Tuesday, 22 November 2005
Suspension of Member.
On a point of order, the Ceann Comhairle is a respected medical person. Under what Standing Order or criteria was it obvious to him that Deputy Allen wanted to be thrown out of the House. He is a representative of the people of Cork and he was asking legitimate questions, no more than any other Member——
I would like an explanation from the Ceann Comhairle why he considered that Deputy Allen should be removed from the House. A discussion was going on in this House about a serious situation regarding cancer services. Deputy Allen is a Cork representative and he pointed out to the Taoiseach that he received a letter from the Health Service Executive today confirming that there is a two-year waiting list for mammograms in Cork. The Taoiseach did not have a copy of that letter and clearly was not aware of its contents. Deputy Allen was not even on his feet when he made his intervention on a number of occasions. The Ceann Comhairle's assertion that it was obvious to him that Deputy Allen wished to be removed from the House is not correct. I would like the Ceann Comhairle to explain why he feels Deputy Allen should be removed from the House.
As Deputy Kenny is aware, Deputy Allen interrupted a number of times when the Deputy Kenny submitted a question. He interrupted again a number of times when Deputy Rabbitte submitted his question and when the Taoiseach was replying. He interrupted a number of times when Deputy Sargent submitted his question and when the Taoiseach was replying. The Chair warned Deputy Allen a number of times that if he persisted, the Chair would have no choice but to ask him to leave. He is being asked to leave the House for gross disorder; it has nothing to do with the issue before the House.
As the Chair is well aware, I tabled a request under Standing Order 31 today on this issue. I also tabled a private notice question and sought to raise the issue on the Adjournment. I presume a debate will not be granted under Standing Order 31. My private notice question was over-ruled by the Chair, as was my request for a debate on the Adjournment on what is a life and death issue. I listened to the Taoiseach when he made comments about Roy Keane and the health of George Best. I also listened to him give inaccurate information to the House about the health of the people of Cork.
If the Deputy wishes to continue the way his colleagues went, he may do so. Before coming to the Order of Business, I propose to deal with a number of notices under Standing Order 31 and will call on the Deputies in the order in which they submitted their notices to my office. I call Deputy Perry.
——and some of the Deputies on this side that on the Adjournment tomorrow night we will have an opportunity to discuss the issue which would meet some of the concerns of the Deputies opposite? We would like to be helpful if we can.