Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 26 June 2018
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Common Agricultural Policy Negotiations: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Before we begin I ask members, witnesses and those in the Public Gallery to ensure their mobile telephones are switched off.
I welcome Mr. Brendan Gleeson, assistant secretary, Ms Sharon Murphy, principal officer, and Ms Patricia Kelly, principal officer, from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and thank them for appearing before the committee today to brief the committee and to undertake further scrutiny of the EU proposals relating to the Common Agricultural Policy after 2020, which are COM (2018) 392, COM (2018) 393 and COM (2018 )394, and associated issues.
I wish to draw the attention of witnesses 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 the committee to cease giving evidence on a particular matter and they continue to so do, they are entitled thereafter only to a 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 they 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. 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. Gleeson to make his opening statement.