Dáil debates

Thursday, 17 January 2013

11:00 am

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Minister, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Wexford, Labour)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

It is proposed to take No. 11a, motion re membership of committees; and No. 17, Electoral (Amendment) (Dáil Constituencies) Bill 2012 - Second Stage (resumed). It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that No. 11a shall be decided without debate and in respect of the Social Welfare (Amnesty) Bill 2012, the Second Stage of which shall be considered tomorrow, the opening speech of the main spokespersons for Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil, the Technical Group and of a Minister or Minister of State, who shall be called upon in that order and who may share their time and shall not exceed 15 minutes in each case; the speech of each other Member called upon shall not exceed 15 minutes and such Members may share their time; a Minister or Minister of State, who may speak twice, shall be called upon not later than 1 p.m. to make a speech which shall not exceed 15 minutes; and the main spokesperson for Sinn Féin shall be called upon to make a speech in reply which shall not exceed 15 minutes. In respect of the Education (Resource Allocation) Bill 2012, the Second Stage of which shall be considered tomorrow, the opening speech of the main spokespersons for Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, the Technical Group and of a Minister or Minister of State, who shall be called upon in that order and who may share their time, shall not exceed 15 minutes in each case; the speech of each other Member called upon shall not exceed 15 minutes and such Members may share their time; a Minister or Minister of State, who may speak twice, shall be called upon not later than 4 p.m. to make a speech which shall not exceed 15 minutes; and the main spokesperson for Fianna Fáil shall be called upon to make a speech in reply which shall not exceed 15 minutes. Private Members' business which shall be No. 79, motion re further education and training (resumed), shall, in accordance with the order of the Dáil of yesterday, take place on the conclusion of Order of Business and shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion after 90 minutes.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Is the proposal for dealing with No. 11a, without debate, agreed to?

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

No, it is not agreed. The motion before the House is incredible and represents an attempt by the Government, particularly the Labour Party, and Sinn Féin to suppress dissent and punish Members who voted against the cut to the respite care grant in the case of Deputy Keaveney in the Dáil. We are being asked to remove Deputy Keaveney from the Committee of Public Accounts, the Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs and the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications because he voted with his conscience consistent with commitments he made before the last general election. This new Parliament in the aftermath of the last general election was meant to usher in a new democracy and a change in how we organise ourselves in the Parliament. The entire Parliament is being asked to punish a Deputy because he voted against the cut in the respite care grant cut. So we must now summarily remove him from three committees. I have no wish to remove Deputy Keaveney from any committee. He is an able member of these committees.

(Interruptions).

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Likewise, Deputy Tóibín is being removed form the Oireachtas Committee on Investigations, Oversight and Petitions for his position on a motion relating to abortion. This is fundamentally wrong and illustrates that there is no intention on the Government side of reforming anything to do with this House or to change political behaviour or political actions.

Photo of Emmet StaggEmmet Stagg (Kildare North, Labour)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Fianna Fáil has certainly no intention of doing it.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Deputy Stagg was once a militant but you are now so far inside the tent, it is unbelievable and incomprehensible.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Deputy Martin should speak through the Chair.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I want to register my opposition to a Stalinist approach to the Parliament - remove anybody who articulates any dissent from any committee. It is a disgrace and it is wrong.

(Interruptions).

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Would Members please settle down for a moment? In case Members did not hear me, I am asking them to be quiet. Is Deputy McDonald opposing this proposal?

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I want to-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Is she opposing it?

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I am not opposing it.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Well then she will not speak on the matter. I call on Deputy Boyd Barrett. Only those opposing the motion can speak on the matter. Is Deputy Boyd Barrett opposing the motion?

Photo of Richard Boyd BarrettRichard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I am opposing it.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Minister, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Wexford, Labour)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Put in the word Stalinist.

Photo of Patrick O'DonovanPatrick O'Donovan (Limerick, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

The Dún Laoghaire Soviet.

Photo of Richard Boyd BarrettRichard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

In respect of Deputy Martin's comments, the phrase about the pot calling the kettle black comes rushing to mind.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Perhaps we could get on with the matter. Could Deputy Boyd Barrett address the issue?

Photo of Richard Boyd BarrettRichard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

The amnesia has settled deep into the consciousness of Fianna Fáil because it used to regularly punish dissidents. Deputy Mattie McGrath over there-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Will Deputy Boyd Barrett please address the motion? He is not to address Deputy Martin and is wasting time that other people want to use to raise issues.

Photo of Richard Boyd BarrettRichard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

The substantive point is correct. The Government promised to be different. It promised a democratic revolution and a new level of accountability but is clearly closing down dissent through this move.

If we want to have a genuinely diverse Parliament, the idea that Members should be removed from these positions as soon as they disagree with the Government does not sit well with the promise of a democratic revolution. I oppose the proposal and think the Government should reconsider if it wants to act on a higher moral plain than its predecessors.

11:10 am

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

We cannot have a revolution on a Thursday.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Minister, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Wexford, Labour)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I am heartened to see a kinder, gentler Fianna Fáil. I hope it will be replicated when there is further dissent.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

He is chairman of the Labour Party.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Minister, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Wexford, Labour)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Poor old Deputy Ó Cuív who was deputy leader of Fianna Fáil was silenced when an order of omerta was placed on him.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

He was not silenced.

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

He was not removed from a committee.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Minister, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Wexford, Labour)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Whatever about being removed from a committee, it is interesting that he was silenced. I welcome the views expressed-----

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary South, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

On a point of order, I wish to correct the record.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Does the Deputy know what a point of order is?

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary South, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I want to clarify what has been said.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

That is not a point of order.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Minister, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Wexford, Labour)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I do not know where Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett stood in respect of my poor constituency colleague. Was he throwing him out or keeping him in? There are normal processes for these matters and the proposal before the House is in accordance with what is normal.

Photo of Billy KelleherBilly Kelleher (Cork North Central, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

This is about the Oireachtas.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

It involves committees of this House.

Question put: "That the proposal for dealing with No. 11a be agreed to."

The Dáil divided: Tá, 91; Níl, 32.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Emmet Stagg and Paul Kehoe; Níl, Deputies Robert Troy and Seán Ó Fearghaíl.

Níl

Question declared carried.

11:20 am

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Is the proposal for dealing with Second Stage of the Social Welfare (Amnesty) Bill 2012 tomorrow agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with Second Stage of the Education (Resource Allocation) Bill 2012 tomorrow agreed to? Agreed.

As the time allowed for the Order of Business has expired, we must move on to the next item of business.