Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 27 January 2022

Public Accounts Committee

Business of Committee

9:30 am

Photo of Brian StanleyBrian Stanley (Laois-Offaly, Sinn Fein)
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Thank you. Is that agreed? Agreed.

The only other item I wish to raise regarding the work programme is that there are some more developments with the University of Limerick, UL. I propose to put it on the work programme again. Matters are far from being resolved there and there are a number of serious issues that might need further examination. With the agreement of the committee, I propose that we invite the chancellor, who is the chair of the board, to appear before the committee on the next occasion. On the last occasion, the president, who is a relatively new president, was put in a very difficult position. We have to ask the hard questions, but in some ways she was fairly new to it. That is not doubting her ability or anything like that, but she was dealing with a lot of issues that arose or started before her term.

The last issue I wish to raise relates to the three separate meetings scheduled on policing. Combined with the three on housing, that is six gone. With the mid-term break, we are looking at two months gone. Could we amalgamate two of the meetings on policing? There are meetings with the Policing Authority, the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, GSOC, and An Garda Síochána. We are having three-hour rather than two-hour meetings now. The Garda Síochána appropriations accounts would need a separate day by itself, but perhaps we could bring in GSOC in the first part of one morning meeting and from 11 a.m. we could take the Policing Authority. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked for it to be included, but I am not sure that we have much to go through with the Policing Authority. She obviously has issues she wants to raise and I want to be fair to her, but I suggest that we do it as part of one engagement. Have members any strong feelings one way or the other on that?

If not, then we will seek to do that on the same day. If anyone has a better suggestion, he or she should feel free to make it, but I suggest that we take GSOC first because there are a number of issues involved. That would be from 9.30 a.m. until 11 a.m., after which we could take the Policing Authority. Would that order be okay? Agreed. We will ask the secretariat to arrange it that way, which will bring things back a week. An Garda Síochána would be taken as a stand-alone item.