Dáil debates

Thursday, 23 June 2005

10:30 am

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Meath, Fianna Fail)
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It is proposed to take No. 14a, motion re referral to joint committee of proposed approval by Dáil Éireann for an EU Council framework decision to strengthen the criminal law framework for the enforcement of the law against ship-source pollution; No. 14b, motion re referral to joint committee of proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of decisions of the European Parliament and the Council establishing the European return fund and European refugee fund, and a Council decision establishing the European fund for the integration of third country nationals; and No. 26, Garda Síochána Bill 2004 [Seanad] — Report Stage (resumed) and Final Stage.

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that the Dáil shall sit later than 4.45 p.m. today and business shall be interrupted not later than 8 p.m.; that Nos. 14a and 14b shall be decided without debate; that the proceedings on the resumed Report Stage and Final Stage of No. 26 shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 8 p.m. by one question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, in relation to amendments, include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform; and that the Dáil shall sit tomorrow at 10.30 a.m. and shall adjourn not later than 2 p.m.

I wish to outline the proposals for tomorrow's sitting. There shall be no Order of Business within the meaning of Standing Order 26 and, accordingly, the following business shall be transacted in the following order: No. 27, Investment Funds, Companies and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2005 [Seanad] — Report and Final Stages, which shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 12 noon on that day by one question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, in relation to amendments, include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment; and No. 1, Air Navigation and Transport (Indemnities) Bill 2005 [Seanad] — Second and Subsequent Stages.

I wish to outline the proposals for dealing with No. 1 tomorrow. The proceedings on Second Stage shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 1.30 p.m. on that day. The opening speech of the Minister or Minister of State and of the main spokespersons for the Fine Gael Party, the Labour Party and the Technical Group, who shall be called upon in that order, shall not exceed 15 minutes in each case; the speech of each other Member called upon shall not exceed ten minutes in each case; Members may share time; and the Minister or Minister of State shall be called upon to make a speech in reply which shall not exceed five minutes. The proceedings on Committee and Remaining Stages shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 2 p.m. on that day by one question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, in relation to amendments, include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for Transport.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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There are four proposals to be put to the House. Is the proposal for the late sitting agreed?

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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No. I do not oppose the proposal that the House should sit until 8 o'clock, but I would not have any problem with extending the sitting until 12 midnight.

Photo of Finian McGrathFinian McGrath (Dublin North Central, Independent)
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Hear, hear. Bring it on.

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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The Government has not provided for a sos despite its proposal for a late sitting. The House takes a sos on Wednesdays when it sits for the number of hours proposed for today. Party spokespersons on justice, who will spend most of the day dealing with the Garda Síochána Bill 2004, will also have to be present in the House for Question Time with the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform this afternoon, and we are expected to sit in the Chamber without a break until 8 o'clock.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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It seems we have a rearrangement of the deck-chairs, with the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources taking the Order of Business.

This is appalling treatment of Dáil Éireann. It also amounts to appalling treatment of an Garda Síochána that a Bill of this magnitude, importance and sensitivity, with 284 amendments yet to be debated, is expected by the Government to go through all Stages by 8 p.m. this evening. This is contemptuous treatment by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform of the Garda Síochána and the representatives of all parties and none.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Such remarks would be more appropriately directed towards proposal No. 3.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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Yes, but we are expected to consent to have the debate on the Garda Síochána Bill end at 8 p.m. this evening. Even if only two minutes were given to the consideration of each amendment, ten hours would be needed. The Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources knows, as a former Government Whip and a Minister now serving in Government, that this is not right. We have evidence over the years of rushed legislation being taken to the Supreme Court. Such legislation does not work out. As was pointed out yesterday by Deputy Jim O'Keeffe and others, there are very serious matters pertaining to the dismissal of members of an Garda Síochána, definitions of rights of account and so on, that should not be rushed through the House. I warn the Minister and the Government that to do this today is not good practice, that it will make bad law and that they may well live to regret it.

Photo of Pádraic McCormackPádraic McCormack (Galway West, Fine Gael)
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The Minister will not be here to regret it.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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I object to the debate being concluded at 8 p.m. this evening.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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I agree. The green list of amendments circulated this morning says the 284 amendments comprise all the amendments to the Bill. They do not. There are further amendments in the white paper from the Minister. Last night we got only as far as amendment No. 12, which means most of the amendments will never be discussed in Dáil Éireann. How can any Minister defend that? It is quite unconscionable.

I mean no disrespect to the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, but the Tánaiste is in the car park talking on her mobile phone. The Taoiseach will not come to the House and it now appears the Tánaiste will not do so. We do not know if the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform will be leaving the House at any stage during the debate on the amendments. He may have to attend another photo-shoot today. On any day on which he does not speak before a large number of cameras and microphones, he goes into withdrawal.

Photo of Pádraic McCormackPádraic McCormack (Galway West, Fine Gael)
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Or into a café bar.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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Having hammered away for more than three weeks since the second Morris tribunal report to get the Government to respond to Mr. Justice Morris, and having extracted 12th-hour amendments from the Minister, it is a disservice to politics and to this House that we do not have the opportunity to scrutinise any of the amendments in the manner they deserve. This is a serious matter, and a serious Bill is being rushed through by the Minister at a time when there is no compulsion on this House to rise on 1 July.

We can meet for an additional week and allow the 283 amendments, plus those on the white list to be debated in Committee for as long as is necessary, given the gravity of some of the amendments being discussed. It is a contemptuous way to treat the House and one must conclude that it is deliberate. Having resisted bringing forward amendments following the second Morris report and having been obliged to do so, the Minister is now insistent that he knows best and that all wisdom reposes on that side of the House. He will force through the amendments in this fashion, which is frankly disgraceful.

Photo of John GormleyJohn Gormley (Dublin South East, Green Party)
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Regarding the point made by Deputy Ó Snodaigh, we would quite happily continue until later if we had some time during the day to consider these amendments in greater detail. My colleague, Deputy Cuffe, said yesterday he and his staff are trying to do their very best under difficult circumstances. The Government and in particular the Minister is showing disrespect to this House in the way he has conducted this legislative process. It is a rush rather than a legislative process. It is regrettable that the House can be treated with such utter contempt. Rushed legislation is always bad legislation.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Meath, Fianna Fail)
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There has already been a very lengthy debate on the Garda Síochána Bill.

Photo of Pádraic McCormackPádraic McCormack (Galway West, Fine Gael)
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Not on the amendments.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Meath, Fianna Fail)
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The heads of the Bill were published and a public consultation process was initiated.

Photo of Ciarán CuffeCiarán Cuffe (Dún Laoghaire, Green Party)
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The devil is in the detail.

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Dublin North Central, Fine Gael)
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What about the Morris tribunal reports?

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Minister without interruption, please.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Meath, Fianna Fail)
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The report from the Human Rights Commission was examined.

Photo of Jim O'KeeffeJim O'Keeffe (Cork South West, Fine Gael)
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The Human Rights Commission has not seen the amendments.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Meath, Fianna Fail)
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There was a lengthy debate on the Bill.

Photo of Emmet StaggEmmet Stagg (Kildare North, Labour)
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The Minister is misleading the House. He is only talking about the first quarter of the Bill.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Chair wishes to make a point. A Deputy from each party made a contribution without interruption. The Minister is entitled to respond without interruption and the function of the Chair is to ensure that happens.

Photo of Emmet StaggEmmet Stagg (Kildare North, Labour)
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The Minister is misleading the House.

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Dublin North Central, Fine Gael)
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He will read his speech anyway.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Minister without interruption, please.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Meath, Fianna Fail)
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Regarding the 284 amendments referred to, many of these were debated extensively on a very long Committee Stage in this House. The Minister made himself available.

Photo of Arthur MorganArthur Morgan (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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Amendments are still arriving this morning.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Meath, Fianna Fail)
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During Committee Stage, the Minister indicated he would make himself available, and he did so. We had a very extensive Committee Stage. The Opposition asked that the two Morris tribunal reports should be debated before discussion on the final Stages of the Bill. The Government agreed and the reports were discussed last Friday.

Photo of Jim O'KeeffeJim O'Keeffe (Cork South West, Fine Gael)
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They were prepared statements.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Meath, Fianna Fail)
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In the amendments and in the Bill itself, the Government has addressed all the issues raised by the Morris tribunal reports.

Photo of Jim O'KeeffeJim O'Keeffe (Cork South West, Fine Gael)
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How do we know?

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Meath, Fianna Fail)
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During the course of the Order of Business last week, Deputy Rabbitte made a particular plea that the Morris tribunal reports would be addressed and that was done. If the Opposition want to maximise the time available for the Bill, it should not take such actions as it did yesterday. The Opposition spent 45 minutes on recommittal——

Photo of Emmet StaggEmmet Stagg (Kildare North, Labour)
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Perhaps we should not call for any votes in the House.

Photo of Jim O'KeeffeJim O'Keeffe (Cork South West, Fine Gael)
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We are one step away from a dictatorship.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Allow the Minister to speak without interruption.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Meath, Fianna Fail)
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The Opposition spent half an hour discussing the alphabetical re-ordering of a definition, 20 minutes on whether it should be "the" Garda Síochána or "an" Garda Síochána, and ten minutes on calling a quorum.

Photo of Emmet StaggEmmet Stagg (Kildare North, Labour)
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The Minister was making Second Stage speeches throughout.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Meath, Fianna Fail)
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The Opposition wasted nearly two hours yesterday during the course of this Bill through the House.

Photo of Jim O'KeeffeJim O'Keeffe (Cork South West, Fine Gael)
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Why would we bother coming here at all?

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Meath, Fianna Fail)
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Regarding the not unreasonable point raised by Deputy Ó Snodaigh about a sos, I am agreeable to the Order of Business being amended to allow half an hour at 1 p.m.

Photo of Emmet StaggEmmet Stagg (Kildare North, Labour)
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That is a matter for the House.

Question put: "That the proposal for the late sitting be agreed to, with a sos of half an hour at 1 p.m."

The Dail Divided:

For the motion: 62 (Michael Ahern, Noel Ahern, Seán Ardagh, Niall Blaney, Johnny Brady, Martin Brady, Séamus Brennan, John Browne, Pat Carey, John Carty, Michael J Collins, Beverley Flynn, John Cregan, John Curran, Noel Dempsey, Tony Dempsey, John Dennehy, John Ellis, Frank Fahey, Dermot Fitzpatrick, Seán Fleming, Mildred Fox, Pat Gallagher, Jim Glennon, Noel Grealish, Mary Hanafin, Seán Haughey, Máire Hoctor, Cecilia Keaveney, Billy Kelleher, Peter Kelly, Tony Killeen, Séamus Kirk, Tom Kitt, Brian Lenihan Jnr, Conor Lenihan, Michael McDowell, Tom McEllistrim, John Moloney, Donal Moynihan, Michael Moynihan, Michael Mulcahy, Éamon Ó Cuív, Seán Ó Fearghaíl, Charlie O'Connor, Liz O'Donnell, Batt O'Keeffe, Fiona O'Malley, Tim O'Malley, Tom Parlon, Peter Power, Seán Power, Dick Roche, Mae Sexton, Brendan Smith, Michael Smith, Noel Treacy, Dan Wallace, Mary Wallace, Joe Walsh, Ollie Wilkinson, Michael Woods)

Against the motion: 47 (Dan Boyle, Tommy Broughan, Richard Bruton, Joan Burton, Paul Connaughton, Paudge Connolly, Joe Costello, Seymour Crawford, Ciarán Cuffe, John Deasy, Jimmy Deenihan, Bernard Durkan, Damien English, Eamon Gilmore, Paul Gogarty, John Gormley, Séamus Healy, Joe Higgins, Michael D Higgins, Brendan Howlin, Paul Kehoe, Enda Kenny, Pádraic McCormack, Finian McGrath, Paul McGrath, Paddy McHugh, Liz McManus, Olivia Mitchell, Breeda Moynihan-Cronin, Catherine Murphy, Gerard Murphy, Denis Naughten, Dan Neville, Fergus O'Dowd, Jim O'Keeffe, Brian O'Shea, Séamus Pattison, Willie Penrose, Pat Rabbitte, Michael Ring, Seán Ryan, Joe Sherlock, Emmet Stagg, David Stanton, Billy Timmins, Liam Twomey, Jack Wall)

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Kitt and Kelleher; Níl, Deputies Kehoe and Stagg.

Question declared carried.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Is the proposal for dealing with Nos. 14a and 14b agreed to?

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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These motions were only received late yesterday and that is not adequate time to consider whether there should be a debate on them in the House before they are sent to the committee. I have no problem with the practice in general but we should be given more notice of such motions before making a decision on whether the House should deal with them in the proper fashion before they are sent to committee.

Question: "That the proposal for dealing with Nos. 14a and 14b be agreed to" put and declared carried.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Is the proposal for dealing with No. 26 agreed to?

11:00 am

Photo of Jim O'KeeffeJim O'Keeffe (Cork South West, Fine Gael)
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I strongly object to this proposal. I am not seeking to make a political point but we are dealing with a major Bill. The Minister has trumpeted it as of huge relevance to the country. That is true and it is only right that we ensure the Bill in its final form is something of which we can be proud. If one were to consider how best to produce a bad product, one could not think of a better way of doing it than to impose a guillotine in the fashion proposed by the Government.

It is not just a truism to state that rushed legislation is bad legislation. There has been ample evidence of it over the years. The Minister should be well aware of this given that he caused a number of immigration Bills to be rushed through the House, which later ended up in the courts. I have been a parliamentarian for a number of years and I urge the House to do the decent thing by the Garda Síochána and by the country. Let us ensure the Bill passed by the House is one of which we can be proud.

I accept that not all the 284 amendments require detailed consideration but some of them are of major significance. In fact, when the Minister presented them he suggested that they were a comprehensive response to the reports of the Morris tribunal. He indicated that they would deal with all the strictures of Mr. Justice Morris. If that is so, let us at least have the decency to examine those proposals. Let us not be faced at 8 p.m., having gone through a quarter of the amendments, with a single question from the Chair proposing that all the amendments fall other than those proposed by the Minister. We will end up with a Bill that is not even half considered.

There is provision in the Constitution for the President to refer legislation to the Supreme Court to be considered for its constitutionality. Two issues will arise at the end of today's proceedings. The first is the process employed by Parliament for dealing with this Bill. That certainly runs counter to the spirit, if not the letter, of the Constitution. If we do not give due process to the Bill, particularly a Bill of such importance, that issue will have to be considered.

There is a second issue. Amendments have been put before the House which will not be given adequate consideration but which comprise new proposals for the summary dismissal of members of the Garda Síochána. These are major new powers. If such powers are to be put in the Statute Book, they must be properly considered. We must be satisfied there are adequate safeguards. Above all, we must be satisfied there is due process and that any member of the Garda who might be faced with such a decision by the Garda Commissioner will have access to a process of natural justice. On my cursory reading of the amendments presented by the Minister, I am not satisfied that there is provision for such due process. That is all I might be able to say today about those provisions because we might not reach them.

My comments are not just directed at the Minister, Deputy McDowell. So far, he has had the backing of the Fianna Fáil Members of the House. I urge them to pause and reflect. In the name of goodness, let us do the proper thing by the Garda Síochána and the country. Give us a decent chance to assess the amendments properly. I guarantee on behalf of Fine Gael, the main Opposition party, that we will deal with this constructively and fairly. However, we need time to do it properly. The Government is not giving us that time.

Photo of Joe CostelloJoe Costello (Dublin Central, Labour)
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I, too, oppose No. 26 on the Order of Business, for many of the same reasons. The Government is proposing a guillotine at 8 p.m. We saw how the Minister delayed the Dáil yesterday by leaving during the morning to conduct a launch relating to child care and leaving the Minister of State, who has responsibility for child care, in the House as his substitute.

Photo of Mary HanafinMary Hanafin (Minister, Department of Education and Science; Dún Laoghaire, Fianna Fail)
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It was for 45 minutes.

Photo of Conor LenihanConor Lenihan (Minister of State, Department of Foreign Affairs; Dublin South West, Fianna Fail)
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The Minister of State was minding the children here.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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That does not arise under this proposal.

Photo of Joe CostelloJoe Costello (Dublin Central, Labour)
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The Minister should have known better. It was a contemptuous way to treat the House. I object to the Minister's methodology and to his attitude to his presence in the House. His manner of dealing with legislation is unacceptable. We have raised this issue before and need the Ceann Comhairle's guidance. The Minister first presented this Bill two years ago. Now as the session ends he says the Bill must be guillotined and presents a stack of new amendments.

He does this with every Bill. On leaving this House every Bill is more than double its original size, through amendments from the Minister — he does not accept our amendments. He never thinks out fully what he intends to do and as a result we receive an ad hoc amalgam of legislation that is a set of proposals without any coherent philosophy.

In this case there are two green books of amendments, one provided the day before yesterday, one yesterday, and there are white pages of the Minister's amendments, which are not included in the normal green book because the Minister is keeping them separate for himself. This is the height of inefficiency. We must try to plough through different groups of amendments to find our place in the debate.

The Minister has included 34 amendments in his booklet, making a total of more than 300 amendments to deal with today. There is not the slightest hope that we will reach the seminal amendments introduced by the Minister. Many of these are amendments to which he has agreed kicking and screaming after we insisted on having at least some debate on the reports of the Morris tribunal.

We made statements only on Friday but at least we had a further debate in Private Members' time last night and the day before. There has been some attempt to tease out the implications of the Morris reports and to acknowledge that Mr. Justice Morris specifically requested this House to review the Garda Síochána Bill.

Some of the Minister's amendments are good. I am pleased he has taken on our idea for a whistleblower's charter. That is an excellent amendment for which we have long pressed. I am also pleased he has taken on board several of our proposals regarding the ombudsman's commission and that it has a different shape now from when the Minister embarked on this proposal two years ago. There is a significant proposal to roll out CCTV around the country in the interests of security which is very valuable.

I am not pleased, however, that these measures, plus several other controversial measures, will be nodded through without our having the opportunity to discuss them. It would have been proper to recommit them so we could have a full debate but we will not reach them on Report Stage because of the lack of time and the guillotine.

One controversial amendment is the summary entitlement to be granted to the Garda Commissioner to dismiss members of the Garda Síochána, ordinary gardaí, sergeants and inspectors, that cut across the Garda Representative Association and the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors. Both associations are angry about this because they regard it as an issue for conciliation and arbitration. Yesterday the Minister presented a summary amendment to the Garda Representative Association instead of bringing forward a proposal for conciliation.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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It is not appropriate to go into detail on amendments at this stage. A general reference is sufficient.

Photo of Joe CostelloJoe Costello (Dublin Central, Labour)
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I refer to this because it gives the authority to the commissioner on the basis of his or her opinion. Due process is not included in the legislation. We would seek to amend this amendment but will not have the chance to do so. Industrial action will be the outcome of this amendment.

In the second controversial amendment the Minister grants himself total access to all Garda files on all citizens, at whatever stage an investigation may be or wherever documentation may be. This is an example of despotic megalomania.

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Dublin West, Labour)
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It is disgraceful.

Photo of Denis NaughtenDenis Naughten (Longford-Roscommon, Fine Gael)
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It is Ceaucescu-like.

Photo of Joe CostelloJoe Costello (Dublin Central, Labour)
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This Minister has lost perspective. We will not have an opportunity to amend that outrageous amendment. Maybe he will amend it himself and think about it again as he is inclined to do. Many of the Minister's amendments come from the top of his head.

Has the Minister contacted the Data Protection Commissioner about getting access to these files?

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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That does not arise at this stage. The Deputy may have an opportunity to discuss it during the debate on the Bill.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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There will not be another time to discuss it.

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Dublin West, Labour)
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It will come up in the courts.

Photo of Joe CostelloJoe Costello (Dublin Central, Labour)
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These are matters about which the Minister should be thinking. Deputy Howlin is right, there will not be another time to discuss them. This is our last opportunity to say why we believe this Bill should be recommitted for proper debate on Committee Stage and why we oppose the guillotine.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy Costello referred to guidance from the Chair. The position is that the House decides how a Bill will be taken and the Chair, like all other Members in the House, is subject to that decision. It is a matter entirely for the House.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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That is not guidance. That is only information.

Photo of John GormleyJohn Gormley (Dublin South East, Green Party)
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The Green Party cannot accept the guillotine on this important Bill. My colleague, Deputy Cuffe, outlined yesterday the difficulties he and his staff experienced in trying to deal with a series of amendments. I once described the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform as a binge legislator. If ever we needed proof of that we saw it yesterday when he lined up 100 amendments on the counter and went on the tear.

Photo of Noel TreacyNoel Treacy (Minister of State, Department of Foreign Affairs; Minister of State, Department of An Taoiseach; Galway East, Fianna Fail)
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Along the dotted line.

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Dublin West, Labour)
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No café bar for the Minister.

Photo of John GormleyJohn Gormley (Dublin South East, Green Party)
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When the Minister was out of his mind on arrogance he wreaked havoc with the legislative process. The Minister did not want to establish the Morris tribunal. Now he has chosen to ignore the advice of Mr. Justice Morris.

There are children in the Visitors Gallery who are getting a lesson in how not to legislate. As if to emphasise his contempt for this House the Minister came in chewing gum this morning.

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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He is blowing bubbles.

Photo of Conor LenihanConor Lenihan (Minister of State, Department of Foreign Affairs; Dublin South West, Fianna Fail)
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Is a chewing gum ban in the manifesto for the rainbow coalition?

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Personal comments about any Member of the House are not appropriate in the Chamber. The motion before the House deals with the guillotine on this Bill.

Photo of Noel TreacyNoel Treacy (Minister of State, Department of Foreign Affairs; Minister of State, Department of An Taoiseach; Galway East, Fianna Fail)
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What would the Deputy like him to eat?

Photo of Conor LenihanConor Lenihan (Minister of State, Department of Foreign Affairs; Dublin South West, Fianna Fail)
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Deputy Gormley is like Steve Silvermint.

Photo of John GormleyJohn Gormley (Dublin South East, Green Party)
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It emphasises the Minister's contempt for this House and his arrogance which is unacceptable to people on this side of the House.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy may not go into detail. What may be appropriate later in the day is not appropriate now. That is not appropriate at this stage. The Deputy should not continue when the Chair has ruled on the matter.

Photo of John GormleyJohn Gormley (Dublin South East, Green Party)
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It is appropriate because the Ceann Comhairle should be looking after protocol in this House. There is contempt and arrogance in the Minister's manner which is unacceptable.

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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Like the other Deputies I oppose the guillotine.

Photo of Conor LenihanConor Lenihan (Minister of State, Department of Foreign Affairs; Dublin South West, Fianna Fail)
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Deputy Gormley is jealous that the Minister can chew gum and think at the same time.

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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The Minister should be careful. I heard he visited a certain place last night.

(Interruptions).

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputies should allow Deputy Ó Snodaigh to speak without interruption.

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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Like my colleagues I oppose the guillotine as we have opposed guillotines on other legislation. This guillotine is more serious because of the number of constructive amendments from all sides, including the Minister, that we wish to discuss. We will not reach them.

Yesterday and today the Minister said we were wasting time. The parliamentary procedure allows us to go through amendments, some of them vital. Reference was made to a discussion about the legal title of the organisation. If we cannot even get the legal title correct, how will we achieve the changes required for an Garda Síochána and get them right? One of my major points is that the amendments the Minister has tabled, some in response to the Morris tribunal's reports, are substantial yet have not been referred to the Human Rights Commission or the Garda Commissioner. I say that because the amendments go to the heart of human rights issues. There is an obligation on the Government to refer all legislation with human rights implications to the Human Rights Commission. I accept that the commission examined the Bill, but it did not know what amendments the Minister would produce.

On another point, the Minister has tabled more than 70 amendments. I did not manage to count them all. We will not get through the majority. We probably will not even reach the amendment co-authored by the Minister and me. It is a minor amendment but we will not get to it, which is a pity.

Photo of Arthur MorganArthur Morgan (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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My colleague, Deputy Ó Snodaigh, is bailing the Minister out.

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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The other point is that if one looks at the white sheets sent around with the Minister's amendments, one sees that most are amendments to existing amendments; that is how crazy it is. We end up having to take over an entire bench for the material presented to us, never mind what reports we refer to. We do not have enough time and we should sit next week to deal with this, and the following week if need be. It is important that we get it right, since it is the first major change to the structures of the Garda Síochána since its foundation. I hope that we will not need to return with other Bills to reform it; we should take the time to get it right at this stage rather than come back with new legislation time and again to undo the mistakes made because of the guillotine being forced on us today.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Meath, Fianna Fail)
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The Government shares the view expressed by Deputy Jim O'Keeffe and others regarding the importance of this Bill. I will not go back over how long it has already been given for consideration.

Photo of Emmet StaggEmmet Stagg (Kildare North, Labour)
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The first quarter.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Meath, Fianna Fail)
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We also share the aspiration expressed by Deputy Jim O'Keeffe and echoed by others that we finalise a Bill of which we can be proud, and that is certainly the aim of the Government and the Minister.

Photo of Damien EnglishDamien English (Meath, Fine Gael)
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One would not think so.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Meath, Fianna Fail)
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The best way to do so is to ensure that as much time as possible be devoted to debate on the Bill itself rather than about whether we have a guillotine. Yesterday more than two hours were wasted——

Photo of Joe CostelloJoe Costello (Dublin Central, Labour)
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By the Minister's absence.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Meath, Fianna Fail)
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——on minor technical details not at all at the core of the Bill. The fact that Deputy Ó Snodaigh and the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Deputy McDowell, have an amendment in common should give us cause for further consideration.

Photo of Paul GogartyPaul Gogarty (Dublin Mid West, Green Party)
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They can talk about it.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Meath, Fianna Fail)
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It is a very persuasive argument for allowing extra time. Given what has been said by Deputies and in particular what Deputy Jim O'Keeffe said about trying to be as co-operative as possible if extra time were allowed so that people can focus on the Bill itself in the debate, I know that the Minister is willing to grant extra time for it. With the House's permission, he will agree to extend the time until10 p.m.

Photo of Jim O'KeeffeJim O'Keeffe (Cork South West, Fine Gael)
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An amendment has been proposed about which I would like to make a simple comment. The idea of the Minister granting the Parliament of my country the time to discuss an important Bill, the manner in which this has been presented, appals me.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Meath, Fianna Fail)
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Read what I said.

Photo of Jim O'KeeffeJim O'Keeffe (Cork South West, Fine Gael)
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However, two hours for this Bill is not——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy has made his contribution. There will be one contribution from each party. We will put the question that the proposal for dealing with No. 26, the conclusion of Report and Final Stages of the Garda Síochána Bill 2004, be agreed to, including an amendment proposed by the Minister that the House sit until 10 p.m.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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May a Member speak?

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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On a point of information, the behaviour of the Chair has been outrageous.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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I ask the Deputy to withdraw that.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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This is a new proposal.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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On 17 May 1995——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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I ask the Deputy to withdraw the reference to the Chair.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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I wished to make a valid intervention, and the Ceann Comhairle is deliberately——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy's party colleague has already made an intervention of this nature.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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I want to make another.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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One Member from each party may speak on a proposal.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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I want to inform the Ceann Comhairle of something. On 17 May 1995, in a debate in this House on the Finance Bill, the then Opposition Member, Deputy McDowell, said the following regarding amendments.

They are not agreeable to me or my party in their present form because very important amendments have not yet been circulated to Members of the House. I ask the Chair to vindicate the rights of Members of this House. It is not proper that serious and fundamental measures are being withheld in the context of a guillotined debate.

Need I say more? The Garda Síochána Bill 2004 is even more important.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Two Members are offering from Fine Gael, Deputies Costello and Howlin. We can have one of them.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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We are in the Labour Party.

Photo of Joe CostelloJoe Costello (Dublin Central, Labour)
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We are Labour.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Yes, Labour. We will have Deputy Costello.

Photo of Joe CostelloJoe Costello (Dublin Central, Labour)
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The proposal that we put forward today was that there be no guillotine this evening. We sought not a brief extension but for the entire Bill to be recommitted. We wanted a proper debate that could continue into next week and perhaps the following one.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy has already made those comments. He is being repetitive. He should make only a brief comment.

Photo of Joe CostelloJoe Costello (Dublin Central, Labour)
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I am entitled to reply to a new proposal from the Minister. He has put forward a new proposal, and we have stated why we were not prepared to accept No. 26 on the Order Paper. The Minister has proposed something that is not No. 26.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Is the Deputy opposed to the extension of the sitting until 10 p.m.?

Photo of Joe CostelloJoe Costello (Dublin Central, Labour)
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That is not the issue. It is not we who are——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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We have already debated the guillotine. There is a new proposal from the Minister which is causing a complication to which we will presently come.

Photo of Joe CostelloJoe Costello (Dublin Central, Labour)
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The Minister has not responded to the reasons that we articulated regarding why that is not sufficient.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy is returning to a debate that we have already had.

Photo of Joe CostelloJoe Costello (Dublin Central, Labour)
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The Minister has merely suggested an extension, and on this side of the House we are totally opposed to this. This is merely the most token——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy is going back over a debate that we have already had.

Photo of Joe CostelloJoe Costello (Dublin Central, Labour)
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——extension in time.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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We cannot spend the whole day on this.

Photo of Joe CostelloJoe Costello (Dublin Central, Labour)
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It will not enable us to carry out the examination and scrutiny that this important legislation deserves.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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That debate has already taken place.

Photo of Joe CostelloJoe Costello (Dublin Central, Labour)
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I say quite clearly that the Minister and Fianna Fáil are making a big mistake on this issue.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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I call Deputy Cuffe.

Photo of Joe CostelloJoe Costello (Dublin Central, Labour)
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I am surprised that Fianna Fáil should be standing behind the Minister on this issue, on which he has made such a faux pas.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Chair now proposes to put the third proposal.

Photo of Ciarán CuffeCiarán Cuffe (Dún Laoghaire, Green Party)
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A Cheann Comhairle——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Listen, the Chair is speaking. I will put the question, ''That the proposal for dealing with No. 26, the conclusion of Report and Final Stages of the Garda Síochána Bill 2004, be agreed to'', as it stands. The House will be aware that it has already agreed to the late sitting, to conclude at 8 p.m. It is a matter for the Whip if he wishes to make a new proposal at a later stage. However, we cannot take another proposal now, having already agreed that.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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Perhaps we might accept the Minister's offer of 10 p.m., provided there is no guillotine.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Several Members have objected to it.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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They have objected to the guillotine.

Photo of Ciarán CuffeCiarán Cuffe (Dún Laoghaire, Green Party)
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One of the concerns, as Deputy Rabbitte has pointed out, is the guillotine.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Does Deputy Rabbitte wish to incorporate into this a proposal that we rescind the decision that we have already made this morning? This House made a decision that we would sit until 8 p.m.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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That is correct.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Is that agreed?

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Dublin West, Labour)
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There should be no guillotine.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Is it agreed that we sit until 10 p.m.?

Photo of Ciarán CuffeCiarán Cuffe (Dún Laoghaire, Green Party)
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We have not made a decision on the guillotine.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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We are not having a debate on that now.

Photo of Ciarán CuffeCiarán Cuffe (Dún Laoghaire, Green Party)
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Perhaps I might make a counter-proposal.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The House has already made a decision this morning, and to rescind that, a proposal will have to come before the House.

Question put: "That the proposal for dealing with No. 26 be agreed."

The Dáil divided by electronic means.

Photo of Paul KehoePaul Kehoe (Wexford, Fine Gael)
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As a teller, under Standing Order 69 I propose that the vote be taken by other than electronic means.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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As Deputy Kehoe is a Whip, under Standing Order 69 he is entitled to call a vote through the lobby.

Question again put.

The Dail Divided:

For the motion: 61 (Michael Ahern, Noel Ahern, Seán Ardagh, Niall Blaney, Johnny Brady, Martin Brady, Séamus Brennan, John Browne, Pat Carey, John Carty, Michael J Collins, Beverley Flynn, John Cregan, John Curran, Noel Dempsey, Tony Dempsey, John Dennehy, John Ellis, Frank Fahey, Dermot Fitzpatrick, Seán Fleming, Mildred Fox, Pat Gallagher, Jim Glennon, Noel Grealish, Seán Haughey, Máire Hoctor, Cecilia Keaveney, Billy Kelleher, Peter Kelly, Tony Killeen, Séamus Kirk, Tom Kitt, Brian Lenihan Jnr, Conor Lenihan, Michael McDowell, Tom McEllistrim, John Moloney, Donal Moynihan, Michael Moynihan, Michael Mulcahy, Éamon Ó Cuív, Seán Ó Fearghaíl, Charlie O'Connor, Liz O'Donnell, Batt O'Keeffe, Fiona O'Malley, Tim O'Malley, Tom Parlon, Peter Power, Seán Power, Dick Roche, Mae Sexton, Brendan Smith, Michael Smith, Noel Treacy, Dan Wallace, Mary Wallace, Joe Walsh, Ollie Wilkinson, Michael Woods)

Against the motion: 48 (Dan Boyle, Tommy Broughan, Richard Bruton, Joan Burton, Paul Connaughton, Paudge Connolly, Joe Costello, Jerry Cowley, Seymour Crawford, Seán Crowe, Ciarán Cuffe, Jimmy Deenihan, Bernard Durkan, Damien English, Eamon Gilmore, Paul Gogarty, John Gormley, Séamus Healy, Joe Higgins, Michael D Higgins, Brendan Howlin, Paul Kehoe, Enda Kenny, Pádraic McCormack, Finian McGrath, Paul McGrath, Liz McManus, Olivia Mitchell, Breeda Moynihan-Cronin, Catherine Murphy, Gerard Murphy, Denis Naughten, Dan Neville, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Fergus O'Dowd, Jim O'Keeffe, Brian O'Shea, Séamus Pattison, Willie Penrose, Pat Rabbitte, Michael Ring, Seán Ryan, Joe Sherlock, Emmet Stagg, David Stanton, Billy Timmins, Liam Twomey, Jack Wall)

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Kitt and Kelleher; Níl, Deputies Kehoe and Stagg.

Question declared carried.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Is the proposal for the sitting and business of the Dáil tomorrow agreed?

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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I do not agree. I thought there would be an Order of Business tomorrow. I am particularly concerned about the Air Navigation and Transport (Indemnities) Bill 2005. I understand this Bill addresses the issue of dirty bombs made of chemical or biological material. Today is the 20th anniversary of the tragedy of the Air India crash off the south coast. The potential liability for the State here is up to €9 billion. After 1 July, insurance cover will be withdrawn from a number of companies, which will potentially leave the State with massive liabilities. There are 12 pages and 19 sections in this Bill and it is to be rushed through in an hour and a half. That is not sufficient time and the Minister knows it. Deputy Mitchell on behalf of the Fine Gael party proposed inserting a sunset clause in the Bill that would return it to the Oireachtas to allow time to explore alternatives and examine whether there should be an overall European Union approach to this issue. This is of serious concern, not only because of world terrorism but because of the massive potential liability to the State. For that reason I am opposed to No. 4 on the Order of Business.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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If we are to have Friday sittings because it suits the Government's programme at this stage, then we ought to have the Order of Business in the normal way. Three Bills will be guillotined tomorrow. The guillotine is now a regular weapon in the armoury of the Government. It is not acceptable and the Ministers denounced it when they were on this side of the House. I oppose it for these reasons.

Photo of John GormleyJohn Gormley (Dublin South East, Green Party)
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We oppose No. 4 for the reasons outlined by the previous speakers. We were also supposed to have a debate on the G8 summit, which will not now take place. That would have given us the opportunity to examine the Government's performance on this issue and particularly its failure to meet its own solemn commitments on aid. It told us it would reach the target of 0.7% of GDP. Under present circumstances we will not reach that until 2028. We want to debate this issue, particularly in the run up to the G8 summit. Many important issues are to be discussed, including climate change. It seems that once again this House will not debate these important issues.

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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I also object to No. 4 on the grounds that there is no Order of Business tomorrow and there are no questions to a Minister. If we are to sit, we should do so for a full day and have proper business of the House. Similar to Deputy Gormley, for a number of months I requested, and we were promised a discussion on UN reform prior to the September meeting of the UN on reform, to make proposals to be brought forward by the Government at that meeting. That should have been on the Order Paper for tomorrow as a stand alone item for proper debate and not just statements. So far we have not seen the Government's proposals on the vital issue of UN reform. If the Government is not willing to deal with it in the proper fashion then the Dáil should be recalled over the summer months so that we have some debate prior to a Government representative attending the UN reform sessions.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Meath, Fianna Fail)
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It is most important that we have the air navigation Bill in place before the summer recess. The circumstances as outlined by Deputy Kenny are largely correct but the insurance companies are withdrawing cover for dirty bombs. All states throughout Europe, and not only Ireland, must indemnify to ensure that should such an occurrence take place people would have some recourse.

It is a long established precedent that goes back to even before the time I was a whip that the Order of Business for Friday sittings is taken the day before.

Question, "That the proposal for sitting, and the business of the Dáil tomorrow, be agreed", put and declared carried.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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We will be here for a few more hours. I wish to raise two matters with the Minister on the Order of Business. The British and Irish Lions play the All Blacks on Saturday, which is of interest to Ireland. Under existing legislation, the Minister is entitled to direct that this be given free to air coverage on national television. The match is only available on Sky Sports. People cannot be in public houses or golf clubs at six o'clock in the morning. For that reason and because of the interest with four Irishmen playing on the team, I expect the Minister to intervene and make it available on national television.

The issue arose today that the Revenue Commissioners are to impose full stamp duty on first-time house buyers who receive payments from their families to assist in putting down a deposit. This is against the spirit of the budget and the Finance Bill introduced last year.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy must ask a question appropriate to the Order of Business.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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It is particularly mean-minded and will cause great difficulty for a number of first-time buyers.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy has gone outside the Order of Business.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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It deals with the Finance Act.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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I appreciate that but it should be a question appropriate to the Order of Business.

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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The Minister wishes to answer the question.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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I know the Ceann Comhairle appreciates it because he allowed me to raise it.

Photo of Joe HigginsJoe Higgins (Dublin West, Socialist Party)
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I wish to speak on that same matter.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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I will not hear the Deputy on that matter because we must move on to the business of the House. It is almost 12 noon.

Photo of Joe HigginsJoe Higgins (Dublin West, Socialist Party)
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I have not opened my mouth this morning.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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I appreciate that and I will call the Deputy in good time.

Photo of Joe HigginsJoe Higgins (Dublin West, Socialist Party)
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I was not allowed by Standing Orders to open my mouth on the previous business.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Minister should be allowed to speak without interruption.

Photo of Joe HigginsJoe Higgins (Dublin West, Socialist Party)
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Will first-time buyers be saddled with further property tax?

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Meath, Fianna Fail)
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The legislation on the designation of specific sports for free to air coverage is already passed. The Lions tour was not included at that time. It is not within the remit or powers of the Minister to designate it two days before the event.

Photo of Jim O'KeeffeJim O'Keeffe (Cork South West, Fine Gael)
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It was rushed through at the time.

Photo of Olivia MitchellOlivia Mitchell (Dublin South, Fine Gael)
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The Government can put through legislation in an hour and a half.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Meath, Fianna Fail)
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The legislation allows for a review of the list of events to be covered and we will have that discussion later.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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If the Minister wants it he will get it.

Photo of Jim O'KeeffeJim O'Keeffe (Cork South West, Fine Gael)
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Deputy McDowell will be arresting people in public houses at six o'clock in the morning.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Meath, Fianna Fail)
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The Revenue Commissioners are currently examining the issue of relief in view of the issues raised. No decision has been finalised. I understand it is not intended to limit the relief to genuine first-time buyers so much as to try to preclude the possibility of others seeking to make use of the benefit in an unacceptable way. The Revenue Commissioners have indicated that they are examining that issue to ensure that first-time buyers will not be penalised.

12:00 pm

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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I agree with the Minister that if abuse of the relief occurs it would be entirely appropriate for the Revenue Commissioners to take this action. If it results in the savaging and further penalising of first-time buyers it would be entirely inappropriate at a time when all one has to do is read the newspapers to find other areas the Revenue Commissioners might focus on more appropriately.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy should speak on a matter more appropriate to the Order of Business.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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On 23 May 2001 the then Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Deputy O'Donoghue told the house "The investigation by Assistant Commissioner Carty was completed and presented to me and, in turn, to the DPP."

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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That does not arise on the Order of Business.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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On Friday last the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Deputy McDowell——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy Rabbitte that does not arise on the Order of Business.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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Deputy McDowell told the house the Carty Report——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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I ask Deputy Rabbitte to resume his seat.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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I wish to ask a question to the Ceann Comhairle on this.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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If the Deputy has a question for the Chair he should call to the office of the Chair and we will be glad to deal with his question. Deputy Rabbitte is out of order on the Order of Business and I ask him to resume his seat.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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I ask the Ceann Comhairle if he will require one or other Minister to come into the House to apologise for misleading it.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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It is not a matter for the Chair and the Deputy knows that.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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One of them is not telling the truth.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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Either Deputy McDowell or Deputy O'Donoghue was lying to the House.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy, I ask you to resume your seat. The Deputy knows he is out of order.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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A Cheann Comhairle——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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You are out of order, Deputy. You will have to find another way of raising the matter.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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I am asking you, Sir, as the guarantor of our rights in this House, whether you will require one of these Ministers to come in here and apologise to this House.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy, as you well know, you can put down a substantive motion in this House on the matter and it will be resolved. I call Deputy Gormley.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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A Cheann Comhairle, do we have any rights in terms of correcting the record of this House?

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Yes, Deputy, you have the right to put down a motion on the matter.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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We have it in black and white.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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I call Deputy Gormley.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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One Minister said one thing and the other Minister said something else. You are not vindicating our rights, a Cheann Comhairle.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy Rabbitte, I ask you to resume your seat. If you do not resume your seat the Chair will have to take appropriate action.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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A Cheann Comhairle, may I ask you a question?

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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No, Deputy. If you have a question for me you can call to the office of the Chair and I will be glad to deal with it. I have called Deputy Gormley.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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On a point of order, a Cheann Comhairle, I do not want to do the business of Parliament in private. I want to do it in public. I want to do it now.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Yes, Deputy, as long as it is in order. We are on the Order of Business now and if the Deputy wants me to read out Standing Order 26 to him, I will do so.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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May I ask you a question, Sir? Have either of the Ministers asked your permission to make a personal statement of clarification today?

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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That does not arise on the Order of Business.

Photo of Emmet StaggEmmet Stagg (Kildare North, Labour)
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It does arise.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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Have you no responsibility to ensure the truth is told in the House?

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Chair does not have responsibility in this matter. It is a matter for the Ministers.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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You have no responsibility when there is a patent contradiction on the record of the House.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy knows how to deal with it, by way of a substantive motion. I call Deputy Gormley.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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One of them is lying.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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Somebody misled the House.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy Howlin, I advise you not to persist in the line you are taking because the Chair will have to take appropriate action.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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This is an outrage.

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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On a point of order, a Cheann Comhairle——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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I will call you, Deputy, when I have heard Deputy Gormley. He has been standing for a long time.

Photo of John GormleyJohn Gormley (Dublin South East, Green Party)
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I hope that matter is clarified. On promised legislation, we have been told by sections of the media that privacy legislation is in the pipeline. Will that form part of the defamation Bill or will it be separate legislation?

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Meath, Fianna Fail)
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There is no legislation promised. As part of the programme for Government there is a commitment to examine the position regarding privacy laws.

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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On a point of order, could you advise the House, a Cheann Comhairle, of the procedure to be followed under Standing Orders in the event that it is perceived that two Ministers have made contradictory statements——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy, I have already pointed out to Deputy Rabbitte the procedure.

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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What is the procedure in the House, a Cheann Comhairle?

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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You are being disorderly, Deputy.

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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No, I am not. What is the established procedure in the House?

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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A Cheann Comhairle, how can the procedure be that we must go privately to your office on a matter as grave as this?

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy——

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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Two officeholders came in here and gave conflicting statements to the House on a matter of grave public interest.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy Rabbitte, the Chair has pointed out the procedure to be followed. You can put down a substantive motion.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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Do we just go on as normal?

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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Neither has sought to correct the record.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy Rabbitte——

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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We have rights here too. You are the Ceann Comhairle. What is the procedure? What is the answer to Deputy Durkan's question?

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The answer is the same as the one I gave to you — put down a motion.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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Do we go privately to your office——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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I call Deputy Gilmore.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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——when two Ministers come into this House and give directly contrary views?

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy Rabbitte, please, enough is enough.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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Enough is not enough.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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I call Deputy Gilmore.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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A Cheann Comhairle, may I ask you as a matter of clarification and record which of the two statements on the record of the House is correct?

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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That is not a point of order, Deputy. If the Deputy wants to disrupt the House, the Chair will have to take appropriate action.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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No, I am asking you——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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We are moving to the next business, No. 14a, motion re referral to joint committee of proposed approval by Dáil Éireann for an EU framework to strengthen the criminal law framework for the enforcement of the law against ship-source pollution.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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On a point of order——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy cannot make a point of order when I am putting a question.

Photo of Emmet StaggEmmet Stagg (Kildare North, Labour)
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The Deputy wants to raise a point of order.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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I call the Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach, Deputy Kitt, to move the motion.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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This is bullying.