Dáil debates

Tuesday, 22 November 2005

5:00 pm

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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For being disorderly, not on the issue, I move: "That Deputy Allen be suspended from the service of the Dáil."

Question put.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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Vótáil. If the Ceann Comhairle wants this type of opposition, he might get it on a more regular basis.

Photo of John GormleyJohn Gormley (Dublin South East, Green Party)
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Can the Taoiseach be allowed to answer?

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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In accordance with Standing Orders, the division will take place tomorrow morning at the beginning of business.

Photo of Trevor SargentTrevor Sargent (Dublin North, Green Party)
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The Taoiseach had not finished answering, the Ceann Comhairle interrupted.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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The Ceann Comhairle is doing this for no reason other than his own——

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, 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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There is no point of order, I am dealing with disorder. Deputy Allen must leave the House.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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He did not stand up. The Ceann Comhairle better explain why——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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He did not have to stand up, he interrupted on all three questions.

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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Ceann Comhairle, on a point of order——

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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The Ceann Comhairle can have him voted out if he wants.

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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The Government has ignored Munster, and now the Ceann Comhairle——

Photo of Trevor SargentTrevor Sargent (Dublin North, Green Party)
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Ceann Comhairle, you cut the Taoiseach off——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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I do not want to suspend the House but it will be necessary if Deputy Allen does not leave.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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Suspend the House then.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The House is suspended for five minutes to allow Deputy Allen to leave.

Photo of Trevor SargentTrevor Sargent (Dublin North, Green Party)
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Why will the Taoiseach not finish the answer?

Sitting suspended at 4.55 p.m. and resumed at 5 p.m.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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As Deputy Allen is still in the House, the sitting must be suspended again.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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Listen to the Members.

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 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——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Chair has ruled that the Deputy should leave the House for being disorderly.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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The Ceann Comhairle said it was obvious to him that Deputy Allen wanted to be thrown out of the House. I would like him to explain that remark.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Yes, and, as the Deputy is still in the House, the sitting will be suspended for ten minutes to give him an opportunity to leave.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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The Chair will have to give us an explanation when the sitting resumes.

Sitting suspended at 5.05 p.m. and resumed at 5.15 p.m.

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

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

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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A Cheann Comhairle——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Will the Deputy please resume her seat?

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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——I think you fail to understand the depth of anger in Cork about the cancer issue. To suspend Deputy Allen at this stage because he is representing his constituents is entirely wrong.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Chair is suspending the sitting again to give Deputy Allen an opportunity to leave.

Photo of Bernard AllenBernard Allen (Cork North Central, Fine Gael)
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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.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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We are not discussing that issue but gross disorder on the part of a Member of the House.

Photo of Bernard AllenBernard Allen (Cork North Central, Fine Gael)
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It was not gross disorder.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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I am suspending the sitting.

Photo of Bernard AllenBernard Allen (Cork North Central, Fine Gael)
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I was clarifying misinformation given by the Taoiseach.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy has made his point. I ask him to leave the House.

Deputy Allen withdrew from the Chamber.

Sitting suspended at 5.22 p.m. and resumed at 5.26 p.m.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Before coming to the Order of Business, I propose to deal with a number of notices under Standing Order 31——

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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A Cheann Comhairle, it is quite outrageous——

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

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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——that a Deputy should be removed from the Chamber because he raises a legitimate complaint——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy is out of order.

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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——on behalf of his constituents, constituents not just in Cork city——

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

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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—— and then to ask the press to leave in order that the event would not be recorded.

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

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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That is quite outrageous. We have sat here for an hour and a half because the Chair decided we could not have a discussion on the health of cancer patients in Munster.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy is being grossly disorderly.

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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All the last Minister for Health and Children did was issue reports.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy is being grossly disorderly and leaves the Chair no option but to be consistent and ask that she leave the House.

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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He issued a cancer strategy five years ago and what have we for it? Nothing.

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

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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I will not resume my seat.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Well then, the Deputy will leave the House.

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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If I resume my seat, the people of Cork who are demanding a cancer service——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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If the Deputy does not resume her seat, she will have to leave the House.

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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A Cheann Comhairle, let me tell you about a man who eventually got a bed in Cork today. He had waited five weeks for one.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Chair has no choice but to be consistent. I ask the Deputy to leave the House.

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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As his wife said to me, he was wasting away in front of her. He was told that if he wanted a bed, he should go through the accident and emergency department. We are talking about State consultants.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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I move: "That Deputy Lynch be suspended from the service of the Dáil."

Question put.

Deputies:

Votáil.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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In accordance with Standing Orders, the division will take place tomorrow. The Chair will suspend the sitting for five minutes to give Deputy Lynch an opportunity to leave the House.

Sitting suspended at 5.30 p.m. and resumed at 5.35 p.m.

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

Deputy Lynch withdrew from the Chamber.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Before coming to the Order of Business, I propose to deal with a number of notices under Standing Order 31——

Photo of Dan BoyleDan Boyle (Cork South Central, Green Party)
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On a point of order, I would like to know the Standing Order under which Deputies Allen and Lynch have been asked to leave the House today.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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If the Deputy has a problem, he should——

Photo of Dan BoyleDan Boyle (Cork South Central, Green Party)
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I would like to know the grounds on which the Adjournment debate matters in the names of Deputies Allen and Lynch and mine have been disallowed.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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I ask the Deputy to resume his seat. I appreciate he is from the same constituency as the other two.

Photo of John GormleyJohn Gormley (Dublin South East, Green Party)
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He is not actually.

(Interruptions).

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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I also expect that the Deputy would——

Photo of Dan BoyleDan Boyle (Cork South Central, Green Party)
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We have witnessed a farce today where no real answers have been given about a second-class health service in the Cork region.

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

Photo of Dan BoyleDan Boyle (Cork South Central, Green Party)
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I have asked two questions, to which I would be grateful to receive answers.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Chair is responding to the Deputy and if he resumes his seat, he will hear what the Chair has to say.

Photo of Dan BoyleDan Boyle (Cork South Central, Green Party)
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I would hear better if I was standing.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Chair has no intention of getting involved in a discussion with the Deputy on the floor of the House, particularly if he is being disorderly and disobeying the Chair.

Photo of Dan BoyleDan Boyle (Cork South Central, Green Party)
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I asked a specific question about the Standing Order under which two Members have been asked to leave the House.

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

Photo of Trevor SargentTrevor Sargent (Dublin North, Green Party)
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Deputy Boyle is raising a point of order.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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He is not. I have ruled it out as a point of order. If the Deputy has a problem, he is welcome to come to my office and I will be glad to give him all the time he needs.

Photo of Trevor SargentTrevor Sargent (Dublin North, Green Party)
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It is normal to have an answer given to a point of order raised.

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

Photo of Trevor SargentTrevor Sargent (Dublin North, Green Party)
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The Ceann Comhairle is being discourteous to a Member of the House.

Photo of Dan BoyleDan Boyle (Cork South Central, Green Party)
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I have asked about the Standing Order under which——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Chair has pointed out to the Deputy that the Chair would be only too delighted to discuss it with the Deputy and give him all the time he needs in my office immediately after the Order of Business.

Photo of Dan BoyleDan Boyle (Cork South Central, Green Party)
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I am standing on the basis that I have asked a question about a matter which has been disallowed for discussion on the Adjournment.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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We are only taking items raised under Standing Order 31.

Photo of Dan BoyleDan Boyle (Cork South Central, Green Party)
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I am referring to Standing Order 21.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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We will come to that matter later.

Photo of Dan BoyleDan Boyle (Cork South Central, Green Party)
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Deputies Allen and Lynch and I gave notice under Standing Order 21 of our wish to raise this matter on the Adjournment and it has not been allowed.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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I ask the Deputy to resume his seat in order that we can hear the matters raised under Standing Order 31.

Photo of Trevor SargentTrevor Sargent (Dublin North, Green Party)
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The Taoiseach has not finished the answer to my question on Leaders' Questions.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Taoiseach intimated that he had concluded.

Photo of Trevor SargentTrevor Sargent (Dublin North, Green Party)
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He had not answered the questions about the number of beds.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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That is not a matter for the Deputy.

Photo of John GormleyJohn Gormley (Dublin South East, Green Party)
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He did not give a complete reply.

Photo of Trevor SargentTrevor Sargent (Dublin North, Green Party)
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The Ceann Comhairle interrupted the Taoiseach and he was obliged to sit down.

Photo of Dan BoyleDan Boyle (Cork South Central, Green Party)
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I asked a procedural question under Standing Order 21. Three requests were submitted by Deputies Allen and Lynch, and me.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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That is correct. However, that is not a point of order and the Deputy is being disorderly.

Photo of Dan BoyleDan Boyle (Cork South Central, Green Party)
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I am talking about Standing Order 21. If that is not a Standing Order, what is?

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy is not entitled to raise the matter at this time and I ask him to resume his seat.

Photo of Dan BoyleDan Boyle (Cork South Central, Green Party)
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This is the Order of Business.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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We are not on the Order of Business yet; we are dealing with matters raised under Standing Order 31. If the Deputy wants to leave the House, the Chair will facilitate him.

(Interruptions).

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy is being grossly disorderly and it is obvious to the Chair that is what he wants to do. I suggest he resume his seat.

Photo of Dan BoyleDan Boyle (Cork South Central, Green Party)
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I am leaving the House of my own volition because of the disrespect shown to Cork Deputies who are highlighting a second-class health service.

Photo of Billy KelleherBilly Kelleher (Cork North Central, Fianna Fail)
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On a point of order——

(Interruptions).

Photo of Billy KelleherBilly Kelleher (Cork North Central, Fianna Fail)
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I am sure the Ceann Comhairle can sense from the Deputies opposite that there is a very strong feeling in Cork about this issue.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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That is not a point of order.

Photo of Billy KelleherBilly Kelleher (Cork North Central, Fianna Fail)
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Just to be helpful, would it be possible to give an assurance to the Deputies opposite——

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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Has the Ceann Comhairle been struck dumb?

Photo of Liz McManusLiz McManus (Wicklow, Labour)
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Apparently, Deputy Kelleher is allowed to speak.

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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The Ceann Comhairle should throw Deputy Kelleher out.

Photo of Billy KelleherBilly Kelleher (Cork North Central, Fianna Fail)
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——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.

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

Photo of Emmet StaggEmmet Stagg (Kildare North, Labour)
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On a point of order, did the Ceann Comhairle or some member of staff give instructions to clear the Press Gallery.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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I know nothing at all about that matter.

Photo of Emmet StaggEmmet Stagg (Kildare North, Labour)
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Why did some of the staff under the control of the Ceann Comhairle approach them in that regard?

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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I know nothing at all about that matter.

Photo of Emmet StaggEmmet Stagg (Kildare North, Labour)
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The Ceann Comhairle might make inquiries, given that the Dáil is supposed to sit in public session. I know the Ceann Comhairle would like to hold it in private.

Photo of John GormleyJohn Gormley (Dublin South East, Green Party)
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On a point of order, the point raised by Deputy Sargent is legitimate. The Taoiseach had not completed his reply.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Chair has ruled on the matter. That is not a point of order. I ask the Deputy to resume his seat.

Photo of John GormleyJohn Gormley (Dublin South East, Green Party)
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It is a serious point of order. There were three parts to the question. The final part, the question of bed capacity——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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It is obvious to the Chair that the Deputy wishes to disrupt the business of the House.

Photo of John GormleyJohn Gormley (Dublin South East, Green Party)
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That should not be obvious. I do not know how that is obvious to the Chair. I do not wish to——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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It is. The Chair has ruled that it is not a point of order. I call Deputy Perry.

Photo of John GormleyJohn Gormley (Dublin South East, Green Party)
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I would like the Taoiseach to complete his reply. There was a final part to the question and I ask him to reply.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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I call on Deputy Perry to proceed.

Photo of John GormleyJohn Gormley (Dublin South East, Green Party)
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Will the Chair allow the Taoiseach to reply?

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Sorry, the Taoiseach had concluded his questions.

Photo of John GormleyJohn Gormley (Dublin South East, Green Party)
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We were interrupted. The Taoiseach had——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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We had already gone over time. Today we went 16 or 17 minutes over time on Question Time. I call Deputy Perry.

Photo of John GormleyJohn Gormley (Dublin South East, Green Party)
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Please allow the Taoiseach 30 seconds to reply. He has indicated he wants to reply.