Wednesday, 24 November 2021
Merchant Shipping (Investigation of Marine Casualties) (Amendment) Bill 2021: Second Stage
Michael McNamara (Clare, Independent)
I welcome this Bill coming before the Dáil. However, we need to look at why we are here. Previous speakers have alluded to it. The whole make-up of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board has been repeatedly raised in this House over the years. It has been also raised at appropriate committees in the past. Concerns were expressed by Members of the Opposition and indeed by some such Members who now find themselves Government backbenchers. However, those concerns were dismissed entirely by the Government of the day. We should recall that the Minister of State's current party leader, the Tánaiste and Taoiseach in waiting under the current arrangement, was among those who dismissed concerns about the impartiality of the board. I note some Government backbenchers have called for an unbiased Marine Casualty Investigation Board to be appointed.
For the avoidance of doubt, Acting Chair, I have no problem giving the floor to Deputy Michael Healy-Rae for ten minutes if he wishes it. I believe I am allowed under Standing Orders to give way to any Member who requests I give way.