Friday, 15 May 1998
Seanad Éireann Debate
Mr. Cassidy: The Order of Business for today is items 1 and 2, with contributions from spokespersons from each group on item 1, Statements on Nuclear Testing by India, not to exceed six minutes and the overall time for the debate not to exceed 30 minutes. All Stages of item 2 are to be taken today.
Mr. Manning: The Order of Business is agreed. I ask the Leader to ensure that all Ministers are made aware that there is an automatic pairing arrangement for any Minister taking business in this House so that we do not have a situation, as happened yesterday, where a Minister left in the middle of a debate. That debate had to be adjourned, even though that Minister was paired by the Opposition in the other House. Clearly, there was a breakdown in communication yesterday. I would like the Leader to make sure that it does not happen again.
Ms Cox: Will the Leader arrange a debate on planning in the near future? Planning laws are enforced in different ways throughout the country and one local authority may enforce them more stringently than others. It is similar to the situation with regard to the licensing laws. I speak particularly because of an incident in Galway where a Gaelscoil which is funded by the Department of Education and Science has been closed down because of an injunction served on it by Galway Corporation. We need to look at the area of planning. Perhaps the Minister will come in and give us his views on it.
Senator Cox called for a debate on planning permission. Over the past few months people's attention has been focused on planning permission but in most cases it is unnecessary as it is normally approved. I will facilitate a debate as soon as possible.
Senator Burke mentioned that the booklet on the Amsterdam Treaty costs £8. Over the past few days and up to the 22 May every home will receive literature in relation to both referenda in order to ensure the electorate are fully informed about it. I will take on board the Senator's remarks about the cost of the publication.
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