Dáil debates

Thursday, 28 January 2010

11:00 am

Photo of Pat CareyPat Carey (Minister of State (Government Chief Whip), Department of An Taoiseach; Minister of State, Department of Defence; Dublin North West, Fianna Fail)
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I move:

That Deputy Seamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle) be discharged from the Joint Administration Committee and that Deputy Ned O'Keeffe be appointed in substitution for him.

That Deputy Seamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle) be discharged from the Joint Committee on Economic Regulatory Affairs and that Deputy John O'Donoghue be appointed in substitution for him.

That Deputy Ciarán Cuffe be discharged from the Select Committee on the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and that Deputy John O'Donoghue be appointed in substitution for him.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I beg the indulgence of the Ceann Comhairle to speak on the issue of the staffing of committees. As a result of the recruitment embargo-----

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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I am simply asking if the motion is agreed to.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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This is important and it is to do with committees. I have no wish to be out of order but because of the embargo-----

Photo of Michael D HigginsMichael D Higgins (Galway West, Labour)
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The Deputy's microphone is off.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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-----a number of vacancies occurred as a result of retirements and so on, especially in respect of clerks of the committees, and no replacements are available. We are reaching a situation whereby a clerk is being asked to look after two committees.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy Barrett must find a better way to raise this issue.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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This will only take two seconds. I call on the Minister for Finance and the Government Chief Whip to note that it is a joke to continue with the same number of committees when we do not have the staff to run them.

Photo of Liz McManusLiz McManus (Wicklow, Labour)
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Hear, hear.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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There is no point in pretending we can do this.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy Barrett must find a better way to deal with this matter.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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These committees will fall into disrepute because they will not be able to do their work. One cannot expect a clerk to look after two or three committees and carry out duties in the Dáil and so on. It is not possible. The only thing one can do is review the whole system of committees.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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That is a matter for the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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That is all I am asking for.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Is the motion agreed to?

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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I support the views expressed by my colleague.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Fine.

Question put and declared carried.