Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 28 September 2016
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government
Irish Water Safety: Chairperson Designate
Before we commence, I must inform the witness 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 they 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 are 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. Also, Mr. O'Sullivan's opening statement submitted to the committee will be published on the committee website following this 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. At the request of the broadcasting and recording services, members, witnesses and people in the Public Gallery are asked to ensure that for the duration of the meeting their mobile phones are turned off completely or switched to airplane, safe or flight mode, depending on the device used.
I welcome Mr. Martin O'Sullivan to the meeting. Last July, Mr. O'Sullivan was announced as the chairperson designate of Irish Water Safety. In line with normal procedures, the committee now has an opportunity to engage with Mr. O'Sullivan in that regard. I invite Mr. O'Sullivan to make his opening statement.