Business of Seanad.

Thursday, 21 March 1996

Seanad Éireann Debate
Vol. 146 No. 17

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Mr. Dardis: Information on John Dardis  Zoom on John Dardis  I wish to raise a matter before the House adjourns. There were several calls on this morning's Order of Business for a debate on the BSE problem in England. The Leader said he would ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry or the Minister of State to attend the House as this matter is of such gravity. What was the outcome of the Leader's search? Given that 100,000 jobs and £200 million worth of exports are involved, the Taoiseach should come to the House if the Minister or Minister of State are unavailable.

Acting Chairman:  As the Senator has raised a point of clarification, I will ask the Leader of the House to respond.

Mr. Manning: Information on Maurice Manning  Zoom on Maurice Manning  I thank Senator Dardis for giving me an opportunity to report on this matter. I made contact with the Minister through the Chief Whip during the Order of Business. I spoke to the Minister after the Order of Business but he is down the country fulfilling engagements which were arranged some time ago. I conveyed the full sense of the discussion this morning to him, including many of the constructive suggestions. It is not possible for the Minister or the Minister of State to come to the House at this time for reasons of logistics. They are both down the country, fulfilling [1674] engagements, but they are most grateful for the Members' suggestion. Both Ministers are keeping in hourly contact with the situation and I will pass on Senator Dardis's suggestion. Perhaps another Minister or Minister of State may be available. However, as Members are aware, the other House is not sitting this week. This means that Ministers who would normally be in the precincts are not available.

Acting Chairman:  May I ask the Leader to move the suspension of the House until 2 o'clock?

Mr. Manning: Information on Maurice Manning  Zoom on Maurice Manning  I so move.

Mr. Daly: Information on Brendan Daly  Zoom on Brendan Daly  May I raise a point of order?

Acting Chairman:  The suspension of the House has been moved. That is the order of the House and I have no choice but to comply with it.

Mr. Daly: Information on Brendan Daly  Zoom on Brendan Daly  Is the Minister in County Donegal campaigning in the by-election?

Acting Chairman:  That is not a point of order. The House stands adjourned until 2 o'clock.

Sitting suspended at 1.5 p.m. and resumed at 2 p.m.

Mr. Daly: Information on Brendan Daly  Zoom on Brendan Daly  On a point of order, I request under Standing Order 29 for the House to be adjourned to discuss the crisis in the beef industry with the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry. This serious matter is of national importance.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Sean Fallon  Zoom on Sean Fallon  As the Senator is probably aware, under Standing Orders written notice to raise matters must be given before 2.30 p.m. I will deal with the matter when I receive written notice.

Mr. Finneran: Information on Michael Finneran  Zoom on Michael Finneran  This matter was raised on the Order of Business and neither [1675] the Minister nor the Minister of State are available to address the House.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Sean Fallon  Zoom on Sean Fallon  As of now, I have not received written notice. I will deal with the matter when I receive written notice of it.

Mr. Finneran: Information on Michael Finneran  Zoom on Michael Finneran  It is a very serious matter and was raised on the Order of Business.

Mr. Farrelly: Information on John V. Farrelly  Zoom on John V. Farrelly  The Senator should not make a political football out of it.

An Cathaoirleach: Information on Sean Fallon  Zoom on Sean Fallon  Standing Order 29 clearly specifies how that matter can be raised and I will deal with it if I receive written notice before 2.30 p.m.

Mr. Farrelly: Information on John V. Farrelly  Zoom on John V. Farrelly  The Senator should not make a political football out of the matter.

Mr. Daly: Information on Brendan Daly  Zoom on Brendan Daly  Senator Farrelly is making a political football out of it. We can do without his intervention.

Mr. Farrelly: Information on John V. Farrelly  Zoom on John V. Farrelly  I will not stand by and allow——

Mr. Finneran: Information on Michael Finneran  Zoom on Michael Finneran  The Senator is not being helpful by trying to muzzle debate.


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