Criminal Justice (Amendment) Bill 2009: Committee Stage (Resumed) and Remaining Stages.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 687 No. 6

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Debate resumed on amendment No. 4:

Deputy Kieran O’Donnell: Information on Kieran O'Donnell  Zoom on Kieran O'Donnell  I support this amendment. I have listened to the Minister’s response to the amendment but this amendment brings together what the Minister is trying to achieve, that the evidence based on an expert opinion would be corroborated. This amendment would strengthen the Bill and ensure that it is effective. When the Bill was announced on 13 May the Taoiseach stated “We must ensure that the criminal law is effectively implemented and that the administration is not interfered with through intimidation.” Effective administration of the law is required.

  12 o’clock

Will the Garda Commissioner lay down directions as to who may appear before the Special Criminal Court to give this evidence? We want to ensure that this legislation is effective. We must show gangland criminals, particularly in Limerick after the appalling murders of Roy Collins, Shane Geoghegan and Brian Fitzgerald, that this House means business and that we will ensure that effective legislation is introduced. Deputy Flanagan’s amendment is reasonable and is not contrary to the import of the legislation. It requires that the evidence, based on an expert opinion, that a criminal gang exists must be corroborated. The amendment states this in strong terms so that there can be no ambiguity. [681] Will the Minister tell the House, following his discussions with the Garda Commissioner, whether the Commissioner can give instructions as to what rank of garda may give this expert opinion to the Special Criminal Court?

We want this legislation to come into effect as quickly as possible so that we can deal with gangland criminals on the ground to ensure that there are no further murders such as those of Roy Collins, Shane Geoghegan and Brian Fitzgerald in Limerick. Deputy Flanagan’s amendment goes to the heart of that aim. It does not contradict the Bill but brings it together in a structured way. I hope the Minister, in the limited time we have to debate the Bill will take on board the bona fides of Fine Gael which wants legislation that will work and will stand up to any form of constitutional challenge.

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  We are dealing here with evidence of the existence of a criminal gang. The Minister quite rightly states that of itself that will not lead to a conviction but it must be accompanied by evidence that the person charged was in fact a member of that gang. The evidence required to show the existence of a gang in the first instance can be that of a garda or former garda of any rank. The Minister calls that expert evidence but in effect it is opinion evidence based on a certain set of facts. It is belief evidence, the person giving the evidence believes in the existence of a criminal gang. The Minister accepts that the garda or former garda can be subjected to cross-examination but because he or she is giving belief evidence, he or she can claim privilege rendering the cross-examination effectively meaningless because the garda can say no more than it is his or her opinion, belief, experience or expert knowledge that there is a criminal gang. The judge can form the view on the basis of the expert evidence that a criminal gang exists.

When the judge accepts that there is a gang a burden of evidence is required to convict somebody of being a member of that gang. That is where the corroborative evidence is all the more important. Without this amendment there will be nothing in the legislation that will require or mandate corroborative evidence to show that Mr. X participates in, directs the activity of, or is a member of, that gang. The amendment is important to avoid doubt because the only evidence tendered or accepted of the existence of a gang is that of a garda or former garda. If the amendment is not accepted in section 7 it should be somewhere in the Act, although this is the most appropriate place for it.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  This section deals with the issue of evidential provisions as proof of the existence of a criminal organisation and Deputy Flanagan’s amendment states that somebody shall not be convicted under this Act. The intention of the Bill is to schedule a range of offences which came into being in the Criminal Justice Act 2006. I recently asked the Minister several questions about that Act. I should not have had to ask questions because the information should have been available to us as part of the Minister’s justification for the Bill. I asked him the number of prosecutions commenced and convictions obtained, respectively, for the offence laid down by section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 and about section 73 of that Act. He answered by saying that he had requested the Central Statistics Office to provide the statistics directly to me which suggests that he does not have the information to hand. Worse again, when I asked how often sections 28 to 30, inclusive, of the Criminal Justice Act 2007, had been used in court proceedings he said that in the time available it was not possible for the Garda authorities to supply those details.

The facts I sought are the justification for much of this Bill and the other basis, which the Minister has repeatedly presented, is the idea that there was an increase in incidents of jury and witness intimidation. When he was asked to prove this he indicated that the Garda Commissioner had told him as much. The Minister told me the exact opposite in his reply to a question on Tuesday when I asked about the number of suspected or proven instances of jury [682]intimidation and tampering, as opposed to that of witnesses. In the answer the Minister said he could not differentiate between the two because that is not the way the statistics are produced.

The Minister submitted a table where both were included which proved the exact opposite of the Minister’s contention. There seems to have been a substantial decrease in jury and witness tampering. In 2006, there were 44 prosecutions commenced, although the information does not detail what the results were. Last year, there was more than a 60% decrease on that because only 16 cases were taken. This was 16 too many but one would have to go back to 2002 before the number of proceedings taken because of jury or witness tampering was lower.

In 2003 and 2004 there were 30 incidents in each year, in 2005 there were 22 incidents, in 2006 there were 44 and then the number falls to 16 in both 2007 and 2008. The basis for every aspect of this legislation was that these incidents were at an all-time high but the Minister’s own facts have proven the opposite.

The amendment is welcome but the section and Bill itself must be opposed, rather that us trying to amend it. It was produced on a rushed basis and neither the facts nor the Minister’s own words back it up. There is a major doubt about this process because of its rushed nature and the fact that we do not have the information to make an informed judgment. We have not heard the voices of those working in the field.

I have highlighted the need to properly resource An Garda Síochána to the fullest extent in order to deal with the major crime problems which have been highlighted and which we see every day in my own constituency and a number of others. Gangland crime is increasing and is becoming more vicious and ruthless but it must be dealt with by existing legislation and a properly resourced Garda Síochána.

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Deputy Dermot Ahern): Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  We discussed this amendment at length last night. Deputy Flanagan acknowledges that this is not the type of opinion evidence normally regarded by lawyers when we speak to the Offences Against the State Act. That opinion evidence goes to the guilt of the person. The reason we cannot accept the amendment on expert evidence on the existence of a gang is because two gardaí could be called, for example, to give evidence that from their direct knowledge there is a gang in existence in a particular geographic area.

I saw one of the lawyers who appended his name to the famous letter on “Prime Time” last night. He stated that there was a delusion of proof in this Bill but there is most certainly not. The proofs relating to the guilt or innocence of anybody are exactly the same; there is no delusion of proofs. He went on to say there is opinion evidence in this Bill on the guilt of a person but there is not.

As I explained last night, this is a way in which we can prove in court and put before the court the fact that there is a gang in existence in a particular geographic area. There is no way in which a garda would give evidence to say a particular person is a member of that gang, and that must continue to be proven individually.

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  It is the same case and process.

Deputy Dermot Ahern: Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  It could relate to a number of cases as a garda may not be required to give evidence under this. There may be circumstances where a number of people are arrested in quite obvious circumstances where a gang is acting in concert and this evidence is not required. I suggest to the Deputy that his amendment would give the impression that this is in some way opinion evidence as to the guilt of a person when it is not.

[683]Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  It cannot give that impression because the amendment clearly states that a person shall not be convicted of an offence under the Act. It does not state that a person shall not be entitled to give evidence under the Act, which is the difference. It is about the achievement of the conviction.

I do not believe we can separate the process from its entirety. The evidence on the existence of a gang will lead automatically to the second point.

Deputy Pat Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  What is the point of it otherwise?

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  The question could arise of whether Mr. X, who is before the court, is a director of the gang. One cannot say that the evidence given does not lead to a conviction as it is fundamental to the leading to a conviction. The existence of a gang would be established and one would follow on to establish whether the person before the court is a member or participant in that gang.

Deputy Dermot Ahern: Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  It would be one of the proofs necessary in order to ground a charge for directing or participation.

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  That is right.

Deputy Dermot Ahern: Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  On its own——

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  I accept that.

Deputy Pat Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  We are agreeing with that.

Deputy Dermot Ahern: Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  The 133 people who signed the letter did not say that.

Deputy Pat Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  We are answering for ourselves.

Deputy Kieran O’Donnell: Information on Kieran O'Donnell  Zoom on Kieran O'Donnell  Will the Minister clarify the other point?

Deputy Dermot Ahern: Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  Ultimately, it is a matter for An Garda Síochána as to who it believes is the garda with the best direct personal knowledge of the activities of a gang in a particular area.

Deputy Kieran O’Donnell: Information on Kieran O'Donnell  Zoom on Kieran O'Donnell  Would that be directed by the Garda Commissioner?

Deputy Dermot Ahern: Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  Generally it would be accepted that it would be at least someone of detective inspector rank but it may well be a sergeant living and working in that area.

Deputy Kieran O’Donnell: Information on Kieran O'Donnell  Zoom on Kieran O'Donnell  It could be a chief superintendent.

Deputy Dermot Ahern: Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  Of course. We went back to An Garda Síochána since Tuesday’s debate to ask about the rank of the garda in question. We were preparing an amendment in that respect but the Garda was adamant that it would be better to leave it. The rank of the garda is not important but rather the knowledge of the garda in question.

Deputy Pat Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  I am bound to say that I have serious apprehensions about what three judges will say when confronted with a retired garda presenting expert opinion as to the existence of a gang. That is a complete novelty in Irish criminal law. Somebody retired from the force could be brought in, and there is no specification of the person retiring last week, ten years ago or what that person does now. Will we have columnists for the Evening Herald giving expert testimony? It is a worrying addition.

[684]I support the amendment by Deputy Flanagan as the point of the exercise is not clear if we consider the process, unless it is the first step in leading to the ultimate conviction. In that sense, all that is being suggested is that the safeguard of corroborative evidence would be provided for.

It is very well for the Minister to take up a stance of opposition to everything we say in the House and he is probably buoyed by the fact that much of the noise outside is supportive. Why would the latter not be the case? Every right-thinking citizen wants to put these gangsters behind bars. However, we cannot just go along with the loudest laugh that declares the empty mind. It is our job to probe, test and scrutinise the legislation.

The Minister cannot afford to allow something to pass which is likely to be the cause of a constitutional action and which will lead to the implementation of the legislation being delayed by 18 months or two years. I presume the latter would be the last thing the Minister would want to happen. The amendment offers what is no more than a reasonable safeguard. As the Minister indicated, we discussed the matter at some length last night but I merely wished to outline my view.

Deputy Dermot Ahern: Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  There should be no confusion about this. There is a complete distinction with regard to opinion evidence given as to the guilt of a person. Such evidence goes to the existence of a gang in a particular area and no more than that. In itself, opinion evidence cannot be used to convict anyone. As is normally the case, the prosecution must prove that a person participated in or directed the activities of a gang, thereby committing a criminal offence.

It is not possible for a Government to guarantee that any Bill passed by the Houses is constitutional or otherwise. We are obliged to proceed on the basis of the advice provided by the Attorney General and his experienced staff. The latter examined the legislation line by line, word by word and they are satisfied that it will pass constitutional muster. I thank the Attorney General and his staff for the work they did in this regard.

We are being criticised in respect of elements the Bill does not even contain. That is frustrating. The Bill is easy to read and I am of the view that those who should know better would be aware of the exact nature of its contents. People outside the House are criticising us in respect of matters the Bill does not even contemplate.

Deputy Pat Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  The Minister has rounded up a fair few unusual suspects.

Deputy Dermot Ahern: Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  The Deputy has run a few canards.

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  I do not believe that the Minister is really of the opinion that this Bill is easy to read.

Deputy Dermot Ahern: Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  It is easy to read for anyone in the legal profession.

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  It is an extremely complex item of legislation. What the Minister said a moment ago is one of the reasons Deputy Rabbitte, as late as this morning, made the important point that we should be meeting in committee with interested parties in respect of the Bill. As is his right, the Minister is continually involved in discussions with members of the Garda Síochána. That is an advisable course of action. However, we are not in a position to engage with gardaí in the same manner. I would have thought that the Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women’s Rights exists for just such a purpose. We would have loved to have thrashed out the issues of consequence we are debating, and our difficulties [685]relating thereto, in a session with the Garda Commissioner. However, the Government has denied us that opportunity.

I agree with the Minister in respect of the level of evidence to be provided by a former garda or whomever to establish the existence of a gang. I also accept the fact that the provision of this evidence alone will not lead to anyone being convicted. However, I do not believe that the two can separated. A conviction will ultimately be based on the evidence provided in the first instance that a criminal gang existed. Lest there be any doubt, it is important, therefore, to specify in the Bill the matter of the need to provide corroborative evidence.

Deputy Joe Costello: Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  I do not wish to reopen the debate on this matter. I am sure most of the Deputies present wish to move on to deal with other issues.

Section 7 contains a definition in respect of what constitutes a criminal gang. It seems that virtually any three people operating in concert — and in any capacity — could be deemed to be a criminal gang. It is similar to the Lord’s pronouncement to the effect that “where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them”. There is nothing much more beyond that.

The section refers to a structured organisation. People who commit crimes do not conduct their business in the same way as others. Gangs are not similar to organisations which hold meetings and keep minutes relating thereto. Regardless of how loose might be their connection, virtually any combination of more than three people of any description — it could be members of a family who discussed a particular matter — would come within the remit of the legislation.

Under the section, the question as to whether a gang exists is left to the determination of any member or ex-member of the Garda Síochána. Surely this provision is wide open to abuse. From that point of view, it is extremely difficult to accept the Minister’s contention that this constitutes anything other than opinion. Effectively, that is what it is and if any member or former member of the force wishes to state that a certain number of people operating together constitute a gang, it makes matters difficult because there are no rules or regulations set down in respect of proof. Even if a garda or ex-garda were cross-examined on the matter in order that the information provided might move from being opinion to evidence, that would not be the same as having available the type of evidence a superintendent would be required to provide in respect of the existence of a subversive organisation. The subversive organisations that have operated in this country have employed recognisable structures of command, etc.

We are, therefore, discussing evidence that is entirely subjective. One of the only exceptions in this regard would relate to the case of Al Capone in the United States. It is not appropriate that the opinion of any member or former member of the Garda Síochána would be acceptable. Opinion has not been acceptable within the Special Criminal Court to date.

I accept that the section was drafted with the best of intentions. However, why is the Minister proceeding with it when, most assuredly, it will be open to abuse? Under it, virtually anyone the Garda wishes to identify as being part of a criminal gang will be capable of being so identified. Matters are going to be left wide open and it is difficult to see the provision withstanding a challenge on the basis of its constitutionality.

Deputy Dermot Ahern: Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  I do not accept that matters will be left wide open. The section only relates to expert evidence members or former members of the Garda may provide as to the existence of a gang. Such evidence will not in any way be capable of being taken as an indication that a person before the court is a member of that gang. It will be part of the overall evidence required to prove the existence of a criminal gang. Since the 2006 legislation was passed, there has been a difficulty in respect of providing proof as to the existence of criminal gangs. That difficulty also arises internationally.

[686]In drafting this Bill and the 2006 legislation, we considered whether it might be possible to create an offence relating to the membership of gangs. Organised criminal gangs do not keep lists of their members. They are generally fluid, amorphous organisations and their membership changes constantly. It is, therefore, much easier to prove participation in a specific organised criminal act rather than prove that a person is an ongoing member of a particular criminal gang.

The experience in some of the country’s difficult areas shows that a particular gentleman might be a member of one gang on one day and of another the next day. Although the gangs generally revolve around families, this is not always the case. I again ask the Deputy to understand that this section is about proof of the existence of a gang and no more than that. That is the reason that corroborative evidence, as is normally known in the context of opinion evidence tending to the guilt of a person, is always required and must be required, but not in this case.

Amendment put.

The Committee divided: Tá, 66; Níl, 76.

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Níl
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Information on Christy O'Sullivan  Zoom on Christy O'Sullivan  O’Sullivan, Christy. Information on Seán Power  Zoom on Seán Power  Power, Seán.
Information on Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan  Ryan, Eamon. Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  Sargent, Trevor.
Information on Eamon Scanlon  Zoom on Eamon Scanlon  Scanlon, Eamon. Information on Brendan Smith  Zoom on Brendan Smith  Smith, Brendan.
Information on Noel Treacy  Zoom on Noel Treacy  Treacy, Noel. Information on Mary Wallace  Zoom on Mary Wallace  Wallace, Mary.
Information on Mary Alexandra White  Zoom on Mary Alexandra White  White, Mary Alexandra. Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  Woods, Michael.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies David Stanton and Emmet Stagg; Níl, Deputies Pat Carey and John Cregan

Amendment declared lost.

Deputy Dermot Ahern: Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  I move amendment No. 4a:

Amendment agreed to.

Acting Chairman (Deputy Jack Wall): Information on Jack Wall  Zoom on Jack Wall  Amendment No. 5 cannot be moved.

Amendment No. 5 not moved.

Deputy Dermot Ahern: Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  I move amendment No. 5a:

Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Dermot Ahern: Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  I move amendment No. 5b:

[688]Amendment agreed to.

Section 7, as amended, agreed to.

Deputy Pat Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  I move amendment No. 6:

This amendment concerns a pivotal section, which turns on the intimidation of juries. It deletes the provisions making organised crime offences scheduled offences triable automatically in the Special Criminal Court. It preserves the right of the DPP, in particular cases, to send serious offences forward for trial to that court. It would require him to be satisfied, on reasonable and objective grounds, that there is a risk of jury intimidation and would require any court hearing a challenge to the basis of this opinion to take all necessary steps to preserve confidential information. It provides that the DPP’s opinion does not have to be one sufficient to satisfy a court beyond reasonable doubt or even on the balance of probabilities but the DPP must be satisfied there is a real and substantial risk and that no other measures for the protection of jurors and their identities are adequate to deal with the situation.

The section is pivotal to the Bill because it involves the Oireachtas declaring that the ordinary courts of the land are not adequate to deal with the effective administration of justice and the preservation of public peace and order in respect of certain offences. It is a major statement by the Oireachtas to the effect that the ordinary courts are not capable of securing effective [689]administration of justice. Until now, the Minister has not advanced any evidence to show that it is true. We have no evidence to suggest the ordinary courts are not capable of delivering justice and preserving peace and public safety. Dr. Carol Coulter stated, “the Bill has not been accompanied by any evidence of a failure on the part of the courts or any reluctance on the part of jurors to face up to their responsibilities. Indeed, the principal judge in the Central Criminal Court, Mr. Justice Paul Carney, is on the record as stating that when gang members are brought before his jury court there is no difficulty convicting.” He is the most experienced and senior judge dealing with this area of serious crime. This is the judge who took his court to Limerick and heard cases from Limerick in Dublin, which is the alternative.

The big question is that if the Oireachtas is to declare that the ordinary courts are inadequate to secure administration of justice and if juries are being intimidated why do we not have a number of perverse acquittals to which any Deputy in the House can point. Where have trials collapsed because jurors have been got at? Why do we continue to deliberately confuse witnesses with jurors? I have not heard any Member of the House deny that witness intimidation occurs. There is witness intimidation and people are in fear in certain parts of urban Ireland in particular.

It is important to understand that a move to the Special Criminal Court does not mean that justice can be administered without witnesses. Witnesses will still have to be produced in court after this legislation goes through, if the Minister is intent on putting it through today. If a case of this magnitude goes to the Special Criminal Court witnesses will still have to be produced. Late the other night, the Minister went within an ace of stating to a Deputy in this House that it might be possible to get convictions without witnesses. He did not quite say that but he went very close to the line. If people here were not vigilant to point out the obvious he might even have nodded in that direction. He knows very well that even after the implementation of the Criminal Justice (Surveillance) Bill it still will not be possible to convict without witness evidence.

Many people are offering views on this outside of the House. One can understand that this is a subject that greatly moves people for obvious reasons. Some people writing on it do not have any particular experience or expert knowledge, but they are still writing on it and one takes that for what it is worth. It is unusual to see the Garda Commissioner entering public debate on a Bill going through the Oireachtas; I do not recall it happening before.

I have much regard for the present commissioner, Fachtna Murphy, but I am also aware that when he appeared before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women’s Rights we did not get any answers to the effect that the problem was a gap in the law. In fact, until quite recently, the Garda Síochána at the highest level opposed the Labour Party Bill on Garda surveillance, which would permit material gathered by covert surveillance to be admissible as evidence in court. The then Minister, Deputy Brian Lenihan, stated it was opposed because, to use his memorable phrase, it would only serve to alert criminals to Garda investigative techniques. It appears this has changed and there may be good reasons for this change but the history should be on the record of the House.

I am glad the Government changed its view on the Labour Party Bill because, unlike this Bill, it provided some ease to witnesses not by enabling the Garda Síochána to conduct surveillance because it has always been able to do so, but by enabling the information gathered to be made admissible in court as evidence. The Government introduced a Bill similar to that of the Labour Party and it received support on this side of the House. That was important because we do nothing in this legislation to protect witnesses and we have not proved that there is a regular or serious problem of intimidation of jurors. We have the Minister’s word for this.

[690]Previously, I referred to the letter he wrote to Deputy Charles Flanagan where he could not produce any evidence of intimidation of jurors. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh tabled a written question to the Minister for reply on 7 July. Deputy Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister to state specifically the number of suspected and proven instances of jury intimidation. The Minister could not provide any. Again, he explained the view that the Garda does not maintain separate statistics so witnesses and jurors are rolled in together. To be honest, I do not buy it. If there was evidence of juror intimidation this Minister above all Ministers would put it up in lights. We would have read it from Stephen O’Byrnes or whoever. He would have put it out there; the chap who ran for Fianna Fáil on the northside would have written about it in the Irish Independent. We would have read about it. However, there is no evidence.

  1 o’clock

The Minister referred to the State solicitor in Limerick and I have already put his quote on the record; we will return to it if the Minister wants to engage on it. The State solicitor in Limerick came into the public domain after the Bill was published. Nobody in the House denies that we have a serious problem as a society driven by lucrative profits from the drugs trade where criminals who have little regard for human safety or human life are at large. Everybody in the House, without exception, wants to see them behind bars. Will this Bill make that more likely? I do not believe it will. It is a great pity that we do not have the opportunity to tease it through section by section. Perhaps it is capable of being turned into an Act that would make it more effective against the criminal bosses. As we stand, we will not be able to do that because we are only on section 8 of the Bill.

The amendment before the House does not undermine any of the Minister’s core objectives in this legislation. What it seeks to do is to allow a case where there is an apprehension of intimidation of a jury to go to the Special Criminal Court. It puts that on a statutory footing. The Director of Public Prosecutions, DPP, already has that discretion, but this amendment would put it on a statutory footing. The same DPP, only a few weeks ago made some comments to a prosecutors’ conference on the wisdom and historical reasons for jury trial. As he spelled out his arguments he said jury trial “imports a degree of democratic legitimacy into the system”.

This amendment would preserve the right of the DPP, in particular cases, to send any serious offence forward for trial to the Special Criminal Court. It merely requires him to be satisfied on reasonable and objective grounds that there is a risk of jury intimidation. I cannot understand why the Minister will not take on board this amendment. It does not do violence to any of his core objectives in the Bill. It is not consistent for the Minister to say, on the one hand — as he does in the Bill — that the ordinary courts are inadequate to deliver justice and, at the same time, in a different section of the Bill, to say that where the DPP is so minded he may refer the case to the ordinary courts anyway. Which is it?

The better approach is to put on a statutory basis the discretion, as it has been up to now, whereby the DPP, confronted with a particular case, whether it is in Limerick, Finglas or anywhere else, can refer that to the Special Criminal Court under the guidelines I set down in the amendment. I ask the Minister, at least on this section that turns on the intimidation of juries, to take on board my amendment. Let us at least amend the Bill in that respect. That would certainly colour my view on other sections about which I have some reservations, but not so serious as the reservation I have in this regard.

Deputy Dermot Ahern: Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  We need to put all of this in context. I do not suggest there is anyone in the House who does not want to do his or her best to eradicate organised crime from our society. I cannot accept the Deputy’s amendment because it cannot stand side by side with what we intend to do. What we are trying to do is to raise the level of seriousness of organised [691]gang crime offences to a similar level as pertained with regard to paramilitary organisations in this country. Currently, the DPP has the power — a power he used in the Veronica Guerin situation — to send cases into the Special Criminal Court.

I believe, as does the Government, this move is necessary, particularly in the aftermath of the Roy Collins murder. In that case some people waited four years to take revenge on a family and murder a person related to somebody who gave evidence in a trial four years earlier. I hear people suggest it, but I did not confuse the issue of witnesses and jurors. However, does anybody for one minute suggest that those people who murdered Roy Collins would stop at murdering or intimidating a juror just because he or she was a juror and not a witness? I do not believe they would.

Some people say we should not use the Special Criminal Court for organised gang crime. One of the judges in a Supreme Court case, Quilligan v. O’Reilly, said it was common knowledge, and was discussed during the debates on the enactment of the 1939 Act that what was envisaged were cases or situations of a political nature where juries could be open to intimidation or threats of various types. He went on to say that, however, a similar situation could also arise in types of cases far removed from what one would call political offences. These could well be a grave situation dealing with ordinary gangsterism or well-financed or well organised large-scale drug dealing or other situations where it might be believed or established that juries were, for some corrupt reason or by virtue of threats or illegal interference, being prevented from doing justice. It is clearly envisaged, therefore, that the Special Criminal Court can be used to deal with these situations.

In a High Court case, the DPP v. Special Criminal Court — a case taken in the context of the Veronica Guerin situation — the High Court judgment made reference to the difference between crime in traditional forms and organised crime. The High Court judgment stated that those engaged in such crime require a wall of silence to surround their activities and believe its maintenance is necessary for their protection. They have at their disposal the resources, including money and firearms, to maintain this wall of silence and will resort to any necessary means, including murder, in furtherance of that objective.

I suggest to the House that we are in that situation. I am not trying to raise the Roy Collins murder above any other murder. Of course, every murder has been awful for the families of the murdered, but the Roy Collins murder was different. Clearly, the murderers were sending out a signal to anyone in that community that if they assisted in any shape or form in cases against them, they would take revenge and make an example. Deputy Rabbitte suggests I have produced no evidence for this belief. The evidence I have produced is the word of the Garda Síochána saying this is necessary, on the basis of the hard evidence it has over a number of years, but particularly in recent times and in certain areas, of jury intimidation, interference and threats.

This is more surreptitious than witness intimidation and we know that. We changed the law in 2007 to take previously recanted statements of witnesses. That is working well. Some 200 lawyers wrote letters about that 2007 legislation and the Law Society said it needed more time to examine it and it should not be rushed through. Has the world fallen in since that legislation? No it has not.

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  It has not worked.

Deputy Dermot Ahern: Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  It has. It worked in the area of witnesses who had recanted their statements. Their previous statements were accepted by the court. It has worked in a number [692]of other cases also. It has worked and the world has not fallen in. All the hullabaloo predicted at the time by the 200 lawyers did not happen. I hazard a guess the same will be true in this case.

This Bill has been criticised for provisions that are not even in it. I remind Deputies of the reason I brought this forward. The catalyst for the legislation was not my meeting with Steve Collins — I only met him a couple of weeks ago — but the Roy Collins murder. Clearly, that was different from any murder that has taken place in the State. It was an attack on the people, the State and on the criminal justice system. If the Oireachtas did not respond to that attack, we would be ignoring the level of threat and intimidation communities suffer in their daily lives. We did not base our view on what the State solicitor had said, because we made our decision before he spoke on the issue. I did not base it on what Paul Williams very eloquently said on a “Newstalk” programme recently. Nobody would second guess him — he is one of the most respected investigative crime journalists in the country.

The Government had the benefit of the Minister, Deputy O’Dea, at Cabinet meetings and had to take on board what he said. Deputy O’Donnell is on the record of this House as saying there has been jury intimidation in his area. The Minister of State, Deputy Power, said the same. Others mentioned intimidation to me privately. Deputy Finian McGrath referred to it happening in areas he represents. To be fair, that information is all anecdotal.

The evidence brought to Cabinet by me, aside from what the Minister, Deputy O’Dea, said was the hard evidence gardaí have garnered recently, particularly in the aftermath of the Roy Collins murder. I respect Deputy Rabbitte’s amendment. It is important to emphasise that there is provision for a 12-month review in the Bill. We will review and examine what has happened over the past year when we come to conduct a review. It may well be that the DPP will not have brought a prosecution and I will fully understand that.

The Oireachtas has to give a signal to the DPP and the wider community, particularly those directing and participating in organised gang crime, that if one participates in it, one will bear the full brunt of the available legislation and will go before a non-jury trial. Therefore, we are removing from the equation any attempt by the people behind the person who pulls the trigger to attack and intimidate jurors. One is reducing the level of civilian interaction in such trials.

I heard what was said about Mr. Justice Carney, but I have to listen to what the Garda Síochána said about intimidation. I respectfully suggest that gardaí are on the ground day in and day out working in this area. I have to listen to people such as the Minister, Deputy O’Dea, who said when people in his area receive a jury summons they shake like leaves because they are afraid. We also have to look at the statistics on gangland crime trials. When they are held, particularly in Limerick, the level of jury participation drops dramatically and increases when such trials are no longer taking place.

It is the view of Government that it is important to send out a strong signal that these offences will be tried in a non-jury court unless the DPP directs otherwise. I strongly urge this House to follow that so a signal is sent to those who are orchestrating these crimes and sending out patsies to do their dirty work. The gardaí have been very successful in putting away the people who pulled the trigger, but have not been as successful with those who have been orchestrating crime.

We have introduced this Bill to put a greater onus on the system to respond and to try to make it easier for prosecutions. One of the major difficulties we had was in trying to establish what constitutes a criminal gang. It is much more difficult to define than a paramilitary organis[693]ation. The last section we divided on concerned the expert evidence of a garda. It was a stupid decision by the Opposition and I could not understand it, but it is its prerogative.

It is vital that we send out a strong signal to the wider community that the State will protect it, and to the DPP that all of these offences will be contained in the Bill. I accept judges are able to put prejudice out of their minds when dealing with these issues, but by leaving the matter to the DPP, if he decides a case must be tried in the Special Criminal Court, as is the case currently, it may be that there is perhaps an element of prejudice in such a decision.

The Oireachtas has been convulsed every time there has been a murder. I do not say this in a political way, but people on the other side of the House, when there is a murder, criticise the Government knowing full well we do our level best in regard to the resources we provide to the Garda. I do not accept what Deputies have said because those who represent Limerick, Finglas and other areas will attest to the fact that gardaí in those areas are extremely well-resourced. It is a criticism Deputy Rabbitte sometimes makes, namely, that there are more gardaí per head of population in Limerick than in his constituency. That is because there are particular difficulties in those geographic areas.

I strongly urge the House not to divide on this issue and accept what the Government is trying to do, that is, raise the level of this type of insidious, organised gang crime to that which the House previously adopted regarding the paramilitary threat against the State.

Acting Chairman: Information on Jack Wall  Zoom on Jack Wall  Four Deputies wish to contribute and there is less than 15 minutes left for the debate on this Bill.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  The Minister began his contribution by saying this issue should be put in context. He is quite correct; there is a context. Wayne Doherty, Roy Collins, Donna Cleary, Shane Geoghegan and many others have been mentioned in the debate and we should put the issue in that context. However, it would do them a disservice to turn our criminal justice system on its head. The DPP currently has, as the Minister said, the privilege to refer cases such as these to the Special Criminal Court.

The context we should put this in are the replies to my comments which Deputy Rabbitte read out, namely, that there is no context and the opposite has been proven by the Minister in his own words. He also said the Bill was drafted based on the evidence produced by the Garda Commissioner and that he is acting on that. It is a pity we do not have the opportunity to debate this issue with the Garda Commissioner and have the statistics he would be able to rely on. It is also a pity the Minister does not act on everything else the Garda Commissioner asked for, including money for barracks, Internet, radios, extra units of the drugs squad and a range of other issues.

The other context is that the Special Criminal Court has been continuously criticised by the UN, the Human Rights Commission, the ICCL and, in particular, the Government’s Hederman committee, which looked at the role of the Special Criminal Court and whether it should be extended or ended. It found, regrettably, that it should remain in place, but specifically stated that there should be no further extension of scheduling offences to it.

I will not labour the point because other Deputies wish to contribute. What message is going out? In some ways the message to criminal gangs is that they have won and have managed to turn our system on its head, and we are declaring martial law or its equivalent instead of using the existing laws, properly resourcing the Garda Síochána and using the new Criminal Justice (Surveillance) Bill. The key point on this amendment and on this section is that we are dis[694]cussing juries. Steps could be taken which could lead to the protection of juries and could make it impossible or virtually impossible to intimidate them, but these steps have not been taken.

Reference to Limerick is, rightly, made on a continuous basis. However, when there was a problem the court was moved out of Limerick and there were successful prosecutions. To my knowledge there has been no jury intimidation here. Perhaps this is where the first steps should have been taken and perhaps the court should not sit in Limerick until such time as there is confidence once again in the ability to find juries. In Ireland the level of convictions by jury trials is quite high in comparison to other countries.

Deputy Dermot Ahern: Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  The issue of alternatives was considered and we received advice from the Garda. However, the alternatives are impractical in a country the size of Ireland because these gangs have tentacles in different parts of the country and that has been proven in some high profile cases. Alternatives related to jury intimidation are not possible because of the size of the country. They work well in countries such as the USA where people can remain anonymous in a large country but not in a country such as Ireland.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  They have not been tried here and when they were tried they were successful. When the court was moved out of Limerick in the Keane case there was a successful prosecution. It is the case that we are a small country and it is difficult to find a solution but making juries anonymous, using video links or sequestering them could work. It has not been proven that they do not work. Why opt for the worst case scenario when other options are available but have not been tried or tested? Such measures, along with the surveillance Bill and the changes introduced could have been successful. If there were a possibility of jury intimidation then one would use the surveillance Bill and where one could provide proof and get convictions, then the Minister could revert to us and demonstrate the examples, the facts and the figures concerning jury intimidation.

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  I differ in my view from Sinn Féin on the matter of the Special Criminal Court. I see a role for that court in certain circumstances. The Minister states he is sending out a signal but I regret that he is doing nothing more and that this is a signal without substance. This amounts to announcing a declaration that the ordinary courts are inadequate to secure the effective administration of justice and the preservation of public peace and order in the State, a savage indictment of the past 12 years of Government. It is an indication by the Minister that he and his predecessors have failed to deal with the problems in the criminal justice system.

As other Deputies have stated, the most important aspect of any Administration is the provision of proper enforcement proceedings with any legislation as well as resources. It is easier to legislate than to provide resources and it seems we are doing nothing more than legislating because of the great imposition on Garda frontline activity and the failure to properly police our ports and to ensure we deal with the menace of gangland and drugs in the manner in which we should. Fine Gael will support the legislation but with reservations related to the manner in which we have been debarred from debating the important issues.

The Constitution enshrines the right to a trial by jury. The Minister mentioned the Gilligan case but one could also refer to the Kavanagh case and the criticism of the use of the Special Criminal Court both nationally and internationally. While I support the Special Criminal Court it is important that it is used on a case-by-case basis. That would be a good deal more preferable than introducing a statutory provision to the effect that cases would go to the Special Criminal [695]Court as a matter of course, unless the Director of Public Prosecutions advises otherwise. I am unsure if such a blanket referral would withstand a constitutional challenge and I call on the Minister to inform the House of the advice he has received from the Attorney General in that regard.

The Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by jury and goes even further than some of the international conventions to which Deputy Ó Snodaigh referred. If we are to ensure this legislation is as effective as the Minister maintains, then any decision should be on a case-by-case basis and it should be left to the Director of Public Prosecutions to decide.

I also believe we have not dealt adequately with alternatives. I do not intend to rehearse the arguments about the letter to The Irish Times, the parliamentary question or the manner in which the authorities never separate the matter of intimidation of jurors from the intimidation of witnesses, for reasons best known to themselves. I am unsure if we have dealt with the alternatives such as the options of screening or anonymous juries. Some years ago a trial related to events in Limerick was held in Dublin which did not present any great difficulties. The locality could be different and perhaps juries could be brought in from other parts of the country which may not prove too difficult in the circumstances. The Minister is doing no more than sending out a signal which could perhaps have the opposite effect to his intention.

The legislation may well be unworkable. An important aspect of this debate is to ensure it is robust and that it could withstand a constitutional challenge. That is the reason some months ago in this House the Taoiseach indicated that important sections of the 2007 Act were unworkable because they were constitutionally unsound. We do not appear to be learning in any way from the mistakes of the past.

Deputy Joe Costello: Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  None of us ever expected the day would come when we would be asked to declare or admit that the ordinary courts of the land are not adequate to deal with the administration of justice. The jury trial is a cornerstone of the criminal justice system. I am concerned about the question of constitutionality. We have incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights into legislation. Serious constitutional questions arise but what concerns me above all is the anecdotal fashion in which the Minister has presented his case. If this and the other House are being asked to make a declaration that the Special Criminal Court will be the means by which the administration of justice will operate, then we should have heard more than anecdotal evidence. Expert evidence should have been presented. The Garda should have appeared before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice, Equality Defence and Women’s Rights. The evidence, which according to the Minister exists but cannot be produced, should have been put on record. I could equally outline anecdotal evidence to the contrary.

I represent the constituency of Dublin Central which includes the north inner city where there is a significant amount of gangland crime, especially drug-related shootings. I am a member of the local drugs task force and I chair the supply control drugs committee on the community policing forum. We have been asked questions about policing, about the courts, about the prisons and on no occasion has there been a call that we would abolish the juries. This is where the Minister’s case falls down.

Deputy Jan O’Sullivan: Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  That the two Limerick Deputies have not had an opportunity to contribute to amendment No. 6 of 43 amendments to this legislation is an indication of how ridiculous the timescale has been.

Deputy Dermot Ahern: Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  The Deputy had time last Friday.

[696]Acting Chairman: Information on Jack Wall  Zoom on Jack Wall  The order of the House was maintained in respect of the section.

Deputy Jan O’Sullivan: Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  I want to speak on this amendment.

Deputy Dermot Ahern: Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  The Deputy had five hours last Friday.

Acting Chairman: Information on Jack Wall  Zoom on Jack Wall  As it is now 1.30 p.m. 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 Justice, Equality and Law Reform for Committee Stage and not disposed of are hereby made to the Bill, in respect of each of the sections undisposed of, the section, or as appropriate, the section as amended, is hereby agreed in Committee, that the Title is hereby agreed in Committee, that the Bill, as amended, is accordingly reported to the House, that Fourth Stage is hereby completed and the Bill is hereby passed.”

Question put.

The Dáil divided: Tá, 118; Níl, 23.

Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Ahern, Bertie. Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  Ahern, Dermot.
Information on Michael Ahern  Zoom on Michael Ahern  Ahern, Michael. Information on Noel Ahern  Zoom on Noel Ahern  Ahern, Noel.
Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Allen, Bernard. Information on Barry Andrews  Zoom on Barry Andrews  Andrews, Barry.
Information on Chris Andrews  Zoom on Chris Andrews  Andrews, Chris. Information on Seán Ardagh  Zoom on Seán Ardagh  Ardagh, Seán.
Information on Bobby Aylward  Zoom on Bobby Aylward  Aylward, Bobby. Information on James Bannon  Zoom on James Bannon  Bannon, James.
Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Barrett, Seán. Information on Joe Behan  Zoom on Joe Behan  Behan, Joe.
Information on Niall Blaney  Zoom on Niall Blaney  Blaney, Niall. Information on Aine Brady  Zoom on Aine Brady  Brady, Áine.
Information on Cyprian Brady  Zoom on Cyprian Brady  Brady, Cyprian. Information on Johnny Brady  Zoom on Johnny Brady  Brady, Johnny.
Information on Pat Breen  Zoom on Pat Breen  Breen, Pat. Information on John Browne  Zoom on John Browne  Browne, John.
Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  Bruton, Richard. Information on Ulick Burke  Zoom on Ulick Burke  Burke, Ulick.
Information on Catherine Byrne  Zoom on Catherine Byrne  Byrne, Catherine. Information on Thomas Byrne  Zoom on Thomas Byrne  Byrne, Thomas.
Information on Joe Carey  Zoom on Joe Carey  Carey, Joe. Information on Pat Carey  Zoom on Pat Carey  Carey, Pat.
Information on Deirdre Clune  Zoom on Deirdre Clune  Clune, Deirdre. Information on Niall Collins  Zoom on Niall Collins  Collins, Niall.
Information on Margaret Conlon  Zoom on Margaret Conlon  Conlon, Margaret. Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  Connaughton, Paul.
Information on Sean Connick  Zoom on Sean Connick  Connick, Seán. Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  Coughlan, Mary.
Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  Coveney, Simon. Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  Crawford, Seymour.
Information on Michael Creed  Zoom on Michael Creed  Creed, Michael. Information on John Cregan  Zoom on John Cregan  Cregan, John.
Information on Lucinda Creighton  Zoom on Lucinda Creighton  Creighton, Lucinda. 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 Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  Deenihan, Jimmy. Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Dempsey, Noel.
Information on Jimmy Devins  Zoom on Jimmy Devins  Devins, Jimmy. Information on Tim Dooley  Zoom on Tim Dooley  Dooley, Timmy.
Information on Andrew Doyle  Zoom on Andrew Doyle  Doyle, Andrew. Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Durkan, Bernard J.
Information on Damien English  Zoom on Damien English  English, Damien. Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright  Enright, Olwyn.
Information on Frank Fahey  Zoom on Frank Fahey  Fahey, Frank. Information on Frank Feighan  Zoom on Frank Feighan  Feighan, Frank.
Information on Michael Finneran  Zoom on Michael Finneran  Finneran, Michael. Information on Michael Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Michael Fitzpatrick  Fitzpatrick, Michael.
Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  Flanagan, Charles. Information on Terence Flanagan  Zoom on Terence Flanagan  Flanagan, Terence.
Information on Seán Fleming  Zoom on Seán Fleming  Fleming, Seán. 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 Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  Hanafin, Mary. Information on Seán Haughey  Zoom on Seán Haughey  Haughey, Seán.
Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  Hayes, Brian. Information on Máire Hoctor  Zoom on Máire Hoctor  Hoctor, Máire.
Information on Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  Kehoe, Paul. Information on Billy Kelleher  Zoom on Billy Kelleher  Kelleher, Billy.
Information on Peter Kelly  Zoom on Peter Kelly  Kelly, Peter. Information on Brendan Kenneally  Zoom on Brendan Kenneally  Kenneally, Brendan.
Information on Michael Kennedy  Zoom on Michael Kennedy  Kennedy, Michael. Information on Tony Killeen  Zoom on Tony Killeen  Killeen, Tony.
Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Kirk, Seamus. Information on Michael Kitt  Zoom on Michael Kitt  Kitt, Michael P.
Information on Tom Kitt  Zoom on Tom Kitt  Kitt, Tom. Zoom on George Lee  Lee, George.
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 Lowry  Zoom on Michael Lowry  Lowry, Michael. Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  McCormack, Pádraic.
Information on Tom McEllistrim  Zoom on Tom McEllistrim  McEllistrim, Thomas. Information on Shane McEntee  Zoom on Shane McEntee  McEntee, Shane.
Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  McGrath, Finian. Information on Mattie McGrath  Zoom on Mattie McGrath  McGrath, Mattie.
Information on Michael McGrath  Zoom on Michael McGrath  McGrath, Michael. Information on John McGuinness  Zoom on John McGuinness  McGuinness, John.
Information on Joe McHugh  Zoom on Joe McHugh  McHugh, Joe. Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  Martin, Micheál.
Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  Mitchell, Olivia. Information on John Moloney  Zoom on John Moloney  Moloney, John.
Information on Michael Moynihan  Zoom on Michael Moynihan  Moynihan, Michael. Information on Michael Mulcahy  Zoom on Michael Mulcahy  Mulcahy, Michael.
Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten  Naughten, Denis. Information on Dan Neville  Zoom on Dan Neville  Neville, Dan.
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 Kieran O'Donnell  Zoom on Kieran O'Donnell  O’Donnell, Kieran.
Information on Fergus O'Dowd  Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd  O’Dowd, Fergus. Information on Noel O'Flynn  Zoom on Noel O'Flynn  O’Flynn, Noel.
Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  O’Hanlon, Rory. 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, Edward. Information on John O'Mahony  Zoom on John O'Mahony  O’Mahony, John.
Information on Mary O'Rourke  Zoom on Mary O'Rourke  O’Rourke, Mary. Information on Christy O'Sullivan  Zoom on Christy O'Sullivan  O’Sullivan, Christy.
Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  Perry, John. Information on Seán Power  Zoom on Seán Power  Power, Seán.
Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  Reilly, James. Information on Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan  Ryan, Eamon.
Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  Sargent, Trevor. Information on Eamon Scanlon  Zoom on Eamon Scanlon  Scanlon, Eamon.
Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter  Shatter, Alan. Information on Tom Sheahan  Zoom on Tom Sheahan  Sheahan, Tom.
Information on Brendan Smith  Zoom on Brendan Smith  Smith, Brendan. Information on David Stanton  Zoom on David Stanton  Stanton, David.
Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  Timmins, Billy. Information on Noel Treacy  Zoom on Noel Treacy  Treacy, Noel.
Information on Leo Varadkar  Zoom on Leo Varadkar  Varadkar, Leo. Information on Mary Wallace  Zoom on Mary Wallace  Wallace, Mary.
Information on Mary Alexandra White  Zoom on Mary Alexandra White  White, Mary Alexandra. Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  Woods, Michael.



Níl
Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  Burton, Joan. Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  Costello, Joe.
Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Gilmore, Eamon. Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  Higgins, Michael D.
Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Howlin, Brendan. Information on Ciaran Lynch  Zoom on Ciaran Lynch  Lynch, Ciarán.
Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Lynch, Kathleen. Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  McManus, Liz.
Information on Arthur Morgan  Zoom on Arthur Morgan  Morgan, Arthur. 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 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 Maureen O'Sullivan  Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan  O’Sullivan, Maureen.
Information on Willie Penrose  Zoom on Willie Penrose  Penrose, Willie. Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Quinn, Ruairí.
Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Rabbitte, Pat. Information on Sean Sherlock  Zoom on Sean Sherlock  Sherlock, Seán.
Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  Shortall, Róisín. Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  Stagg, Emmet.
Information on Joanna Tuffy  Zoom on Joanna Tuffy  Tuffy, Joanna. Information on Mary Upton  Zoom on Mary Upton  Upton, Mary.
Information on Jack Wall  Zoom on Jack Wall  Wall, Jack.  

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Pat Carey and John Cregan; Níl, Deputies Emmet Stagg and Aengus Ó Snodaigh.

Question declared carried.


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