Health and Social Care Professionals Bill 2004 [Seanad]: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage.

Tuesday, 8 November 2005

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 609 No. 63

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An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  In order to correct typographical errors in amendments Nos. 25 and 36, Members should disregard the original list and work from the substitute list.

Mr. S. Ryan: Information on Seán Ryan  Zoom on Seán Ryan  I move amendment No. 6.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  The Deputy may not discuss the amendment as it has already been discussed in a group with other amendments.

Is he pressing the amendment?

Mr. S. Ryan: Information on Seán Ryan  Zoom on Seán Ryan  Yes.

Amendment put.

[867]The Dáil divided: Tá, 51; Níl, 61.

Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Allen, Bernard. Information on Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  Boyle, Dan.
Information on James Breen  Zoom on James Breen  Breen, James. Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Broughan, Thomas P.
Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  Bruton, Richard. Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  Burton, Joan.
Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  Connaughton, Paul. Information on Paudge Connolly  Zoom on Paudge Connolly  Connolly, Paudge.
Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  Costello, Joe. Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  Coveney, Simon.
Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  Crawford, Seymour. 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 Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Gilmore, Eamon.
Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  Gormley, John. Information on Tony Gregory  Zoom on Tony Gregory  Gregory, Tony.
Information on Tom Hayes  Zoom on Tom Hayes  Hayes, Tom. Information on Seamus Healy  Zoom on Seamus Healy  Healy, Seamus.
Information on Joe Higgins  Zoom on Joe Higgins  Higgins, Joe. Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  Higgins, Michael D.
Information on Philip Hogan  Zoom on Philip Hogan  Hogan, Phil. Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Howlin, Brendan.
Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Lynch, Kathleen. Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  McGrath, Finian.
Information on Paddy McHugh  Zoom on Paddy McHugh  McHugh, Paddy. Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  McManus, Liz.
Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  Mitchell, Olivia. Information on Breeda Moynihan-Cronin  Zoom on Breeda Moynihan-Cronin  Moynihan-Cronin, Breeda.
Information on Catherine Murphy  Zoom on Catherine Murphy  Murphy, Catherine. Information on Gerard Murphy  Zoom on Gerard Murphy  Murphy, Gerard.
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 Fergus O'Dowd  Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd  O’Dowd, Fergus. Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Jim.
Information on Brian O'Shea  Zoom on Brian O'Shea  O’Shea, Brian. Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  O’Sullivan, Jan.
Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Pattison, Seamus. Information on Willie Penrose  Zoom on Willie Penrose  Penrose, Willie.
Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Quinn, Ruairí. 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 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.
Information on Jack Wall  Zoom on Jack Wall  Wall, Jack.  


[869]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 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 John Carty  Zoom on John Carty  Carty, John. Information on Donie Cassidy  Zoom on Donie Cassidy  Cassidy, Donie.
Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  Coughlan, Mary. Information on John Cregan  Zoom on John Cregan  Cregan, John.
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 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 Seán Fleming  Zoom on Seán Fleming  Fleming, Seán.
Information on Mildred Fox  Zoom on Mildred Fox  Fox, Mildred. Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Gallagher, Pat The Cope.
Information on Jim Glennon  Zoom on Jim Glennon  Glennon, Jim. Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  Hanafin, Mary.
Information on Seán Haughey  Zoom on Seán Haughey  Haughey, Seán. Information on Máire Hoctor  Zoom on Máire Hoctor  Hoctor, Máire.
Information on Cecilia Keaveney  Zoom on Cecilia Keaveney  Keaveney, Cecilia. Information on Peter Kelly  Zoom on Peter Kelly  Kelly, Peter.
Information on Tony Killeen  Zoom on Tony Killeen  Killeen, Tony. Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Kirk, Seamus.
Information on Tom Kitt  Zoom on Tom Kitt  Kitt, Tom. Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Lenihan, Brian.
Information on Conor Lenihan  Zoom on Conor Lenihan  Lenihan, Conor. Information on Michael McDowell  Zoom on Michael McDowell  McDowell, Michael.
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 Mulcahy  Zoom on Michael Mulcahy  Mulcahy, Michael.
Information on M. J. Nolan  Zoom on M. J. Nolan  Nolan, M. J. Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  Ó Cuív, Éamon.
Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Ó Fearghaíl, Seán. Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  O’Connor, Charlie.
Information on 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 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 Brendan Smith  Zoom on Brendan Smith  Smith, Brendan. Information on Michael Smith  Zoom on Michael Smith  Smith, Michael.
Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  Walsh, Joe. 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.  

[869]Tellers: Tá, Deputies Stagg and Neville; Níl, Deputies Kitt and Curran.

[869]Amendment declared lost.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  We will now move on to amendment No. 7. Arising from Committee Stage proceedings, amendments Nos. 8, 9, 11 and 13 are related and amendment No. 10 is an alternative to amendment No. 9. Therefore, amendments Nos. 7 to 11, inclusive, and amendment No. 13 will be discussed together.

Mr. T. O’Malley: Information on Tim O'Malley  Zoom on Tim O'Malley  I move amendment No. 7:

Deputies will recall that on Committee Stage, it was signalled that consideration was being given to the overall composition of the council and that a substantive amendment to section 9 would be tabled on Report Stage.

  6 o’clock

The health and social care professionals council will have a pivotal role in the system of statutory registration established under the Bill. Its object is to protect the public by promoting high standards of professional conduct, education, training and competence among registrants of the designated professions. It will have responsibility for overseeing and co-ordinating the activities of the registration boards. It will also enforce standards of practice for registrants, including the codes of professional conduct and ethics adopted by registration board. Moreover, the council has responsibility for establishing committees of inquiry into com[870]plaints against registrants of the designated professions and for making decisions regarding the imposition of disciplinary sanctions on registrants.

When providing for membership arrangements for the council, it is essential, therefore, to strike a good balance between professional expertise, knowledge of the health service and public interest so that the council is in the best position to fulfil its responsibilities. On this basis, and as indicated on Committee Stage, I have tabled amendment No. 11, which provides for the inclusion of three people among the council membership who have such qualifications, interests and experience which, in the opinion of the Minister, would be of value to the council in performing its functions.

The overall number of members will not change, nor will the overall balance of practitioner and lay members. Amendments Nos. 7 and 9 are, therefore, technical amendments, consequent to amendment No. 11. Amendment No. 13 provides for the Minister to consult, as appropriate, in regard to appointments.

Opposition amendments Nos. 8 and 9 suggest that the number of educational representatives on the council should be increased from one to two, with a corresponding reduction in the number of public interest representatives. The council does not have a primary interest in educational matters for the various professions, the responsibility for which lies with the relevant [871]registration boards. As part of the functions and powers of the council, it should encourage registration boards to collaborate with each other, including in the professional education and training of registrants. In light of this fact, I consider that the specific inclusion of one third level representative on the council is sufficient representation from that sector and the proposed Opposition amendments are, therefore, not accepted.

Mr. Boyle: Information on Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  I am disappointed the Minister of State has chosen to take the line he has and am surprised he feels that education has little or no role to play in the functions of the council because those who are involved in education and training feel very differently. This is particularly so, given the nature of the professions that are being defined, their responsibilities within the health and social care areas, the changes that occur in such responsibilities and the effect that has on education and training. It is important that there be a significant education component in the workings of this council.

Amendment No. 8 aims to ensure that a representative of the institutes of technology be considered for such a role on the council because it is not directly defined. On those grounds, I am seeking to change the allocations of educational representatives and general representatives from one and nine to two and eight, respectively. The Minister of State's amendments seek to change the number of general representatives to six, with three related to the area of employment. If the Minister of State thinks the employment area rates three times more highly than the education area, that reveals a significant flaw in the workings of the Bill as it progresses towards Final Stage.

I wish to declare an interest in that my third level qualification in the social care area was achieved in the institute of technology sector. It was formerly called a child care qualification, which was achieved in the 1980s. It was a very loose use of terminology. It has since been changed to a degree in community care because in the 1980s formal qualifications for people working with community and youth sectors were not readily available in the Irish educational system. The institutes of technology, or the regional technical colleges as they were then, stepped into the breach to fill that gap. A significant expertise was developed in the institutes of technology in Cork, Athlone and Sligo, and they subsequently developed a competence in social care education in Waterford, Limerick and Dublin. It is now the pre-eminent provider of educational training for social care professionals. As we debate the Health and Social Care Professionals Bill, it is important to recognise that fact in the formation of the council. First, the educational component should be given due recognit[872]ion and, second, the importance of the institute of technology sector should be given proper weight in the formation and subsequent workings of the council.

On these grounds, I hope the Minister of State will veer from his opening statement and accept that there is a need to give such recognition to a representative of the institutes of technology and to accept the spirit of what is being proposed, at least, in amendment No. 8. Amendment No. 10 is a technical amendment which depends on what the House decides in regard to the Minister’s amendments relating to the nine general representatives and three subsequent representatives from the employment sector. Even at this stage, I ask the Minister to formally protect and acknowledge in the legislation the educational representative from the institute of technology sector.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  I would like to ask the Minister of State to elaborate on his proposal. I am concerned about the new paragraph (c) introduced in section 9, which reads as follows:

These are three positions that are being taken from paragraph (iv) of section 9, which reads as follows:

This infers the other six will not have such qualifications, interests or experience to be of value to the committee. Why draw such a distinction when the appointment of the nine representatives did not preclude the appointment of people representative of the interests of the general public who would have such qualifications, interests, experience or whatever, or any combination of or all three? What was intended was members of the public who will act in the interests of the general public and who would be considered as representative of that interest for service on the council. Why draw a distinction, and almost a hierarchy, in respect of three representatives over six representatives?

I find the proposition very disagreeable. As the Minister of State is prepared to categorise three of the nine persons to be appointed as representative of the interests of the general public, how would he describe the other six persons? Would he describe them as people with no qualifications, no interests, no experience and, therefore, of no value to the council? The proposition is objectionable and opens a whole range of questions. I wonder has it been properly thought through.

[873]The proposals from my colleagues in the Green Party merit support because there is a kink towards one area of third level education, which is likely to be the predominant player. The colleges to which their amendment seeks to afford access are important and cover a range of areas, including bringing forward people who would have qualifications, interests and experience in the substantive areas addressed in the legislation. I agree with the Green Party amendments and I am deeply concerned about the approach adopted by the Minister and presented by the Minister of State. I hope he will give an account of the decision to proceed as outlined.

Mr. Neville: Information on Dan Neville  Zoom on Dan Neville  I support the Green Party’s amendment which seeks to allow the educational institutions and people with training in the area to be represented on the council. Like Deputy Ó Caoláin, I expect that all members of the council would have an interest, at least, experience and some knowledge of their role and value, and that the Minister would require some level of qualification, interest and experience in respect of the nominees to the council. For the Minister to say that just three people should have qualifications, interests and experience that would be of value to the council means that six need not have qualifications, interests or experience to be on the council. I am surprised the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children is involved in such a proposal. I am surprised the Minister of State has proposed it here because of the implications for what Fianna Fáil might do. I thought the Progressive Democrats would not accept such a suggestion because of the various appointments by their partners in the past to various bodies. I expected a higher level of ethical approach to such issues by the Progressive Democrats. While I may say this with some level of sarcasm, I am also raising a genuine query in this regard. The Minister of State will probably understand my concerns given that just three of the nine appointees will be required to have qualifications, interests and experience. It appears like Fianna Fáil was going out of Government and they were making a whole lot of appointments before they leave.

Mr. Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Two issues arise from these amendments. The first relates to the issue identified by Deputy Boyle regarding the part to be played by the educational institutions and the educational sector generally. There is a problem in some professions in that the link between the professions, the professional bodies and the requirements of the professional bodies does not appear in some instances to match what is happening in the educational institutions. In recent times, particularly in the case of some professions — admittedly not the ones that are the subject of this Bill — the educational institutions appear to [874]be proceeding to teach undergraduate courses without knowing changes are taking place in the requirements of the professional bodies concerned. In some cases, students who are two or three years into a course find that the prescribed course does not match what the professional body will subsequently require. I am not sure whether the fault lies with the professional bodies changing the goalposts without regard to what is happening in the educational institutions or with the fact that those responsible for running the courses are not keeping up to speed with what is happening in the professional bodies but there is certainly a need for greater formal tick-tacking between professional bodies and educational institutions in regard to the courses. Therefore, the emphasis Deputy Boyle is proposing to put on the educational representation is well merited.

The Minister’s amendment is one of those great curiosities. There will be three people who have such qualifications, interests and experience which, in the opinion of the Minister, would be of value to the council in performing its functions. This is rather like nominations for the Seanad. A person who likes food might be considered by the Minister to be suitable for the dietitian’s board. This amendment is wide open. It is a prescription for the Government putting political activists, from whatever cumann is aggrieved about the fallout of the selection convention, on a State board. It is about the person who did not get the nomination at the selection convention. Anyone who is aggrieved by the outcome of such a convention will be fixed up by the Minister on a State board.

Mr. Neville: Information on Dan Neville  Zoom on Dan Neville  What about interests?

Mr. Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  The requirement of qualifications, interests and experience is wide enough in its own right but in the event there is any doubt, it is qualifications, interests and experience which, in the opinion of the Minister, would render them to be of value to the council in the performance of its functions. I have seen some formulas come before the House which are basically about giving the Minister a free hand to appoint every Tom, Dick and Harry for whatever reason on to State boards but this is the best I have ever seen. I am surprised the Minister of State, Deputy Tim O’Malley, is piloting this formula through the House. It has nothing to do with appointing people who are genuinely qualified, who have a contribution to make or who have some expertise to bring to bear on the work of the council. This is about appointing political activists on to the board and it is wide open to abuse.

Mr. Gormley: Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  This amendment involves appointing party hacks and cronyism. We have [875]had far too much of that in Irish political life. The public is rightly cynical about this type of activity.

Mr. Neville: Information on Dan Neville  Zoom on Dan Neville  Will the Minister of State, Deputy Tim O’Malley, stand up for the Tánaiste?

Mr. Gormley: Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  The Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, Deputy Tim O’Malley, is departing the scene knowing quite well that what is being proposed here is the type of stunt we associate with other parties, perhaps the senior member in the coalition arrangement. His party has always professed itself to be above this type of action and it is actually engaging in it. That is regrettable and the Green Party will oppose the amendment. My colleague, Deputy Boyle, has outlined the reasons we wish to see people with real qualifications and particularly people from the institutes of technology becoming involved in the council.

Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children (Mr. B. Lenihan): Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  As Deputies will be aware from a perusal of the legislation, the vast majority of appointments to this body will be made otherwise and on the direct say-so of the Minister. We are talking about three persons who have qualifications, interests and experience which will be of value to the council in performing its functions. The Tánaiste is conscious of the fact that she has to have some accountability to the House in the public interest in regard to appointments to a body of this kind. I heard words such as “cronyism” used. They apply to all of us, to those who use the expressions as well as those to whom they are directed in the House. The Tánaiste has political responsibilities under the Constitution — as has the House — and she is obliged to discharge them. It is not unreasonable, in legislation of this character, where there is substantial membership on the council, that the Tánaiste should appoint three persons of whom she takes the view, in the public interest, have something to contribute.

Mr. Boyle: Information on Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  The Minister of State, Deputy Brian Lenihan, having replaced his colleague the Minister of State, Deputy Tim O’Malley, is probably not in a position to reply to the wider debate. However, he should accept that the proposal by the Government to reduce the nine general places to six and allow the Minister for Health and Children to directly appoint three people has everything to do with the initiation of the Bill, should it become an Act. It directly takes the nominating rights of nine people from the Minister for Education and Science and gives the Minister for Health and Children the right to make three of those nominations. If that does not constitute cronyism, I do not know what does. It is directly related to political personalities and [876]has nothing to do with the specific skills needed in the formation of the council and is unrelated to the general good of the Bill.

The Minister of State was not present to hear the opening contributions on the amendment tabled in my name and that of Deputy Gormley. The amendment relates to a specific competency that should be on the board, which should be weighted towards the third level sector. In addition, there should be proper recognition of the role played by the institutes of technology in the development of training, particularly in the social care professions. Perhaps the Minister of State will take this second opportunity to respond on that issue. These amendments are not seeking that the Opposition directly appoint members to the council or that individual political parties within the Opposition make such appointments. This is a specific reference as to how the Bill should work from its inception in regard to the educational sector and the training of social care professionals in particular. On the surface, it appears to be a reasoned amendment. I am disappointed that the Minister of State seems to have followed the indifference of his colleague in not responding to that.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  My understanding is that the appointment of the nine persons, both of the three proposed in amendment 11 and the six thereby remaining, as proposed in amendment No. 9, will be appointed by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment and not the Minister for Health and Children. Prior to the Minister of State, Deputy Brian Lenihan, coming before the House, I had asked his colleague, who has just left, to explain the criteria that will be used to appoint the other six members who will be representative of the interest of the general public as against the three who have the special designation, in the opinion of the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, as having such qualifications, interests and experience which would be of value to the council in performing in functions. Other colleagues and I on the Opposition benches have expressed our concerns in this regard.

I am focusing on the inference that the other six would be people who would not have qualifications, interest or experience and who, in the opinion of the Minister, would be of limited or questionable value in service in the council. We should have left things as they stood in terms of the nine people, although I accept the Green Party amendment. I stated that we are drawing a hierarchy of three over six. A special determination is being made regarding three appointments and the remaining six will become lesser mortals. It would have been my view that any of the nine people representative of the interest of the general public would have one or more of the elements proposed in amendment No. 11, that is, [877]they would have qualifications or interests in or experience of the critical areas to be addressed by the council. Without exception, all of them would be viewed by the Minister, in this case the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Deputy Martin, in making his or her appointment——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  I remind the Deputy that his second contribution is limited to two minutes.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  I will conclude on this point. They would all be people whose presence and involvement would be of value to the council in the service of the public interest. I await the further comments of the Minister of State on this questionable development on the original proposition.

Mr. B. Lenihan: Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  I thank Deputies for their queries and I am sorry that I was not in a position to address them in my reply. Deputy Boyle pointed out that the amendment seeks to increase the representation of the educational sector. The legislation as drafted proposes a representative of the third level educational establishments involved in the education of persons with respect to the practice of the designated profession. That person is nominated by the Minister for Education and Science. Provision exists in the legislation for representation by a third level educational establishment. Deputy Boyle seeks to increase this representation from one to two, one of whom must be representative of the institutes of technology. I believe that is the burden of his amendment.

The legislation provides for a representative from the educational institutions. In legislation of this type we must be careful not to have too many representatives from the educational institutions. Ultimately, these boards prescribe the standard that the institutions must follow. There is a danger in having too many representatives from the institutions that are, in effect, being accredited by the board, which gives rise to the possibility of a conflict of interest. We must be careful about extending that representation too far. I believe the Minister has struck a balance in securing the principle of representation.

The questions raised by Deputy Ó Caoláin were more wide-ranging and philosophical in nature. He is suggesting that this legislation allows the Minister to exercise two very different types of discretion. He was trying to distinguish them and suggested that we might be better sticking with the original formula, which was that the Minister would appoint nine people representative of the general public with the consent of the [878]Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, rather than subdividing the nine into six appointed in the public interest and three “who have such qualifications, interests and experience as, in the opinion of the Minister, would be of value to the Council in performing its functions”, as the Tánaiste has put it in her amendment. It could be considered that the Minister is confusing the issue somewhat.

The new provision introduced by the Tánaiste encompasses a category which is arguably excluded under the existing provision, which is the category of public servants who might have considerable knowledge of these matters. The existing section states that the “9 are representative of the interest of the general public”. The view might be taken that the holding of a position as a public servant might be incompatible with representing the public interest. Specifically referring to qualifications, as the Tánaiste does in her amendment, enables her or any future Minister to make an appointment to this board from within the public service. This is one consideration which weighed with her in arriving at this formula.

I would not presume to give an authoritative interpretation as to how the Tánaiste might exercise her discretion under the existing or proposed legislation. While I would not hazard a guess on the matter, the criteria are clearly laid down in the legislation. The essence of the original proposal relating to the nine appointments representative of the general public was that these would be consumer representatives. They are the representatives of the laity. The Minister was anxious to secure some expertise on the board which would still be external to the nominating processes which gives rise to the membership of the council.

Mr. Boyle: Information on Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  First——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  The Deputy has already spoken twice.

Mr. Boyle: Information on Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  I wish to correct the record slightly. My confusion stemmed from the amendment being in the name of the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children. I was not reading from the Bill but from the amendment. I made reference to the Minister for Health and Children as being the nominating person when it is the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment. My central point remains the same. The act of nomination is divided between two Departments. I would like the record to be corrected in this respect.

Amendment put.

[877][879]The Dáil divided: Tá, 59; Níl, 46.

Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  Ahern, Dermot. Information on Michael Ahern  Zoom on Michael Ahern  Ahern, Michael.
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 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 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 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 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 Máire Hoctor  Zoom on Máire Hoctor  Hoctor, Máire. Information on Cecilia Keaveney  Zoom on Cecilia Keaveney  Keaveney, Cecilia.
Information on Peter Kelly  Zoom on Peter Kelly  Kelly, Peter. Information on Tony Killeen  Zoom on Tony Killeen  Killeen, Tony.
Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Kirk, Seamus. Information on Tom Kitt  Zoom on Tom Kitt  Kitt, Tom.
Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Lenihan, Brian. Information on Conor Lenihan  Zoom on Conor Lenihan  Lenihan, Conor.
Information on Michael McDowell  Zoom on Michael McDowell  McDowell, Michael. 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 Mulcahy  Zoom on Michael Mulcahy  Mulcahy, Michael. Information on M. J. Nolan  Zoom on M. J. Nolan  Nolan, M. J.
Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  Ó Cuív, Éamon. Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Ó Fearghaíl, Seán.
Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  O’Connor, Charlie. Information on Willie O'Dea  Zoom on Willie O'Dea  O’Dea, Willie.
Information on 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 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 Brendan Smith  Zoom on Brendan Smith  Smith, Brendan. Information on Michael Smith  Zoom on Michael Smith  Smith, Michael.
Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  Walsh, Joe. 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.  


[879]Níl
Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Allen, Bernard. Information on Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  Boyle, Dan.
Information on James Breen  Zoom on James Breen  Breen, James. Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Broughan, Thomas P.
Information on 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 Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  Coveney, Simon. Information on Jerry Cowley  Zoom on Jerry Cowley  Cowley, Jerry.
Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  Crawford, Seymour. Information on Sean Crowe  Zoom on Sean Crowe  Crowe, Seán.
Information on 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 Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Gilmore, Eamon.
Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  Gormley, John. Information on Tony Gregory  Zoom on Tony Gregory  Gregory, Tony.
Information on Tom Hayes  Zoom on Tom Hayes  Hayes, Tom. Information on Seamus Healy  Zoom on Seamus Healy  Healy, Seamus.
Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  Higgins, Michael D. Information on Philip Hogan  Zoom on Philip Hogan  Hogan, Phil.
Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Howlin, Brendan. Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Lynch, Kathleen.
Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  McGrath, Finian. Information on Paul McGrath  Zoom on Paul McGrath  McGrath, Paul.
Information on Breeda Moynihan-Cronin  Zoom on Breeda Moynihan-Cronin  Moynihan-Cronin, Breeda. Information on Catherine Murphy  Zoom on Catherine Murphy  Murphy, Catherine.
Information on Gerard Murphy  Zoom on Gerard Murphy  Murphy, Gerard. 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 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 Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  Ring, Michael.
Information on Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan  Ryan, Eamon. 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.

[879]Tellers: Tá, Deputies Kitt and Curran; Níl, Deputies Neville and Stagg.

[879]Amendment declared carried.

Mr. Boyle: Information on Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  I move amendment No. 8:

[880]

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

[879][881]The Dáil divided: Tá, 58; Níl, 47.

Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  Ahern, Dermot. Information on Michael Ahern  Zoom on Michael Ahern  Ahern, Michael.
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 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 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 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 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 Máire Hoctor  Zoom on Máire Hoctor  Hoctor, Máire. Information on Cecilia Keaveney  Zoom on Cecilia Keaveney  Keaveney, Cecilia.
Information on Peter Kelly  Zoom on Peter Kelly  Kelly, Peter. Information on Tony Killeen  Zoom on Tony Killeen  Killeen, Tony.
Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Kirk, Seamus. Information on Tom Kitt  Zoom on Tom Kitt  Kitt, Tom.
Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Lenihan, Brian. Information on Conor Lenihan  Zoom on Conor Lenihan  Lenihan, Conor.
Information on Michael McDowell  Zoom on Michael McDowell  McDowell, Michael. 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 Mulcahy  Zoom on Michael Mulcahy  Mulcahy, Michael.
Information on M. J. Nolan  Zoom on M. J. Nolan  Nolan, M. J. Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  Ó Cuív, Éamon.
Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Ó Fearghaíl, Seán. Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  O’Connor, Charlie.
Information on Willie O'Dea  Zoom on Willie O'Dea  O’Dea, Willie. Information on 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 Fiona O'Malley  Zoom on Fiona O'Malley  O’Malley, Fiona. Information on Tom Parlon  Zoom on Tom Parlon  Parlon, Tom.
Information on Peter Power  Zoom on Peter Power  Power, Peter. 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 Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  Walsh, Joe.
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.



[881]Níl
Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Allen, Bernard. Information on Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  Boyle, Dan.
Information on James Breen  Zoom on James Breen  Breen, James. Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Broughan, Thomas P.
Information on 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 Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  Coveney, Simon. Information on Jerry Cowley  Zoom on Jerry Cowley  Cowley, Jerry.
Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  Crawford, Seymour. Information on Sean Crowe  Zoom on Sean Crowe  Crowe, Seán.
Information on 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 Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Gilmore, Eamon.
Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  Gormley, John. Information on Tony Gregory  Zoom on Tony Gregory  Gregory, Tony.
Information on Tom Hayes  Zoom on Tom Hayes  Hayes, Tom. Information on Seamus Healy  Zoom on Seamus Healy  Healy, Seamus.
Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  Higgins, Michael D. Information on Philip Hogan  Zoom on Philip Hogan  Hogan, Phil.
Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Howlin, Brendan. Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Lynch, Kathleen.
Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  McGrath, Finian. Information on Paul McGrath  Zoom on Paul McGrath  McGrath, Paul.
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 Catherine Murphy  Zoom on Catherine Murphy  Murphy, Catherine. Information on Gerard Murphy  Zoom on Gerard Murphy  Murphy, Gerard.
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 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 Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  Ring, Michael. Information on Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan  Ryan, Eamon.
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.  

[881]Tellers: Tá, Deputies Kitt and Curran; Níl, Deputies Boyle and Neville.

[881]Question declared carried.

Amendment declared lost.


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