Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 6 February 2019
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government
An Bord Pleanála: Discussion
At the request of the broadcasting and recording service, members and visitors in the Public Gallery are requested 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 their device. It is not sufficient to put phones on silent, as this will maintain the level of interference with the broadcasting system.
No. 6 on the agenda is an engagement with An Bord Pleanála. I welcome Mr. David Walsh, Ms Loretta Lambkin and Ms Rachel Kenny.
Before we begin I draw the attention of the 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 their evidence to the joint committee. If, however, they are directed by it to cease giving evidence on a particular matter and continue to so do, 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, 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.
On behalf of the committee, I wish Mr. David Walsh well in his new role. He has only been in it three months. He brings vast experience to it. I wish him well in this new endeavour. He is greatly missed on the other side but I know he brings vast experience and expertise to this area. I invite him to make his opening statement.