Order of Business.

Tuesday, 19 April 2005

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 600 No. 4

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The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It is proposed to take No. 8, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the terms of the convention on social security between the Government of Ireland and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; No. 9, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the accession by Ireland to the Rotterdam Convention; and No. 15, Disability Bill 2004 — Second Stage (resumed). Private Members’ Business shall be No. 43, motion re housing.

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that the Dáil shall sit later than 8.30 p.m. tonight and business shall be interrupted on the adjournment of Private Members’ Business, which shall be taken for 90 minutes at 7 p.m., or on the conclusion of No. 15, whichever is the later; that Nos. 8 and 9 shall be decided without debate; and that the resumed Second Stage debate on No. 15 shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 7 p.m. tonight.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  There are three proposals to be put to the House. Is the proposal for the late sitting agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with Nos. 8 and 9 agreed to?

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  It is not. I oppose the proposal for dealing with No. 9, motion re the Rotterdam Convention, because the matter needs to be debated in the House. The convention which is relevant to sectors other than agriculture because it relates to the international trade in hazardous chemicals was considered by the Select Committee on Agriculture and Food for just nine minutes. It should be considered as part of the ongoing incineration debate. The Departments of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and Enterprise, Trade and Employment have certain responsibilities in this regard. The motion should be debated in the House because it has not been sufficiently considered. The nine minutes allocated to the matter by the select committee were not sufficient by any standard.

Question, “That the proposal for dealing with Nos. 8 and 9 be agreed to,” put and declared carried.

[1230]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Is the proposal for dealing with No. 15 agreed to?

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  It is not.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  I am opposed to the imposition of a guillotine on the Second Stage debate on the Disability Bill 2004 which is an important Bill about which the legislative consultation group issued ten serious recommendations. A number of Deputies wish to speak on it. I do not think it is appropriate to impose a guillotine on this legislation. I oppose the proposal to conclude its consideration at 7 p.m.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  All Members of the House have received many representations about the Disability Bill 2004. We have a responsibility to oppose the imposition of a guillotine on the legislation which is so flawed that it needs to be withdrawn. The Government should reflect on the matter before adopting a rights-based approach. I oppose the proposal and ask the House to vote against it.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  I also oppose the imposition of a guillotine on the Disability Bill 2004 at 7 p.m. I do not know how many Deputies have yet to contribute but I am aware that some Members who would like to speak on the legislation have not yet done so. It is unacceptable that a guillotine could prevent a Member from participating in the Second Stage debate on an important Bill. Not only do I not accept the guillotine proposed but I also find it most objectionable that a vote will be held on Second Stage at 7 p.m. this evening. The Bill needs to be redrafted.

Mr. Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  I understand the number of remaining Deputies who would like to speak on the Disability Bill 2004 is not substantial. That is why the Labour Party has not raised any particular objections to the proposed guillotine. I suggest that the Chief Whip should remove the guillotine because it is possible that the time remaining will be sufficient for the Deputies who have indicated that they would like to speak.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  There are very few remaining Deputies who wish to speak.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Like Deputy Stagg, I understand very few Members who wish to speak on the Disability Bill 2004 have not yet done so.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  Yes.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  They might have an opportunity to speak before 7 p.m. this evening. The amount of time spent on consideration of the Bill to date is three times greater than the average.

[1231]Mr. Neville: Information on Dan Neville  Zoom on Dan Neville  That time was needed to give Members an opportunity to indicate the problems.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The House has spent almost 20 hours on consideration of the Bill. Nobody can suggest that the amount of time provided is insuf[1232]ficient when most Bills are considered in one third of that time. I am aware that the Chief Whip has held discussions about the amount of time to be allocated to Committee Stage. I intend to proceed with the proposal.

Question put: “That the proposal for dealing with No. 15 be agreed.”

[1231]The Dáil divided: Tá, 64; Níl, 47.

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 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 Seamus Brennan  Zoom on Seamus Brennan  Brennan, Seamus.
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 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 Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  Cowen, Brian.
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 John Ellis  Zoom on John Ellis  Ellis, John. Information on Frank Fahey  Zoom on Frank Fahey  Fahey, Frank.
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 Seán Haughey  Zoom on Seán Haughey  Haughey, Seán. 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 Conor Lenihan  Zoom on Conor Lenihan  Lenihan, Conor. 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 Donal Moynihan  Zoom on Donal Moynihan  Moynihan, Donal. 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 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 Liz O'Donnell  Zoom on Liz O'Donnell  O’Donnell, Liz.
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  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 Noel Treacy  Zoom on Noel Treacy  Treacy, Noel. 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.



[1231]Níl
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 Paudge Connolly  Zoom on Paudge Connolly  Connolly, Paudge. 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 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 Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright  Enright, Olwyn. Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Gilmore, Eamon.
Information on Philip Hogan  Zoom on Philip Hogan  Hogan, Phil. Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Howlin, Brendan.
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 Shane McEntee  Zoom on Shane McEntee  McEntee, Shane.
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 Arthur Morgan  Zoom on Arthur Morgan  Morgan, Arthur. Information on Breeda Moynihan-Cronin  Zoom on Breeda Moynihan-Cronin  Moynihan-Cronin, Breeda.
Information on Dan Neville  Zoom on Dan Neville  Neville, Dan. 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 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 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, Ruairi. Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Rabbitte, Pat.
Information on Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan  Ryan, Eamon. 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 David Stanton  Zoom on David Stanton  Stanton, David. Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  Timmins, Billy.
Information on Mary Upton  Zoom on Mary Upton  Upton, Mary.  

[1231]Tellers: Tá, Deputies Kitt and Kelleher; Níl, Deputies Neville and Boyle.

[1233]Question declared carried.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  The charities regulations Bill is expected in 2005. Does the Taoiseach have any idea when that Bill might be produced?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Work is continuing on the Bill. As I have said previously, it is a very complex Bill because of the old arrangements on charitable donations but work is continuing. I hope the Bill will be forthcoming but it is complex.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Will we see it some time next year?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  That is the hope.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Are Irish diplomatic personnel accredited to the region taking an interest in the case of the Indonesian boy, Tristan Dowes, who is an Irish citizen, and——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Sorry, Deputy, that does not arise on the Order of Business. We have just voted because Members were anxious to get on to the Disability Bill.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  ——given the poignant circumstances——

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

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  ——if our diplomatic staff——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I would prefer if the Deputy raised the matter in another way.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  No. 20 on the legislative schedule is the Adoption Bill. On No. 20, can I ask the Taoiseach whether our staff in the region are intervening or taking an interest in this case?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  We cannot discuss what might be in the Bill, Deputy. I call the Taoiseach on the legislation.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Mid-next year, a Cheann Comhairle.

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

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Do I take it from what the Taoiseach has indicated that Irish diplomatic staff are taking an interest in the case of Tristan Dowes?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Sorry, Deputy, I have called Deputy Sargent.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  A Cheann Comhairle, this is a young Irish citizen——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Deputy, the Chair has to take account of the fact that Members in this House voted to move on to the Disability Bill.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  The Taoiseach would have replied.

[1234]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  You cannot raise questions that are out of order on the Order of Business.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  You are utterly inflexible, Sir.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  That is a point of view, Deputy. I have called Deputy Sargent.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  The Taoiseach would have replied a long time ago if you had permitted him. You are being completely inflexible and unreasonable.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy knows the rules. Leaders’ questions have been provided for yourself and your Leader colleagues to ask questions. I call Deputy Sargent.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  This is a defenceless young Irish citizen and I am trying to establish whether our staff in the region are taking an interest and whether the Taoiseach has a view on the matter.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  I ask the Taoiseach to reply. My question is on promised legislation, which is pertinent following the uncovering of information on GAMA construction company. It is about a directive which it was promised would be imported into Irish law by March 2005. It is Directive 2002/14/EC but it relates to the right to information and consultation about a business in which 20 or more staff work.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy should ask a question on the legislation. We have to move on to the next business.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  Given that March 2005 is passed, does the Government intend to revise the timescale for promising this legislation, which was published in consultation with——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I ask the Deputy to resume his seat and allow the Taoiseach to answer the question.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  It is very pertinent, given that the crocodile tears——

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It will be this session, a Cheann Comhairle.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  This session is not April 2005.

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

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  So it is late.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  The Bill I wish to raise was first promised for publication in late 2003. Last year it was promised for this year and now we know from the latest published list that we are not to expect it before mid-2006. It is the Bill to which Deputy Rabbitte referred, the Adoption Bill.

[1235]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  That question has already been answered. I call Deputy Boyle whom I promised on Thursday I would call first.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Will the Taoiseach explain why there is not an urgency in addressing this important area?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Deputy Ó Caoláin, you have just complained about the lack of time for the Disability Bill.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Correct.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  If you are repetitive asking the questions Deputy Rabbitte asked, you are wasting the time of the House.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  We did not get an answer to the——

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

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  ——issue of the young Indonesian child adopted by an Irish person. It is absolutely outrageous.

Mr. Boyle: Information on Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  Will the Taoiseach explain the delay in No. 19 on the legislative programme — a Bill to extend the remit of the Ombudsman, the Ombudsman (Amendment) Bill, given the haste with which this Government gutted the Freedom of Information Act?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It will be the beginning of next year.

Mr. Boyle: Information on Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  Why the delay?

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  I heard the Taoiseach speak earlier about one of his two pet projects, the Abbotstown project. On the other one, the digital hub, would it be possible to schedule a debate before the end of the session——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I call No. 8, proposed approval by Dáil Éireann——

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  A Cheann Comhairle, he is the Leader of the House.

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

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  We got very bad news for the south inner city today. Will the Taoiseach schedule a debate——


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