Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Animal Health Ireland Strategic Plan 2015 to 2017: Discussion
I welcome members of Animal Health Ireland, Mr. Joe O'Flaherty, CEO; Mr. Mike Magan, chairman; Mr. David Graham, deputy CEO and programme manager; Ms Finola McCoy, programme manager, CellCheck; and Ms Rebecca Carroll, programme manager, Beef HealthCheck. I thank them most sincerely for coming before the committee to update us on the priority programmes contained in the Animal Health Ireland strategic plan 2015 to 2017.
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 joint committee. If, however, they are directed by the Chairman 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 or an entity by name or in such a way as to make him or her identifiable.
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 Mr. O'Flaherty to make his opening statement.