Dáil debates

Tuesday, 6 December 2005

4:00 pm

Photo of Bertie AhernBertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
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It is proposed to take No. 9, motion re referral to joint committee of proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the terms of the agreements between the Government of Ireland and the Governments of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Cyprus and the Republic of Poland on co-operation in combating organised crime; No. 10, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income and Capital Gains) (Republic of Chile) Order 2005, back from committee; No. 11, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income) (Portuguese Republic) Order 2005, back from committee; No. 12, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income) (Adjustment of Profits of Associated Enterprises) (Accession States) Order 2005, back from committee; No. 13, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the terms of the Tampere Convention on the Provision of Telecommunications Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations, back from committee; No. 19, Patents (Amendment) Bill 1999, Instruction to Committee; No. 14, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Fisheries (Miscellaneous Commercial Licences) (Alteration of Duties) Order 2005, back from committee; No. 15, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Regional Fisheries Boards (Postponement of Elections) Order 2005, back from committee; No. 22, Employees (Provision of Information and Consultation) Bill 2005 [Seanad] — Second Stage (resumed); and No. 23, Registration of Deeds and Title Bill 2004 [Seanad] — Second Stage (resumed).

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that Nos. 9 to 14, inclusive, and 19 shall be decided without debate; the proceedings on No. 15 shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion after 25 minutes and the following arrangements shall apply: the speeches of a 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 five minutes in each case, members may share time, and a Minister or Minister of State shall be called upon to make a speech in reply which shall not exceed five minutes; and Private Members' business shall be No. 33, Good Samaritan Bill 2005 — Second Stage — which shall also take place tomorrow at 12 p.m., and the proceedings on Second Stage thereon shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion after 90 minutes on that day.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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There are two proposals to put to the House. Is the proposal for dealing with items Nos. 9 to 14, inclusive, and No. 19 agreed?

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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No. 19 relates to a Bill published six years ago. An order of the House was made three and a half years ago that it be considered by the entire House. It is now proposed that it go to a select committee under instructions to have a remit to amend it greatly and encompass issues that were not debated on Second Stage. Why is this procedure used? Would it be better to introduce a new patents Bill to be considered in the House?

Photo of Caoimhghín Ó CaoláinCaoimhghín Ó Caoláin (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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I will not speak on the same issue.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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It is on the same proposal.

Photo of Caoimhghín Ó CaoláinCaoimhghín Ó Caoláin (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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I object to taking No. 14 without debate, the motion seeking the Dáil's approval for the Fisheries (Miscellaneous Commercial Licences) (Alteration of Duties) Order 2005, which has come back from committee. This is an important measure and in the overall context of what is now being visited upon the fisheries sector, it is imperative that we have a proper debate in the House on the specific ramifications of this proposition. I oppose it being taken without debate.

Photo of Bertie AhernBertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
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The Patents (Amendment) Bill 1999 passed Second Stage in the Dáil in November 2000. Committee Stage has yet to be taken. The primary purpose of the Bill was to give effect to certain provisions of the World Trade Organisation, WTO, agreement on trade related aspects of intellectual property, known as the TRIPs agreement. Since the Bill was initiated, a number of other international developments on intellectual property rights have occurred, some of which impact on the provisions of the earlier Patents Act 1992. The Minister's view is that given the existence of the Patents (Amendment) Bill, it was prudent to take all relevant developments on board in a single Bill. It is proposed to amend the Bill on Committee Stage to include the European Patent Convention, the provisions of the Patent Law Treaty and intellectual properties Acts. I have a note and I will arrange to forward it to the Deputy. All of those issues have occurred since 1999.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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I am querying the procedure.

Photo of Bertie AhernBertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
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I accept the point. To be honest, I do not understand why Bills sit around for six years. Having said that, this Bill has been in existence——

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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There will not be any Second Stage debate on the new issues.

5:00 pm

Photo of Bertie AhernBertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
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No, but perhaps, if necessary, more time can be given to it. All these issues are enhancements based on new intellectual property rights, some of which date from November 2000, others from summer 2001 and others from 2002. I know it is often better to introduce a new Bill. Unfortunately, that process takes an age.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Is the proposal for dealing with——

Photo of Caoimhghín Ó CaoláinCaoimhghín Ó Caoláin (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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Will the Taoiseach respond to my point?

Photo of Bertie AhernBertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
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On Deputy Ó Caoláin's point, this issue was discussed at the committee and it has been returned to the Chamber for decision.

Question put: "That the proposal for dealing with Nos. 9 to 14, inclusive, and No. 19 be agreed."

The Dail Divided:

For the motion: 68 (Bertie Ahern, Dermot Ahern, Michael Ahern, Barry Andrews, Seán Ardagh, Niall Blaney, Martin Brady, Séamus Brennan, John Browne, Joe Callanan, Ivor Callely, Pat Carey, John Carty, Michael J Collins, Mary Coughlan, John Cregan, Martin Cullen, John Curran, Noel Davern, Síle de Valera, Noel Dempsey, John Dennehy, Jimmy Devins, John Ellis, Dermot Fitzpatrick, Seán Fleming, Mildred Fox, Pat Gallagher, Jim Glennon, Noel Grealish, Mary Hanafin, Mary Harney, Seán Haughey, Máire Hoctor, Cecilia Keaveney, Peter Kelly, Tony Killeen, Séamus Kirk, Tom Kitt, Brian Lenihan Jnr, Conor Lenihan, Michael McDowell, Tom McEllistrim, John McGuinness, Micheál Martin, John Moloney, Donal Moynihan, Michael Mulcahy, M J Nolan, Seán Ó Fearghaíl, Charlie O'Connor, Willie O'Dea, Liz O'Donnell, John O'Donoghue, Denis O'Donovan, Noel O'Flynn, Fiona O'Malley, Tom Parlon, Peter Power, Seán Power, Dick Roche, Mae Sexton, Brendan Smith, Dan Wallace, Joe Walsh, Ollie Wilkinson, Michael Woods, G V Wright)

Against the motion: 61 (Bernard Allen, Dan Boyle, James Breen, Tommy Broughan, Richard Bruton, Joan Burton, Paul Connaughton, Paudge Connolly, Joe Costello, Jerry Cowley, Seymour Crawford, Seán Crowe, Ciarán Cuffe, Jimmy Deenihan, Bernard Durkan, Olwyn Enright, Eamon Gilmore, John Gormley, Tony Gregory, Séamus Healy, Joe Higgins, Michael D Higgins, Brendan Howlin, Enda Kenny, Kathleen Lynch, Pádraic McCormack, Shane McEntee, Dinny McGinley, Finian McGrath, Paul McGrath, Paddy McHugh, Liz McManus, Olivia Mitchell, Arthur Morgan, Breeda Moynihan-Cronin, Catherine Murphy, Gerard Murphy, Denis Naughten, Dan Neville, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Fergus O'Dowd, Jim O'Keeffe, Brian O'Shea, Jan O'Sullivan, Séamus Pattison, Willie Penrose, John Perry, Ruairi Quinn, Pat Rabbitte, Michael Ring, Eamon Ryan, Seán Ryan, Trevor Sargent, Joe Sherlock, Róisín Shortall, Emmet Stagg, David Stanton, Billy Timmins, Liam Twomey, Mary Upton)

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Kitt and Curran; Níl, Deputies Neville and Stagg.

Question declared carried.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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We now move on to proposal No. 2 for dealing with No. 15, motion regarding the proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Regional Fisheries Boards (Postponement of Elections) Order 2005.

Photo of Tommy BroughanTommy Broughan (Dublin North East, Labour)
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My party will not agree to the guillotining of the debate on the proposed new regime for inland fisheries, which is bitterly opposed by many anglers and communities throughout the country. The least we should have is a full scale debate on this important matter and the report that underpins it by Farrell Grant Sparks, but that is not happening. We have only 25 minutes to try to change a regime and abolish the regional fisheries boards. We are opposed to the proposal on the Order of Business.

Photo of John PerryJohn Perry (Sligo-Leitrim, Fine Gael)
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My party is also totally opposed to the proposal. The inland fisheries review is misguided and must be rejected in full. The review proposes to centralise power and sell the State fisheries. A 25 minute debate is a total curtailment. The changes proposed in the review will not save money and will make the system less effective.

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin South, Green Party)
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This is a hugely important and contentious issue. A total of 100 seconds is all I have available to me as a Deputy on this side of the House to express my views on the issue. At the moment, I am using approximately 100 seconds and unfortunately one cannot say very much in that time.

Photo of Caoimhghín Ó CaoláinCaoimhghín Ó Caoláin (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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The proposition that the guillotine would apply to the debate on this motion after 25 minutes is completely unacceptable. To divide the debate into five-minute slots is hardly sufficient for the Chamber on this matter, which is back from committee. Prior to its going to committee, we objected to the matter leaving this House without debate and made the case very strongly that it was essential that it be properly debated in this Chamber. If the Government believes that a 25-minute segment of time today is adequate, it fails to appreciate the serious matters that are at the heart of the measure. The time allowed is totally inadequate and we cannot and will not support the proposal.

Photo of Bertie AhernBertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
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The motion before the House is to defer the date of the fisheries boards elections, which is 20 December, and to extend the tenure of the present boards for 12 months. As the Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Deputy Gallagher, stated, we have no difficulty with having a debate on the new structures. The boards needed to be restructured and a debate on that can take place. The Whips can arrange that in the new year. The date of the election is in two weeks' time and we have to defer that, but the discussion on the new structures, the system and the process can take place in the new year.

Question put: "That the proposal for dealing with No. 15 be agreed."

The Dail Divided:

For the motion: 67 (Bertie Ahern, Dermot Ahern, Michael Ahern, Barry Andrews, Seán Ardagh, Niall Blaney, Johnny Brady, Martin Brady, Séamus Brennan, John Browne, Joe Callanan, Ivor Callely, Pat Carey, John Carty, Michael J Collins, Mary Coughlan, John Cregan, Martin Cullen, John Curran, Noel Davern, Síle de Valera, Noel Dempsey, John Dennehy, Jimmy Devins, John Ellis, Dermot Fitzpatrick, Seán Fleming, Mildred Fox, Pat Gallagher, Jim Glennon, Noel Grealish, Mary Hanafin, Mary Harney, Seán Haughey, Máire Hoctor, Cecilia Keaveney, Peter Kelly, Tony Killeen, Séamus Kirk, Tom Kitt, Brian Lenihan Jnr, Conor Lenihan, Michael McDowell, John McGuinness, Micheál Martin, John Moloney, Michael Mulcahy, M J Nolan, Seán Ó Fearghaíl, Charlie O'Connor, Willie O'Dea, Liz O'Donnell, John O'Donoghue, Denis O'Donovan, Noel O'Flynn, Fiona O'Malley, Tom Parlon, Peter Power, Seán Power, Dick Roche, Mae Sexton, Brendan Smith, Dan Wallace, Joe Walsh, Ollie Wilkinson, Michael Woods, G V Wright)

Against the motion: 62 (Bernard Allen, Dan Boyle, James Breen, Tommy Broughan, Richard Bruton, Joan Burton, Paul Connaughton, Paudge Connolly, Joe Costello, Jerry Cowley, Seymour Crawford, Seán Crowe, Ciarán Cuffe, Jimmy Deenihan, Bernard Durkan, Olwyn Enright, Eamon Gilmore, John Gormley, Tony Gregory, Séamus Healy, Joe Higgins, Michael D Higgins, Brendan Howlin, Enda Kenny, Kathleen Lynch, Pádraic McCormack, Shane McEntee, Dinny McGinley, Finian McGrath, Paul McGrath, Paddy McHugh, Liz McManus, Olivia Mitchell, Arthur Morgan, Breeda Moynihan-Cronin, Catherine Murphy, Gerard Murphy, Denis Naughten, Dan Neville, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Fergus O'Dowd, Jim O'Keeffe, Brian O'Shea, Jan O'Sullivan, Séamus Pattison, Willie Penrose, John Perry, Ruairi Quinn, Pat Rabbitte, Michael Ring, Eamon Ryan, Seán Ryan, Trevor Sargent, Joe Sherlock, Róisín Shortall, Emmet Stagg, David Stanton, Billy Timmins, Liam Twomey, Mary Upton, Jack Wall)

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Kitt and Curran; Níl, Deputies Neville and Stagg.

Question declared carried.

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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The third proposal is for dealing with Private Members' business. Is that agreed? Agreed.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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I am sure the House will join with me in expressing sympathy to the family of the great Tim Kennelly, one of the famous Kerry team of the 1970s and a playing colleague of Deputy Deenihan, who passed away this afternoon. Our condolences go to his wife Nuala, his daughter Joanne and sons Tadhg and Noel.

The draft safety report on the Corrib gas field is to be published on Thursday or Friday of this week. I ask for a debate in the new year once the submissions are received.

In view of the disquiet being expressed about the Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Bill 2005, including concerns genuinely expressed by members of the Taoiseach's party, does he propose to continue to guillotine the Bill this week or will he agree to amend it to remove the provision whereby minor indiscretions will lead to criminal convictions which would mean, for example, that people so convicted could never go to America?

Given that the roads (miscellaneous provisions) Bill is not due until some time in 2006 does the Government propose to comment on revelations in the "Prime Time" programme last night on car prices?

Photo of Bertie AhernBertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
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Second Stage of the Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Bill is to be completed next week and it will go on to Committee Stage during the whole of January. It can be debated in the select committee during the Dáil recess in January, which I understood was agreed.

The draft report of Advantica will be published on Thursday and will be made available to local people. I will arrange to make it available to Deputy Kenny.

I join Deputy Kenny in expressing our sympathy to the wife, Nuala, and family of Tim Kennelly who I have only just heard has died. He was a great personal friend of Deputy Deenihan and they played together in the great side that won four All-Ireland championships in a row and almost won five.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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I join the Taoiseach and Deputy Kenny in offering condolences to the family of Tim Kennelly on his tragic and premature death. He brought a lot of pleasure to many people's lives in the 1970s.

In a television debate a few nights ago on the Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Bill 2005, the former Minister for Agriculture and Food, Deputy Walsh, bemoaned the trend toward quangos and special offices which take accountability away from this House. Does the Taoiseach think it appropriate, rather than giving us lectures as he has for the past seven or eight years, to ask the Competition Authority——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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Does the Deputy have a question appropriate to the Order of Business?

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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I do, on the wheeler-dealer programme last night——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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That does not arise on the Order of Business. I suggest the Deputy finds another way of raising it.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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Would it not be appropriate for the Competition Authority to take action——

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Ceann Comhairle)
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It does not arise on the Order of Business. The Deputy knows we had Leaders' Questions today and questions to the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment. There was an opportunity to raise that matter then.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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When is it proposed to bring legislation before the House to enable repayments to be made to relatives of people who were cared for in long-stay institutions?

Photo of Bertie AhernBertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
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I understand the legislation is nearing its final stage of preparation. It was hoped to have it completed by Christmas but we now hope to bring it to the House by the next session.

Photo of Trevor SargentTrevor Sargent (Dublin North, Green Party)
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I and my Green Party colleagues were shocked to hear of the death of TimKennelly and express our sympathies to Deputy Kenny, Deputy Deenihan and the Fine Gael Party.

As he answered Deputy Kenny specifically, I ask the Taoiseach to ensure the Advantica report on the Corrib gas field is made available to all spokespersons in the House. I will certainly want to read it.

This is the 15th Christmas since the Costello report on legislation to regulate charities was published but unregistered charities can still claim tax relief. As the budget is tomorrow, is it not time the Taoiseach gave a definite date for this legislation to see the light of day?

The register of persons considered unsafe to work with children Bill was promised in 2003 and is awaited by many people. The Taoiseach assured me approximately two months ago that discussions were taking place between the Department of Education and Science and the Department of Health and Children about the establishment of a pre-employment consultancy service. Two months later can the Taoiseach say if there is any light at the end of that tunnel and whether legislation will come out of those discussions?

Photo of Bertie AhernBertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
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I already told Deputy Kenny we will make copies available of the Advantica report. The charities regulation Bill is very substantial and difficult legislation because many old regulations are involved, dating back hundreds of years on subjects such as charitable bequests, trusts and funds. However, it is advancing and much progress has been made this year.

I replied to a question a few weeks ago to the effect that I had been trying to progress the register of persons considered unsafe to work with children Bill. The Department of Education and Science and the Department of Health and Children are in discussion on the establishment of a pre-employment consultancy office. The legislation arises out of the North-South Ministerial Council and we are trying to find a mechanism whereby we can make progress. I raised it when I was in the North and while we have not yet found a solution, we are trying to make progress on the lines we originally intended. I hope to have some news on it shortly.

Photo of Olivia MitchellOlivia Mitchell (Dublin South, Fine Gael)
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In every Dáil session for the past eight years, we have been promised reform of the Transport Act to create conditions for a competitive market for public bus services. Is it naïve of us to believe this will happen before the next election? Will the Taoiseach give a commitment that it will happen before the next election?

Photo of Bertie AhernBertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
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The transport reform Bill is included in the public transport commission Bill that is due next year. We will see it next year.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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On 12 December 2002, the Tánaiste gave a commitment that workers in Comerama would be encompassed in the then promised legislation to enhance redundancy payments. Will that commitment be delivered upon?

Photo of Bertie AhernBertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
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There is no legislation related to this issue. A Bill was passed some time ago. There was a campaign to reflect the company in Castlecomer in it but it did not prove possible because it would involve a retrospective nature.

Photo of Caoimhghín Ó CaoláinCaoimhghín Ó Caoláin (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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On my behalf and on behalf of Deputy Ferris and the Sinn Féin Dáil Deputies, I join with others in the House in extending our sincere sympathy to the family and friends of the late, once football great, Tim Kennelly.

Last Thursday in a question to the Tánaiste during the Order of Business, I asked when the legislation on the Irish Medicines Board would be taken and she indicated that it would certainly be taken this week. It appeared on the draft schedule for this week but it does not appear on the final schedule for these three days. Why is that the case? Why has it been replaced by other legislation given the importance of Second Stage of the legislation? When will it reappear on the schedule for the House? Will it be there in the coming week before the Christmas recess?

Photo of Bertie AhernBertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
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The Bill is on Committee Stage in the Seanad today so it depends when it is passed back to us.

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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Abraham Lincoln once said about General McClellan that "he has the slows". I wonder whether someone in the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources has the slows because the Taoiseach promised that the energy Bill would be before the House by now. Even with the approach of the season of goodwill, there is no rush by the Minister into the House with the Bill in his hot little fist. Will the Taoiseach encourage him to do that as soon as possible? It is an important issue.

Photo of Bertie AhernBertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
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The energy — miscellaneous provisions — Bill is still due this session.

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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The Taoiseach is running out of time.

Photo of Ruairi QuinnRuairi Quinn (Dublin South East, Labour)
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There are two weeks before the start of the Christmas recess. For two years, we have been promised the building control Bill. Has the Cabinet seen the text of the Bill and, if not, does the Taoiseach expect it in his Christmas stocking?

Photo of Bertie AhernBertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
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It is listed for this session and the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government is committed to making sure it is passed. The Bill has 58 heads and is nearing completion.

Photo of Ruairi QuinnRuairi Quinn (Dublin South East, Labour)
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Has the Taoiseach seen the text?

Photo of Bertie AhernBertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
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No.

Photo of Ruairi QuinnRuairi Quinn (Dublin South East, Labour)
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Does he expect to see it before Christmas?

Photo of Bertie AhernBertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
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This brings it up to the start of the next session but the Minister has assured me that it will be presented.

Photo of Ruairi QuinnRuairi Quinn (Dublin South East, Labour)
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I would be happy to see the text.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
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When will the review of major designated events provided for in the Broadcasting Act 1999 take place? Will it be in time for the Ryder Cup, the third most important international sporting event in the world? Will it happen in time for the competition to be broadcast free to air?

Photo of Bertie AhernBertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
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The review is due early next year.

Photo of Jimmy DeenihanJimmy Deenihan (Kerry North, Fine Gael)
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I thank the Taoiseach and the leaders of the main Opposition parties, Deputies Kenny, Rabbitte, Sargent and Ó Caoláin, for the expressions of sympathy to the Kennelly family on the death of Tim Kennelly, one of the great sporting legends of this country.

When will the Abbotstown sports campus development authority Bill be published?

Photo of Bertie AhernBertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
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It will be at Cabinet shortly and will be published after that.

Photo of Emmet StaggEmmet Stagg (Kildare North, Labour)
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The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government has described the management of the British nuclear industry as like Homer Simpson, and I agree with him on that. Will the Taoiseach consider putting our own house in order by bringing forward the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty Bill, which is long outstanding?

Photo of Bertie AhernBertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
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The legislation is due for the middle of next year.

Jerry Cowley (Mayo, Independent)
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The Taoiseach gave an undertaking to release the report on the Corrib gas field carried out by Advantica that will be published on Thursday. Will he provide copies of that report for Mayo Deputies?

Photo of Bertie AhernBertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
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It is a draft report but we have made provision to put it in the Oireachtas Library.

Photo of Tommy BroughanTommy Broughan (Dublin North East, Labour)
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Is the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources rewriting it?

Jerry Cowley (Mayo, Independent)
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Mr. Peter Cassells told me we would get an executive summary before the publication of the report but there is no word of it. Is it available?

Photo of Bertie AhernBertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
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I stated earlier that we will make it available and we will arrange to place copies in the Oireachtas Library.

Jerry Cowley (Mayo, Independent)
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This is a matter of concern for Mayo Deputies.

The Tánaiste issued a ten-point plan almost a year ago to relieve congestion in accident and emergency wards. There are 19 people on trolleys in Mayo General Hospital today. Will the Minister for Finance use the budget to address that situation?

Photo of John GormleyJohn Gormley (Dublin South East, Green Party)
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Last week I asked the Taoiseach about promised legislation for barrier-free tolling and the Taoiseach said it was not on his list, but he was corrected subsequently by the Tánaiste.

Photo of Bertie AhernBertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
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I did not give Deputy Gormley the full answer so I asked the Tánaiste to put it on record. Legislation is due next year.

Photo of John O'DonoghueJohn O'Donoghue (Minister, Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism; Kerry South, Fianna Fail)
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On my behalf and on behalf of Deputy McEllistrim I extend our deepest sympathy to the wife and family of the late TimKennelly. In a galaxy of great Kerry players, he was one of the greatest. He comes from a great sporting family and few will forget his forays upfield from deep in the Kerry defence. There will be great sadness in Kerry tonight. In that context, I also extend my sympathy to Deputy Deenihan, who was his great personal friend.