Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Bill 2005: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage.

Wednesday, 22 February 2006

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 615 No. 76

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Debate resumed on amendment No. 1:

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  I want to address my remarks to the House and to the Minister in particular in the most compelling manner I can. I want to speak not just on behalf of the Fine Gael Party or the fishermen in my coastal constituency but on what is virtually an all-party basis. I assure the Minister that what I have to say comes not just from me but from many conversations I have had with fisheries organisations, members of the Fine [570]Gael Party, in particular Deputy Perry who is the spokesman on this issue, and members of the Minister’s party, Fianna Fáil.

A consensus has emerged that one real issue must be dealt with as the main bone of contention and that there is a solution to it. In other respects there is general consensus that nobody is trying to stop the Minister from getting his Bill through. It is accepted that serious offences should be dealt with by appropriate penalties. That leaves us with the one core issue, namely, whether Irish fishermen will be dealt with on the same basis as their colleagues in all the continental European countries and, as regards the new legislation in the UK, how they will be dealt with in that country. If the Minister sticks to the approach he has maintained, we will be the only country in the European Union without administrative sanctions. I suppose some countries would not be too interested as they do not have much coastline, a bit like seven miles of coast in the Minister’s constituency. We will stick out as the only country in the European Union that does not have a system of administrative sanctions for minor and technical offences.

I speak on what is virtually an all-party basis in making a last-ditch appeal to the Minister to listen to the stakeholders and all sides of this House, even those on the benches behind him. Any of them who have spoken agree with the simple approach I suggest. In many ways the issue has been clouded by spurious arguments and black propaganda against the fishing industry. Let us put that aside. What we are talking about is simply a system of administrative sanctions for minor and technical offences, no more, no less.

People have said they do not mind fishermen having to pay the penalty for serious offences. I would go further than that. We should throw the book at those involved in serious offences. Those who deliberately rob and rape the seas steal the national quota from their colleagues, which should be available to all fishermen on a fair basis, and they steal the rightful inheritance of sustainable stocks from future generations. Let us get that black propaganda off the stage. In so far as serious penalties are necessary to stop that activity, let us have them.

Once we clear that, we are back to why the Bill is necessary. Criminal sanctions are available. I accept that the fisheries legislation is more than 40 years old and needs to be updated. We must also deal with the very limited issues arising from the Supreme Court decision in fisheries and other areas. They are of a technical nature relating to the ability to have secondary legislation in place of primary legislation. Let us deal with that. It is not a problem. Let us, however, be consistent and fair in what we produce. I ask the Minister to pause, stand back and examine what he is doing. I have highlighted the issue of our fishermen being the only ones in Europe who in future will be subject to criminal sanctions for minor and [571]technical offences. Surely that is a most unfair and erratic approach to the matter.

I draw the Minister’s attention to the need for fairness in dealing with serious offences. I refer in particular to what has occurred recently arising from the alleged abuses in Scotland. As I understand it, what happened in Peterhead in Scotland is being investigated by the UK authorities. Boats from the UK are alleged to have been involved in criminal activities and some Irish boats are also alleged to have been involved. An investigation is under way in the UK which has not yet concluded. Surely in dealing with the Peterhead allegations we should wait until the investigation is completed.

More importantly, two other things have happened. While in Brussels recently, the Minister voluntarily offered a reduction in the mackerel quota for the current year of 6,381 tonnes. My concern is simple: all the boats involved in mackerel fishing will now suffer as a consequence of this precipitate action on the part of the Minister. If Irish boats are proven to have been involved, let them be prosecuted. If they were involved, they should carry any cuts. I see no reason the majority of boats who had nothing to do with the allegations should have to bear the penalty.

My understanding is that the allegations are against a maximum of five Irish boats. Forty boats in total are involved in the division of the quota. Even if these offences are proven, should the other 35 boats have to bear the consequences? In some ways this sounds like collective punishment. The last time we in west Cork saw collective punishment was when the Black and Tans went on a rampage after one of its members was shot during the War of Independence. It burnt out entire villages in reprisal. This is not the way to have a fair system. This is not the kind of system our fishermen deserve. If the case is proven against the five boats involved and the quota must be cut, they should bear the consequences. The innocent should not bear the same punishment as the guilty.

What concerns me about the Minister’s approach so far is that, to some degree, this has been his thinking in regard to the Bill. I accept there are difficulties with the Commission. If we are honest, these difficulties largely arose in the Department. The Commission’s actions were principally due to the Department failing to make returns to it. It is highly unfair to raise the threat of huge penalties having to be paid by the taxpayer, allegedly because of the activities of fishermen, when in fact the main complaints are due to failures on the part of the Department. Even if the Minister does not acknowledge this, I am glad that his new Minister of State, Deputy Browne, informed me yesterday that this was so. He admitted, in reply to Questions Nos. 128 and 166:

Well done. I am delighted. Let us discharge our obligations to the Commission. I may have been a bit tough on the Minister and the Department on Committee Stage. If the staff and technology were not available, we should have been told. The publicity emanating from the Department appeared to suggest that the problems arose because of the fishermen when the difficulty was within the Department. If the reason is that it did not have enough staff or up-to-date technology, that is fair enough but let us not continue with this propaganda against the innocent.

  4 o’clock

The main case made by me and colleagues from all sides of the House relates to administrative sanctions. When this Bill was first published, a story circulated that the layout of the Bill was necessary because of dictates from the EU. This assertion was shot to pieces when the committee met the Commissioner and it turned out that the opposite was true. As my colleague, Deputy Perry, noted, the EU encouraged, rather than prescribed or mandated, the adoption of administrative sanctions. It encouraged the adoption of the same level of sanctions for minor and technical offences throughout the EU.

We were then informed that administrative sanctions were contrary to the Constitution. My colleagues and I debated this point on Second Stage. This assertion was clearly demolished by the independent senior counsel and it is now accepted that this impediment is out of the way. The Minister then argued forcefully on Committee Stage that it was not possible to introduce administrative sanctions because any penalties needed to have, in the Minister’s words, “a dissuasive and deterrent effect”. Two issues arise here. The first is that we are talking about administrative sanctions for minor and technical offences. In addition, if the EU insists that all our penalties have a dissuasive and deterrent effect, [573]why does the same regime not apply throughout Europe? How can the rest of Europe have administrative sanctions for minor and technical offences but we cannot? This argument also falls by the wayside.

The next pillar in the defence of the regime set out in the Bill was the definition of minor offences. The Minister effectively challenged the Opposition to produce amendments to demonstrate its commitment to deal with minor offences. We did not pretend that it would be a simple matter. It is said that there is a simple solution to every complex problem but I accept that this is not true. It is a complex problem because we are using a different approach, which has a precedent in various Acts where administrative sanctions are applied. Under the Constitution, it is possible to apply administrative sanctions with the consent of the offender. Once one crosses this hurdle and accepts this argument in legal and constitutional terms, it is possible to introduce such a system.

The Opposition rose to the challenge laid down by the Minister. Deputy Broughan’s proposal runs to four pages, which nearly amounts to a Bill. This shows that he and his colleagues in the Labour Party were prepared to apply their drafting and legislative skills to meet the Minister’s challenge. My colleague, Deputy Perry, has done the same and produced a major proposal by way of an amendment. It is not often that I praise Sinn Féin, but Deputy Ferris has produced an honest attempt to grapple with this problem.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  It is a new coalition.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  There is no danger of that. The amendments produced show that all those Opposition Deputies who are pushing this issue have honestly attempted to grapple with the complexities involved. Despite his interest in sustainable fishing stocks, which we all share, Deputy Eamon Ryan has stated that he does not see a problem with administrative sanctions for minor and technical offences. He acknowledged that he found other amendments slightly complex, particularly those moved by Fine Gael, but that is not the point. Complexity may be the answer. If we need a complex answer, let us provide it. Deputies on this side of the House have made an honest attempt to provide such an answer.

It boils down to political will. An unusual coalition has been formed around the introduction of administrative sanctions. Deputy Broughan mentioned the unusual coalition composed of Fine Gael, the Labour Party, the Green Party and Sinn Féin.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  It might be a majority in 2007.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  There is a majority in this House because this coalition includes virtually every Deputy in Fianna Fáil with an interest in [574]fisheries. I have spoken to many of them who encouraged us to proceed with these amendments. Above all, our approach has the support of people along our coast line, from north Donegal to my constituency of Cork South-West and along the south and east coasts. The Minister mentioned on Committee Stage, when he shifted ground to his last assertion, that administrative sanctions were unsuitable. For whom are they unsuitable? The Minister might find them unsuitable, but they are suitable for everyone else. All sides of this House and every country in Europe finds them suitable so why are they unsuitable for Ireland?

I could finish very strongly and be very critical of the Minister but I will refrain from doing so. I will make a last-ditch, honest appeal on behalf of all sides of this House to the Minister, the only person who is out of step with general opinion on this issue. He will prove himself to be a better man and a stronger Minister if he is prepared to accept our approach to this issue. We will all co-operate with him in hammering out what is needed from the perspective of available time in this House and the perspective of the legislative and drafting effort needed. We are not insisting on any particular approach. I am sure the same applies to my colleagues who have put forward ideas. We will co-operate with the Minister, provided he accepts the principle of administrative sanctions. If this principle is accepted and the political will to achieve it is there, it can and will be achieved and a Bill will be quickly produced of which he and the country can be proud.

Mr. O’Donovan: Information on Dennis O'Donovan  Zoom on Dennis O'Donovan  We are looking at a guillotine which has been agreed by the House, of which I am not particularly enamoured. In light of the history of the guillotine, its connections with Maximilien Robespierre and its role in the French Revolution, I am reminded of a story about a Frenchman, an Englishman and an Irishman who were sentenced to death by the guillotine. If for any reason, the guillotine failed to decapitate the prisoner, he or she was pardoned. On the day scheduled for the three men’s execution, the blade of the guillotine stopped approximately one and a half inches above the Frenchman’s neck and he was, therefore, pardoned and delighted to escape certain death. The same scenario occurred with the Englishman and he was pardoned. The Irishman was next to face the guillotine. As he lay back and looked up at the blade and waited for Robespierre or one of his allies to pull the rope, he said “Hold on, now I see what’s making it stick”. I can see what is making this Bill stick in respect of the administrative fines.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  Hear, hear. The Deputy is not suggesting a guillotine for the Minister?

Mr. Perry: Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  I cannot support that.

[575]Mr. O’Donovan: Information on Dennis O'Donovan  Zoom on Dennis O'Donovan  No, I am speaking to the Bill, not the Minister.

Mr. Perry: Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  The Minister is for the guillotine.

Mr. O’Donovan: Information on Dennis O'Donovan  Zoom on Dennis O'Donovan  One aspect of the Bill, which relates to administrative sanctions, is making it stick. I will clarify a couple of issues. First, the entire House agrees that criminal sanctions must remain in place for serious offences. There is a perception that the Minister is introducing criminal sanctions for the first time, but that is not the case. What is being endeavoured is to change the criminality aspect to that of an administrative-style sanction as it pertains in Europe.

On the infringement cases that come before the courts, the average catch involved in Irish cases is in the region of €5,000. This involves the entire catch, which may include €4,000 worth of a valid catch and €1,000 worth of an illegal catch. Some 98.5% of European countries are considering administrative sanctions, while Great Britain is considering dealing with less serious offences being dealt with in a magistrate’s court or by way of an administrative or on-the-spot fine, which I would support for such minor offences. Let us say the value of the illegal catch was €3,000 — I am using this as a ballpoint figure — anything lower than that should be dealt with either administratively or in the District Court. If someone caught €500,000 worth of illegal fish, obviously this case should be dealt with automatically in the Circuit Court where the full rigours of the law should apply. However, given that the vast majority of the offences that come before the court in Ireland involve a total catch worth approximately €5,000, 75% of infringements in Irish waters by Irish vessels should be dealt with at District Court level.

The amendment to section 28 proposes changing the word “shall” to “may”. This would be of great benefit, particularly in regard to minor offences. If someone is caught committing a systematic premeditated offence, the maximum sentence of confiscating the fishing gear and the catch should apply. I reiterate that we in the Oireachtas when making laws send a signal to the Judiciary and the courts which are an independent branch of our administration. I was very impressed by a letter sent by a member of the legal profession to the chairman of the joint committee, Deputy O’Flynn. It instanced the plight of a fisherman who was fishing out of Howth in bad weather conditions and whose wife was ill. He was short a crewman and he was fishing in a small 50 foot vessel, which in international terms is just a big punt. This man’s nets and catch were legal, and all other aspects were totally above board. However, on the day in question, because of weather pressures, personal problems and being a crewman short, when he arrived in port and was boarded by the fishery officer his log book was not filled in. Some log book offences are serious but this was a technical offence. When the case went to the Circuit Court, the State employed sol[576]icitors and barristers and this man employed a solicitor and a barrister. As a result of the court case, the man’s gear and catch was confiscated and a heavy fine totalling approximately €50,000 was imposed on him, which did not include the cost to the State. The solicitor said to the chairman of the committee that on that occasion the judge’s hands were tied. The Oireachtas had sent him the message that he must deal in a non-discretionary fashion with the man, which meant that the penalty imposed on him exceeded his net income for the previous year. This is not fair. These aspects should be considered sympathetically.

I am in a difficult position because, while my colleagues are swimming with the political tide, I am swimming against it. While I sometimes feel I am being dragged down, I will continue swimming for a while.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  We will not speak bad of the Deputy.

Mr. O’Donovan: Information on Dennis O'Donovan  Zoom on Dennis O'Donovan  Someone might throw me a buoy or a life belt.

We must examine the whole area of policing. The Minister is correct that we must examine fish conservation, including damage to stocks and damage to the environment. As we speak, this legislation and other legislation is having a serious impact on the Irish fishing industry. Ireland has a very small quota given that it has approximately 20% of EU waters but it has just approximately 3% of the entire EU catch. Today, yesterday and probably tomorrow, a fleet of Dutch super trawlers or processing plants are fishing mackerel 20 miles off Dursey Island in west Cork. It is not very far out, because I would venture that far in a small punt. To give some indication to the House and the public at large of what is involved, one of these vessels has a deck the same size as Croke Park. The 12 vessels can catch more mackerel this week than the entire fishing fleet can catch in a year. I would like to know who is policing this activity. Are we saying the Dutch must do so in regard to the Spanish or are we saying the Spanish must do it? They are supposed to do it, but do they?

Another worrying aspect when we talk about conservation and people committing offences is that the Irish fishing industry has been dealt a very bad hand in the past two or three months. What has happened is unfair, unwarranted and over the top. What bothers me in regard to these Dutch vessels is that approximately one-third of their catch is young immature fish. In the old days, they would be pumped out another chute and the dead fish would float. It would be considered a disgrace to have thousands of tonnes of such fish. These fish are now being minced up and flushed out, and who is monitoring this? While this appears to be a fleet of Dutch trawlers that is fishing legally and within the quota, I have grave concerns about the matter. We are very [577]good at monitoring what we do ourselves, and rightly so, but if the infantile Irish fishing industry over-polices and over-monitors itself, despite what is happening in Europe to the rest of the industry, we are just codding ourselves because, in the next five years, the stocks will diminish and we will be left high and dry.

Given that Ireland has signed up to the Common Fisheries Policy, common penalties should apply throughout the EU. I ask the Minister to consider three aspects. First, will he consider changing the word “shall” to “may” in section 28? I am confident this is possible both politically and legally. Second, will he give serious consideration to administrative fines versus criminal sanctions? If he cannot facilitate us in this regard today, will he give an assurance that in the next six to nine months or sooner, he will work with the industry to define what constitutes minor offences? A schedule or codification of these offences would be useful; it is done with road traffic offences and in other areas of law.

The third issue is one in respect of which we must face reality. All of us are here to politically represent coastal communities.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  We had better do that before the election.

Mr. O’Donovan: Information on Dennis O'Donovan  Zoom on Dennis O'Donovan  The greatest fear I have for the fishing industry relates to the level of uncertainty as to what will happen next year. For several years, the Government has spent millions in refurbishing boats and providing new white fish fishing vessels. Up to €100 million was spent and the fishing industry was encouraged to refurbish existing boats and purchase new, better and safer boats. That was not before time. In my home town of Castletownbere, for example, the average age of the fishing vessels ten years ago was 35 years. These clapped out and unsafe bangers have been replaced by a good fleet.

On the one hand, therefore, we are encouraging fishermen to invest in boats. Some have borrowed up to the hilt to do so. I know a family man who borrowed 85% of the value of his vessel — a huge investment. What are the implications of this strategy for the future of the fishing industry? The most critical issue for the industry is to ascertain the direction in which it is going. I do not refer to the next election. Irrespective of politics, we must set out a strategy for the next five or ten years. If we do not do this, we may as well tie up the boats, whether in Killybegs, Rossaveel, Castletownbere or wherever. If the industry does not have a future, the Government should give the political signal that this is so.

It is wrong that certain people who have never had their hands torn by nets or trawls or washed fish scales from their faces or beards should sit in their ivory towers, or, more appropriately, the crow’s nest, dictating what fishing policies should apply. We are the people who know what the policy should be, whether we are backbenchers [578]or Opposition Members. If the fishing industry is not given such direction before the year is out, it will face a tsunami. In such a scenario, having demolished the Irish fishing industry and fishing fleet, we will see, in ten years’ time, Russian and Spanish trawlers within ten miles of Mizen Head or Fastnet Rock fishing the stocks we have left behind.

The major problem in regard to the future of the fishing industry is a European dimensional problem. At EU level, including the Parliament and the Commission, including Commissioner Borg, there is no understanding of the rape and pillage that has been done to Irish waters, not alone now but in the past 20 years.

Mr. McCormack: Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  During my contribution on Second Stage, I had a passionate exchange with the then Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Deputy Gallagher. I am not a member of the committees which dealt with Committee Stage of the Bill and I welcome the opportunity to record my support for this group of amendments.

They relate to the crux of the matter. It is a question of whether this legislation will make criminals of fishermen. All people of common sense, including the last two speakers — one from the Government side and one from Fine Gael, both eminent lawyers — support the concept that fishermen should not be classified as criminals as may be the case if this Bill goes through unamended. Deputy O’Donovan’s contribution was well argued, articulate and courageous. We will know the extent of this courage when the amendment is put. He has recorded his views on the difficulties that may arise if this part of the Bill is unchanged and the Minister must take those on board.

I cannot understand why a different criterion applies to Irish fishermen from those in other EU countries. Why do we want to introduce criminal offences for infringements not deemed criminal in other jurisdictions? A criminal offence is a serious matter, as the last two speakers are particularly aware. A fisherman found guilty of a criminal offence could be debarred from visiting family in the United States or elsewhere, for example. This is only one of a number of unnecessary penalties which may be endured by those deemed criminal because of breaches of this legislation. I look forward in particular to the Minister’s reply to Deputy O’Donovan who has articulately argued the case for accepting these amendments.

I am aware there were minor amendments on Committee Stage but I remain hopeful these important amendments will be accepted. It is difficult to understand why we wish to go further than other European countries in showing a willingness to oppress fishermen. I cannot understand the logic of this. Is there some hidden agenda in this regard? Is it because we have had a slap on the wrist from the EU about this and are now bending over backwards to prove we are [579]better Europeans than the rest and will control our fishermen more than other states do? My constituents in Galway West include many fishermen and I cannot see the logic in introducing criminal offences. Will the Minister explain the hidden agenda in this regard?

Cecilia Keaveney: Information on Cecilia Keaveney  Zoom on Cecilia Keaveney  Like other speakers, I am not a member of the Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Marine and Natural Resources and I welcome the opportunity to speak on Report Stage. I propose not to be too lengthy in my contribution because I made my points on Second Stage. Deputy O’Donovan raised the question of the bigger picture in terms of the future of the fishing industry. There is the question of conservation of fish but also of conservation of fishermen. During the by-election in 1996 in which I was first elected to the Dáil, the greatest complaint from fishermen in my constituency was that the average age of their boats was more than 30 years. At that time, there was very little progress in terms of safety.

Fianna Fáil in Government ensured this spectre changed and as a result we have harbours to visit and decent boats that are seaworthy. That is a positive dimension in as much as grant aid was given to boat owners and significant investment was also made by fishermen. The bigger picture of how we can sustain the industry legally into the future must be grappled with. We cannot put our heads in the sand and be satisfied with imposing penalties on offenders and criminalising them. That is not to say fishermen who intentionally set out to seriously defraud and over-catch at the levels we have heard about should not be dealt with. Serious crime must be dealt with in a serious manner but the sticking point for many people is that, according to statistics, the amount of money and fish involved are, in the main, minor crimes and it is, therefore, unfair to deal with every offender with the same broad stroke.

The Minister indicated on Committee Stage he would examine the procedure for dealing with small, technical breaches. In his response to these amendments he might expand on what he said in this regard on Committee Stage because, ultimately, that is where the solution lies. We are talking about people involved in breaches, the majority of which are minor. When an offender goes to the District Court, the gear is forfeited because that is required by law and the offender faces a penalty. By the time the offender is dealt with, between the loss of gear, the fine and the loss of money he or she spent on the crew, diesel and food and so on, the offender has to pay a huge amount of money for what is a minor crime, statistically, in most cases. Given that the UK has moved to impose administrative fines and away from the criminal route, I ask the Minister to clarify what he said about administrative fines in terms of differentiation. I acknowledge he has [580]examined the level of fines and reduced them significantly.

Another aspect of the legislation is the use of the word “may” and the word “shall” in section 28. If I committed a minor breach of the regulations, had to go to court and my gear was seized, and if the judge imposed only a fine of €1, which is probably not possible because the minimum fine is much higher than that, or the minimum fine, that would not take into account that my gear was seized and that I was out of pocket in the region of between €10,000 to €50,000. I would like an approach similar to the imposition of administrative fines adopted so minor offences could be dealt with in a different way from criminal sanction for major offences.

I am not a legal expert and I might be wrong in the way I put things but my thoughts are that the minor offences are dealt with in the District Court and the more serious offences commence in the District Court and are referred to the Circuit Court. If an offence is of a level that it is dealt with in the District Court should we propose that such an offence is different and that one’s gear may be forfeited if the offence is of a certain nature? If one has a repeat offence or a case is referred to a higher court as a result of it involving more money and the offence being more serious, we should propose that the boat owner shall forfeit his or her gear.

I want to differentiate between a large-scale and a small-scale breach. I often meet people whose overall catch has been lifted because a small segment of their catches was illegal. I would differentiate between a first offence and a repeat offence. Based on whether a case is dealt with in the District Court or the Circuit Court, or at a cut-off point based on the money and level of over-fishing involved, the Minister should set a marker that if an offence extends beyond a small average, the offender “shall” forfeit his or her gear but if it is a minor offence, one “may” have to forfeit one’s gear.

I accept the point made by Deputy O’Donovan on this matter. Some judges follow the letter of the law and to them the word “shall” means shall, but sometimes the word “may” is under-used and does not mean “shall”. The problem with the use of “shall” in dealing with minor offences is that, in every respect, it ties the hands of the judge. If an offence is minor, it should be dealt with in a minor manner.

I ask the Minister to give clarification regarding the imposition of administrative fines. If they are imposed for small, technical breaches, I take it that minor offences will be differentiated from criminal offences. I ask the Minister also to differentiate between the use of the words “may” and “shall” in terms of the forfeiture of gear, depending on the level of the breach of quota or criminal breach. The bigger picture must be addressed by the Minister and the Department and they must talk to those involved in the industry who have many good ideas as to what could [581]and should happen and how matters could be dealt with in a different way. That would not necessarily involve a greater level of fishing. There are other ways of enhancing catch values. There are opportunities to be developed. I am one of the few people who believes our marine sector has massive potential.

I thank the Minister for the recent announcement of the start of works on Greencastle Harbour. That is the type of investment that signals there is a future in fishing. People in my area want a future in fishing but they do not want to be criminalised for minor breaches.

Mr. O’Flynn: Information on Noel O'Flynn  Zoom on Noel O'Flynn  We are dealing with this issue since June last year, the Bill was published in October and much has happened since then. An imperfect Bill was published and it has been improved by the contributions of all Members, all the representatives of the industry and the Minister, Deputy Noel Dempsey, and the Minister of State, Deputy Gallagher, who dealt with it. To give credit where it is due, we buried Queen Victoria, so to speak, by removing a provision allowing for shooting into a boat. A sea fisheries control agency will be established and the question of compensation in respect of boats has been dealt with. I commend the Minister, Deputy Noel Dempsey, and the Minister of State, Deputy Gallagher, on that.

We have not yet succeeded on the question of the provision of administrative sanctions. At this late hour I propose, similar to my colleague, Deputy O’Donovan, and other colleagues, that the Minister indicate that at some stage in the near future he will talk to those involved in the industry to examine if he can come up with a range of sanctions that could be dealt with administratively for minor, technical offences.

Mr. McCormack: Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  They need to be included in the Bill.

Mr. Perry: Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  We are dealing with the Bill.

Mr. O’Flynn: Information on Noel O'Flynn  Zoom on Noel O'Flynn  That would be a good exercise and a short Bill to that effect could be introduced later. What is required is too technical to work out today, even though I have read the amendments. I would have liked such a provision to have been included in the Bill and for consideration of that to be completed today. Members of the committee that dealt with the Bill spent a great deal of time on it. I am chairman of a committee and while there is no trawler in my constituency, I feel I know more about fishing than many of my colleagues. My colleagues, Deputies O’Donovan, Perry and Broughan, have taught me a great deal about the fishing industry. We have a golden opportunity and I hope when the Minister rises to speak he will accept the views of the House and of his parliamentary party. All across Europe administrative sanctions are the order of the day. I accept fully that it is a matter [582]for each member state to introduce sanctions if they wish, criminal, summary or administrative. We have introduced a range of summary offences that can be dealt with in the District Court which is an important step forward. That is a major change to the Bill as proposed.

Some sections of the Dublin print media did not, and do not, have the story right.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  They are not in the House now.

Mr. O’Flynn: Information on Noel O'Flynn  Zoom on Noel O'Flynn  I am in the House. I can say what I like. The only person who got it right on Monday was Lorna Siggins in The Irish Times. This Bill has moved from being an imperfect Bill published on 3 October to a near perfect Bill.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  No.

Mr. O’Flynn: Information on Noel O'Flynn  Zoom on Noel O'Flynn  We must go the extra stage and I hope the Minister indicates today that he will do that.

Administrative sanctions are applied successfully throughout Europe.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  The Fianna Fáil backbenchers have let fishermen down.

Mr. McCormack: Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  They are going to vote for this amendment. Give them a chance.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  That is right. Give them a chance.

Mr. O’Flynn: Information on Noel O'Flynn  Zoom on Noel O'Flynn  Deputy Broughan and I will clash another day. I did not let the fishing industry down. I have exercised my mind on this issue since last June when I first met the fishery organisation in Bantry.

There is much discussion in the media about these cases against Ireland. Most of the seven cases in the European Court are about control management and reporting systems, not overfishing. I am glad I am speaking in the House under privilege. We have done a terrible disservice with some of the spin issued in connection with this Bill.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Did it come from the Minister?

Mr. O’Flynn: Information on Noel O'Flynn  Zoom on Noel O'Flynn  I do not know where it came from but it was unfair and unjust.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  It was black propaganda.

Mr. O’Flynn: Information on Noel O'Flynn  Zoom on Noel O'Flynn  I want to stand with the Minister and everyone in this House who condones——

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  We do not condone this.

Mr. O’Flynn: Information on Noel O'Flynn  Zoom on Noel O'Flynn  Anyone who is in serious breach of our fishery legislation must be treated severely. Every Member of the House shares this view.

[583]Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  The Deputy has pulled the rug from under the Minister’s feet.

Mr. O’Flynn: Information on Noel O'Flynn  Zoom on Noel O'Flynn  This is the Minister’s opportunity to go the last mile and I hope he will take the opportunity to satisfy the concerns of all Members and of the industry.

Mr. McCormack: Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  He need only accept the amendments.

Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources (Mr. N. Dempsey): Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I thank the Opposition Deputies for the contributions they have made today and on other Stages of the Bill.

Mr. McCormack: Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  The Deputies behind the Minister contributed too.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I laugh when Deputies opposite talk about Ministers being intransigent and not moving an inch or being prepared to change or accept anything. To judge by the contributions I have heard today they have not moved very far, despite the overwhelming evidence against some of their arguments. They continue to repeat the arguments.

I indicated on Committee Stage that the question of including administrative sanctions in this Bill was a non-runner. I have not changed my view.

Mr. McCormack: Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  That is it. The lads will have to vote.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  We are all out of step except the Minister.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I have seen nothing in these amendments to convince me that they will improve this Bill in any way. As for Deputy Jim O’Keeffe’s point about everyone being out of step except the Minister I have no difficulty in being out of step with cosy cartels and vested interests.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  Has a single Member come in to support the Minister in this House?

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Are there cosy cartels in the backbenches? There are cosy cartels in west Cork and Donegal.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I have sat here very patiently, although my patience was tried in the past three hours, and listened to some good contributions and some nonsense from the other side. I did not interrupt at any stage and would like the Deputies opposite to show the same courtesy and respect to me.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  It was very hard on the Minister.

[584]Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Despite what the Deputies say about their commitment to ensuring there is no illegal activity in the fishing industry, I doubt their sincerity. This Bill is absolutely necessary. It has been made necessary by legal proceedings, the last of which concluded over 12 months ago.

I have been very patient, as has the Department, in bringing forward the Bill, in listening to the concerns expressed and in trying to improve the Bill where genuine concerns could be addressed.

Many of the amendments I tabled and accepted came from this side of the House despite all the huffing and puffing on the far side of the House over the past six months.

Mr. McCormack: Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  That is usual.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  The Minister should get out of his political box.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  The Bill is urgently needed to address the shortcomings in the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1959 highlighted by the Supreme Court judgments in the Brown and Kennedy cases. It is also intended to bring the legal framework for fisheries into the 21st century, particularly following the review of the Common Fisheries Policy 2002.

In response to concerns raised by many Deputies including members of my party, and by some in the Opposition on Second Stage, I brought forward amendments. I tabled a substantial package of amendments in mid-January. For example, we removed the power to fire into boats.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  Big deal.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I listened to the argument for that change although I have reservations about it because the lives of our Defence Forces and navy personnel are as important as those of anyone else on the high seas.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  What has that got to do with the amendment?

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I removed the power to forfeit a boat on which repeat offences occur, which had been in our legislation for some time. I listened carefully to the arguments put forward by all sides in the House to make some distinction in the level of fines levied and introduced graduated fines, based on the size of the vessels. There was a concern with the original Bill that the regulatory agency was not independent enough. For that reason I went a step further and accepted that argument. A regulatory agency will be established which will be independent of the Department and which will be charged with the enforcement of sea-fisheries law. This job will be done without fear or favour.

I will deal with the question of administrative fines later. This issue was dealt with in detail on [585]Committee Stage. I indicated that I was prepared to sit down with the industry, to discuss the future of the industry with the fishing organisations and any other interested party such as the environmental NGOs and local communities around the coastal areas. Deputy O’Donovan has asked me to reiterate that I will sit down with them.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  That is very nice of the Minister.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  If when this Bill is passed, the fisheries organisations wish to discuss administrative fines for small technical breaches of legislation, this can be on the agenda. I indicated this quite clearly on Committee Stage——

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  The Minister did not.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  The Deputy was only present on Committee Stage to make half-hour long speeches and then disappear. He should not tell me I did not say it; I was there.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  The Minister did not have much to say, no more than he has today.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  The Deputy was present on Committee Stage for approximately one and a half hours in total out of the 30 hours of discussion.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  I ask the Minister to address the amendments before him.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I will do exactly what the Opposition Deputies did; I will address these amendments the same way they did and range over all the different issues. I will try to address all the issues raised and I ask the Deputies to exercise a little patience. I will be delighted to respond to Deputy Broughan’s and other amendments.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  The Minister asked for amendments and we have given him amendments.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I assure fishermen that I am committed to delivering a legal framework for fisheries to ensure their livelihoods and the future protection of fishermen who act responsibly and who work hard to earn an honest living.

The Bill will address illegal fishing and will challenge those who have profited in the past and continue to make high earnings from systematic, illegal fishing. Despite the denial — in particular from Fine Gael — it is a fact that people are involved in illegal fishing.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  Why does the Minister not prosecute them?

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  That is my reason for wishing to get this Bill through the House.

[586]Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  The Minister wants to get the Bill through because his Department is under pressure from the European Union and his Department is not dealing with the prosecutions.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  The Bill is intended to protect the legal fishermen from the others, whether they be Irish or European or non-EU vessels involved in illegal activity around our coasts. I will continue to try to ensure that this Bill achieves this and that the law is in place for the future.

Deputies Broughan and Jim O’Keeffe referred to my surrendering an Irish quota of just over 6,000 tonnes of fish to the EU. I did not surrender anything. The EU had a report from the Scottish fisheries authority that illegal landings took place in two Scottish ports. The Scottish investigations clearly indicated that Irish vessels were involved in illegally landing more than 41,000 tonnes of fish in two centres. The process is well documented and is the subject of prosecution by the Scottish authorities. When I met the Commissioner last Monday he informed me that the 6,500 tonnes illegally fished in 2005 by Irish boats would be deducted immediately in accordance with Article 23.4 of European law.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Is that a Commission decision?

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Yes. When the Commission has established that a member state exceeded the fishing opportunities which had been allocated to it, the Commission shall operate deductions from future fishing opportunities of the member state. This must go to the Commission for ratification but it has been made quite clear that this will be its decision. A further 35,000 tonnes were illegally landed by Irish vessels——

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Has the Minister not weakened his hand for December?

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I have not weakened anything.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  The Minister has given the left card to the Commission.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  A total of 6,500 tonnes was illegally fished by some fishermen from Ireland and it will be deducted from the national quota.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  If it has been established why have they not been prosecuted?

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Our quota is affected and our fishermen will have that much less quota, no matter what.

Mr. Perry: Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  That is very unfair.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  The Deputies can continue to tilt at windmills all they wish. I remind the Deputy that the law is the law.

[587]Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  I believe in the rule of law.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I heard the Deputy’s version of the law on Committee Stage.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  The rule of law is that one is guilty when one is prosecuted.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  The Minister has a fool’s pardon until December.

Acting Chairman (Mr. O’Shea): Information on Brian O'Shea  Zoom on Brian O'Shea  One voice only, please.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  The Commission is quite clear that we exceeded our quota last year by reason of these illegal landings and this will be deducted. The Deputy can spew out all the hot air he wishes but this EU decision will not change.

Mr. McGinley: Information on Dinny McGinley  Zoom on Dinny McGinley  It is not hot air.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  We tried to ensure the 35,000 tonnes of illegal fish from the previous four years would not be deducted on the same basis over a one-year period. We will try to convince the Commission that ——

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  The Minister is back-tracking.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I am not back-tracking. I am telling Deputies the facts. We will try to minimise that penalty or have it spread over a period of time. This is not a figment of anyone’s imagination but rather one example of what has been happening.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  When did the Minister’s Department become aware?

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I have listened to people telling me there is no criminality and everything is hunky dory in the fishing industry——

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  No one said that.

Mr. McGinley: Information on Dinny McGinley  Zoom on Dinny McGinley  It is not hunky dory; the fishermen are beaten into the ground.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  The official line from Deputy Perry is that Fine Gael would repeal this Bill in its entirety. Deputy Jim O’Keeffe now talks about minor technical offences and that there would be no problem with an administrative penalty system. I suggest Fine Gael makes up its mind on what it will do and tell the people whether it will repeal this Bill and allow the seas around Ireland to be raped. Fine Gael should stop playing politics with this Bill.

Mr. Perry: Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  Fine Gael will repeal it and will introduce administrative sanctions.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I suggest the Deputy should read his statement. He stated he would withdraw this Bill and repeal this Bill in its entirety. He did [588]not even mention administrative sanctions because he had not heard of them at the time he made that statement.

Mr. Perry: Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  I had heard of them at the time.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  The Deputy should read his statement.

Mr. Perry: Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  I did. I looked at the statement clearly. The Minister’s statements are in conflict.

  5 o’clock

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Despite all the publicity about the small number of fishermen who continue to flout fisheries laws and the Common Fisheries Policy, there are still people who apparently have not got the message that things must change. The previous Minister of State at my Department undertook good work last year. He went to the European Council to secure a deal with the Commission——

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  God be with Pat The Cope.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  ——on weighing fish on the basis that we would be putting pelagic fish controllers into various processors at Killybegs to monitor the arrival of fish at those processors. That was to ensure that all the trucks would carry the appropriate documentation identifying the source of fish being transported. They have a duty to confirm and monitor the identity and species of fish being processed to counteract any possible misdeclaration of horse mackerel or blue whiting. They also have a duty to monitor and record the departure of frozen fish consignments from these processors. That is part of the chain I talked about to assist traceability under the required food regulations and to provide base data for investigations and audits to be carried out in future.

I regret to inform the House that, in anticipation of deploying controllers at various processing plants, when the Department rang each of the pelagic fish processors in the Killybegs area informing them that PFCs would be deployed, the response from all the processors, apart from two who are not in active production at the moment, was negative. The general message was that the processors would not receive the controllers into their factories. This occurred in the middle of the debate when people are trying to convince everybody that everything is all right in the fishing industry and that we should have some controls, traceability and monitoring in the industry.

Mr. McGinley: Information on Dinny McGinley  Zoom on Dinny McGinley  It is no wonder they would not do so. What about the rest of the country?

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I cannot accept a situation where large fish factories, which the State is required to monitor, refuse to grant access to control personnel which the State wishes to assign to [589]meet national and EU obligations. I ask those fish processors to change their position rapidly if they want to convince people that there is nothing untoward going on.

Mr. McGinley: Information on Dinny McGinley  Zoom on Dinny McGinley  They are wasting their time in Killybegs because no fish are being landed there.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  What about the other ports?

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Deputy O’Donovan expressed concern over new discarding methods by the Dutch fleet. The Department is aware of that and has been in contact with the Naval Service and the Air Corps in that regard.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  The Minister would want to buy a submarine for the Naval Service.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  As regards the Dutch pelagic factory vessel fleet, or even our own factory fleet, we must be clear that discarding small fish is wrong, no matter who is doing it.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Hear, hear.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  We should not delude ourselves that it is not happening; we realise it is. We are in contact with the Naval Service and the Air Corps to try to monitor the situation and take action on it.

Deputy Broughan spoke again at length to make a strong case for the administrative system. He talked a lot about some administrative systems and fines we have here. He also spoke about financial services and traffic offences. On Committee Stage, I pointed out to the Deputy that all the examples he gave — he did not provide any new ones today — dealt with institutions that are situated and licensed in the State. I would not fancy the Naval Service’s chances of slapping a ticket on a Dutch fish factory vessel ten, 15 or 20 miles off the coast. It is important to compare like with like. The examples the Deputy quoted are in no way the same as what we are trying to deal with here. We are talking about foreign vessels that are registered and licensed in foreign countries.

I am somewhat amused that in one breath Deputy Perry accused me of not listening, while two minutes later he criticised me for tabling 100 amendments to the Bill. He cannot have it both ways. Either I did not listen or I should be commended for the fact that I listened and put down 100 amendments.

Mr. Perry: Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  There is no substance in the amendments. There is nothing in them.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  The Deputy is in denial over the Scottish landings. He said there is no record of such landings, although I tell him that there is. It is fairly serious for the fishing industry here and for this country.

[590]I wish to deal with the point about criminalising people and criminalising the fishing industry. As I said on Committee Stage, I never made a statement to the effect that everybody in the fishing industry is a criminal, neither did I say that most of them are, I said that some of them are. I am glad to say that if anything has changed over the course of this debate it is that everybody here and a number of people outside who began in denial, including the fisheries organisations, have now come to accept that there are criminals involved in this sector. They are robbing their fellow fishermen and we are trying to deal with them. At the beginning of this debate nobody accepted any of this. I was told that I was out of step with everybody else, but now everybody is in step with me on this.

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

Mr. Perry: Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  Not at all. What is the Department doing about it? The Government has been in office for nine years.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Passing a law in this House does not criminalise anybody. It is only when one breaks the law that one becomes a criminal. I do not accept Deputy Ferris’s contention that merely by passing a law we are making criminals of people. If that were the case, we would all be criminals — murderers, robbers and rapists — because we have passed laws on all those matters. I do not accept that, just because we try to pass a law that will enable us to prosecute wrongdoers — if they exist and are caught — we are criminalising the fishing industry, including fishermen and fishing communities. It is an argument that seems to have swayed some people but it is not one that stands up to scrutiny. Neither are we marginalising people simply by passing a law that attempts to address a minority within an industry who are prepared to be totally unscrupulous. I re-emphasise that point.

Deputy Jim O’Keeffe called for a level playing field, although he did not define what that is. As far as sea fisheries offences are concerned, all vessels are treated similarly.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  Are they treated similarly throughout the EU?

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  We have an obligation and a duty reiterated in sections 13 and 14 to look after our own waters, fleets and quotas.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  There is no European policing. That is the problem.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  Other member states have no obligations in this area.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  There was talk of me changing my position. The original Fine Gael position on this Bill was that it would repeal the Bill in its entirety. As matters progressed and became a [591]little hotter, Fine Gael suddenly found itself in a position where it seemed the only thing it ever sought at any stage was administrative penalties for minor technical offences. We now see a great change from where Deputy Perry and Fine Gael were at the outset.

Mr. Perry: Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  That is not true. No doubt the Minister has not changed at all. What about confiscation of catch?

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Fine Gael is in denial.

Mr. Perry: Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  The Minister is in denial. Where is the former Minister of State in the Department, Deputy Gallagher?

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  The Minister cannot produce one Member of this House to support him.

Mr. McGinley: Information on Dinny McGinley  Zoom on Dinny McGinley  The Minister of State, Deputy Browne, will have to be thrown in at the deep end.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  For a party which claims to be the party of law and order, it has shamed all its predecessors in this regard.

Mr. Perry: Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  The Minister is making an outrageous and inaccurate allegation.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I have the Deputy’s statement. If he wants me to read it into the record of the House, I will. However, I will save him the blushes as well as the time.

Mr. Perry: Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  What about the Minister’s statement last week?

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Revoking this Bill, to which Deputy Perry has committed his party, will mean no law for anyone in this country and no protection for the honest decent fishermen whom he purports to defend and look after.

Mr. Perry: Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  What about confiscation of catch? The Minister should talk to his backbenchers.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  The Deputy keeps parroting on about administrative offences. I do not think he even knew the meaning of the words when he started out on this Bill.

Mr. Perry: Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  The Minister has a great track record. The only track record he has is of plastic bags.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I will put my record against that of the Deputy any time.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  What about electronic voting?

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  On Deputy McGinley’s comment, I realise that last year, especially the latter part of the year, was not great for Killybegs. [592]Quite an amount of fish was landed for processing in Scotland and other places, but this spring is a very busy season for pelagic fish landings into Killybegs. So far about 11,000 tonnes of pelagic fish are legally recorded as having been landed into Ireland for processing in the factories this year, most of which would have come into Killybegs.

Ireland has responsibilities with regard to its national quota. Irish fishermen, through their activities in Scotland, breach the national quota, which is why there are repercussions for us and why the European Commission told me what it would do. There are repercussions on two levels. The national quota must be amended to reflect the illegal overfishing and Scotland, rather than Ireland, must take prosecutions against the individuals involved. We must look after it in terms of the quota.

Deputy O’Donovan and Deputy Eamon Ryan spoke about the necessity for conservation of fish, and Deputy Keaveney said that while the conservation of fish was necessary, so too was the conservation of fishermen. If one has not got the fish, one will not have the fishermen in future. I know the situation is very difficult and is likely to be a little more so in the years ahead.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  The Minister must do his stuff in Europe.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  It is very important that we conserve the fish stocks so that livelihoods are maintained. It is important not just for the sake of the fish and the environmental reasons in which Deputy Eamon Ryan would be principally interested but also for the survival of fishing communities and families into the future.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  The Government has not done much about it for the past seven or eight years.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Unless we tackle the illegality and give our sea fisheries officers the wherewithal to operate we will have severe difficulties in future.

Some of the Opposition seem to think this Bill is not necessary. The Browne v. Attorney General and Kennedy v. Attorney General Supreme Court judgments have significantly undermined our legislative framework.

Mr. Perry: Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  For every Department. What about the other 14 Departments?

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I will look after mine and others will look after theirs.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  There is no problem about dealing with that matter.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  As those judgments have significantly undermined the current framework, it is critically important that this Bill is progressed [593]through the Houses as quickly as possible. The Browne v. Attorney General and Kennedy v. Attorney General Supreme Court judgments found that section 223A of the Act, used to implement EU regulations, was not appropriate. Accordingly it has been necessary to rely heavily on the use of section 224B of the Act. This section is limited to fishing activities inside Ireland’s exclusive fishery zone and does not allow for summary proceedings in the District Court. There is a great deal of uncertainty how to proceed under the current Act. That is why the Bill has been introduced. It is necessary to address that situation, to introduce the new provisions which take account of the realities and to try to control illegal fishing activity.

The new regime in place since 2002, the Common Fisheries Policy, means that the legal framework must cover fishing activity wherever it occurs, including having a strong dissuasive system for activities on land where they support persons on shore who gain financially from illegal catching and landing of fish by fishing vessels. Delays in introducing dissuasive and deterrent policies leave fisheries open to rape and pillage and leave Irish taxpayers exposed to heavy fines. It is my duty and that of all Members of the House to try to protect the interests of the State and to avoid ordinary taxpayers being burdened with extensive fines owing to deliberate and well planned breaches of fisheries law.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  The Government allowed that. That is why we are facing court action.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I am not going to allow multi-million euro profits from illegal fishing to be made at the expense of Irish taxpayers by a small group of fishermen who deliberately flouted the law and made huge sums of money.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  The Minister allowed it. The judgment against Ireland was because of neglect by the Minister and his Department.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  We need effective laws to deal with the minority of fishermen.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  The Minister let them get away with it. They were probably friends of Fianna Fáil.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  A Deputy stated nothing has been done but within a week of arriving in the Department I received a letter from a man whose name is familiar to everyone in the House to tell me about illegal activities in the fishing industry. I immediately decided the allegations were serious enough to merit bringing them to the attention of the Garda, which we did. The Garda has since followed up the allegations and, I understand, uncovered other matters. The Garda Síochána is preparing cases in that respect. When the Marine Institute reported to the Department some [594]months ago a discrepancy between the log books of certain vessels and their actual catch, we told it to report the matter to the Commission and the Garda. The Garda Síochána is pursuing the matter.

For those who persist in saying there is no problem or a range of minor mistakes and technical breaches I reiterate that 111 vessels were reported by the Marine Institute, 36 of which had no logs of landing fish. The remaining vessels had under-reported quota species by a factor of six to eight and over-reported non-quota species by a factor of three to four. This matter was immediately brought to the attention of the Garda. I hope my statistics are right but if they are wrong I will return to the issue.

Whenever an issue arose, the sea fisheries officers of the various areas were active. I will not accept the criticism from across the floor of the House that the sea fisheries officers have been doing nothing in this regard. They have detained vessels, issued warnings and prepared and are preparing cases, a number of which are with the Attorney General.

I will give Opposition Members the details of a sampling programme in which 117 trips involving observers on boats in the period 2003-04 were recorded. A comparison between the official national landings and the observed catches by the Marine Institute shows the catch levels of monkfish, which Deputies know is the key economic quota species, are between six and eight times the levels nationally recorded and reported to the European Commission. The levels recorded for cod and hake are two to four times greater than the landings declared. Other species without quotas or with under-quotas placed on them were over-recorded. The figure is higher as 31 of the 117 trips were not recorded in any of the official landings. That is the level of difficulty in the fishing industry.

Mr. Perry: Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  Last week the Minister stated the average catch per vessel was €6,000. That does not constitute multimillion euro fraud.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  The Deputy should know that not all the detected cases have been prosecuted yet.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  Why not?

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  In Deputy O’Donovan’s contribution he spoke about trying to refine and differentiate the levels of fines. He suggested making a distinction in respect of the confiscation of catch and gear, which I am examining. If possible, I will try to do something with the indulgence of the House. It is a sensible approach to lesser offences. In the Bill, we have differentiated and given the power to go to the District Court.

Deputies O’Donovan and Keaveney made a reasonable case about differentiating more and removing the compulsory element of the confis[595]cation of catch and gear when the incident is before the District Court. If I do this, it will be on the basis that the measure will only apply to first offences. In that case, anyone caught would be treated reasonably leniently. If the person offends again, the full rigour of the law should be applied. We are working on an amendment that might address the Deputies’ points in that regard.

None of the Fianna Fáil backbenchers has come crying to me to adopt the United Kingdom’s system of administrative fines. The UK is discussing administrative sanctions for minor offences only. They will not address illegal fishing where the financial benefit is over £1,000. Many such offences here are dealt with on an unofficial and, as it were, administrative basis by means of warning letters stating people had been caught.

We will have a long and hard debate in the House if Members want me to introduce the UK’s system. As I said on Committee Stage, the fine levels in the UK are much higher than anything proposed in this Bill and no maximum fine has been set for serious offences. Not many of the fishermen’s organisations for which the Deputies are speaking would welcome the introduction of the UK’s system here.

I am in favour of level playing fields but I do not want to reach a situation in which everything is dumbed down to the lowest level. We have spent much time in the House and on Committee Stage debating particular issues, leading to the lowest common denominator in legislation. Rather than this, I want a level playing field that sets a good standing and will——

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  What about the Europeans? What will the Minister do about them?

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  ——ensure conservation measures are respected by all, fish stocks are not overfished and our coastal communities have a future. As I said on Committee Stage last week, both the Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Deputy Browne, and I will sit down with the fishing industry and communities.

Mr. McCormack: Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  When the door is closed.

[596]Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  We will move forward in conjunction with them for the further development of the Irish fisheries industry. We must do this on the basis of having a level playing field and removing the people who are depriving our fishermen of their livelihoods.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  The Minister has misled the house in a number of areas. The document from which I have quoted refers to administrative penalties of between £200 and £300 sterling. We must address significant amendments.

Mr. McCormack: Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  If the Bill is as good and as necessary as the Minister suggests, why did former Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Deputy Gallagher, run away from it?

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  There is no point in responding to the Minister’s raiméis.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I wasted my time responding to Deputy Jim O’Keeffe.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  The arrogance of the Minister surpasses belief. The main issue is that not a single person will support the Minister. I challenge him to produce a single member of his party or of the party of his colleagues in Government.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Deputy Jim O’Keeffe should call a vote.

Mr. Eamon Ryan: Information on Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan  I support the Minister.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  Deputy Eamon Ryan was in favour of the administrative penalties.

Mr. Eamon Ryan: Information on Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan  So was the Minister, in principle.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  This is what the argument is about. We seek the introduction of administrative sanctions for minor and technical offences. The amendment seeks to achieve that.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Let us have a vote.

Mr. McCormack: Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  We will see if Deputy Gallagher will come back.

Amendment put.

[595]The Dáil divided: Tá, 50; Níl, 65.

Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Allen, Bernard. 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 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 Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  Deenihan, Jimmy.
Information on Damien English  Zoom on Damien English  English, Damien. Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright  Enright, Olwyn.
Information on Martin Ferris  Zoom on Martin Ferris  Ferris, Martin. 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 Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  Kehoe, Paul.
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  [597]McEntee, Shane. Information on Dinny McGinley  Zoom on Dinny McGinley  McGinley, Dinny.
Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  McGrath, Finian. 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 Catherine Murphy  Zoom on Catherine Murphy  Murphy, Catherine. 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 Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín. Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
Information on Fergus O'Dowd  Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd  O’Dowd, Fergus. Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Jim.
Information on Brian O'Shea  Zoom on Brian O'Shea  O’Shea, Brian. Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  O’Sullivan, Jan.
Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Pattison, Seamus. Information on Willie Penrose  Zoom on Willie Penrose  Penrose, Willie.
Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  Perry, John. Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Quinn, Ruairí.
Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Rabbitte, Pat. Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  Ring, Michael.
Information on 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.



[597]Níl
Information on Michael Ahern  Zoom on Michael Ahern  Ahern, Michael. Information on Noel Ahern  Zoom on Noel Ahern  Ahern, Noel.
Information on Seán Ardagh  Zoom on Seán Ardagh  Ardagh, Seán. Information on 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 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 Jimmy Devins  Zoom on Jimmy Devins  Devins, Jimmy.
Information on John Ellis  Zoom on John Ellis  Ellis, John. Information on Frank Fahey  Zoom on Frank Fahey  Fahey, Frank.
Information on Michael Finneran  Zoom on Michael Finneran  Finneran, Michael. Information on Dermot Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Dermot Fitzpatrick  Fitzpatrick, Dermot.
Information on Seán Fleming  Zoom on Seán Fleming  Fleming, Seán. Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Gallagher, Pat The Cope.
Information on Jim Glennon  Zoom on Jim Glennon  Glennon, Jim. Information on Noel Grealish  Zoom on Noel Grealish  Grealish, Noel.
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 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 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 Moynihan  Zoom on Michael Moynihan  Moynihan, Michael.
Information on Michael Mulcahy  Zoom on Michael Mulcahy  Mulcahy, Michael. Information on M. J. Nolan  Zoom on M. J. Nolan  Nolan, M.J.
Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  Ó Cuív, Eamon. Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Ó Fearghaíl, Seán.
Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  O’Connor, Charlie. Information on Willie O'Dea  Zoom on Willie O'Dea  O’Dea, Willie.
Information on Liz O'Donnell  Zoom on Liz O'Donnell  O’Donnell, Liz. Information on 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 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 Mae Sexton  Zoom on Mae Sexton  Sexton, Mae. Information on Brendan Smith  Zoom on Brendan Smith  Smith, Brendan.
Information on Michael Smith  Zoom on Michael Smith  Smith, Michael. Information on Noel Treacy  Zoom on Noel Treacy  Treacy, Noel.
Information on 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.  

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

[597]Amendment declared lost.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Amendment No. 2 in the name of Deputy Broughan arises out of committee proceedings. Amendments Nos. 2 and 71 are related and will be taken together.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  I move amendment No. 2:

[598]Amendment No. 2 is the subject of a short Bill in my name on behalf of the Labour Party which is also before the House. On the basis that we want to take up little of the remaining time left, I withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  I move amendment No. 3:

This amendment refers to an important subject. Unfortunately, the Minister refused to accept the sustainability impact assessment for sea fisheries on Committee Stage. We could discuss it during the remainder of this Dáil. However, on the basis that we had a full discussion on it I withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I move amendment No. 4:

This is a drafting amendment. It deletes the words referring to a Schedule to this Bill when an Act is rendered unnecessary by the Interpretation Act 2005, which is operative from 1 January 2006.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I move amendment No. 5:

This is necessitated by the Interpretation Act 2005, which is operative from 1 January 2006. That Act radically changed the position of statutory instruments made under Acts which are subsequently repealed. Those statutory instruments are no longer automatically revoked as a consequence of the repeal of the Acts under which they are made. They must be specifically revoked if no longer required as is proposed in subsection (2) for inclusion in section 4 of the Bill.

Amendment agreed to.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Amendment No. 6 was discussed with amendment No. 1. Does Deputy Broughan wish to formally move amendment No. 6?

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  I move amendment No. 6:

[600]

[603]

[604]

Amendment put.

[605]The Dáil divided: Tá, 50; Níl, 65.

Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Allen, Bernard. 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 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 Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  Deenihan, Jimmy.
Information on Damien English  Zoom on Damien English  English, Damien. Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright  Enright, Olwyn.
Information on Martin Ferris  Zoom on Martin Ferris  Ferris, Martin. 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 Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  Kehoe, Paul.
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 Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  McGrath, Finian. 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 Catherine Murphy  Zoom on Catherine Murphy  Murphy, Catherine. 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 Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín. Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
Information on Fergus O'Dowd  Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd  O’Dowd, Fergus. Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Jim.
Information on Brian O'Shea  Zoom on Brian O'Shea  O’Shea, Brian. Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  O’Sullivan, Jan.
Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Pattison, Seamus. Information on Willie Penrose  Zoom on Willie Penrose  Penrose, Willie.
Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  Perry, John. Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Quinn, Ruairí.
Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Rabbitte, Pat. Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  Ring, Michael.
Information on 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.



[605]Níl
Information on Michael Ahern  Zoom on Michael Ahern  Ahern, Michael. Information on Noel Ahern  Zoom on Noel Ahern  Ahern, Noel.
Information on Seán Ardagh  Zoom on Seán Ardagh  Ardagh, Seán. Information on 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 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 Jimmy Devins  Zoom on Jimmy Devins  Devins, Jimmy.
Information on John Ellis  Zoom on John Ellis  Ellis, John. Information on Frank Fahey  Zoom on Frank Fahey  Fahey, Frank.
Information on Michael Finneran  Zoom on Michael Finneran  Finneran, Michael. Information on Dermot Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Dermot Fitzpatrick  Fitzpatrick, Dermot.
Information on Seán Fleming  Zoom on Seán Fleming  Fleming, Seán. Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Gallagher, Pat The Cope.
Information on Jim Glennon  Zoom on Jim Glennon  Glennon, Jim. Information on Noel Grealish  Zoom on Noel Grealish  Grealish, Noel.
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 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  [607]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 Donal Moynihan  Zoom on Donal Moynihan  Moynihan, Donal. Information on Michael Moynihan  Zoom on Michael Moynihan  Moynihan, Michael.
Information on Michael Mulcahy  Zoom on Michael Mulcahy  Mulcahy, Michael. Information on M. J. Nolan  Zoom on M. J. Nolan  Nolan, M. J.
Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  Ó Cuív, Eamon. Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Ó Fearghaíl, Seán.
Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  O’Connor, Charlie. Information on Willie O'Dea  Zoom on Willie O'Dea  O’Dea, Willie.
Information on Liz O'Donnell  Zoom on Liz O'Donnell  O’Donnell, Liz. Information on 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 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 Mae Sexton  Zoom on Mae Sexton  Sexton, Mae. Information on Brendan Smith  Zoom on Brendan Smith  Smith, Brendan.
Information on Michael Smith  Zoom on Michael Smith  Smith, Michael. Information on Noel Treacy  Zoom on Noel Treacy  Treacy, Noel.
Information on 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.  

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

[607]Amendment declared lost.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Amendment No. 7 is in the name of the Minister and arises out of proceedings on Committee Stage.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I move amendment No. 7:

  6 o’clock

This amendment is in response to concerns expressed by Deputies Ferris and Perry on Committee Stage. The point the Deputies made was to the effect that the definition of fishing gear in the Bill could be very widely interpreted. In particular there was a fear that it could be interpreted to include the boat itself. That was not the intention in the original provision. To respond to the Deputies’ concern we have introduced a revised definition of fishing gear, which is proposed in section 6. It is in section 219 of the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act 1959 and is extended to include specifically pots, poles and dredges. That should meet the concerns both Deputies expressed on Committee Stage.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments Nos. 8 to 10, inclusive, not moved.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Amendment No. 11 arises from proceedings on Committee Stage. Amendments Nos. 12 to 14, inclusive, and 20 are related. Amendments Nos. 11 to 14, inclusive, and 20 will be discussed together.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  I move amendment No. 11:

[608]

The Minister made some useful points in his contribution. He also makes claims that have no basis in fact. There is a huge lacuna in the argument he makes. The gap is that within Irish waters we do not have serious control as regards foreign fleets, despite having the largest expanse of water in the European Union.

As I said on Committee State I sought in this simple amendment to give the Minister the power to require every foreign fishing vessel to report to an Irish fishery harbour or other port so designated by the Minister, during each or any entrance by such a vessel into the territorial seas of the State. There are amendments tabled in the name of Deputy Eamon Ryan and others which make the same point and seek to give us some definitive control in an area where we have none. The Minister said we should get our own house in order, but there are sister states in our “house”. To get our house in order we have to get them in order. We will go out of the House tonight with a Bill which does nothing to get those states in order.

The Minister referred to Commissioner Borg and his country. I know they operate in different waters, but some of their catch records and those of Spain and France in terms of over-fishing and being over quota etc. are also disastrous. The Minister should have taken responsibility. This simple amendment and others seek to do this by getting some semblance of control over our seas. The Minister has never disputed what the Commodore of the Naval Service told us, namely, that he has no role as regards quotas or catches and cannot, in effect, introduce any type of penalty. The comment the Minister made on administrative penalties being applied to such vessels was ludicrous because it cannot have any impact in that context as we have no control regime. I ask the Minister to insert this into the Bill. He cannot say it will contravene the Common Fishery Policy. I cannot see how it would, given the [609]current operational mechanisms of the Navy. However, it would give us deeper and more fundamental control. On that basis I want to press amendment No. 11.

Mr. Eamon Ryan: Information on Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan  While the previous debate rightly took up so much of the House’s time, these and similar motions, which we probably will not have time to reach, are at the kernel of what we need to concentrate on from this point onwards. It was clear to all members of the Joint Committee on Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, when the Naval Service representatives appeared before it, that while they do an efficient and admirable task their hands are effectively tied behind their backs. When they are boarding a vessel from another country in the European Union they do not have the faintest idea as regards what quota it should have. This is why I return to the argument that this whole system is corrupt. A vessel’s quota under the central system is at the very centre of the whole system, and if one cannot tell what that is, it leads to open fishing. This must be changed as a matter of the utmost urgency.

The Minister can come back to me at any time in the future with a reply to my earlier question regarding the 2002 review of the European Common Fisheries Policy. At that time, the Commission proposed and supported the notion that we would have an electronic logging system for quotas, which would provide exactly the kind of information we are talking about here, but this proposal was turned down by the Council of Ministers. The decision was due to connivance in terms of a political weakness that sought to favour individual national fleets. It led to a weakening of the provisions that should have been introduced which makes the entire system corrupt and inoperable.

I would support the Minister in going down the route of enforcement. The information that has come out in this process in terms of over-fishing by our own fleet — we can only assume foreign fleets are doing the exact same — is astounding. The information elicited from the Marine Institute shows a divergence between quota stocks that were landed and what was recorded, as a multiple of six or eight times the amount. That is staggering. We are not talking about a small number or isolated cases, we are talking about systemic practices that do not work.

This information emerged from a survey that was conducted when no one considered that we would be discussing the Bill before the House. It is as accurate a survey as any politician would get of a constituency before a forthcoming election. We know the value of surveys. That survey is a remarkable picture of what is going on with our fleet and with others. If we are to have a proper system we need to get information on a daily basis. There is no reason a skipper on a vessel cannot send a text message on a mobile phone — just as would my seven year old — giving the [610]quota and catch information of the day. Such a system could be introduced tomorrow.

I applaud Deputy Broughan who appears to be thinking in the same vein in this regard. In addition to amendments Nos. 11 and 12 there are other similar amendments further down the list. I have consistently tried to raise this issue. Will the Minister outline where we go from here. In response to a parliamentary question from me yesterday the Minister reiterated the current position which simply does not work, that every nation follows its own course and no one really knows what anybody else is doing.

We need to follow the approach set out in the amendments before the House. If the section is not appropriate, the Minister should put them in a different section as he has the ability to do this. He has been flexible with Deputy O’Donovan at the last minute. The Minister said he is willing to examine amendments to section 28. The point I make, with Deputy Broughan and others, is absolutely valid, that we should lay down requirements in the legislation for the provision of real time information from other fleets as to what they are doing in Irish waters and what they are entitled to do. That is the intent of these amendments.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  We had a long discussion on this matter on Committee Stage. I pointed out then that the introduction of specific requirements, such as those proposed by the Deputy, cannot be done unilaterally. It is not possible to do this. I agree with Deputies Broughan and Eamon Ryan that it would be desirable that these kinds of controls and monitoring would be put in place, but we cannot act unilaterally. Members should be aware that if we move down this route by acting in a unilateral manner the danger is that there may be retaliation in other areas so we just cannot do it.

The provision in section 9(2) is an enabling provision replicated from section 222 of the 1959 Act for the making of ministerial regulations to secure good order among foreign sea fishing boats within the territorial seas of the State. No such regulations have been made to date under the 1959 Act.

Section 9 deals with foreign vessels which enter our territorial seas with lawful excuse but fail to leave when their lawful purpose has been carried out. It is not possible to act unilaterally in the fashion suggested by the Deputies opposite in this regard. That is not to say that I do not think it would be desirable, but it will have to be done in consultation and in concert with our European partners. I accept what the Deputies said, that the system we have — Deputy Eamon Ryan went so far as to say it is corrupt and he gave his definition of what he means by that — is not working as efficiently and effectively as it should. It is not meeting the requirements for conservation and this makes matters difficult for our fishermen. I will not defend this point of view but Members on [611]all sides of the House have listened to fishermen saying that everyone else is doing it and that other vessels are not controlled or monitored. That is not an excuse for people breaking the law, however frustrating that might be.

I accept that it is a reason for the Minister of State and me to work with the Commission through the Council of Ministers to change the system so as to introduce the measures referred to by Deputy Eamon Ryan, such as that information would be readily available and shared and that everybody would know exactly what is going on in European waters. The fisheries control centre in Vigo will be of enormous benefit to us, provided that member states accept that we need to tackle people who are acting illegally. The only way we can do that is by having proper monitoring. It would not be sufficient just to have the Irish authorities monitoring what is landed at Irish ports and chasing this through processing, sales and so on. The Irish authorities must know exactly what Spanish vessels are doing and Spanish authorities must know what Irish vessels are doing, and so on for each of the states of Europe.

While I accept the principle of the amendments and the bona fides of the Deputies in putting them forward, the best I can do at this time is to indicate that I will pursue this at European level. I hope the time will come when we will be able to change this section of the Bill when a proper monitoring system is introduced across Europe.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  This leaves us in an anomalous situation whereby we will have a control regime in place, the new fishery protection authority, and tough and appropriate penalties and criminal sanctions for our fishermen but that other fleets will seemingly be able to go on unhindered. It is very unlikely that the Minister will be able to bring forward any fundamental measure in this regard in the remainder of the lifetime of this Government.

When we look at the fisheries scoreboard for 2005 a significant number of countries are castigated, including Ireland, not just in terms of quota overruns but also in terms of reporting and the dismal failure of the Department to carry out its statutory duties over three years. The other clear conclusion of the scoreboard is that a large number of countries need to comply with the Common Fisheries Policy. Ireland, with its vast and important waters, is one of these countries.

I have represented my party on this issue for most of the past three years. We have heard about the establishment of the Community Fisheries Control Agency in Vigo in Spain. I remember suggesting that such an agency be sited in Killybegs, which could have been a very interesting development and could have led to Killybegs becoming the fisheries capital of Europe as well as Ireland. I think Vigo was chosen as the site of the agency for a reason.

[612]Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Yes.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Exactly, but it is all just talk. I, like Deputy Eamon Ryan, cannot see why we cannot gather real-time information and check ships in and out of Irish waters, given the existence of modern communications. We must begin searching for such a solution. Whatever has been achieved in recent months, we have an obligation to our coastal communities to ensure that a pan-European regime is implemented and that our Naval Service and Department will ruthlessly invigilate foreign fleets. It is a farce at the moment.

According to the distinguished journalist, Arthur Quinlan, one could seriously estimate that the monetary value of the fish taken out of our waters since 1973 has been greater than all other contributions received by us through channels like the Social Development and Cohesion Funds. This is a phenomenal state of affairs, particularly since much of it was apparently ex-quota and over and above limits set by the Common Fisheries Policy. These amendments are appropriate. The Minister would create a sensation if he adopted one of them but it is possibly the kind of step we need to take.

Mr. Perry: Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  I support Deputy Broughan’s amendments. I tabled a parliamentary question this week on the subject of foreign vessels fishing in Irish waters. It was hard to ascertain the mechanism for signing vessels in and out of Irish waters. Could the Minister clarify this matter? Fish worth billions of euros is taken out of the Irish box. If we talk about reconciliation of figures, stock management and reporting, it is equally important that there is a level of control over foreign vessels fishing in Irish waters. Deputy Broughan mentioned the inability of the Irish Naval Service to determine the quotas. This issue needs a radical overhaul.

Mr. Eamon Ryan: Information on Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan  Amendments are apparently appearing as I speak, some of which I am sure the Minister wishes to address.

Is there anything to stop us from moving towards adopting a real-time quota information system for our fleet? Would such a system put our fleet at a disadvantage in Irish waters in that our fleet would operate under certain rules but other fleets would not? Irish fishermen would rightly point out the unfairness of such an arrangement. Are there any such proposals in the pipeline for our fleet?

Having such information readily available could be an easier way to monitor developments instead of having a cat-and-mouse police state system. At the very least, the availability of such information could dispel friction between our sea fisheries officers and the fishing industry. Such an arrangement is preferable, even if it is not adopted by other countries, because it is consistent, cheaper and clever and requires less policing. [613]This system has everything going for it. Will we adopt this system for our own fleet while we wait for other fleets to move in this direction?

In response to a parliamentary question I tabled yesterday on the issue, the Minister replied that he raised the issue with Commissioner Borg yesterday. What was the Commissioner’s response in respect of this issue?

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Deputy Broughan mentioned that it would take some time before we would be able to pass regulations or perhaps introduce the system of monitoring to which I and Deputy Eamon Ryan referred. This is not necessarily true. I understand that a regulation could be jointly drafted by the Commission and Council, which would have immediate effect and application.

In respect of Deputy Perry’s question, I understand a vessel entering our waters must sign in and notify Irish authorities that it is entering Irish waters. Vessels do so when they are just about to enter Irish waters. A system is in place which indicates the location of foreign vessels in Irish waters every two hours. Upon leaving Irish waters, foreign vessels are obliged to check out.

The Naval Service has the power to board both Irish and foreign vessels in its area of operation. The point made by Deputy Broughan, and possibly by Deputy Eamon Ryan, is that matters are made very difficult for the Naval Service because it is not privy to the information on quotas. I agree the current system is unsatisfactory from the perspective of having real-time information and knowing whether a vessel has breached the law.

More than 2,500 sightings took place in both 2004 and 2005. A total of 1,842 boardings took place in 2004, while just over 2,000 boardings took place in 2005. Of those——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Minister’s time has concluded.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I will conclude. One half of these boardings and sightings was composed of Irish vessels, while the other half was composed of vessels from between 12 to 15 EU and non-EU countries.

Amendment put and declared lost.

Amendments Nos. 12 to 15, inclusive, not moved.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Amendment No. 16 is in the name of Deputy Broughan and arises out of proceedings on Committee Stage. Amendments Nos. 16 and 59 are related and may be discussed together by agreement.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  I move amendment No. 16:

[614]

Amendment put and declared lost.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Amendment No. 17 is in the name of the Minister and arises out of proceedings on Committee Stage. Amendments Nos. 17, 22 and 58 are related and may be discussed together by agreement.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I move amendment No. 17:

These amendments delete words included in error. The comprehensive definition of owner in section 6 already covers charterers and hirers, as well as owners of sea fishing boats.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment No. 18 not moved.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Amendments Nos. 19, 21 and 25 are related and may be discussed together by agreement.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  I move amendment No. 19:

Amendment put and declared lost.

Amendments Nos. 20 and 21 not moved.

Mr. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  I move amendment No. 22:

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Perry: Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  I move amendment No. 23:

[615]

This relates to subsidiarity which is recommended within Europe in regard to the delegated functions given to the fishery harbours and the integrated management aspect. It is a comprehensive concept in regard to the management of the fishery bodies and the vessel owners taking a partnership approach. One is talking about a delegated function and a certain level of responsibility. It also incorporates administrative fines at a low level.

Section 13 allows the Minister to issue authorisations for pressure stock licences. Pressure stock licences normally relate to quota stock species and the authorised fishing of certain stocks in a particular area at a particular time. The whole concept relates to a delegated function which we witnessed in regard to the management of the five fishery harbours and the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General. From a group trading point of view, authorisation to manage quotas in a particular region could be given to that responsible body.

I am very impressed with the fishery representative bodies who have done a very good job, but who have been vilified here. They are doing an excellent job in trying to promote the industry. They represent the interests of their members and the nation in a comprehensive and effective manner when it comes to negotiating on behalf of their members. We referred on several occasions to people in the trade who are dishonest. Given my experience meeting the representative bodies, they are equally anxious to exclude those who are in breach of the law.

Section 13 will allow for the approach advocated by the EU Fisheries Commissioner, Mr. Borg, which has been very effective in other jurisdictions within Europe.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Deputy Perry has outlined a detailed prescription. The concept is a valuable one. We have been saying from the beginning that all the stakeholders must be involved in the management of stocks. I hope before he leaves office the Minister will do the same for our country. Two valuable reports on fisheries have been prepared by Mr. Padraic White, which all of us on this side of the House use frequently.

The framework document for Scottish fisheries, to which I referred on Committee Stage, is impressive in that it tries to involve stakeholders [619]directly in what it calls a virtuous circle of conservation, strict management of stocks, support for profitable enterprises and close monitoring and support for coastal communities. There was some controversy about a number of grants provided by the outgoing Minister to Greencastle, which is in his neighbouring constituency in Donegal. I do not begrudge Greencastle its funding because it is a small port where the fishermen are struggling to make a living. I would like to see what was provided for Greencastle replicated around the coast so that we have more supports rather than less.

The Scottish Parliament — many Scots would like to have an independent government within the EU — is trying to create this virtuous circle, the key element of which is to have all the stakeholders, including fishermen, producers and all the handlers of fish involved in a broad way. What Deputy Perry is seeking to do is to try to give legislative effect to this concept. I am not sure how all the details would work but we would probably have a system similar to the Spaniards, which appears to operate effectively. Their famous co-operatives have a wide remit across the economy arising from the profitability of fishing, about which we have some reservations. Nevertheless, there has been deep involvement across the economy arising from a co-operative approach between the Spanish Government, the local government in Galicia and the company.

The amendment, which proposes to replicate this concept in Ireland, would be valuable. Deputy Ferris referred to the men and women of Fenit, a famous port in North Kerry, and how they worked together in a co-operative fashion. There was a similarly active co-operative in my port in Howth in the 1940s and 1950s. There have been similar efforts around the coast. The general principle of stakeholders being involved in management and conservation is a valuable one. As the Minister rightly said, without fishermen there will be no fishing communities. We did not get a chance to vote today on a number of amendments which other Deputies and I tabled in regard to conservation. As we draw to a close this evening, it is appropriate to focus on this aspect.

I commend Deputy Perry’s amendment. It is a valuable initiative which Deputies should consider seriously.

Mr. Eamon Ryan: Information on Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan  I also welcome and support the development of Greencastle Harbour and the fishermen who have a tough job. However, we must be careful about how we manage these resources. It is not appropriate to allocate funds on the last day of a Minister’s term in a particular office as appears to have occurred in this instance. This goes against the interests of the fishing industry in general because other ports are seeking funding. Regardless of the merits of how [620]a decision was made, if there appears to be favouritism, it raises suspicions and concerns, which is not fair to anyone involved. While I agree with the point made by Deputy Broughan about investment in the fishing industry, particularly in Greencastle, we must invest in a manner that does not arouse suspicions that favouritism was involved.

There is merit in what Deputy Perry is trying to do in creating a new future for Irish fisheries. We will have to exploit every fishery in an intelligent and scientific manner to get the highest possible value from our fishing industry. This does not apply to just large deep sea trawlers, it must concentrate on inshore fisheries and aquaculture. We must try to get back to the situation which obtained in the past where the fish came to us, and we could catch fish without having to travel half way out in the Atlantic. We could wait for migratory stocks such as herring and mackerel to arrive on our shores. We did not have to burn endless amounts of diesel to try to catch the fish. If we act intelligently in developing our fisheries, that future will be secure.

I prefer the approach the Minister is taking in the sea fisheries control institute, which has an outside advisory membership along the lines of what Deputy Perry is seeking. I commend the Minister for the way he has amended the proposals relating to the membership of the institute. Such an inclusive approach works best by ensuring all sides are involved, including environmentalists, fishermen, processors and so on. This type of committee could play an important role by providing a collective resource. It could, for example, comment on and assist in the development of the control mechanisms in place.

The Minister’s amendment meets a certain amount of my concerns and I prefer it to the more complicated and detailed approach taken in amendment No. 23. The provisions of the latter must be teased out in more detail before they would work effectively.

Mr. Ferris: Information on Martin Ferris  Zoom on Martin Ferris  I support the amendment and wish to be associated with the comments of Deputies Perry and Broughan and some of what Deputy Eamon Ryan has said. A collective approach, involving a co-ordinated effort by all concerned, is the best way from a stock management and conservation perspective.

Mr. N. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Amendment No. 23 is newly introduced on Report Stage and I have not had time to read it in detail. I do not have great difficulty with the principles upon which it is based, particularly the concept of inclusiveness and the importance of maintaining and conserving fishing stocks. These are good ideas. I do not want to rake over old coals but it is past time for people in the fishing industry to accept stocks are limited and must be divided among those authorised to [621]exploit them. A collective and co-operative spirit which ensures the relevant authorities can take action against those who step out of line is welcome. I support this type of approach to managing our fishery stocks.

However, Ireland has always treated quotas as a public asset, something extremely important to the country. Deputy Broughan mentioned Scotland where quotas were given out to fisheries organisations to manage. This has worked reasonably well in many cases but if one looks behind the outer facade, one discovers that quotas there are coming increasingly within the ownership of private individuals. Under such a system, they become private property and are traded like any other goods. This is not a good idea from the point of view of maintaining them as a public asset for the benefit of everybody.

In moving in the direction of Deputy Perry’s amendment, I am concerned that we could end up with the same situation here whereby the major players would get more control and the minor players would be squeezed. In the absence [622]of effective policing and controls, such an eventuality is possible even under the current system. However, apart from the economic benefit to the individuals concerned and to their local communities, there is a benefit in the way we currently divide out the system in that we try to facilitate the smaller players as much as we can. Although they get a greater share, the quota is not taken over completely by the larger vessels.

I am sure Members are aware of many instances where an idea involving co-operation in some sphere seems good but it becomes clear that a small number grow increasingly powerful and it is difficult to defend the rights of the small player. Situations can arise where individuals make significant profit from a public asset and squeeze out weaker elements. In this context, I cannot support Deputy Perry’s amendment, worthy as its aims may be. I advise caution in this regard. As Deputy Eamon Ryan said, it would need to be teased out substantially more than is possible in the ten or 15 minutes afforded on Report Stage.

Amendment put.

[621]The Dáil divided: Tá, 49; Níl, 67.

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 Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  Crawford, Seymour.
Information on Sean Crowe  Zoom on Sean Crowe  Crowe, Seán. Information on Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  Deenihan, Jimmy.
Information on Damien English  Zoom on Damien English  English, Damien. Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright  Enright, Olwyn.
Information on Martin Ferris  Zoom on Martin Ferris  Ferris, Martin. Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Gilmore, Eamon.
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 Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  Kehoe, Paul.
Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Kenny, Enda. Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Lynch, Kathleen.
Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  McCormack, Padraic. Information on Dinny McGinley  Zoom on Dinny McGinley  McGinley, Dinny.
Information on 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 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 Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín. Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
Information on Fergus O'Dowd  Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd  O’Dowd, Fergus. Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Jim.
Information on Brian O'Shea  Zoom on Brian O'Shea  O’Shea, Brian. Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  O’Sullivan, Jan.
Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Pattison, Seamus. Information on Willie Penrose  Zoom on Willie Penrose  Penrose, Willie.
Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  Perry, John. Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Rabbitte, Pat.
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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.  


[621]Níl
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 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 Noel Davern  Zoom on Noel Davern  Davern, Noel. Information on Síle de Valera  Zoom on Síle de Valera  de Valera, Síle.
Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Dempsey, Noel. Information on Tony Dempsey  Zoom on Tony Dempsey  Dempsey, Tony.
Information on John Ellis  Zoom on John Ellis  Ellis, John. Information on Frank Fahey  Zoom on Frank Fahey  Fahey, Frank.
Information on Michael Finneran  Zoom on Michael Finneran  Finneran, Michael. Information on Dermot Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Dermot Fitzpatrick  Fitzpatrick, Dermot.
Information on Seán Fleming  Zoom on Seán Fleming  Fleming, Seán. Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Gallagher, Pat The Cope.
Information on Jim Glennon  Zoom on Jim Glennon  Glennon, Jim. Information on Noel Grealish  Zoom on Noel Grealish  Grealish, Noel.
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  [623]Keaveney, Cecilia. Information on Billy Kelleher  Zoom on Billy Kelleher  Kelleher, Billy.
Information on Peter Kelly  Zoom on Peter Kelly  Kelly, Peter. Information on Tony Killeen  Zoom on Tony Killeen  Killeen, Tony.
Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Kirk, Seamus. Information on Tom Kitt  Zoom on Tom Kitt  Kitt, Tom.
Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Lenihan, Brian. Information on 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 Donal Moynihan  Zoom on Donal Moynihan  Moynihan, Donal.
Information on Michael Moynihan  Zoom on Michael Moynihan  Moynihan, Michael. Information on Michael Mulcahy  Zoom on Michael Mulcahy  Mulcahy, Michael.
Information on M. J. Nolan  Zoom on M. J. Nolan  Nolan, M. J. Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  Ó Cuív, Éamon.
Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Ó Fearghaíl, Seán. Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  O’Connor, Charlie.
Information on Willie O'Dea  Zoom on Willie O'Dea  O’Dea, Willie. Information on Liz O'Donnell  Zoom on Liz O'Donnell  O’Donnell, Liz.
Information on 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 Mae Sexton  Zoom on Mae Sexton  Sexton, Mae. Information on Brendan Smith  Zoom on Brendan Smith  Smith, Brendan.
Information on Michael Smith  Zoom on Michael Smith  Smith, Michael. Information on Noel Treacy  Zoom on Noel Treacy  Treacy, Noel.
Information on 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.  

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

[623]Amendment declared lost.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I am now required to put the following question in accordance with an order of the Dáil of this day: “That the amendments set down by the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, including additional amendment No. 46a, and not disposed of are hereby made to the Bill, that Fourth Stage is hereby completed, and the Bill is hereby passed.”

Question put.

The Dáil divided by electronic means.

[624]Mr. Kehoe: Information on Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  There are many Members on the Government side who want to change their mind and we would like to give them a chance to do so. As a teller, under Standing Order 69 I propose that the vote be taken by other than electronic means.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  As Deputy Kehoe is a Whip, under Standing Order 69 he is entitled to call a vote through the lobby.

Question again put: “That the amendments set down by the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, including additional amendment No. 46a, and not disposed of are hereby made to the Bill, that Fourth Stage is hereby completed, and the Bill is hereby passed.”

[623]The Dáil divided: Tá, 79; Níl, 49.

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 Dan Boyle  Zoom on Dan Boyle  Boyle, Dan. 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 Paudge Connolly  Zoom on Paudge Connolly  Connolly, Paudge. 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 Ciaran Cuffe  Zoom on Ciaran Cuffe  Cuffe, Ciarán. Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  Cullen, Martin.
Information on John Curran  Zoom on John Curran  Curran, John. Information on Noel Davern  Zoom on Noel Davern  Davern, Noel.
Information on Síle de Valera  Zoom on Síle de Valera  de Valera, Síle. Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Dempsey, Noel.
Information on Tony Dempsey  Zoom on Tony Dempsey  Dempsey, Tony. Information on John Ellis  Zoom on John Ellis  Ellis, John.
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 Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Gogarty, Paul.
Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  Gormley, John. Information on Noel Grealish  Zoom on Noel Grealish  Grealish, Noel.
Information on Tony Gregory  Zoom on Tony Gregory  Gregory, Tony. 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 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 Tom McEllistrim  Zoom on Tom McEllistrim  McEllistrim, Thomas. Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  McGrath, Finian.
Information on John McGuinness  Zoom on John McGuinness  McGuinness, John. Information on Paddy McHugh  Zoom on Paddy McHugh  McHugh, Paddy.
Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  Martin, Micheál. 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 Catherine Murphy  Zoom on Catherine Murphy  Murphy, Catherine. 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  [625]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 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 Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan  Ryan, Eamon. Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  Sargent, Trevor.
Information on Mae Sexton  Zoom on Mae Sexton  Sexton, Mae. Information on Brendan Smith  Zoom on Brendan Smith  Smith, Brendan.
Information on Michael Smith  Zoom on Michael Smith  Smith, Michael. Information on Noel Treacy  Zoom on Noel Treacy  Treacy, Noel.
Information on 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.  


[625]Níl
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 Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  Costello, Joe. 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 Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  Deenihan, Jimmy. Information on Damien English  Zoom on Damien English  English, Damien.
Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright  Enright, Olwyn. Information on Martin Ferris  Zoom on Martin Ferris  Ferris, Martin.
Information on Mildred Fox  Zoom on Mildred Fox  Fox, Mildred. Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Gilmore, Eamon.
Information on Tom Hayes  Zoom on Tom Hayes  Hayes, Tom. Information on Seamus Healy  Zoom on Seamus Healy  Healy, Seamus.
Information on Jackie Healy-Rae  Zoom on Jackie Healy-Rae  Healy-Rae, Jackie. Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  Higgins, Michael D.
Information on Philip Hogan  Zoom on Philip Hogan  Hogan, Phil. Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Howlin, Brendan.
Information on Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  Kehoe, Paul. Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Lynch, Kathleen.
Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  McCormack, Pádraic. 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 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 Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín. Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
Information on Fergus O'Dowd  Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd  O’Dowd, Fergus. Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Jim.
Information on Brian O'Shea  Zoom on Brian O'Shea  O’Shea, Brian. Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  O’Sullivan, Jan.
Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Pattison, Seamus. Information on Willie Penrose  Zoom on Willie Penrose  Penrose, Willie.
Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  Perry, John. Information on 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 Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  Timmins, Billy.
Information on Mary Upton  Zoom on Mary Upton  Upton, Mary.  

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

[625]Question declared carried.


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