Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 25 March 2014
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht
Canal By-laws and Naomh Éanna: Discussion
I welcome Ms Dawn Livingstone, chief executive, Mr. Nigel Russell, director of technical services, Mr. John McKeown, eastern regional manager, and Mr. Charles Lawn, inspector of navigation, Waterways Ireland; Mr. John Dolan, chairman, Offaly branch, Mr. Greg Whelan, former president, Ms Carmel Meegan, president, and Mr. Derry Smith, vice-president, Inland Waterways Association of Ireland; and Mr. Joe Treacy, chairman, and Mr. Andy Roche, vice-chairman, the Heritage Boat Association.
Before we begin, I draw the attention of witnesses to the fact that by virtue of section 17(2)(l) of the Defamation Act 2009, they are protected by absolute privilege in respect of the evidence they are to give this committee.
However, if they are directed by the committee to cease giving evidence in relation to a particular matter and they continue to do so, 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. I also wish to advise them that the opening statement and any other documents they have submitted to the committee may be published on the committee's website after 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.