Dáil debates

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

5:00 am

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)

I am opposed to the Bill in the first instance but I will confine my objections to the procedures being used to fast-track it through the Dáil. It is an absolute scandal that we are fast-tracking the Bill, even if it is as important as the Tánaiste believes. On the Order of Business last Thursday I stated I was opposed to a Friday sitting if it was not to be a proper sitting. I said we wanted a proper sitting, not a half-arsed one. I was proven correct on Friday because it was nothing more than half-arsed. The fact that over the weekend the Tánaiste introduced seven pages of amendments to his own Bill shows the potential for major flaws in the legislation. As usual, he presented us with half a Bill and will introduce the other half as amendments on Committee and Report Stages, which means those in the House who are not participating in the debate will not have sight of them before they are presented by him. Given that the deadline for amendments was supposed to be prior to the completion of Second Stage but had to be extended because of the six letter word, "quorum", what is the deadline for amendments to the Bill if it is passed on Second Stage 15 minutes after the conclusion of the Order of Business and we have to consider Committee Stage tomorrow? It is an absolute disgrace. We should extend the time allowed in order that all Deputies can speak on Second Stage to take account of the amendments the Tánaiste is trying to push through. Accordingly, we should oppose the proposal.


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