Order of Business

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 715 No. 2

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The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  It is proposed to take No. a11, motion re membership of committees; No. 11, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the ratification by Ireland of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, back from committee; No. 11a, motion re referral [361]to select committee of proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the terms of the borrowing agreement between Ireland and the International Monetary Fund; No. 11b, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the draft Commission of Investigation (Banking Sector) Order 2010; No. 11c, motion re referral to joint committee of macroeconomic policy lessons as set out in the report by Klaus Regling and Max Watson, entitled A Preliminary Report on The Sources of Ireland’s Banking Crisis; No. 19, Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009 [Seanad] — Second and Remaining Stages (resumed); No. 20, Criminal Procedure Bill 2009 [Seanad] — Order for Report, Report and Final Stages; and No. 22, Multi-Unit Developments Bill 2009 [Seanad] — Second Stage (resumed).

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that the Dáil shall sit later than 4.45 p.m. tonight and business shall be interrupted on the conclusion of Question Time, which shall be taken for 75 minutes on the conclusion of No. 22, and in the event of a private notice question being allowed, it shall be taken after 45 minutes; and the order shall not resume thereafter; Nos. a11, 11 and 11a shall be decided without debate; Nos. 11b and 11c shall be debated together and the proceedings thereon shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion after 1 hour ten minutes and the following arrangements shall apply: the speeches shall be confined to a Minister or Minister of State and to the main spokespersons for Fine Gael, the Labour Party and Sinn Féin, who shall be called upon in that order, who may share their time, and shall not exceed 15 minutes in each case, and a Minister or Minister of State shall be called upon to make a speech in reply which shall not exceed ten minutes; the following arrangements shall apply in relation to No. 19: the proceedings on the resumed Second Stage shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion after 30 minutes, the proceedings on the Committee and Remaining Stages shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 4.10 p.m. today by one question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, in relation to amendments, include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government; the Report and Final Stages of No. 20 shall be taken today and the proceedings thereon shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 6.10 p.m. by one question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, in relation to amendments, include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for Justice and Law Reform; the proceedings on the resumed Second Stage of No. 22 shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 10 p.m. tonight; and in the event a division is called, it shall be postponed until immediately after the Order of Business on Wednesday, 29 September 2010; and the Dáil on its rising today shall adjourn until 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 29 September 2010.

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  I must object.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Please, there are seven items to be put to the House and I will call the Deputy at the appropriate time.

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  I understand that, but may I just make one comment?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  At the appropriate time, please not at this time.

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  This is all strung together by a common theme, namely, that the Government wants to run away for three months while the rest of the country must face the reality of 452,000 people unemployed, people without respite for their loved ones for the whole of the summer and the rest of this year——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  The Deputy may make his point later when we progress the items which I have to put to the House.

[362]Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  ——bankers running amok pulling the wool over the eyes of the Minister for Finance.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Please, the Deputy is out of order.

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  Well, it is entirely out of order for the House to rise for three months in the face of an economic crisis and huge and unprecedented unemployment.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  The Deputy should allow the Chair to put the proposals to the House and then he can deal with them as we go along.

Is the proposal that the Dáil shall sit later than 4.45 p.m. tonight agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with Nos. a11, 11 and 11a, motions re membership of committees, proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the ratification by Ireland of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and referral to select committee of proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the terms of the borrowing agreement between Ireland and the International Monetary Fund, without debate, agreed to? Agreed.

Is the proposal for dealing with Nos. 11b and 11c, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the draft Commission of Investigation (Banking Sector) Order 2010 and referral to joint committee of macro-economic policy lessons as set out in the report by Klaus Regling and Max Watson, entitled A Preliminary Report on The Sources of Ireland’s Banking Crisis, agreed to?

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  It is not agreed. Once again the guillotine is being applied to motions. Fine Gael intends to oppose every guillotine. Not alone that, the motion before us, the proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the draft commission of investigation very conveniently leaves out any hand, act or part of the Ministers or the Department of Finance in this. That is totally unacceptable to this side of the House. It is very clear now that the Minister for Finance had the wool pulled over his eyes. Plainly and simply, he was conned by the banks. It appears that the only people left now to pick up the tab are the taxpayers, who are decreasing in number daily as more and more people lose their jobs.

Deputies:  Hear, hear.

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  We need to see real action and a commitment from the Government side of the House that section 7 of the NAMA Act, which provides for jail terms of five years and fines of up to €5 million for an individual and €20 million for a bank who have been found to mislead NAMA and the Government, will be acted upon. Action must be taken. People must be held accountable and people must go to jail. That is what people want to see. People found guilty have committed an offence and must pay the penalty, or else this commission is just more window dressing by the Government.

Deputies:  Hear, hear.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  The Government proposal is for a commission of investigation, for which the Minister has set aside a budget of €1.8 million to be spent by the end of this year. That is a significant amount of money for an international expert who will come and tell us why the banks failed. That is important. The Government has accepted the extension of the terms of reference, as proposed by the Labour Party, to cover the period to 15 January. However, the commission of inquiry will not look at the role of the Taoiseach or of Ministers for Finance or the role of the current Taoiseach when he was Minister for Finance. They are all carefully excluded from the terms of reference of this investigation and of the other two investigations. There is to be a private benchmarking inquiry into the Department of Finance [363]and its failures and there is to be a Dáil committee to look at the macro-economic lessons we can learn.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  There is no permission for a debate at this time. We can have brief comments, but not a debate.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  No, this country is going to drown in inquiries, but that will not result in an extra euro of credit getting out to businesses in the country that are hanging on by their fingernails and letting employees go. This inquiry will take into account the actions of banks that have, clearly, lied to NAMA. The Government accepted those lies uncritically and told us the Irish banks were fine because stress testing showed they were fine. It is proposed that we deal with this matter in one hour and ten minutes and that the debate will be guillotined. That time will allow approximately only one person from each of the parties, including the Government, to speak briefly. In terms of parliamentary democracy, that is completely inadequate. The guillotine is not appropriate to this particular motion. It used to be the case that before the summer recess there would be a two to three-day Adjournment debate on the performance of the Government, the situation of the economy and the plight of the unemployed. This Government is running away from telling people how it proposes to recover the economy, rebuild the country and get people back to work.

Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  These proposals relate to motions, not legislation, and ordinarily we would understand in the circumstances of the last day of the session that they must be timeframed. However, the import of the motions cannot be addressed in an hour and ten minutes. That is an absolutely inadequate timeframe to address what is of huge importance. What is contained in all of this is absolutely at the core of everything that has gone wrong in terms of our economy and its impact on the daily living conditions of so many ordinary people the length and breadth of this State.

It is important to be balanced in one’s contribution on this. We welcome the extension of the period, up to January of last year, that the commission of inquiry will investigate; that is an important step forward. However, there are many other matters that must be addressed. While the joint committee will consider the matter, it should be also debated in plenary session. This Dáil Chamber needs to devote more time to this very important issue which, as I said, is at the core of all our economic difficulties. We oppose the time allotment in this case.

Question put.

The Dáil divided: Tá, 74; Níl, 69.

Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Ahern, Bertie. Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  Ahern, Dermot.
Information on Michael Ahern  Zoom on Michael Ahern  Ahern, Michael. Information on Noel Ahern  Zoom on Noel Ahern  Ahern, Noel.
Information on Barry Andrews  Zoom on Barry Andrews  Andrews, Barry. Information on Chris Andrews  Zoom on Chris Andrews  Andrews, Chris.
Information on Bobby Aylward  Zoom on Bobby Aylward  Aylward, Bobby. 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 John Browne  Zoom on John Browne  Browne, John.
Information on Thomas Byrne  Zoom on Thomas Byrne  Byrne, Thomas. Information on Dara Calleary  Zoom on Dara Calleary  Calleary, Dara.
Information on Pat Carey  Zoom on Pat Carey  Carey, Pat. Information on Sean Connick  Zoom on Sean Connick  Connick, Seán.
Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  Coughlan, Mary. Information on John Cregan  Zoom on John Cregan  Cregan, John.
Information on Ciaran Cuffe  Zoom on Ciaran Cuffe  Cuffe, Ciarán. Information on John Curran  Zoom on John Curran  Curran, John.
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 Frank Fahey  Zoom on Frank Fahey  Fahey, Frank.
Information on Michael Finneran  Zoom on Michael Finneran  Finneran, Michael. Information on Michael Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Michael Fitzpatrick  Fitzpatrick, Michael.
Information on Seán Fleming  Zoom on Seán Fleming  Fleming, Seán. Information on Beverley Cooper-Flynn  Zoom on Beverley Cooper-Flynn  Flynn, Beverley.
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 Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  Harney, Mary. Information on Seán Haughey  Zoom on Seán Haughey  Haughey, Seán.
Information on Jackie Healy-Rae  Zoom on Jackie Healy-Rae  Healy-Rae, Jackie. Information on Máire Hoctor  Zoom on Máire Hoctor  Hoctor, Máire.
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 Michael Kitt  Zoom on Michael Kitt  Kitt, Michael P.
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 Lowry  Zoom on Michael Lowry  Lowry, Michael.
Information on Tom McEllistrim  Zoom on Tom McEllistrim  McEllistrim, Thomas. Information on Michael McGrath  Zoom on Michael McGrath  McGrath, Michael.
Information on John McGuinness  Zoom on John McGuinness  McGuinness, John. Information on Dr Martin Mansergh  Zoom on Dr Martin Mansergh  Mansergh, Martin.
Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  Martin, Micheál. 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 M. J. Nolan  Zoom on M. J. Nolan  Nolan, M.J. Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  Ó Cuív, Éamon.
Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Ó Fearghaíl, Seán. Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  O’Connor, Charlie.
Information on Willie O'Dea  Zoom on Willie O'Dea  O’Dea, Willie. Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  O’Donoghue, John.
Information on 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 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 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 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 James Bannon  Zoom on James Bannon  Bannon, James. Information on Joe Behan  Zoom on Joe Behan  Behan, Joe.
Information on Pat Breen  Zoom on Pat Breen  Breen, Pat. 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 Ulick Burke  Zoom on Ulick Burke  Burke, Ulick.
Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  Burton, Joan. Information on Catherine Byrne  Zoom on Catherine Byrne  Byrne, Catherine.
Information on Joe Carey  Zoom on Joe Carey  Carey, Joe. Information on Deirdre Clune  Zoom on Deirdre Clune  Clune, Deirdre.
Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  Connaughton, Paul. Information on Noel Coonan  Zoom on Noel Coonan  Coonan, Noel J.
Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  Costello, Joe. Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  Coveney, Simon.
Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  Crawford, Seymour. Information on Michael Creed  Zoom on Michael Creed  Creed, Michael.
Information on Lucinda Creighton  Zoom on Lucinda Creighton  Creighton, Lucinda. Information on John Deasy  Zoom on John Deasy  Deasy, John.
Information on Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  Deenihan, Jimmy. 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 Feighan  Zoom on Frank Feighan  Feighan, Frank.
Information on Martin Ferris  Zoom on Martin Ferris  Ferris, Martin. Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  Flanagan, Charles.
Information on Terence Flanagan  Zoom on Terence Flanagan  Flanagan, Terence. Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Gilmore, Eamon.
Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  Hayes, Brian. Information on Tom Hayes  Zoom on Tom Hayes  Hayes, Tom.
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 Ciaran Lynch  Zoom on Ciaran Lynch  Lynch, Ciarán. Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Lynch, Kathleen.
Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  McCormack, Pádraic. 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 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 Dan Neville  Zoom on Dan Neville  Neville, Dan.
Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  Noonan, Michael. 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 Kieran O'Donnell  Zoom on Kieran O'Donnell  O’Donnell, Kieran.
Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Jim. Information on John O'Mahony  Zoom on John O'Mahony  O’Mahony, John.
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 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 Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  Reilly, James.
Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  Ring, Michael. Information on Tom Sheahan  Zoom on Tom Sheahan  Sheahan, Tom.
Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  Sheehan, P.J. Information on Sean Sherlock  Zoom on Sean Sherlock  Sherlock, Seán.
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 Joanna Tuffy  Zoom on Joanna Tuffy  Tuffy, Joanna.
Information on Mary Upton  Zoom on Mary Upton  Upton, Mary. Information on Leo Varadkar  Zoom on Leo Varadkar  Varadkar, Leo.
Information on Jack Wall  Zoom on Jack Wall  Wall, Jack.  

Tellers: Tá, Deputies John Cregan and John Curran; Níl, Deputies Emmet Stagg and Paul Kehoe.

Question declared carried.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Is the proposal for dealing with No. 19 agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 20 agreed to?

[365]Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  This is another Bill to be guillotined and this will not allow enough time for people to make a contribution. I realise the Minister for Justice and Law Reform is across the way. The amount of crime continuing in our country, including serious gun crime, has not been ameliorated by the statutes brought in to date.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Hear, hear.

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  We need a proper and full debate on this matter. This side of the House has been opposed to guillotines. I realise we will come to the matter later but this House will rise for three months. Why not sit until the end of July and hold a proper debate on these issues?

Deputy Dermot Ahern: Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  Dream on.

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  These issues are of serious concern to the people and to the many victims of crime in the country.

(Interruptions).

Deputy Seymour Crawford: Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  The dogs are more important.

(Interruptions).

Deputy Paul Kehoe: Information on Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  I will help Deputy Ahern look up those trees.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Can we have Deputy Ó Caoláin without interruption, please?

  11 o’clock

Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  To stand up on each of the individual tranches of legislation, namely, Nos. 19, 20 and 22, would be repetitious and inappropriate given the business we must address here today. I take this opportunity to indicate that we oppose the guillotine being imposed on each of these tranches of legislation, including No. 19, to which the Ceann Comhairle referred one moment ago and which had not been objected to at that time. For each of the three tranches of legislation, that is, the Dog Breeding Establishments Bill, the Criminal Procedure Bill and the Multi-Unit Developments Bill, the guillotines applied are inappropriate and unnecessary.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  I have objected to the use of the guillotine throughout this week and last week. However, on this occasion I must acknowledge that the Government has acceded to a request from the Labour Party that the Multi-Unit Developments Bill would be passed on Second Stage before the summer recess to allow it to go on Committee Stage. This is legislation the Labour Party has sought for some considerable time. There are significant problems in various apartment blocks with the operation of management companies and their functioning and this area has been unregulated for a long period.

Some time ago we moved proposals and we pressed Government to introduce and pass legislation dealing with multi-unit developments, management companies and everything that goes with that. I acknowledge that the Government has included Second Stage of the Multi-Unit Developments Bill in today’s Order Paper, the conclusion of which will allow it to go on Committee Stage during recess. However, I very much regret that it will be three months before the Bill can come back into the House for Report and Final Stages and be enacted. That is something I will deal with when I contribute on proposal No. 7. I should acknowledge, in fairness, that the Government has acknowledged to the Labour Party that this Bill be taken today.

[366]Question put: “That the proposal for dealing with No. 20 be agreed to.”

The Dáil divided: Tá, 75; Níl, 70.

Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Ahern, Bertie. Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  Ahern, Dermot.
Information on Michael Ahern  Zoom on Michael Ahern  Ahern, Michael. Information on Noel Ahern  Zoom on Noel Ahern  Ahern, Noel.
Information on Barry Andrews  Zoom on Barry Andrews  Andrews, Barry. Information on Chris Andrews  Zoom on Chris Andrews  Andrews, Chris.
Information on Bobby Aylward  Zoom on Bobby Aylward  Aylward, Bobby. 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 John Browne  Zoom on John Browne  Browne, John.
Information on Thomas Byrne  Zoom on Thomas Byrne  Byrne, Thomas. Information on Dara Calleary  Zoom on Dara Calleary  Calleary, Dara.
Information on Pat Carey  Zoom on Pat Carey  Carey, Pat. Information on Sean Connick  Zoom on Sean Connick  Connick, Seán.
Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  Coughlan, Mary. Information on John Cregan  Zoom on John Cregan  Cregan, John.
Information on Ciaran Cuffe  Zoom on Ciaran Cuffe  Cuffe, Ciarán. Information on John Curran  Zoom on John Curran  Curran, John.
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 Frank Fahey  Zoom on Frank Fahey  Fahey, Frank.
Information on Michael Finneran  Zoom on Michael Finneran  Finneran, Michael. Information on Michael Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Michael Fitzpatrick  Fitzpatrick, Michael.
Information on Seán Fleming  Zoom on Seán Fleming  Fleming, Seán. Information on Beverley Cooper-Flynn  Zoom on Beverley Cooper-Flynn  Flynn, Beverley.
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 Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  Harney, Mary. Information on Seán Haughey  Zoom on Seán Haughey  Haughey, Seán.
Information on Jackie Healy-Rae  Zoom on Jackie Healy-Rae  Healy-Rae, Jackie. Information on Máire Hoctor  Zoom on Máire Hoctor  Hoctor, Máire.
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 Michael Kitt  Zoom on Michael Kitt  Kitt, Michael P.
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 Lowry  Zoom on Michael Lowry  Lowry, Michael.
Information on Tom McEllistrim  Zoom on Tom McEllistrim  McEllistrim, Thomas. 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 Dr Martin Mansergh  Zoom on Dr Martin Mansergh  Mansergh, Martin. Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  Martin, Micheál.
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 M. J. Nolan  Zoom on M. J. Nolan  Nolan, M.J.
Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  Ó Cuív, Éamon. Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Ó Fearghaíl, Seán.
Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  O’Connor, Charlie. Information on Willie O'Dea  Zoom on Willie O'Dea  O’Dea, Willie.
Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  O’Donoghue, John. Information on 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 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 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 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 James Bannon  Zoom on James Bannon  Bannon, James. Information on Joe Behan  Zoom on Joe Behan  Behan, Joe.
Information on Pat Breen  Zoom on Pat Breen  Breen, Pat. 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 Ulick Burke  Zoom on Ulick Burke  Burke, Ulick.
Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  Burton, Joan. Information on Catherine Byrne  Zoom on Catherine Byrne  Byrne, Catherine.
Information on Joe Carey  Zoom on Joe Carey  Carey, Joe. Information on Deirdre Clune  Zoom on Deirdre Clune  Clune, Deirdre.
Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  Connaughton, Paul. Information on Noel Coonan  Zoom on Noel Coonan  Coonan, Noel J.
Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  Costello, Joe. Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  Coveney, Simon.
Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  Crawford, Seymour. Information on Michael Creed  Zoom on Michael Creed  Creed, Michael.
Information on Lucinda Creighton  Zoom on Lucinda Creighton  Creighton, Lucinda. Information on John Deasy  Zoom on John Deasy  Deasy, John.
Information on Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  Deenihan, Jimmy. 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 Feighan  Zoom on Frank Feighan  Feighan, Frank.
Information on Martin Ferris  Zoom on Martin Ferris  Ferris, Martin. Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  Flanagan, Charles.
Information on Terence Flanagan  Zoom on Terence Flanagan  Flanagan, Terence. Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Gilmore, Eamon.
Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  Hayes, Brian. Information on Tom Hayes  Zoom on Tom Hayes  Hayes, Tom.
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 Ciaran Lynch  Zoom on Ciaran Lynch  Lynch, Ciarán. Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Lynch, Kathleen.
Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  McCormack, Pádraic. 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 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 Dan Neville  Zoom on Dan Neville  Neville, Dan.
Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  Noonan, Michael. 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 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 Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Jim.
Information on John O'Mahony  Zoom on John O'Mahony  O’Mahony, John. 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 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 Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  Reilly, James. Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  Ring, Michael.
Information on Tom Sheahan  Zoom on Tom Sheahan  Sheahan, Tom. Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  Sheehan, P.J.
Information on Sean Sherlock  Zoom on Sean Sherlock  Sherlock, Seán. 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 Joanna Tuffy  Zoom on Joanna Tuffy  Tuffy, Joanna. Information on Mary Upton  Zoom on Mary Upton  Upton, Mary.
Information on Leo Varadkar  Zoom on Leo Varadkar  Varadkar, Leo. Information on Jack Wall  Zoom on Jack Wall  Wall, Jack.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies John Cregan and John Curran; Níl, Deputies Emmet Stagg and Paul Kehoe.

Question declared carried.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Is the proposal for dealing with No. 22 agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for the adjournment of the Dáil agreed to?

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  No. It is the Government’s intention to rise and not return until the final days of September.

Deputy Shane McEntee: Information on Shane McEntee  Zoom on Shane McEntee  It gave into RISE yesterday.

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  The Taoiseach let this slip yesterday. The Green Party has fully colluded in this. When its Members were on this side of the House, they were the most vociferous objectors to such proposals.

Deputy Conor Lenihan: Information on Conor Lenihan  Zoom on Conor Lenihan  It is not a revolution; it is a coalition.

Deputy Paul Kehoe: Information on Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  The Green Party is the stag’s head.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Deputy Reilly, without interruption. He should not take too long before I put the question to the House.

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  I will wait until the Ceann Comhairle restores order. I hope he will afford this side of the House the same protection he affords the Government.

Yesterday, we debated the imposition of prescription charges on the most vulnerable in the country, yet not a single member of the Government parties was present for the debate. Deputy Harney, an Independent, was the only Government representative present. People are outraged by this. That is an interesting point.

Deputies:  That would be a first.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  I ask Members to restrain themselves because we have much business to transact.

Deputy Michael Ring: Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  We should have a bit of order for God’s sake and a bit of respect.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Please, Deputies, there is much work to be done.

[368]Deputy Michael Ring: Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  We are not talking about stags and dogs now, we are talking about people. You have no understanding about people.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Deputy Ring, please.

Deputy Michael Ring: Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  You are worried about the stags and the dogs but you do not care about the people.

Deputy Paul Gogarty: Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  You sold half of rural Ireland.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Allow Deputy Reilly to proceed without interruption.

Deputy Michael Ring: Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  You have the stag’s head over there.

Deputy Paul Gogarty: Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  You paved paradise and put up a parking lot.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Deputy Ring, allow the Deputy to proceed.

(Interruptions).

Deputy Michael Ring: Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  If they had their way, they would close it down until Christmas. Will we be back for Christmas Eve?

Deputy Paul Gogarty: Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  We are talking about two weeks.

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  I am glad there is such mirth on the other side of the House. They obviously look forward to their break of three months. They do not have much time or regard for the 452,000 people who have no job and will get no respite or break from the mistakes of this Government. They do not have regard for the people who have no respite care for the summer or the rest of the year. Galway might have been given a reprieve but the people of Limerick, Dublin and elsewhere will get none. These are the people we are supposed to serve. However, this Government has become increasingly self-serving. We are facing an economic crisis with rising unemployment. If this House were a company, it would be laughed out of court for taking holidays at such a time. The people are outraged and aghast at what is happening. They cannot fathom how the House can be so detached from the realities of the lives of ordinary people.

We utterly oppose this recession, or should I say recess.

(Interruptions).

Deputy Paul Gogarty: Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  This is what I call serendipity.

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  I certainly utterly oppose those who created the recession and continue to preside over the recession, and who preside over the amount of unemployment we have and the hardship they have inflicted on our people.

Deputy Michael Ring: Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  They think it is funny.

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  They continue to protect bankers. Where is section 7 of the National Asset Management Agency Act? Will it be acted upon or is it just window dressing? Will people who misled the Government and the Minister for Finance go to jail if they are found guilty of such offences? That is what people want to see. They will then believe there is some fairness in this country. At present, there is no fairness.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  The Deputy should get back on track.

[369]Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  We utterly oppose this long break. The Government shames us all by doing this.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  The proposal before us from the Fianna Fáil and Green Party Government is to close down the Dáil until 29 September.

Deputy Mary O’Rourke: Information on Mary O'Rourke  Zoom on Mary O'Rourke  That is a safer word.

Deputy Paul Kehoe: Information on Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  You are a fair woman to talk.

Deputy James Bannon: Information on James Bannon  Zoom on James Bannon  Puss in boots.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Deputy Gilmore without interruption.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Even by the standards of this Government, closing down the Dáil until 29 September is exceptional. We must go back to 2003 to find a later date for the resumption of the Dáil that the Government is proposing for this year. Undoubtedly, when the Government uses its majority shortly to get this proposal passed, and it will be opposed by the Labour Party, it will inevitably be reported that the Deputies are taking holidays for three months. That misses the point. This is not about holidays, but about politics. The reason the Government is doing this is that it will have three months in which it will not run the risk of being defeated in a vote in this House. It will be three months of the period of time it is serving out its notice in which it will not be challenged or questioned in the House about any of its proposals.

The Government will have three months to carry out openings, launches, events and news management in the hope——

Deputy Jackie Healy-Rae: Information on Jackie Healy-Rae  Zoom on Jackie Healy-Rae  What about Puck Fair?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Deputy Gilmore without interruption.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  It would be a disaster if the Taoiseach opened it.

Deputy Jackie Healy-Rae: Information on Jackie Healy-Rae  Zoom on Jackie Healy-Rae  And Sam Maguire.

Deputy Shane McEntee: Information on Shane McEntee  Zoom on Shane McEntee  We will see about that, Jackie.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Could we have some ciúnas?

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  If I were Deputy Healy-Rae, I would keep well clear of Killorglin in mid-August. I hear they do strange things to old bucks.

Deputy Conor Lenihan: Information on Conor Lenihan  Zoom on Conor Lenihan  You are the master of the hunt.

Deputy Shane McEntee: Information on Shane McEntee  Zoom on Shane McEntee  The stags will be back in Meath.

Deputy Martin Mansergh: Information on Dr Martin Mansergh  Zoom on Dr Martin Mansergh  Not according to the Labour Party.

Deputy Shane McEntee: Information on Shane McEntee  Zoom on Shane McEntee  The stags will be back in Meath.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Deputy McEntee, stop engaging across the floor and allow the Deputy in possession to speak.

Deputy Noel Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  The Labour Party has three months to develop policy.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  I have a suggestion for the Government if it insists on a recess until 29 September. Will it reconvene the House for one day at the beginning of September to [370]introduce the Bill to hold the referendum on children as well as table a motion to move the writ for the three by-elections for the three vacancies in the House? We could at least use the month of September to put the referendum on children before the people, have it adopted and hold the three by-elections. The last time the writ was moved in the House the Government said it did not wish to interrupt Dáil business by holding the by-elections. It can now hold them in September if it reconvenes the House for one day at the beginning of that month to move the writ, as well as introduce the Bill to hold the referendum on children. These could be held at the end of September and, at least, have some political business carried out in September if the Government insists that the Dáil cannot be back in session until 29 September. The Labour Party is absolutely opposed to the proposal that the Dáil be closed down until 29 September.

Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  We do not agree to a recess until 29 September. This is, of course, almost a ritual on the last sitting day of each pre-summer term. From our point of view the date the Dáil will reconvene is not an issue. This is not about a recess. We do not want the Government back, but a dissolution of this Dáil. The problem is not the length of time the Dáil will go into recess for the summer, but the Government that holds office over the State. That it would not return is the best answer we could get today. It should agree to a dissolution because it has no mandate.

Deputy Paul Gogarty: Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  The 2007 general election.

Deputy Billy Kelleher: Information on Billy Kelleher  Zoom on Billy Kelleher  There are only four in the Deputy’s party.

Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  It has no mandate for what it has rammed through the House over the past 12 months in particular — severe budget cuts, NAMA and a €22.5 billion deposit into a black hole called the Anglo Irish Bank. The list is endless and the record of this Government is shameless. What we want is not a proposal to recess until 29 September but this Government to face the fact that it has no mandate to continue in office. We want a decision on its part to go before the people not only in three by-elections, an Údarás election and a Dublin city election, although there is a question about that, but in a general election so the people can decide who they will trust to continue to govern the affairs of this State into the future. They do not trust this crowd here, Fianna Fáil and the Greens. The point was lost here. Deputy James Reilly made a very valid observation and it was lost in the melee of laughter. The fact of the matter is that legislation went through this House last evening, shoved through this House, the prescription charges Bill. Deputy Mary Harney, as Minister, sat there from the beginning to the end. There was not a single Fianna Fáil or Green Party Minister, Minister of State or backbencher present while that matter was being rammed across the 1.3 million people who depend on medical cards, at 50 cent per prescription item and €10 per month, but leaving the Minister and the Minister for Finance the opportunity to raise that at their behest and without any further reference to this House. There is no end of shameful decisions and failures on the part of this Government——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  The Deputy has made his point and we must move on.

Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  So, recess be damned. Let us have this Dáil dissolved and let the people decide.

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  It is an injustice to every Member of this House that on the occasion of deciding when the summer recess will happen, we create a presumption in the public mind that Members of this House will not be working when in fact, each Member of this House will be working during July, part of August and September. They will be participating in their normal duties as Members of this House and all of the committees, which have done a considerable amount of work this year, will continue in that vein.

[371]During this session we have participated in discussions in the provision of 23 pieces of legislation and I think it appropriate we have that recess to allow time for every Member of this House to take a justifiable occasion of at least two weeks off. I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone well during this recess. We will continue to do our work in hand which is very important. Therefore, the Government, proposes the date I will put to the House.

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  On a point of order, what the Tánaiste seems to miss is that this Chamber does not sit, there are no plenary sessions——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  That is not a point of order. I ask the Deputy to resume his seat.

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  ——we cannot vote, we cannot pass legislation. The Tánaiste wants us to rise when people with disability will not have any respite care——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  I am putting the question.

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  She wants us to rise when 452,000 people are unemployed——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  The Deputy has made those points already.

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  ——and facing total uncertainty.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  I am now putting the question.

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  It is not good enough. People outside are trying to stay on a——

(Interruptions).

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  The only person who takes as many holidays as the Government does is Kathryn Thomas but she gets paid for it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Is the proposal that the Dáil, on its rising today, shall adjourn until 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 29 September 2010, agreed?

Question put.

The Dáil divided: Tá, 74; Níl, 68.

Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Ahern, Bertie. Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  Ahern, Dermot.
Information on Michael Ahern  Zoom on Michael Ahern  Ahern, Michael. Information on Noel Ahern  Zoom on Noel Ahern  Ahern, Noel.
Information on Barry Andrews  Zoom on Barry Andrews  Andrews, Barry. Information on Chris Andrews  Zoom on Chris Andrews  Andrews, Chris.
Information on Bobby Aylward  Zoom on Bobby Aylward  Aylward, Bobby. 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 John Browne  Zoom on John Browne  Browne, John.
Information on Thomas Byrne  Zoom on Thomas Byrne  Byrne, Thomas. Information on Dara Calleary  Zoom on Dara Calleary  Calleary, Dara.
Information on Pat Carey  Zoom on Pat Carey  Carey, Pat. Information on Sean Connick  Zoom on Sean Connick  Connick, Seán.
Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  Coughlan, Mary. Information on John Cregan  Zoom on John Cregan  Cregan, John.
Information on Ciaran Cuffe  Zoom on Ciaran Cuffe  Cuffe, Ciarán. Information on John Curran  Zoom on John Curran  Curran, John.
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 Frank Fahey  Zoom on Frank Fahey  Fahey, Frank.
Information on Michael Finneran  Zoom on Michael Finneran  Finneran, Michael. Information on Michael Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Michael Fitzpatrick  Fitzpatrick, Michael.
Information on Seán Fleming  Zoom on Seán Fleming  Fleming, Seán. Information on Beverley Cooper-Flynn  Zoom on Beverley Cooper-Flynn  Flynn, Beverley.
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 Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  Harney, Mary. Information on Seán Haughey  Zoom on Seán Haughey  Haughey, Seán.
Information on Jackie Healy-Rae  Zoom on Jackie Healy-Rae  Healy-Rae, Jackie. Information on Máire Hoctor  Zoom on Máire Hoctor  Hoctor, Máire.
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 Michael Kitt  Zoom on Michael Kitt  Kitt, Michael P.
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 Lowry  Zoom on Michael Lowry  Lowry, Michael.
Information on Tom McEllistrim  Zoom on Tom McEllistrim  McEllistrim, Thomas. 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 Dr Martin Mansergh  Zoom on Dr Martin Mansergh  Mansergh, Martin. Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  Martin, Micheál.
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 M. J. Nolan  Zoom on M. J. Nolan  Nolan, M.J.
Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  Ó Cuív, Éamon. Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Ó Fearghaíl, Seán.
Information on Charlie O'Connor  Zoom on Charlie O'Connor  O’Connor, Charlie. Information on Willie O'Dea  Zoom on Willie O'Dea  O’Dea, Willie.
Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  O’Donoghue, John. Information on 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 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 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 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 James Bannon  Zoom on James Bannon  Bannon, James. Information on Joe Behan  Zoom on Joe Behan  Behan, Joe.
Information on Pat Breen  Zoom on Pat Breen  Breen, Pat. 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 Ulick Burke  Zoom on Ulick Burke  Burke, Ulick.
Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  Burton, Joan. Information on Catherine Byrne  Zoom on Catherine Byrne  Byrne, Catherine.
Information on Joe Carey  Zoom on Joe Carey  Carey, Joe. Information on Deirdre Clune  Zoom on Deirdre Clune  Clune, Deirdre.
Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  Connaughton, Paul. Information on Noel Coonan  Zoom on Noel Coonan  Coonan, Noel J.
Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  Costello, Joe. Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  Coveney, Simon.
Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  Crawford, Seymour. Information on Michael Creed  Zoom on Michael Creed  Creed, Michael.
Information on Lucinda Creighton  Zoom on Lucinda Creighton  Creighton, Lucinda. Information on John Deasy  Zoom on John Deasy  Deasy, John.
Information on Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  Deenihan, Jimmy. 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 Feighan  Zoom on Frank Feighan  Feighan, Frank.
Information on Martin Ferris  Zoom on Martin Ferris  Ferris, Martin. Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  Flanagan, Charles.
Information on Terence Flanagan  Zoom on Terence Flanagan  Flanagan, Terence. Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Gilmore, Eamon.
Information on Brian Hayes  Zoom on Brian Hayes  Hayes, Brian. Information on Tom Hayes  Zoom on Tom Hayes  Hayes, Tom.
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 Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  Kehoe, Paul. Information on Ciaran Lynch  Zoom on Ciaran Lynch  Lynch, Ciarán.
Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Lynch, Kathleen. Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  McCormack, Pádraic.
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 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 Dan Neville  Zoom on Dan Neville  Neville, Dan. Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  Noonan, Michael.
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 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 Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Jim. Information on John O'Mahony  Zoom on John O'Mahony  O’Mahony, John.
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 John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  Perry, John. Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Quinn, Ruairí.
Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  Reilly, James. Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  Ring, Michael.
Information on Tom Sheahan  Zoom on Tom Sheahan  Sheahan, Tom. Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  Sheehan, P.J.
Information on Sean Sherlock  Zoom on Sean Sherlock  Sherlock, Seán. 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 Joanna Tuffy  Zoom on Joanna Tuffy  Tuffy, Joanna. Information on Mary Upton  Zoom on Mary Upton  Upton, Mary.
Information on Leo Varadkar  Zoom on Leo Varadkar  Varadkar, Leo. Information on Jack Wall  Zoom on Jack Wall  Wall, Jack.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies John Cregan and John Curran; Níl, Deputies Emmet Stagg and Paul Kehoe.

Question declared carried.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Before concluding on the Order of Business, I wish all Members a pleasant and restful holiday in August. While the plenary session has concluded, work on the committees will continue for the rest of this month and will recommence in early September.

[373]Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  Hear, hear.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  I wish to express my gratitude and thanks to the Leas-Cheann Comhairle and the panel of Acting Chairmen. It would be difficult to maintain and progress the work of the House without their assistance and co-operation. I thank the Clerk of the Dáil, Kieran Coughlan, the staff of the Houses and the political staff for their work, sometimes over very long hours.

Deputy Ruairí Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Hear, hear.

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  I echo the sentiments of the Ceann Comhairle. I wish all sides of the House a safe and good summer holiday. I thank the staff of the House who have worked so hard to make the workings of this House run more smoothly than it otherwise would. Many people work very hard here.

I refer to the reference pricing for drugs Bill. We were told last night by the Minister for Health and Children that it might be introduced in September but it has been long-fingered so often that I would like to know there is a commitment from the Government side to introduce it this year. This Bill could save hundreds of millions of euro in drug costs. We know we pay ten to 20 times the amount paid for generic drugs in Northern Ireland. That has not been addressed by the Government. Only the Government can address this, it is not a matter for pharmacists or manufacturers of mainstream drugs that remain under patent. It is an issue for generic manufacturers and providers. It puts into stark contrast the savings that may be made on the Health (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill. I would welcome an indication on this point.

The public health (sunbeds) Bill is due to come before the House. There is an indication that it will include a prohibition on individuals using sunbeds. We need to see the heads of this Bill in order to see precisely what is in it. Reports in the newspapers suggest those with type 1 fair skin will be prohibited from using them. This seems unconstitutional. People must take responsibility for their health but no more than we can stop people smoking, we cannot stop people using sunbeds if they are over 18 years of age. They have a constitutional right to do as they see fit, notwithstanding medical advice. Finally, I wish the media a good summer.

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  The Minister indicated legislation on the reference pricing of drugs will be published later this year. Approval was given by the Government to prepare draft heads of the Bill on sunbeds. I will try to find out the updated position and when we expect publication.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  I echo the good wishes of the Ceann Comhairle to all who work in this House — members, staff and media. I return to the issues I raised with the Tánaiste when we were debating the date for the resumption. I refer to the Government’s plans for the children’s referendum and the three by-elections. What is the Government’s intention with regard to these matters? Will the Government consider recalling the Dáil for one day in early September to pass legislation to allow the referendum to be held and to pass the required motions to move the writs for three by-elections? From a democratic point of view it is unacceptable that three constituencies — Dublin South, Donegal South-West and Waterford — are without representation in this House. Over the course of the past week we have seen votes where the margin by which matters were decided was less than three. People in those constituencies are entitled to their full representation in the Dáil. What are the Government’s plans regarding the by-elections in the referendum?

It has been decided the Dáil will not be back until 29 September and it would be sensible to hold the children’s referendum and three Dáil by-elections in September. It would have the advantage of not disrupting Dáil business later in the year and would achieve what has been [374]agreed on an all-party basis, that the rights of children are written into the Constitution by referendum. This can be put to the people and the people of Dublin South, Donegal South-West and Waterford will be fully represented in the House.

Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  I join with each of the colleagues who have spoken in wishing everyone a deserved short break over the period ahead. I emphasise that because I concur with the point made by the Tánaiste. I know the limited opportunity for a break in real terms that I will enjoy. Across this House, we will all be working throughout the rest of this month and for much of the period until the Dáil resumes. I wish everyone in the Houses of the Oireachtas, the media, who were missed out so far, and everyone who contributes to the smooth running of this institution a pleasant and restful holiday.

I support Deputy Gilmore’s proposal and I reiterate it now. A formula should be adopted to avoid having to come back on 29 September, as has been agreed by the House, and face the constant haranguing that is part of the daily performance with regard to matters not yet decided or progressed by the Government. We are speaking specifically about the promised referendum enshrining children’s rights in the Constitution and the three outstanding by-elections in Donegal South-West, Dublin South and Waterford. We should recognise that much time has been taken up on these matters. No clarity has been provided and the Taoiseach’s response on this point gives no certainty that these important excursions for the electorate will happen this year. It is the view of Sinn Féin that they should all happen.

The most important of those four opportunities to consult the electorate is the referendum on enshrining children’s rights in the Constitution. An all-party committee recommendation was made on wording and this was not only a construction of elected representatives with varying degrees of legal abilities, it was backed up by the support of four counsel engaged by the committee over the period. There is considerable legal scrutiny of the work of the committee and the content of the third report and its recommendations, including the specific wording offered and signed off on by all parties. The Taoiseach made the point that he must go through this with a fine-tooth comb. Much work was done over 62 meetings and it was not a vague notion pulled out of the sky. The scrutiny employed by the elected representatives and the counsel engaged by the committee was considerable. It will be difficult to replicate even in the Office of the Attorney General. We hope there will be an early indication that these matters will be progressed. Deputy Gilmore’s proposal that this be done and dusted before we resume on 29 September makes eminent sense and I formally support it.

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  Briefly, I understand that last week, the Taoiseach articulated that the Attorney General and a number of Ministers and Departments are working through the issue of the referendum on children, arising from the work that was carried out by the committee. As the Government wishes to avoid unintended circumstances, this work is ongoing. Clearly, however, the Government intends to have a referendum. With regard to the by-elections, nothing has been decided.

Deputy Jan O’Sullivan: Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  While the Ceann Comhairle probably thinks that I am like a dog with a bone, I ask for a minute or two be to made available for the Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, Deputy John Moloney, to update the House regarding progress on opening the respite home in Limerick. I do not believe Members should leave this House today without ensuring that those people also get a break. I only seek a minute or two because he has been having meetings.

Deputy James Reilly: Information on Dr James Reilly  Zoom on Dr James Reilly  Hear, hear.

[375]The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  The Minister of State will have a meeting at approximately 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. this evening and I will ask him to inform personally the Deputy of matters arising from that discussion himself.

Deputy Jan O’Sullivan: Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  The Tánaiste will inform me.

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  Yes.

Deputy Kieran O’Donnell: Information on Kieran O'Donnell  Zoom on Kieran O'Donnell  On a related matter, the Minister of State with responsibility for disability, Deputy Moloney, came before the House last night. While Members obviously can be updated individually, if possible, in the interests of complete clarity, the Minister of State, Deputy Moloney, should come before the House at some point this evening to make a brief statement to the effect that the respite services will be restored at the centre run by the Brothers of Charity in Limerick. This would bring great certainty.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Deputy, time appears to be a problem.

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  I will ask the Minister of State to advise the Deputies in their constituencies.

Deputy P. J. Sheehan: Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  Can the Tánaiste tell me the reason the Minister for Justice and Law Reform counts himself so precious and above all other members of the Cabinet by refusing to account to this House for the expenditure of public funds? Last week, I tabled a parliamentary question——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  This sounds like material for a parliamentary question.

Deputy P. J. Sheehan: Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  I tabled a parliamentary question to all Ministers and I now seek the assistance of the Ceann Comhairle on this matter in respect of the expenditure of taxpayers’ money on legal fees by each Department. Every Minister responded by stating the figures involved or by stating they would respond when the figures had been collated. Even the Minister for Health and Children, who is renowned in this House for avoiding questions, responded to me. However, the Minister for Justice and Law Reform refused to account——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Deputy——

Deputy P. J. Sheehan: Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  ——to this House for the expenditure of public funds.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  The Deputy must revisit this matter later in the year.

Deputy P. J. Sheehan: Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  The Ceann Comhairle should wait a moment. How is it that every other Minister in the Cabinet was able to respond positively but the Minister for Justice and Law Reform stated he was not in a position to so do?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  All right. The Deputy should table an item for the Adjournment on 29 September.

Deputy P. J. Sheehan: Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  I note that Members cannot debate everything in the first week of October.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  No.

Deputy P. J. Sheehan: Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  Moreover, Members may not get the chance to do so either.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  I suggest the Adjournment.

[376]Deputy P. J. Sheehan: Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  Second, I tabled a question to the aforementioned Minister for Justice and Law Reform in respect of amending legislation that is urgently required for many women and children. However, I received a letter from the Ceann Comhairle disallowing the question on the basis that a similar question had been tabled by my colleague, Deputy Clune, last week and naturally, he forwarded a copy of those replies to me. In those replies, the Minister stated that he is currently in consultation with the Attorney General following a judgment of the High Court last year in respect of women seeking maintenance orders for themselves and their children.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Deputy——

Deputy P. J. Sheehan: Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  I will conclude by asking the Tánaiste——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  There is a work programme from now until midnight in front of me and we must make progress.

Deputy P. J. Sheehan: Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  ——whether she can clarify matters. The High Court decision was made nearly a year ago and these women and children are only entitled to seek back payments for 14 weeks.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  No, Deputy.

Deputy P. J. Sheehan: Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  This House is going to adjourn for 12 weeks after today, which means the Minister is abandoning them.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Deputy, please.

Deputy P. J. Sheehan: Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  Can the Tánaiste assure me that this measure is a matter of urgency or is the Government ignoring these women and children and denying them their rights as granted by the courts of the land?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  I call Deputy Quinn.

Deputy P. J. Sheehan: Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  Can the Tánaiste give me an assurance in this regard?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  The Deputy must raise this matter when we resume on 29 September. The Tánaiste does not have that information to hand here in the Chamber.

Deputy P. J. Sheehan: Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  Members will not return for another three months.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Moreover, the Deputy, as a long-time Member of this House, knows that.

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  To be helpful to the long-term Member from Goleen, I will ask the Minister for Justice and Law Reform to advise him as to when he anticipates a further response.

Deputy Ruairí Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  I thank the Ceann Comhairle for his earlier comments with which I wish to be associated. The people in this House work very long hours and I wish they did the same in the Department of Education and Skills.

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  The Deputy is a wild man.

Deputy Ruairí Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  If they did, the legislation for the community national school model would be available. It was to have been debated during this session but, sadly, productivity [377]north of the Liffey does not appear to be the same as south of the Liffey. When will the legislation at least be published?

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  This month.

Deputy Michael Ring: Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  I wish to raise two issues with the Tánaiste. First, I refer to legal costs and legal charges. This week, the Taxing Master expressed his outrage in respect of the costs the legal profession was charging. When will the legal costs Bill come before the Dáil? I urge the Tánaiste and the Government to push this forward because the charges that some legal people are charging are outrageous. There is only law in Ireland for the rich, not for the poor.

Second, I note the Tánaiste once had responsibility for this portfolio and as she is aware, the Department of Social Protection issued letters recently in respect of child benefit. Some people did not respond to the letters because of a change of address or different reasons and, consequently, the telephone lines to the child benefit section are inundated with people trying to contact it. People are obliged to wait on the telephone for two or three hours. What will the Department do with regard to people who need their child benefit payments but who cannot get through to the Department?

Deputy P. J. Sheehan: Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  Hear, hear.

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  The legal costs Bill is coming up next year. As for the issue regarding access to the child benefit section, I will speak to the Minister and ask him whether something can be done to resolve the matter.


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