Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport

Revised National Development Plan: Discussion

Photo of Kieran O'DonnellKieran O'Donnell (Limerick City, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

The purpose of the meeting this afternoon is to engage with representatives from Transportation Infrastructure Ireland, TII, and the National Transport Authority, NTA, to discuss the revised national development plan. On behalf of the committee, I would like to welcome Mr. Peter Walsh, chief executive of TII; Mr. Nigel O'Neill, director of capital programme of TII; Ms Anne Graham, chief executive officer of NTA; and Mr. Hugh Creegan, director of transport planning and investment and the deputy chief executive of NTA. Apologies for the slight delay in starting.

Witnesses are reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice that they should not criticise or make charges against any person or entity by name or in such a way as to make him, her or it identifiable, or otherwise engage in speech that might be regarded as damaging to the good name of the person or entity. Therefore, if a statement is potentially inflammatory in relation to an identifiable person or entity, you will be directed to discontinue your remarks. It is imperative that witnesses comply with any such direction. There are some limitations to parliamentary privilege for witnesses attending remotely from outside the Leinster House campus. They may not benefit from the same level of immunity to legal proceedings that a witness physically present does. Witnesses participating in this committee session from a jurisdiction outside the State are advised that they should also be mindful of domestic law and how it may apply to the evidence that they give.

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 House or an official, either by name or in such a way as to make him or her identifiable.

Those watching this meeting are most welcome. Oireachtas Members and witnesses now have the option of being physically present in the committee or joining the meeting remotely via Microsoft Teams. I remind members of the constitutional requirement that they must be physically present within the confines of the Leinster House complex in order to participate in public meetings. Reluctantly, I will not permit members to participate where they are not adhering to this constitutional requirement. Therefore, any member who attempts to participate from outside the precincts will be asked to leave the meeting. In this regard, I would ask any member partaking via Microsoft Teams, prior to making his or her contribution to the meeting, to confirm that he or she is on the grounds of the Leinster House campus.

If attending in the committee room, you are asked to exercise personal responsibility to protect yourself and others from the risk of contracting Covid-19. I strongly advise the practice of good hand hygiene and to leave at least one vacant seat between you and others. One should also always maintain an appropriate level of social distancing during and after the meeting. Masks should be worn at all times during the meeting except when speaking.

I call Mr. Walsh to make his opening statement.


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