Order of Business (Resumed).

Wednesday, 15 May 1991

Seanad Éireann Debate
Vol. 128 No. 17

First Page Previous Page Page of 10 Next Page Last Page

Dr. Upton: Information on Pat Upton  Zoom on Pat Upton  I should like to join in the request that the Minister for Agriculture and Food be invited to come into the House and make a statement on the crisis which has taken place in agriculture over the past few days. The beef industry is now in a grave crisis that seriously damages the whole credibility of the industry right across the continent of Europe. I would welcome the opportunity for the [1871] Minister to come here to try to arrest the haemorrhage before it becomes totally out of control.

Mr. McGowan: Information on Paddy McGowan  Zoom on Paddy McGowan  I beg your indulgence to raise a fairly serious matter. I will be brief.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Doherty  Zoom on Seán Doherty  Is it a question directed towards the Leader of the House?

Mr. McGowan: Information on Paddy McGowan  Zoom on Paddy McGowan  Yes. On Sunday last six soldiers were returning after service in Lebanon and their personal belongings and gifts were taken from them at Dublin Airport, including a medal——

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Doherty  Zoom on Seán Doherty  It is not relevant to the Order of Business. Have you a question for the Leader of the House?

Mr. McGowan: Information on Paddy McGowan  Zoom on Paddy McGowan  I want to ask the Leader of the House to raise this matter on behalf of the soldiers. It was a despicable act.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Doherty  Zoom on Seán Doherty  It is not relevant to the Order of Business, I must continue to remind you.

Mr. McGowan: Information on Paddy McGowan  Zoom on Paddy McGowan  I ask the Leader to investigate it and report to the House.

Professor Raftery: Information on Tom Raftery  Zoom on Tom Raftery  I, too, would like to support the call by Senator Doyle and Senator Upton to have a discussion on the question of the Goodman affair, as it is known. As I pointed out to this House before, beef contributes 20 per cent of our net exports. It is in crisis for a number of reasons. This is just the latest crisis and the most serious one.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Doherty  Zoom on Seán Doherty  You are welcome to ask the question.

Professor Raftery: Information on Tom Raftery  Zoom on Tom Raftery  I would like to ask the Leader to allow time today or tomorrow for the Minister for Agriculture and Food to come to this House and tell us what is happening and to clear up the issue if possible.

[1872]Mr. Hanafin: Information on Des Hanafin  Zoom on Des Hanafin  In view of the widespread concern and anger being expressed by some very fine and decent people in the Fine Gael organisation in Wicklow, I would like to know if Senator Ross has got permission from the Fine Gael front bench and from those fine decent people who have always been loyal to the Fine Gael Party to sit among them here today. A Chathaoirligh, you are a very knowledgeable man, you might be able to tell me.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Doherty  Zoom on Seán Doherty  Only yourself would equal my knowledge.

Mrs. Doyle: Information on Avril Doyle  Zoom on Avril Doyle  He will be making his maiden speech with Fine Gael on the Local Government Bill shortly.

Mr. B. Ryan: Information on Brendan Ryan  Zoom on Brendan Ryan  It is a long time since Senator Ross was a maiden, a Chathaoirligh. It is the most extravagant claim I have heard from Fine Gael, that you can reclaim your virginity by joining Fine Gael.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. B. Ryan: Information on Brendan Ryan  Zoom on Brendan Ryan  I do not want to go over the unfortunate happening of a moment ago. Suffice it to say, I know that with your well recorded respect for the procedures of the law you would have no option but to do what you did.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Doherty  Zoom on Seán Doherty  Senator Ryan, I want to advise you here and now that you will not fudge any barbed remarks directed towards the Chair. I am advising you now that if you have something to contribute to the Order of Business, please do so, but do so in a manner that is appropriate to the Order of Business.

Mr. B. Ryan: Information on Brendan Ryan  Zoom on Brendan Ryan  I am not the one who is responsible for what happened here five minutes ago. I did not do anything to bring the Order of Business of this House——

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Doherty  Zoom on Seán Doherty  The decision has been made and you will not refer to it further, Senator.

[1873]Mr. O'Toole: Information on Joe John O'Toole  Zoom on Joe John O'Toole  On a point of order, on what basis may it not be referred to further?

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Doherty  Zoom on Seán Doherty  It may not be referred to because the Chair has made a ruling and that is final.

Mr. O'Toole: Information on Joe John O'Toole  Zoom on Joe John O'Toole  Maybe you should rule that none of us can speak anymore.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Doherty  Zoom on Seán Doherty  If you continue to speak out of order, that is the ruling I will make.

Mr. O'Toole: Information on Joe John O'Toole  Zoom on Joe John O'Toole  It does not say much for impartiality.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Doherty  Zoom on Seán Doherty  Senator O'Toole, I must ask you to resume your seat.

Mr. B. Ryan: Information on Brendan Ryan  Zoom on Brendan Ryan  May I speak?

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Doherty  Zoom on Seán Doherty  If you have something relevant to the Order of Business.

Mr. B. Ryan: Information on Brendan Ryan  Zoom on Brendan Ryan  How do you know whether it is relevant——

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Doherty  Zoom on Seán Doherty  When you speak, I will know.

Mr. B. Ryan: Information on Brendan Ryan  Zoom on Brendan Ryan  You probably know in advance, do you?

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Doherty  Zoom on Seán Doherty  On occasions it is possible to know in your case.

Mr. B. Ryan: Information on Brendan Ryan  Zoom on Brendan Ryan  May I say, a Chathaoirligh that I have a longer record in this House than you have, and probably a better one.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Doherty  Zoom on Seán Doherty  Again, I would advise you to address the Order of Business. If you are not prepared or interested in doing that, resume your seat.

Mr. B. Ryan: Information on Brendan Ryan  Zoom on Brendan Ryan  Can I have some information from the Leader of the House about Item No. 5 on the Order Paper as to when it will be taken, how much time will be given for it and what procedures he proposes to adopt?

[1874]Mr. Cosgrave: Information on Liam T. Cosgrave  Zoom on Liam T. Cosgrave  May I ask the Leader of the House what are his intentions in relation to taking the Local Government Bill? Will he ensure that the House has adequate time to discuss the matter in all its Stages? I hope he will be able to confirm to us that it is not his intention to guillotine this matter through the House. May I also say to the Leader that, having regard to the fact that it is only going to leave the Dáil around 4.30 p.m. or 5 p.m., tomorrow we would propose that we take all Stages next week.

Mr. Lanigan: Information on Mick Lanigan  Zoom on Mick Lanigan  On the Order of Business, may I ask the Leader of the House if he could arrange to have a debate within the next couple of weeks in relation to postering before the local elections? Decisions have been taken in various places around the country that there should be no political postering before the local elections. I suggest that coming into a tourism season which is not looking very good this postering is not going to do any great good to the tourism seaon. I ask that the Leader of the House would arrange to have that matter addressed in the House.

Mr. Hourigan: Information on Richard V Hourigan  Zoom on Richard V Hourigan  Together with the other Senators who have made the point with regard to the Goodman affair, I, too, would like to know from the Leader if it could be arranged at the earliest opportunity for the Minister of Agriculture and Food to come into this House to clarify an extremely difficult but very imporant situation, that is, all the various reports that have been issued in recent days visà-vis the Goodman affair, all the wrong-doings that have been reported? I would like to ask the Leader if he can urgently arrange for that meeting which has been referred to by other speakers.

Mr. H. Byrne: Information on Hugh Byrne  Zoom on Hugh Byrne  For the umpteenth time I want to mention again the problem of falling farm incomes. If any other sector in the community were under such a threat we would have an immediate debate. This House should support the Minister for Agriculture and Food in his [1875] opposition to leaked proposals. Therefore, I ask that we have an immediate debate and I plead with the Leader of the House to arrange for such debate.

Mr. Howard: Information on Michael Howard  Zoom on Michael Howard  I would like to ask the Leader if he can indicate to the House when he expects the Competition Bill in the House.

Mr. O'Toole: Information on Joe John O'Toole  Zoom on Joe John O'Toole  I would like to place on the record of the House that what happened here today was outrageous.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Doherty  Zoom on Seán Doherty  I cannot allow the Senator to make reference to my ruling.

Mr. O'Toole: Information on Joe John O'Toole  Zoom on Joe John O'Toole  We are all elected to do a particular job——

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Doherty  Zoom on Seán Doherty  The Senator knows that the House has made a decision and I cannot allow any further discussion on the matter.

Mr. O'Toole: Information on Joe John O'Toole  Zoom on Joe John O'Toole  I work as hard as anybody to keep the structures and procedures of the House in place. I am making the point that what happened today was incorrect. What has happened reflects badly on the House and on your judgement, Sir——

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Doherty  Zoom on Seán Doherty  The Senator is challenging the ruling of the Chair. It is not incorrect and I ask the Senator to resume his seat.

Mr. O'Toole: Information on Joe John O'Toole  Zoom on Joe John O'Toole  I am resuming my seat——

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Doherty  Zoom on Seán Doherty  I am suspending the House for ten minutes.

Mr. O'Toole: Information on Joe John O'Toole  Zoom on Joe John O'Toole  It is unnecessary to suspend the House because people cannot take a few words of criticism. [1876]Sitting suspended at 3.02 p.m. and resumed at 3.12 p.m.

Mr. O'Toole: Information on Joe John O'Toole  Zoom on Joe John O'Toole  I am opposing the Order of Business and I will be calling a vote on it because we had looked forward to a debate on an issue about which we are all concerned. What has happened today has been a cowardly hiding behind procedures.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Doherty  Zoom on Seán Doherty  I have put it to the House. I remind the Senator that it is not my ruling he is challenging at this stage but the ruling of the House. The House has voted on my ruling and supports it overwhelmingly.

Mr. O'Toole: Information on Joe John O'Toole  Zoom on Joe John O'Toole  I accept democratic structures even when they go against me. I accept the ruling of the House; I have no option in the matter.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Doherty  Zoom on Seán Doherty  The House had an option. It has voted on it and its decision is final. I cannot allow any further discussion on it.

Mr. O'Toole: Information on Joe John O'Toole  Zoom on Joe John O'Toole  I am opposed to the Order of Business because it does not allow us to discuss the question of the Irish language, and caomhnóirí na Gaeilge on the other side of the House should be as concerned as I am. It is an outrageous decision and a majority will never create a morality.

Pól Ó Foighil: Information on Pol O Foighil  Zoom on Pol O Foighil  Ba mhaith liom a fhiafraí den Cheannaire cathain a thabharfaidh sé cead dúinn an Ghaeilge mar ábhar a phlé sa Teach seo mar a d'iarr mé an tseachtain seo caite. Tá sé soiléir óna tharla anseo inniú nach bhfuil suim dá laghad ag an Aire sa cheist.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Doherty  Zoom on Seán Doherty  You cannot make reference to what happened this afternoon.

Pól Ó Foighil: Information on Pol O Foighil  Zoom on Pol O Foighil  He is only a banshee of a Minister. We do not know him and we do not see him; we do not know who he is.

[1877]An Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Doherty  Zoom on Seán Doherty  I ask Senator Ó Foighil to resume his seat.

Mr. Fallon: Information on Sean Fallon  Zoom on Sean Fallon  A number of Senators, including Senator Doyle, requested a debate on the beef industry which I will seriously contemplate and will ask the Whips to have a discussion on it this evening with a view to doing something positive in that regard. Senator Murphy's position has been explained.

Senator Upton also raised a question on the beef industry. Senator McGowan asked a question not appropriate to the Order of Business but he certainly raised the serious matter of gifts being confiscated by the Customs and Excise people from Irish soldiers. I share the Senator's concern in this matter. It is deplorable that gifts were taken from Irish troops returning from Lebanon. I understand that one of the gifts was a gold chain and a United Nations medal which was a gift made to each member of the Irish army. It is wrong and Senator McGowan has my assurance that I will take it up with the Minister for Finance.

In regard to Senator Cosgrave's query about the Local Government Bill, appropriate time will be given to it and there will be discussions with the Whips on that matter. Senator Lanigan asked about [1878] postering at local elections which is a matter for the local political groupings. Senator Hourigan asked questions on the beef industry. Senator Bryne asked for a debate on agriculture. There is no plan for one at present; we had a debate before Easter and perhaps in the future we will have another. I accept it is an important issue and I will examine it again. Senator Howard asked about a Competition Bill which I understand is in the other House. As soon as it is finished there we will have it and I will keep him informed on the matter. Senator O'Toole and Senator Ó Foighil raised another matter. I do not want to reopen the issue but the Cathaoirleach made a very reasonable offer to Senator Murphy and to the Independents in this regard that they meet with him so that an amended form of the motion might be prepared. I urge the Senators to do that.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Doherty  Zoom on Seán Doherty  Is the Order of Business agreed?

Senators:  No.

Question put: “That the Order of Business be Items 2 and 3 on the Order Paper, that Item 2 be taken until 6 p.m., that the sitting be suspended from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and that Item 3 be taken between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.”

Bennett, Olga.
Bohan, Eddie.
Byrne, Hugh.
Byrne, Sean.
Cassidy, Donie.
Conroy, Richard.
Fallon, Sean.
Farrell, Willie.
Finneran, Michael.
Foley, Denis.
Hanafin, Des.
Haughey, Seán F.
Honan, Tras.
Hussey, Thomas.
Kiely, Dan.
Kiely, Rory.
Lanigan, Michael.
McCarthy, Seán.
McGowan, Paddy.
McKenna, Tony.
Mooney, Paschal.
Mullooly, Brian.
O'Brien, Francis.
Ó Cuív, Éamon.
O'Keeffe, Batt.
Ormonde, Donal.
Wright, G.V.

Cosgrave, Liam.
Doyle, Avril.
Harte, John.
Hourigan, Richard V.
Howard, Michael.
Jackman, Mary.
McDonald, Charlie.
McMahon, Larry.
Neville, Daniel.
Ó Foighil, Pól.
O'Reilly, Joe.
O'Toole, Joe.
Raftery, Tom.
Ross, Shane P.N.
Ryan, Brendan.
Ryan, John.
Staunton, Myles.
Upton, Pat.

Question declared carried.

Order of Business agreed to.


Last Updated: 23/05/2011 03:41:10 First Page Previous Page Page of 10 Next Page Last Page