Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications
Depletion of Inland Fish Stocks and Impact of Estuary Poaching: Inland Fisheries Ireland
The purpose of this meeting is to engage with Inland Fisheries Ireland to discuss issues relating to the depletion of fish stocks in inland waterways, including the prevalence of poaching in estuaries. On behalf of the committee, I welcome Dr. Ciaran Byrne, Dr. Greg Forde and Dr. Cathal Gallagher of Inland Fisheries Ireland. I draw their attention to the fact that, by virtue of section 17(2)(l) of the Defamation Act 2009, witnesses are protected by absolute privilege in respect of their evidence to the committee. However, if they are directed by it to cease giving evidence on a particular matter and continue to do so, they are entitled thereafter only to qualified privilege in respect of their evidence. They are directed that only evidence connected with the subject matter of these proceedings is to be given and asked to respect the parliamentary practice to the effect that, where possible, they should not criticise or make charges against any person, persons or entity by name or in such a way as to make him, her or it identifiable. I also wish to advise the witnesses that any submission or opening statement they have submitted to the committee will be published on its website after the meeting. Members are reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice to the effect that they should not comment on, criticise or make charges against a person outside the Houses or an official either by name or in such a way as to make him or her identifiable.
I invite Dr. Byrne to make his opening remarks.