Order of Business.

Tuesday, 15 February 2005

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 597 No. 5

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The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It is proposed to take No. 11, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Finance Act 2004 (Section 91) (Deferred Surrender to Central Fund) Order 2005; No. 11a, motion re by-elections for Kildare North on the Supplementary Order Paper; No. 4, Criminal Justice Bill 2004 — Order for Second Stage and Second Stage. It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that No. 11 shall be decided without debate, the proceedings on No. 11a shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion after 40 minutes and the following arrangements shall apply: the speeches shall be confined to the Minister for Finance and the main spokespersons for the Fine Gael Party, the Labour Party and the Technical Group who shall be called upon in that order. Speeches shall not exceed ten minutes in each case and Members may share time. In the event of the motion for the by-election for Meath being moved, the proceedings thereon shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion after 40 minutes and the following arrangements shall apply: the speeches shall be confined to the main spokespersons for the Fine Gael Party, the Labour Party and the Technical Group and the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, who shall be called upon in that order and who shall not exceed ten minutes in each case. Members may share time. Private Members’ business shall be No. 44, motion re waiver scheme for domestic refuse charges.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Is the proposal for dealing with No. 11, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Finance Act 2004 (Section 91) (Deferred Surrender to Central Fund) Order 2005, to be taken without debate, agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 11a, motion re by-election for Kildare North agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 12, motion re by-election for Meath agreed? Agreed.

Mr. J. Brady: Information on Johnny Brady  Zoom on Johnny Brady  We are waiting for them.

Mr. Hayes: Information on Tom Hayes  Zoom on Tom Hayes  That is not what I heard.

Mr. J. Brady: Information on Johnny Brady  Zoom on Johnny Brady  We are ready.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  Deputy Brady will be all right.

(Interruptions).

[1244]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  On the Order of Business, I call Deputy Kenny. Deputy Kenny should be allowed to speak without interruption.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  I have two questions for the Taoiseach. Newspaper reports indicate that the visit of the President to the North of Ireland is in doubt. Has that matter come before the Cabinet for the normal approval that is given for presidential visits?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Questions on Northern Ireland came up in the House this afternoon. The matter does not arise on the Order of Business.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  She was due to visit there on 24 February. Has the Cabinet given consent to that?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  What is the Deputy’s second question?

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Last week in the Dáil the Fine Gael deputy health spokesman, Deputy Neville, raised a number of important issues which he has continued to raise for some time regarding mental health. In response to a question, the Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, Deputy Tim O’Malley, said that Deputy Neville spoke about stigma——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Deputy Kenny should ask a question appropriate to the Order of Business. He had an opportunity to raise the matter on Leaders’ Questions. He may submit a question to the line Minister.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  I know the Ceann Comhairle is not shielding the Minister of State, but he said that Deputy Neville’s constant raising of the mental health services was——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Chair is shielding nobody. The Chair is trying to get the Deputy, like everyone else, to stay within the Standing Order.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  ——“becoming a bit tiresome” to many organisations.

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

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Does the Taoiseach share that view or would he like to comment on it?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  That does not arise. Neither question arises on the Order of Business. I call Deputy Rabbitte.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  A Cheann Comhairle, a Minister of State——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy should submit the question in an orderly manner under the Standing Orders of this House.

[1245]Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  ——said that a Deputy raising matters relevant to mental health was becoming a bit tiresome to many organisations.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  As a party leader, Deputy Kenny has a better opportunity than most to obey the Standing Orders. I call Deputy Rabbitte.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  If you think, a Cheann Comhairle, that matter is not important, you better listen to the voices of people outside.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Please, Deputy Kenny.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Hear, hear.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Has the Progressive Democrats Party withdrawn its objections to the Campus Stadium Ireland Bill and when will it be before the House?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It is due this session.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  Many people would be interested in the Charities Bill finally seeing the light of day after many years. I will not talk about the Minister, Deputy Cullen, again, but fundraising needs to be put in proper order.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Does the Deputy have a question appropriate to the Order of Business?

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  The Charities Bill has been on the list for years and it still has not seen the light of day.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I call Deputy Ó Caoláin.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  We do not have a date. I am asking on the Order of Business if a date can be given.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  Every year.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy should confine himself to what is on the Order of Business.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  That is.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Work is proceeding as speedily as possible. The Bill is being given priority within the Department.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  For years.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Will the Taoiseach clarify the position regarding immigration legislation? He will note that it has been reported in recent days that legislation will be introduced to bring in a green card system for immigrant workers. Last week in this House in response to questioning from me the Taoiseach said work permits would move from employers to workers.

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

[1246]Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Will two separate legislative items be required or will comprehensive legislation be introduced incorporating access to work permits by employees rather than employers, as the Taoiseach has promised?

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

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The work permits legislation is separate legislation which is due before the House this session. The immigration and residence Bill is being prepared and I hope it will be available later this year. A discussion document is being prepared at the moment which will allow for public consultation on the issue.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  When does the Taoiseach expect the first one to be before the House?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  This session.

Mr. Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  I have asked the Taoiseach for a number of months about the possibility of a debate in the House concerning the report of the All-Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution regarding the cost of building land. When I asked him about this before Christmas he said he was waiting for the NESC report on housing. The NESC reported before Christmas. Is the Taoiseach now in a position to indicate when the House might at last debate the related issues of housing and the cost of building land?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  I will ask the Whips to look at that. We have received the three reports on which we were waiting. I will ask the Whips if we can have the debate this session.

Mr. Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  I thank the Taoiseach for making representation to the Government Whip on my behalf.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  A first success.

Mr. Wall: Information on Jack Wall  Zoom on Jack Wall  There is great disappointment and concern among the more than 1,000 families who are affected by the closure of Carlow sugar factory. Will the Taoiseach and the Minister for Agriculture and Food intercede with Greencore to postpone the closure of the factory for another year to allow everyone time to come to grips with the problems which will arise as a result?

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


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