understand that the maximum fine of €3,000 provided for in the Bill cannot be increased, but I would like the Minister to consider increasing to 12 months the prison sentence for this serious [607]offence, which can have tragic consequences. We have to stamp out the practice of allowing minors to access cars, leaving cars for minors to pick up or selling cars to such people. The amendment I have proposed conveys the seriousness with which we view the offence and recognises the damage it can cause.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  Deputy Olivia Mitchell will recall that the select committee accepted my proposal to apply a maximum fine of €3,000, with a possible prison term of six months, for the offence of supplying a mechanically propelled vehicle to a minor. This proposal was on foot of comments made by all Deputies, including Deputy Olivia Mitchell, on Second Stage. When making this agreement, I considered whether it would be possible to include a prison term of 12 months rather than six months, but the reality is that six months is generally accepted as the term of imprisonment that applies in such cases.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Amendment No. 25 is an alternative to amendment No. 24 and they are to be discussed together.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  I move amendment No. 24:

The proposal my amendment seeks to rectify was sprung on the Opposition spokespersons without notice at the beginning of Committee Stage. There was no debate on it and no justification therefor. I understood at the time that the Minister undertook to withdraw it to consider it further and therefore I was very surprised to see it in the amended version of the Bill.

I am totally opposed to the proposal and it indicates a totally unprecedented development regarding insurance. We are being asked to buy a pig in poke such that the Minister of the day can set a limit on the amount of compensation that can be claimed in personal injury cases. This has never occurred before. People have bought insurance and have agreed contracts with their insurance companies on the basis of open cover in the event of personal injury. It has always been the case that the courts decided the appropriate level of compensation in such circumstances.

I feel very strongly that the Minister has completely mishandled this matter and I can only conclude that he has been put under great pressure by the insurance industry. There is no other justification. The proposal represents an entirely new departure in the area of insurance. On Committee Stage, the Minister provided no justification for it. He stated he was uncomfortable with it and it seemed to have been sprung on him. He said there was a need to examine such matters thoroughly and to obtain proper legal advice thereon. It is quite clear that he has not done so [608]in respect of this proposal. That is not the way to make good legislation.

I have been contacted by a number of legal representatives on this issue in recent days and they are extremely concerned about the proposal. I contend that it is unconstitutional. I have serious reservations about it and I am totally opposed to proceeding along these lines. It is a very bad way to do business.

Ms O. Mitchell: Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  I am completely opposed to the Minister’s amendment and could not support it under any circumstances. I ask him, in the strongest possible way, to withdraw it and allow some public debate on the matter.

The Minister said this matter was sprung on him but it was sprung on the Opposition in a completely unacceptable matter. That we were first made aware of such a new departure in the area of personal injury insurance at 12.50 p.m. on budget day is unacceptable. Even if I agreed with the provision in question, I would have to admit that the drafting of this legislation is quite sloppy. The Bill fails to state what the insurance federation has asked the Minister to produce for it and I do not know if it states what the Minister believes it states or what he had hoped it would state. Certainly, it is not what the insurance federation put to his Department, regardless of whether he agrees with it.

I do not know, and I am not sure if the Minister knows, why there is a complete change of direction regarding personal injury insurance. It was suggested to the Minister during Committee Stage that the change in direction resulted from matters arising from the events of 11 September 2001. From my inquiries, I note that it has nothing to do with those events but arises from very serious train crashes in Great Britain, in which region the insurers were unwilling to accept completely unlimited liability.

Apart from criticising the sloppiness of the legislation, the legal representatives to whom I have spoken have, in the main, stated that the Bill, if passed, will be completely unconstitutional. Apparently the proposal to which I object is at the behest of the insurance companies, which have said, either to the Minister or his Department, that they cannot obtain re-insurance and want their liability to be limited because their re-insurers want their liability to be limited. The problem is that the poor, unfortunate consumer who buys insurance does not have limited liability.

If one crashed into the Luas — this seems to happen quite often — set it on fire and injured many people, is there any guarantee that every single victim would be covered, irrespective of the exposure of the driver of the car? The reality is that in extreme circumstances — I realise I am depicting a worst-case scenario — everybody would not be covered.

The Minister may recall that, in 1996, a report by Deloitte & Touche was issued on the capping of insurance liability. The purpose of the report was to determine whether this would reduce insurance premia.The report indicated that capping would not only fail to reduce premia but [609]would be an injustice to both the insurance industry and victims. It therefore strongly recommended against it. The Minister should recognise that our job as legislators is to protect the consumer and ensure that he has insurance. The Minister may be correct when he states that, to safeguard the availability of any kind of insurance, we must introduce the kind of amendment he proposes. That may be the case, but the only evidence we have to corroborate it is that the insurance companies say so. That is not sufficient. We need a public debate on the issue and to take independent and disinterested advice on behalf of the public, who require the kind of insurance to which I refer and who have been able to avail of it traditionally. The Minister should consider this matter seriously and withdraw his amendment.

We all understand that people need to be covered by insurance. If it is the case that circumstances have changed, we will reconsider our position, but we are being rushed into making legislative changes at the behest of the insurance companies, which do not even seem to know the full implications of this legislation. I ask the Minister to withdraw his amendment and consider the matter in calmer times with a level head and with the benefit of expert advice other than that of the insurance companies.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  Representatives of insurance companies have not spoken to me directly on this matter, nor have they put me under pressure. I was aware that information on the subject had come into the Department before I took up office. No so-called insurance friend sat down with me and told me that this has to be done.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  Where did it come from in that case?

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  It did not happen and I have not been engaged on it.

Ms O. Mitchell: Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  Why was it not in the Bill in that case? Why was it introduced by way of amendment at the last minute?

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I will try to explain my position to the Deputy because I was uneasy about the matter myself. I am making absolutely no change to the current position. Furthermore, I have tried to reflect the concerns that Deputies had on Committee Stage. My amendment makes no change whatsoever.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  It does in respect of personal injuries.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Order, please, we are not on Committee Stage.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  It does not. I am not making any changes to the position of anybody in this country by introducing the section in question. I tabled my amendment so one could be absolutely clear about that. I am stating in law that I cannot make [610]any changes until the Houses of the Oireachtas agree to those changes.

On Committee Stage, I undertook to reflect on statements made by Members about replacing the requirement to have unlimited motor insurance cover with some specified limit. As a result, I am now proposing a further amendment to deal with the concerns identified by Members. I share these concerns and note that they need to be addressed. My amendment provides that the regulations to specify an upper limit on the amount of motor insurance cover required by law would be subject to the approval of both Houses of the Oireachtas before they could take effect. We cannot do anything until that happens. Members’ perceptions on Committee Stage and media reports notwithstanding, the amendment is not intended to give comfort to the insurance industry by capping the cost of claims. The question of a limit arises only in the context of ensuring that motorists continue to have an adequate level of insurance cover.

The reason for this amendment is that the Irish Insurance Federation made repeated representations to the Minister for Transport to set an upper limit on the amount of insurance cover required by law. Until now insurance companies have provided unlimited cover in respect of personal injury by spreading their exposure through reinsurance. However, reinsurers world-wide are reported as declining to carry unlimited risks any longer. The industry claims that if companies are refused reinsurance cover they will not be in a position to provide unlimited cover to motorists. I recognise the benefits of unlimited liability cover for personal injury but I must ensure adequate levels of cover will be available in the event of substantial reinsurance difficulties. For that reason it is prudent to provide for a legal framework to deal with a situation where insurance companies could no longer provide unlimited cover. If this happens I must come back to the House, so I am giving comfort to the Opposition that I cannot lay these regulations out alone. It must be decided by a vote of the Oireachtas.

The limit will be set at a level far in excess of any settled or outstanding claim or group of claims. The amendment would require the agreement of both Houses of the Oireachtas before any change could take effect. That procedure will ensure that a limit is introduced only after the Minister and the two Houses are satisfied that it is necessary and set an acceptable amount. This procedure for change will set a high bar for the insurance industry if seeking a limit. The industry will have to make a sound case for change if it expects to convince the Minister and both Houses. It will also need to have its advance planning in order so that due process will apply to any change it might seek.

In consolidating section 56 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 the increased penalty for uninsured driving up from €2,500 to €3,000 has been incorporated in subsection (4). Consequently, it is no longer necessary or correct to include for this penalty in section 23 of the Road Traffic Act 2002. The present amendment, coupled with the Committee Stage amendment, can meet the con[611]cerns of the Houses while dealing with the likelihood of an unlimited cover ceasing to be available to motorists. I am trying to be as prudent as possible.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  I do not accept what the Minister is saying. He said at the outset that this would not bring about change to anybody’s insurance and that is not true. He proposes to be given the power to make regulations to limit the amount of compensation that can be paid in the case of personal injury. That has never happened before. Under this amendment the Minister will have the power to do that.

The section states that:

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I am ceding the power. That is what I am doing with the amendment.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  The Minister proposes giving himself power to make regulations to limit the level of payment made in personal injury cases.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I do not. What I have done is to meet the Deputy’s point and the issue that concerned me on Committee Stage. I cannot now make that regulation. I must come back to the Houses. Only the Oireachtas can make the regulation.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  That is a side issue. The Minister’s amendment seeks to give him the power to limit personal injury compensation. He makes a minor concession by saying that both Houses of the Oireachtas must approve the regulations. We know how things work here. The Minister has a majority to force this through and he will have a majority to force through whatever regulations he publishes. The concession is a minor point. This makes a fundamental change to the nature of the car insurance that we all have. It is completely unacceptable that the Minister would seek to do that without having any discussion on the issue.

  7 o’clock

I accept the Minister’s point that there are important issues surrounding the level of insurance world-wide and the level of cover that insurance companies have. That needs to be discussed in an open forum so that we can examine how best to deal with it through legislation. The case must be made for this change. The Minister has made no case so far. He proposes to cap compensation. Has he considered the massive profits that insurance companies make? He is tipping his cap to the insurance companies, doing their bidding it would seem, but completely neglecting the needs of drivers. This cannot be accepted under any circumstances.

[612]The Minister has given no indication of the levels of compensation payment which he would contemplate. He seeks the legal power to restrict this by regulation but he has given us no idea how he is thinking. What is a fair sum of money? What about a multiple car crash in which several people may lose their lives or several people be rendered quadriplegic? Do they not have the right to receive substantial compensation payments? We do not know what the Minister thinks about that. He is asking us to buy a pig in a poke on this and give him the power to decide what is an appropriate level of compensation. We are not prepared to do that.

The Minister should take back his amendment, examine the issue properly at the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport or any of the other committees to which it would be appropriate. Let us have a proper debate, hear all the interests involved and come back to it another time in the Bill the Minister plans to introduce next year.

Ms O. Mitchell: Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  This concession is not really a concession at all. It is merely intended to give the Oireachtas some say in the level of the limit being placed on compensation. We object to the concept of placing a limit on it. This is a most fundamental change, and is extremely far reaching. People may be left without insurance cover, no matter how the Minister dresses it up, changes it or says people will not be affected. I accept that is the worst case but it could emerge. It must be debated. We must consider it in greater detail. The Minister says this was in his Department for a long time. If that is so why are we looking at it in the context of a Bill about metrification? It is a Bill in itself. It is a major issue which changes insurance for personal injuries as we have known it for as long as we have had personal injury insurance. It cannot be pushed through as part of a Bill on metrification. I am utterly opposed to it.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I will not, and do not want to, take this power away. I am now in the invidious position of putting this out but I run the risk that no motorist will have insurance. I cannot allow that situation to evolve.

Ms O. Mitchell: Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  The Minister is putting a gun to people’s heads. That will not happen.

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I am not making any change to the law on this. It is an enabling Bill. Deputy Shortall asked what limit I am thinking about. The figure would have to be in the region of €100 million.

Ms O. Mitchell: Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  The Minister says he is “thinking about” this. Has any expert other than the insurance industry advised him?

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  Unlimited liability is a thing of the past. It is gone.

Ms O. Mitchell: Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  Who told the Minister that?

Mr. Cullen: Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I have only to look at the market. I am trying to head off the prospect that we all wake up in the morning and find motorists cannot [613]get insurance. I made the point, which I accepted when the Deputies spoke on Committee Stage, that it should be a matter for the Oireachtas to debate at length. I have no issue with that. I am removing the ability to make that regulation on my own.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  This is an outrageous proposition and any right thinking person in this House [614]should vote against it. The amendment is being pressed.

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

[613]The Dáil divided: Tá, 68; Níl, 44.

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 Barry Andrews  Zoom on Barry Andrews  Andrews, Barry.
Information on Seán Ardagh  Zoom on Seán Ardagh  Ardagh, Seán. 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 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 Síle de Valera  Zoom on Síle de Valera  de Valera, Síle. 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 Michael Finneran  Zoom on Michael Finneran  Finneran, Michael. Information on Dermot Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Dermot Fitzpatrick  Fitzpatrick, Dermot.
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 Noel Grealish  Zoom on Noel Grealish  Grealish, Noel. 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 Máire Hoctor  Zoom on Máire Hoctor  Hoctor, Máire. 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 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 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 Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  Ó Cuív, Éamon. Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Ó Fearghail, 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 Ned O'Keeffe  Zoom on Ned O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Ned.
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 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 Ollie Wilkinson  Zoom on Ollie Wilkinson  Wilkinson, Ollie.
Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  Woods, Michael. Information on G. V. Wright  Zoom on G. V. Wright  Wright, G. V.



[613]Níl
Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Allen, Bernard. Information on Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  Boyle, Dan.
Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Broughan, Thomas P. Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  Connaughton, Paul.
Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  Costello, Joe. Information on Jerry Cowley  Zoom on Jerry Cowley  Cowley, Jerry.
Information on Sean Crowe  Zoom on Sean Crowe  Crowe, Seán. 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 Tony Gregory  Zoom on Tony Gregory  Gregory, Tony.
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 Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Howlin, Brendan.
Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Lynch, Kathleen. Information on Dinny McGinley  Zoom on Dinny McGinley  McGinley, Dinny.
Information on Paul McGrath  Zoom on Paul McGrath  McGrath, Paul. Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  McManus, Liz.
Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  Mitchell, Olivia. 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 Dan Neville  Zoom on Dan Neville  Neville, Dan. 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 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 Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Rabbitte, Pat.
Information on Seán Ryan  Zoom on Seán Ryan  Ryan, Seán. 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 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.

[613]Tellers: Tá, Deputies Kitt and Kelleher; Níl, Deputies Kehoe and Stagg.

[615]Question declared carried.

Amendment declared lost.


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