Dáil debates

Thursday, 25 February 2010

10:30 am

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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It is proposed to take No. 23, Employment Agency Regulation Bill 2009 - Second Stage (resumed); and No. 24, Road Traffic Bill 2009 - Second Stage (resumed).

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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There are no proposals to be put to the House today.

Photo of Phil HoganPhil Hogan (Carlow-Kilkenny, Fine Gael)
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The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government published a Bill to establish the post of Dublin mayor by direct election this year. The first draft has been circulated. There is no budget, no power, no role and no election date.

Photo of Dick RocheDick Roche (Minister of State with special responsibility for European Affairs, Department of Foreign Affairs; Minister of State, Department of An Taoiseach; Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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Like Fine Gael.

Photo of Phil HoganPhil Hogan (Carlow-Kilkenny, Fine Gael)
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It is a consultative process. Does the Tánaiste accept this is another toothless quango that is not necessary? Will the Tánaiste indicate when the Bill is likely to be discussed?

Will the Tánaiste be seeking powers under the Arbitration Bill to bring together officials in the Dublin Airport Authority, Aer Lingus and Ryanair to try to thrash out an agreement on the creation of 300 jobs?

Bearing in mind the Ministers and Secretaries (Ministers of State) Bill, and in line with speculation today about a Cabinet reshuffle, is it the intention of the Taoiseach to move the Tánaiste out of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment or move the Department? Has this been discussed?

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government published this week the general scheme of legislation on the Dublin mayor, as requested by Members. There will be consultation and discussions. Although no date has been given for the election, the Minister is proceeding on the basis of reforms he feels are in the best interest of the city.

With regard to the Arbitration Bill, much of the detail on the negotiations between Ryanair, Aer Lingus and the DAA was articulated at the Joint Committee on Transport, under the chairmanship of Deputy Fahey. We are aware of what both sides have said. Following from what has been said quite categorically by Aer Lingus, namely, that hangar 6 continues to be of strategic importance to the company, the Government is still open to facilitating Ryanair----

Photo of Pádraic McCormackPádraic McCormack (Galway West, Fine Gael)
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Something it does not want.

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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-----through the hangars that are available. New hangars are to become available on sites on the airport campus and the proposals by Shannon Development are still on the table.

With regard to Deputy Hogan's final question, he knows these matters are a matter for the Taoiseach.

Photo of Michael RingMichael Ring (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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The higher-paid civil servants are going to get their way again.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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I call Deputy Gilmore.

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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Deputy Mattie McGrath-----

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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There is to be no interruption, please.

Photo of Michael RingMichael Ring (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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We will have a mayor but there will be no horse because there will be no power, at more expense to the taxpayer. The Government got rid of the dual mandate but it should reintroduce it. It is sorry it let it go; it cannot even get anything from the county manager.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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This morning Mr. John Devlin, a representative of the SR Technics workers, invited political leaders, including the Tánaiste, to visit Dublin Airport, walk around its facilities, and get a first-hand handle on the options available. I am certainly very glad to accept the invitation. Does the Tánaiste intend to do so? As she indicated, there were three big beasts before the Joint Committee on Transport yesterday. None of them appeared to give an inch. Ministerial intervention is so important in such circumstances in order to knock heads together and secure the jobs available.

Arising from the reply the Taoiseach gave me yesterday when I asked him about his plans with regard to filling the vacancy in Government, I read in the newspapers this morning that he is apparently considering a wider Cabinet reshuffle. This might explain the nervous looks of some Members in the Government's Front Bench yesterday when I asked the question. One proposal being considered is the appointment of a Minister for public service reform. This is something the Labour Party proposed a year ago and if it is true, I will be glad to see it happen. If the Tánaiste knows the Taoiseach's thinking on these matters, she might let us know if this is being considered. Of course, if there is to be public service reform, there will have to be co-operation with public service staff, something that is absent at present. There has been a rolling and growing level of industrial action among public service staff since the Government threw their unions out of Government Buildings in early December and then cut their pay. What is being done by the Government to bring that dispute to a conclusion and have normal service restored in the public service?

Last week I raised the issue of the money Tesco and other multiples are trying to extract from Irish suppliers to put their goods on the supermarket shelves. What has the Tánaiste done about that since I asked her about it last week?

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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The SRT people met for a considerable period of time with representatives of my Department. We went through a number of issues with them and we will revert to them about some of the matters they want brought forward. It is quite bizarre. I listened to all the committee's proceedings yesterday and to Deputy Broughan, who was very considered and good.

Photo of Dermot AhernDermot Ahern (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Louth, Fianna Fail)
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Unlike his leader.

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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I hope Deputy Broughan will be in a position-----

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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It would have been better if the Tánaiste had participated in it, not watched it on television.

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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-----to persuade his leader to be forthright in support of the working people of north Dublin.

Photo of Emmet StaggEmmet Stagg (Kildare North, Labour)
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It is a pity some of the Tánaiste's backbenchers were not men of principle.

Photo of Dermot AhernDermot Ahern (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Louth, Fianna Fail)
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That is why you took the whip from him.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Tánaiste without interruption.

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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I have reiterated the availability of the Government to deal with other options which are reasonable in supporting jobs in Ryanair. It is important that this is moved forward quickly.

With regard to the industrial action that is taking place, the Government is working on the management of that action and is clearly open to further discussions with the public service unions to address this impasse. On the issue of a code of practice, we held our consultation on it and there were very disparate views from the many sides. I have met a number of people representing the primary producers, suppliers and the retail sector as well as many Members of the House. It is my intention to introduce a non-statutory code immediately, with a statutory code being provided for in the new legislation relating to the reform of the National Consumer Agency, NCA, and the Competition Authority.

Photo of Phil HoganPhil Hogan (Carlow-Kilkenny, Fine Gael)
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We cannot wait.

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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To reiterate, there is no discomfort on this side of the House. We are determined to do what we are mandated to do-----

Photo of Jim O'KeeffeJim O'Keeffe (Cork South West, Fine Gael)
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That is the trouble, you are too comfortable.

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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-----which is to deal with the day-to-day running of this country and particularly to implement policies that will ensure economic growth.

Photo of Caoimhghín Ó CaoláinCaoimhghín Ó Caoláin (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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Given the Minister for Social and Family Affairs, Deputy Hanafin's, confirmation recently of consideration of major changes in the lone parent payment, which will have serious consequences for current and future recipients of that payment, has the Government given any consideration to the need for the introduction of a further social welfare Bill? As this matter has been confirmed as a further contraction of entitlement payments currently available to applicants, are there other areas of the social welfare code to which the Minister, her Department and the Government are giving consideration?

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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The social welfare Bill will be introduced in this session and the lone parents legislation will be produced at the end of the year.

Photo of Jan O'SullivanJan O'Sullivan (Limerick East, Labour)
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There are reports in the media today that the industrial action by public servants will affect hospitals in the health service next week. What information does the Government have about that plan of action? Does the Government intend to engage with the unions about what is planned? Does the Government have any plans to protect patients in that context? Can the Tánaiste give the House whatever information is available on what the Government intends to do next week to ensure patients are not affected by the planned action?

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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A parliamentary question might elicit more information.

Photo of Jan O'SullivanJan O'Sullivan (Limerick East, Labour)
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A Cheann Comhairle, this is due to happen next week and we only found out today. If I put down a parliamentary question, the action will have already happened by the time I get a reply.

Photo of Emmet StaggEmmet Stagg (Kildare North, Labour)
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There are no answers to parliamentary questions.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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There is no legislation in this regard.

Photo of Jan O'SullivanJan O'Sullivan (Limerick East, Labour)
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This is an important public matter-----

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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I am not arguing the merits of its importance.

Photo of Jan O'SullivanJan O'Sullivan (Limerick East, Labour)
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-----that affects people in hospitals. If this Parliament is of any use, surely the Leader of the Government in the House today can tell us what will happen.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy should submit a parliamentary question or raise it on the Adjournment. There are many other ways to raise it.

Photo of Jan O'SullivanJan O'Sullivan (Limerick East, Labour)
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I ask the question under the legislation on the eligibility for health services. There is a proposed Bill to deal with eligibility for health services. Patients in hospital are eligible for health services so perhaps the Tánaiste can reply under that.

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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There is no date.

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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There is no date for anything.

Photo of Jan O'SullivanJan O'Sullivan (Limerick East, Labour)
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This is important public information for sick people in this country and there is no mechanism by which I can get an answer in advance of the industrial action.

Photo of Dick RocheDick Roche (Minister of State with special responsibility for European Affairs, Department of Foreign Affairs; Minister of State, Department of An Taoiseach; Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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If the Deputy is worried, her party should use its influence with the unions.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Submit a matter for discussion on the Adjournment. I call Deputy Charles Flanagan.

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois-Offaly, Fine Gael)
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What is the current position with No. 26, the company law consolidation and reform Bill? I remind the Tánaiste and the House that today is the first anniversary of the celebrated entry by the Garda fraud squad, accompanied by the national media, into the premises of Anglo Irish Bank. What is the current position, one year later, with those investigations? Is it a matter of political will, legislation or resources? It is 12 months since the Garda fraud squad entered the premises and promised, as did the Minister's Department, action before the end of last year. Why has nobody been brought to court or charged? Why has nothing happened?

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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The investigation is ongoing.

Photo of Dick RocheDick Roche (Minister of State with special responsibility for European Affairs, Department of Foreign Affairs; Minister of State, Department of An Taoiseach; Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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The Garda is independent.

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois-Offaly, Fine Gael)
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I remind the Tánaiste and her Government colleagues that in the United States a period of 91 days elapsed between the commencement of the investigation of Bernie Madoff and his committal to prison.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy Flanagan, we are going into Question Time on the Order of Business.

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois-Offaly, Fine Gael)
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Here, there is no political will to deal with this issue.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Tánaiste, a query on legislation.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Transport; Meath West, Fianna Fail)
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The Deputy was calling on a man to resign yesterday because he wrote to the Garda and now he wants the Government to interfere in an investigation.

Photo of Michael RingMichael Ring (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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They are protecting their Fianna Fáil friends. Look at them.

(Interruptions).

Photo of Michael RingMichael Ring (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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You are protecting your Fianna Fáil friends. They should be in jail.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Please Deputy Ring, stop engaging.

Photo of Michael RingMichael Ring (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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They are upsetting me, a Cheann Comhairle.

Photo of Dermot AhernDermot Ahern (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Louth, Fianna Fail)
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Why not leave and join the Labour Party?

Photo of Billy KelleherBilly Kelleher (Minister of State with special responsibility for Trade and Commerce, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Cork North Central, Fianna Fail)
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Is the Deputy upset because Deputy Kenny is in Mayo?

Photo of Michael RingMichael Ring (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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You do not know where you will be after next week. You could be down in Cork.

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois-Offaly, Fine Gael)
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Draw a blank over the real issue and avoid it as usual. It is the same as the Deputies tried yesterday and this morning.

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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The company law (consolidation and reform) Bill, if anybody is interested, is huge legislation. There is ongoing work.

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois-Offaly, Fine Gael)
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It is too big for the Minister.

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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If the Deputy wishes to throw a condescending, sexist remark across the House, that is fine. It is very much the calibre of Deputy Flanagan but I would expect more from him after all these years in the House.

Photo of Olivia MitchellOlivia Mitchell (Dublin South, Fine Gael)
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Where was it sexist?

Photo of James ReillyJames Reilly (Dublin North, Fine Gael)
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Talk about imagined slights.

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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The legislation will be ready at the end of next year. I remind the House that the Director of Corporate Enforcement is an independent arm of the State-----

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois-Offaly, Fine Gael)
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Has the Minister requested an interim report?

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy Flanagan, allow the Tánaiste to reply.

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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-----and under no circumstances should I or any Member of the House undermine the independent investigation.

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois-Offaly, Fine Gael)
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We are not undermining it by asking what is happening.

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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It is a joint investigation by the Director of Corporate Enforcement and the Garda authorities. It is a substantial piece of ongoing work. There are no resource difficulties for the office, in the context of dealing with the issues. Every effort is being made to bring this matter to fruition as quickly as possible. However, the one thing we have to ensure is that it is evidence-based.

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois-Offaly, Fine Gael)
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It speaks for itself.

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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There is plenty of evidence.

Photo of Dinny McGinleyDinny McGinley (Donegal South West, Fine Gael)
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Ba mhaith liom ceist a chur ar an Tánaiste faoi reachtaíocht atá geallta le fada - le roinnt blianta - reachtaíocht í a bhfuil suim ag an Tánaiste inti tá mé cinnte, mar go mbaineann sí leis an Ghaeltacht. An reachtaíocht atá i gceist ná Bille Údarás na Gaeltachta. Cén uair an mbeidh an Bille sin á chur i láthair sa Dáil agus an mbeidh sé i láthair roimh thoghchán Údarás na Gaeltachta, atá dlite níos moille i mbliana? Cén uair an mbeidh an toghchán ann agus an mbeidh an Bille anseo roimh an toghchán?

Photo of Michael D HigginsMichael D Higgins (Galway West, Labour)
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Ar an ábhar céanna, chuir mé ceist ar an Taoiseach inné faoin reachtaíocht atá liostáilte sa chlár reachtaíochta ag an Rialtas. An Bille atá ann ná, Bille um Údarás na Gaeltachta (Leasú). Ceapaim gur thug an Taoiseach freagra domsa i dtaobh Bille Údarás na Gaeilge. An féidir leis an Tánaiste a chinntiú cén reachtaíocht a mbeidh ag teacht os comhair an Tí? An mbeid dhá Bhille ann? An mbeidh an Bille faoi Údarás na Gaeltachta, Bille leasaithe againn nó an mbeidh Bille eile, Bille Údarás na Gaeilge againn nó an mbeidh an dá Bhille ag teacht os comhair an Tí. An Bille atá liostáilte sa chlár ná, Bille um Údarás na Gaeltachta (Leasú.

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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Mar atá a fhios ag na Teachtaí uilig, táimid ag féachaint ar an straitéis úr 20 bliain don Ghaeltacht. Táimid ag fanacht ar thoradh na hoibre atá idir lámha ag an comhchoiste faoi láthair. Ní bheidh toghchán go dtí go mbeidh sin os ár gcomhair agus críochnaithe. Sin an fáth go mbeidh Bille úr os ár gcomhair fosta. Ag éirí as an straitéis, ar dtús báire beidh Bille úr os ár gcomhair. Níl sé socraithe go fóill an mbeidh toghchán ann i mbliana. Fiú muna mbeidh, leis an Bille atá ann, tá deis ag an Aire athfhéachaint a dhéanamh agus gan toghchán a shocrú díreach. I mo thuairim, tá sé ag fanacht go dtí go mbeidh an straitéis críochnaithe agus ansin cuirfidh sé Bille úr os ár gcomhair. Muna mbeidh an Bille críochnaithe in am don toghchán, beidh an Taoiseach in ann an toghchán a chur ar athló.

Photo of Tom SheahanTom Sheahan (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
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I have asked the Taoiseach this question many times. It concerns the plebiscite which was held in An Daingean. Every time I raise the issue we are told legislation is on the way. The plebiscite to re-name Dingle as An Daingean Uí Chúis was held over three years ago. It has not happened. When will Dingle be re-named?

What is currently happening in local authorities throughout the country is-----

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy, you are expanding the inquiry.

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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We have not heard it yet.

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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There is room for expansion.

Photo of Tom SheahanTom Sheahan (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
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No, I am totally in order. The de-zoning of land is taking place throughout the country. Under what legislation is it being done?

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy, submit a parliamentary question.

Photo of Tom SheahanTom Sheahan (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
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This is being done as a result of a directive from the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Deputy John Gormley. Does it have any legal basis or have any legislation or instruments been put in place for the de-zoning of land?

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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It is a good question.

Photo of Tom SheahanTom Sheahan (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
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There is no legislative framework for the de-zoning of land.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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That is detailed information on the Order of Business. It is inappropriate.

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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The Deputy is correct. It costs the State a fortune.

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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On that issue, the Minister, Deputy John Gormley, has published the general scheme of the local government (Dublin mayor and regional authority) Bill. The issue of the placename of Dingle will be part of it, which is currently in consultation and, following that, will be brought to the House.

Photo of Ciarán LynchCiarán Lynch (Cork South Central, Labour)
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This time last year the Minister, Deputy Dermot Ahern, stated he would legislate for the retail sector and if rents were not reduced, he would address the matter. However, rents are continuing to rise in the sector and the most aggressive increases currently taking place in retail rents concern portfolios which will go into the NAMA process. Yesterday afternoon-----

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Is there promised legislation?

Photo of Ciarán LynchCiarán Lynch (Cork South Central, Labour)
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Yes, there are two specific pieces of legislation. Yesterday afternoon representatives of the retail industry met the Tánaiste to express their concerns with regard to upward rents and the practice which is now developing among landlords to increase rents to such an extent that thousands of jobs are threatened around the country. During the discussion, they also mentioned the legislative difficulties which currently exist regarding the arbitration process, whereby retailers are unable to deal appropriately and in a fair way with landlords. The most critical point is that a number of landlords around the country, as part of their engagement with NAMA, are increasing rents in order to increase the valuation of their loan book.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy, you are getting away from the legislation.

Photo of Ciarán LynchCiarán Lynch (Cork South Central, Labour)
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It is creating a situation whereby retailers across the country are now threatening to go on a national strike. Following the Tánaiste's meeting yesterday afternoon with retailers, does the Government now intend to introduce emergency legislation to deal with the issue of upward-only rent reviews which exist for the vast majority of companies in Ireland, despite the legislative changes made by the Minister, Deputy Ahern, last year? Does the Tánaiste intend to make legislative changes to the arbitration process which will give the retailers concerned a fair chance in these negotiations to keep trading and keep people in employment?

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Is legislation promised in this area?

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Deputy Dermot Ahern, introduced legislation to ban upward only rents. As everyone knows, the legal advice is that we cannot introduce legislation to break existing contracts as it would be unconstitutional. It is the same issue which pertains to Aer Lingus. I gave an undertaking that I and the Minister, Deputy Ahern, through a working group, would examine how we can address what retailers see as the unreasonable manner in which we have rent increases when we are currently in such a difficult economic climate.

On the arbitration issue, I gave an undertaking that I will examine some of the issues which were raised in private.

Photo of Ciarán LynchCiarán Lynch (Cork South Central, Labour)
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On that point-----

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy, you have had a good innings.

Photo of Ciarán LynchCiarán Lynch (Cork South Central, Labour)
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-----does the Minister acknowledge that rents are being inflated as a means of creating an over-valuation of properties for debunked developers as they enter the NAMA process? This is the kernel of the issue, namely, that rents are being over-valued-----

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Will the Deputy pursue the matter via some other channel?

Photo of Ciarán LynchCiarán Lynch (Cork South Central, Labour)
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-----as part of the valuation process of NAMA to the cost of jobs and businesses across the country.

Photo of Denis NaughtenDenis Naughten (Roscommon-South Leitrim, Fine Gael)
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I have been contacted in the past 48 hours by two businesses in the west and north west who have had loans sanctioned and approved by two of the major banks in this country, but cannot get the money from them. The banks are using every mechanism available to them to postpone the payments, which are now threatening jobs in the businesses to which I refer. I am sure this is not an isolated incident. In light of that, will the Tánaiste examine what is happening within the banking institutions in this country regarding the postponement of the issuing of moneys where loans have been approved? When will No. 56, the Central Bank (consolidation) Bill, come before the House?

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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The Central Bank (consolidation) Bill will come before the House later this year.

Photo of Denis NaughtenDenis Naughten (Roscommon-South Leitrim, Fine Gael)
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What about the jobs which are threatened?

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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We will discuss it.

Photo of John PerryJohn Perry (Sligo-North Leitrim, Fine Gael)
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In a similar vein to Deputy Naughten's comments-----

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Is this on promised legislation?

Photo of John PerryJohn Perry (Sligo-North Leitrim, Fine Gael)
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Yes, very much so. We have, in effect, no banking system in the country and no confidence or credit. Allied Irish Banks has created an excessive profit margin from doing business with customers. My point concerns promised legislation. As we speak, hundreds of jobs are being lost in every company in Ireland, but we have the inaction of the Tánaiste regarding job creation. We have, in effect, no confidence or credit and, therefore, jobs are being lost. It is very relevant. This is an initiative on which I can speak with confidence. We are discussing the dormant accounts (amendment) Bill. Most accounts in every bank are dormant. Business people are not trading through banks.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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This is good subject material for an Adjournment matter.

Photo of John PerryJohn Perry (Sligo-North Leitrim, Fine Gael)
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I refer to the dormant accounts (amendment) Bill and the Central Bank (consolidation) Bill. When will the Tánaiste get credit flowing? There is no confidence or credit and jobs are being lost.

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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The dormant accounts (amendment) Bill will come before the House later this year. The Central Bank (consolidation) Bill will come before the House this summer.

11:00 am

Photo of John PerryJohn Perry (Sligo-North Leitrim, Fine Gael)
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Does the Tánaiste agree that every account in every bank is practically dormant because the banks are not doing business with them?

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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Hear, hear.

Photo of Michael RingMichael Ring (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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There is more money in the head shops than in the banks. Last week, we saw that a man had €500,000 under the counter.

Photo of Timmy DooleyTimmy Dooley (Clare, Fianna Fail)
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That is a sensitive issue.

Photo of Michael RingMichael Ring (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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On behalf of a few Fianna Fáil backbenchers who have asked me to do this for them, which I am delighted to do, I have a question for the Tánaiste.

Photo of Dick RocheDick Roche (Minister of State with special responsibility for European Affairs, Department of Foreign Affairs; Minister of State, Department of An Taoiseach; Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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Has Michael been visiting the head shops again?

Photo of Michael RingMichael Ring (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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When will the animal welfare Bill be introduced?. I know the Deputies are concerned about it and I have done this for them now.

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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There is no date for that Bill.

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois-Offaly, Fine Gael)
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Nor will there be.

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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My question for the Tánaiste regards the extent, if any, to which discussion on the heads of the Bill to provide for the regulation and assessment of legal costs has taken place in Cabinet. Has any agreement been reached on the heads? Are they being drafted? When is it likely the Bill will come before the House?

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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The legal costs Bill will be this year.

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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That is not what I asked. I asked whether the heads of the Bill had been discussed in Cabinet, to what extent they were discussed and whether any agreement had been reached on them.

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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They are being drafted at present and it is expected that the legislation will go through in the normal process later this year.

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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I thank the Tánaiste.

Photo of Joe CostelloJoe Costello (Dublin Central, Labour)
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The issue of Irish identities and passports being stolen is becoming more bizarre. It not only involves European countries because Australia is now involved.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Are we talking about some promised legislation?

Photo of Joe CostelloJoe Costello (Dublin Central, Labour)
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A Cheann Comhairle, you cannot hear what I am saying.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy should place an inquiry.

Photo of Joe CostelloJoe Costello (Dublin Central, Labour)
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Regarding Irish passports and the identities of Irish citizens being stolen and used for passport purposes in the assassination of the Hamas leader, the situation is becoming more bizarre given that Australia is now involved. Strong action has been taken by the Australian government.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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This is the Order of Business.

Photo of Joe CostelloJoe Costello (Dublin Central, Labour)
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I am coming to my question for the Tánaiste. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Deputy Micheál Martin, is currently in the Middle East, visiting Gaza. He has visited Egypt and was in Brussels where he met the Israeli Foreign Minister. We need to have a debate on this in the House. I ask that the Minister come to the House next week, at a time to be agreed, so that we might have a debate and a proper response. We have no co-ordinated or coherent response to the threat to our good name, the reputation of the Irish passport and the lives of Irish citizens-----

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Perhaps this might be a subject for the Adjournment debate. There are so many other ways.

Photo of Joe CostelloJoe Costello (Dublin Central, Labour)
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-----as used in this fashion by a so-called friendly state. The only way to deal with it properly is to allow it come to the floor of the House so that we can all express our views and the Minister can outline the result of his consultations in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Photo of Emmet StaggEmmet Stagg (Kildare North, Labour)
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Perhaps the Whips can look at this.

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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Yes.

Photo of Emmet StaggEmmet Stagg (Kildare North, Labour)
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Can we get a commitment on speaking time for that matter?

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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In light of the most recent "Prime Time" revelations about Dr. Michael Neary - I am not certain I can still call him "Dr." because I believe he has been struck off-----

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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That is not a matter for the Order of Business.

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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No?

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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There are other ways.

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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A Cheann Comhairle, I may very well have a piece of legislation to which I attach this issue. If you will give me just two minutes it will be over.

Photo of Michael D HigginsMichael D Higgins (Galway West, Labour)
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That is a great offer, and the best offer the Ceann Comhairle has got.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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It is not appropriate material for the Order of Business. There are other ways to raise the matter in the House and the Deputy is aware of them.

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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No, this is the way I choose to raise it. I know you may choose another way.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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The trouble is, you are out of order on the Order of Business when you raise the matter in this way.

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
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One minute is up.

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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This is my time, not yours, a Cheann Comhairle.

In light of recent revelations about the said Michael Neary and the outrageous carry on he conducted for over 30 years in a hospital quite close to the Tánaiste-----

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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This is an item for the Adjournment or Private Members' business.

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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A Cheann Comhairle, is it only women you have a problem with?

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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No, it is not a problem.

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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Can I ask another question? Is it just the Labour Party you have a problem with, or is it the Opposition in general?

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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No, absolutely not.

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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I would like to ask my question now, without being interrupted. Thank you very much.

Photo of Phil HoganPhil Hogan (Carlow-Kilkenny, Fine Gael)
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You are all a bit sensitive this morning.

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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Will the Tánaiste please tell me why that man is still walking around, free, without being prosecuted? There is legislation, namely, criminal legislation, under which this man should be prosecuted for destroying the lives of many women. The total number is unknown. He had the audacity to appear on television and tell us that now all he does is play golf-----

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Will the Deputy submit a parliamentary question?

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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Why is he not being prosecuted?

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Transport; Meath West, Fianna Fail)
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That is a matter for the Garda.

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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We have people in jail for not paying their television licence fees but this man has destroyed the lives of women-----

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Transport; Meath West, Fianna Fail)
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Do not prejudice a prosecution, Deputy.

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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-----and entire families. Why is he not prosecuted? The Harding Clark report is very clear. If he is not prosecuted, why does this Government not set up a compensation fund to compensate the women for the wrong that was done to them?

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

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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Why is he not being prosecuted?

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy, you must resume your seat.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Transport; Meath West, Fianna Fail)
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The Deputy is interfering with a possible prosecution.

Photo of James ReillyJames Reilly (Dublin North, Fine Gael)
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Given the savage cuts in health budgets, particularly in the west where there is a 15% cut in the budgets of Galway and Limerick hospitals, both cancer centres, why have we not seen the drugs reference pricing Bill? When will it be published? It could save up to €200 million, yet I see that high on the list of legislation is the drugs prescription charge Bill which will save only about €20 million and will hurt the most vulnerable in the country, the sick, the old and the elderly.

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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The drugs prescription legislation will come first, followed by the reference pricing Bill.

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
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On the Dr. Neary issue-----

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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Mr. Neary.

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
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-----I also am deeply concerned.

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

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
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My office has been inundated with calls from victims of his butchery in Drogheda, from very upset mothers or those who cannot be mothers because of him. I fully concur that there ought to be a prosecution of this man. His insulting contemptuous remarks on television were appalling.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy, we are on the Order of Business.

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
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Regarding the industrial development Bill, it is a year since Michael O'Leary put on the record to the Minister's office his offer of 500 jobs to this State. A year later 200 of those jobs have gone to Scotland. He said 300 are still on the table. He wants the Tánaiste to call his bluff on this matter. Notwithstanding the difficulties on all sides, will the Tánaiste make one final effort to try to resolve this issue with Aer Lingus and Ryanair and use her good offices to push one step further rather than have them go to other countries where he is already negotiating in that regard?

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Transport; Meath West, Fianna Fail)
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If the Deputy believes that he believes in the tooth fairy.

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
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The Minister for Transport, Deputy Dempsey, will not even talk to him or meet with him.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Transport; Meath West, Fianna Fail)
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The Deputy was not there yesterday.

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
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His laissez-faire attitude in the Department of Transport is disgraceful. He is asleep on the job while jobs are going to other countries.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Transport; Meath West, Fianna Fail)
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That is a lie.

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
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It is not a lie. Withdraw that.

(Interruptions).

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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The matter is before a committee of the House.

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
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The Minister must withdraw that remark, a Cheann Comhairle.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Transport; Meath West, Fianna Fail)
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I withdraw it. It was not a lie but an untruth.

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
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There is no truth whatsoever in that.

Photo of James ReillyJames Reilly (Dublin North, Fine Gael)
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Like the untruths of your Taoiseach.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy O'Dowd, the matter is before a committee of the House.

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
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The truth is that in answer to a parliamentary question this week the Minister said he did not meet with Ryanair to discuss the proposal for jobs.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Transport; Meath West, Fianna Fail)
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That is different from saying that I refused to meet.

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
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You sit on your butt and you do nothing.

(Interruptions).

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

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
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The aviation industry is in crisis and the Minister is doing nothing about it.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Transport; Meath West, Fianna Fail)
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Half-truths and distortions.

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
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The Tánaiste and the Minister should be drummed out of office.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Transport; Meath West, Fianna Fail)
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I am not swallowing fairy tales like you.

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
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You are some fairy tale, Minister.

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

Photo of James ReillyJames Reilly (Dublin North, Fine Gael)
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What is €50 million in the overall scheme of things? Is that not the bottom line?

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Transport; Meath West, Fianna Fail)
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You would know about that, Deputy. You negotiated it.

Photo of James ReillyJames Reilly (Dublin North, Fine Gael)
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Why does the Minister not get out and negotiate the jobs with Ryanair instead of sitting over there waiting for them to come to him?

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Transport; Meath West, Fianna Fail)
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I do not believe in the tooth fairy.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Can we have some silence in the Chamber for Deputy McHugh?

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal North East, Fine Gael)
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On foot of my call last night during the Private Members' motion for the possible creation of 240 jobs, albeit 60 fewer than Michael O'Leary's, I raised the matter with the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affair, Deputy Ó Cuív. Has he been in touch with the Tánaiste since then with regard to those potential jobs? This does not require legislation, only a couple of telephone calls. The problem with this House, and the Ceann Comhairle can ask me which-----

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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I suggest this is a local constituency matter.

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal North East, Fine Gael)
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It is not a local constituency matter. We are talking about 240 jobs. I am asking the Tánaiste-----

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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I am sure the Tánaiste and the Deputy can work it out between them. This has nothing to do with promised legislation.

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal North East, Fine Gael)
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I am looking for a "Yes" or "No" answer.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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We must move on.

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal North East, Fine Gael)
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I want-----

Photo of P J SheehanP J Sheehan (Cork South West, Fine Gael)
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There is no action in this House.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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Deputy McHugh should have a cup of coffee with the Tánaiste and-----

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal North East, Fine Gael)
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I will take that as a "No".

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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I call Deputy Kehoe.

Photo of Paul KehoePaul Kehoe (Wexford, Fine Gael)
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I met the Union of Students of Ireland this morning. Students have major problems in receiving grants from their VECs and they have every Deputy in the House making representations to the VECs.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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We are dealing with promised legislation.

Photo of Paul KehoePaul Kehoe (Wexford, Fine Gael)
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I am coming to that. The legislation that would help everybody in this field is the Student Support Bill, which is in committee at present. I want to know when it will be passed by the House.

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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The Student Support Bill is on Committee Stage at present.

Photo of Paul KehoePaul Kehoe (Wexford, Fine Gael)
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I told the Tánaiste that. I want to know when it will be fully passed by the House.

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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Whenever it finishes. The Deputy is a Whip. He should be able to facilitate this.

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Minister, Department of Transport; Meath West, Fianna Fail)
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The Deputy can raise this at the Whips' meeting.

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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I call Deputy Tuffy.

Photo of Paul KehoePaul Kehoe (Wexford, Fine Gael)
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A Cheann Comhairle, I am looking for direction from the Tánaiste. I said the Bill is in committee. I want to know when it will be finalised before the House. This is an extremely urgent Bill and I would appreciate if I could-----

Photo of Séamus KirkSéamus Kirk (Ceann Comhairle; Louth, Ceann Comhairle)
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We cannot discuss it now. We are dealing with promised legislation.

Photo of Paul KehoePaul Kehoe (Wexford, Fine Gael)
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I do not order the business. The Chief Whip brings that before me and I agree it. I want to know when the Student Support Bill will be fully passed by the House and enacted into law. Will it be one month, two months or a year?

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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It is very difficult to quantify it because it is on Committee Stage. The Department and the Minister are preparing amendments, it will then have to go through Report Stage and Final Stage in this House and it will then have to go to the Seanad. As the Deputy is a Whip, I am sure we can get an update for him on when the Minister expects to have the Committee Stage amendments brought before the House.

Photo of Paul KehoePaul Kehoe (Wexford, Fine Gael)
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I thank the Tánaiste.

Photo of Dick RocheDick Roche (Minister of State with special responsibility for European Affairs, Department of Foreign Affairs; Minister of State, Department of An Taoiseach; Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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Can we send details of how Bills are passed to the Fine Gael Whip? It might assist him.

Photo of Joanna TuffyJoanna Tuffy (Dublin Mid West, Labour)
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Last year, I raised the issue of the staff of the National Property Services Regulatory Authority twiddling their thumbs in Navan because they have not got the legal powers to do their work in regard to managing agents. The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform brought that Bill into the Seanad last May but nothing has happened with it since. Meanwhile, disputes are ongoing between apartment owners and managing agents, with the apartment owners, on the one hand, not paying their fees and leaving a shortfall in the accounts for management companies, and the managing agents, on the other hand, not providing the services they should be providing. These disputes could be mediated by the authority if the legislation was put in place. What is the up-to-date position?

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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I will have to revert to the Deputy as the matter is with the Seanad, but I will get an update for her.