Order of Business

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 731 No. 5

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The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  It is proposed to take No. 6, statements on the jobs initiative 2011. It is also proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that the following arrangements shall apply to No. 6: the statement of a Minister or a Minister of State and of the main spokespersons for Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and the Technical Group, who shall be called upon in that order, shall not exceed 30 minutes in each case; the statement of each other Member called upon shall not exceed 20 minutes in each case; Members may share time; a Minister or a Minister of State shall take questions for a period not exceeding 30 minutes; and a Minister or a Minister [772]of State shall be called upon to make a statement in reply which shall not exceed 15 minutes. Private Members’ business shall be No. 3, Electoral (Amendment) (Political Donations) Bill 2011 — Order for Second Stage and Second Stage, and the proceedings on Second Stage thereon shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 8.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 11 May.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  There are two proposals to be put to the House. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 6 agreed to? Agreed. With regard to Private Members’ business, is the proposal for dealing with No. 3 agreed to? Agreed.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  I seek leave to introduce a Private Members’ Bill entitled the Twenty-Ninth Amendment of the Constitution (No. 2) Bill 2011.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  We will deal with that matter later.

Deputy Pat Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  What is it about?

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams  Zoom on Gerry Adams  Dúirt an Taoiseach uair éigin ó shin go mbeadh díospóireacht faoi chúrsaí Gaeilge.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Gabh mo leithscéal.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams  Zoom on Gerry Adams  Níor chuala an Taoiseach mé. Bhí mé ag rá go ndúirt sé, cúpla seachtain ó shin, go mbeadh díospóireacht ann faoi chúrsaí Gaeilge. Ní raibh sí againn go fóill. An bhfuil uair agat?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Bhí cruinniú ag an choiste Rialtais faoi seo ach ní bheidh díospóireacht faoin ábhar go dtí go mbeidh díospóireacht anseo faoi chúrsaí Gaeilge. Ba chóir go n-iarrrfadh Aoire Shinn Féin ag an chruinniú anocht nó amárach go bpléifí an cheist sin. Tá an Rialtas toilteanach go mbeadh díospóireacht faoin Ghaeilge ann nuair a bheadh sin oiriúnach.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  De réir mar a thuigim, tá seo iarrtha go minic ag na hAoirí d’Fhianna Fáil agus de Shinn Féin agus níl sé socraithe fós.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Deputy Ó Cuív, do not be getting excited.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Buachaill dána.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Deputy Adams to continue. We do not need any help.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams  Zoom on Gerry Adams  Déanfaimid sin ach nuair a dúirt an Taoiseach sin faoin Ghaeilge bhí Seachtain na Gaeilge ar siúl; tuigeann sé an méid atá le rá agam. Ní maith an rud é nach raibh seans ann ó shin go dtí seo agus nach bhfuil rud ar bith socraithe ag an Rialtas go fóill.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Dúirt an Teachta Ó Cuív go raibh seo ar an chlár aige nuair a bhí sé ina Aire. Nuair a bhí sé sa phost sin, chuir mé féin ceisteanna air maidir le straitéis na Gaeilge agus níor tharla rud ar bith ar feadh cúpla bliain in any event. Má tá an Teachta ag lorg díospóireachta faoin Ghaeilge nó faoi chúrsaí Gaeilge ag an chéad chruinniú eile leis an Phríomh-Aoire, beimid toilteanach go mbeidh díospóireacht ann ag am oiriúnach.

Deputy Willie O’Dea: Information on Willie O'Dea  Zoom on Willie O'Dea  I understand the Government intends to announce a number of research initiatives this afternoon as part of the jobs initiative.

[773]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  We will deal with that very shortly.

Deputy Willie O’Dea: Information on Willie O'Dea  Zoom on Willie O'Dea  Legislation will be necessary to implement some of those initiatives and when will such legislation be introduced?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  That will be introduced in the next few weeks.

Deputy Peadar Tóibín: Information on Peadar Tóibín  Zoom on Peadar Tóibín  Tá tuairisc tar éis teacht amach faoin Roinn Oideachais agus Scileanna faoin chóras aitheantais atá ann do ghaelscoileanna nua. Deir muintir na ngaelscoileanna go gcuirfidh an córas sin cosc ar bhunú ghaelscoileanna nua timpeall na tíre. An bhfuil an cinneadh sin déanta ag an Rialtas? An mbeidh seans againn an cinneadh a phlé sa Teach?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Níl cinneadh déanta faoi sin. Níl an tuairisc sin léite agam ach má chuireann an Teachta ceist díreach ar an Aire, tabharfaidh sé freagra iomlán dó.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  It is a matter for the Whips to organise debates. I call Deputy Healy.

Deputy Seamus Healy: Information on Seamus Healy  Zoom on Seamus Healy  When is it proposed to bring legislation before the House to implement a commitment in the programme for Government to ensure the highest standards of transparency in the operation of NAMA?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  It is not listed for this session but I assure the Deputy that the structure and working of NAMA is under active consideration. As soon as the Government is in a position to bring forward whatever legislation it proposes, it will be published.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  In the week that the Moriarty tribunal report was published the Taoiseach informed the House that a comprehensive programme of legislation in response would be announced within four weeks. That deadline passed a fortnight ago. When is it now proposed that the list will be published? I ask the Taoiseach to consider supporting the passage of the Bill on corporate donations that we will debate this evening during Private Members’ time, to move it forward and accept it in order that the Dáil can proceed with it and that we can take action now without having to wait further.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  I am mindful of the sincerity with which the Deputy said that.

Deputy Jerry Buttimer: Information on Jerry Buttimer  Zoom on Jerry Buttimer  It is a new beginning.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  It is a corporate donations proposal. The sniggers of a few Members do not change a thing.

Deputy Jerry Buttimer: Information on Jerry Buttimer  Zoom on Jerry Buttimer  The Deputy is on the road to Damascus.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Mirabile dictu. I can inform Deputy Martin that the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government will bring forward the heads of his Bill in respect of corporate donations to Cabinet next week. The Ministers in their Departments responded to the request and the recommendations made by Moriarty. This will be brought forward as a matter of priority. For that reason and as the Deputy’s party has recognised the inadequacies in the Private Members’ Bill, we will not be supporting it in so far as the legislation to be introduced by the Minister, Deputy Hogan, will be comprehensive, clear and unambiguous in this matter.

Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn: Information on Pádraig MacLochlainn  Zoom on Pádraig MacLochlainn  Will the Taoiseach advise the House of any legislative change he understands will be required to facilitate the new portfolios he announced upon [774]taking up Government? He announced his range of Ministers, which in some cases amounts to changing some aspects of portfolios to others and in two instances it amounts to brand new portfolios. Will he confirm what he understands, Department by Department, is required to make that happen and when it will happen?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  A number of transfer orders have gone through the Cabinet in respect of changes in the titles and the responsibilities of different Ministries. The legislation in respect of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, for which the Minister, Deputy Howlin, has responsibility, will be before the Cabinet on Tuesday. The legislation dealing with the Minister with responsibility for children and youth affairs will be before the Cabinet in the first week in June.

Deputy Charlie McConalogue: Information on Charlie McConalogue  Zoom on Charlie McConalogue  On the legislation required for the referendum on children’s rights, does the Taoiseach concur with the timeframe given by his Minister on Highland Radio in Donegal last Friday for introducing that referendum within the next 12 months? Why has there been a U-turn when members of his party in government——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  We can only deal with promised legislation.

Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn: Information on Pádraig MacLochlainn  Zoom on Pádraig MacLochlainn  ——committed to having that referendum in conjunction with the Presidential election? Why change that now? Does the Taoiseach commit to his Government bringing it in within the next 12 months? When can we expect to see that legislation before the House?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  This is a complex matter and the reason I have not tied a timeline to presenting to the people a referendum on children’s rights is that it has got to be right. This is a sensitive issue. The Deputy will be aware that during the lifetime of the previous Government an all-party Oireachtas committee came forward with a specific wording, following its members from all parties having done a great deal work on it. The then Attorney General recommended a change in the wording. The children’s rights advocacy groups believe that wording is not sufficient to deal with the requirements involved in the referendum. The Minister with responsibility for children and youth affairs is now dealing with having to provide a number of Bills in respect of this. She will be dealing with the children’s rights advocacy groups in order that there be a thorough analysis of where best to go from the situation that exists. I did not tie a specific timeline on this because it is very important that it be got right. That is one of the reasons we have a front line senior Government Department dealing with children and children’s issues.


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