Dáil debates

Thursday, 10 July 2014

12:30 pm

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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It is proposed to take No. 12, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Protection of Young Persons (Employment) (Exclusion of Workers in the Fishing and Shipping Sectors) Regulations 2014 [Considered by the Joint Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation on 8 July 2014]; No. 4, Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland Bill 2014 - Second Stage (resumed) and Subsequent Stages; and No. 25, Forestry Bill 2013 - Report and Final Stages (resumed). It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that the Dáil shall sit later than 5.30 p.m. and shall adjourn not later than 7 p.m.; that No. 12 shall be decided without debate; that the Dáil shall sit tomorrow at 10 a.m. and shall adjourn not later than 8 p.m. and there shall be no Order of Business within the meaning of Standing Order 26 and, accordingly, the business to be transacted shall be as follows: No. 6, Electoral (Amendment) (No. 4) Bill 2014 - Order for Second Stage, Second and Subsequent Stages, and the proceedings on the Second Stage of No. 6 shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion after 65 minutes on the day and shall be confined to an opening speech of a Minister or Minister of State and of the main spokespersons for Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and the Technical Group, which shall not exceed 15 minutes in each case, who shall be called upon in that order and who may share their time, and to a speech in reply by a Minister or Minister of State, which shall not exceed five minutes, and the proceedings on the Committee and Remaining Stages shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion after 15 minutes on the day by one question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, in relation to amendments, include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government; No. a1, Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Bill 2014 - amendments from the Seanad; No. 30, Legal Services Regulation Bill 2011 - Order for Report, Report and Final Stages, to adjourn after one hour if not previously concluded; and No. 5, Court of Appeal Bill 2014 - Order for Second Stage and Second Stage, to adjourn at 8 p.m. if not previously concluded.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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There are three proposals to be put to the House. Is the proposal for dealing with the late sitting agreed to? Agreed.

Photo of Peter MathewsPeter Mathews (Dublin South, Independent)
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May I ask a question, please?

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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No, I am sorry, only party leaders may speak.

Photo of Peter MathewsPeter Mathews (Dublin South, Independent)
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I do not have a leader.

(Interruptions).

Photo of Peter MathewsPeter Mathews (Dublin South, Independent)
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What is funny?

Photo of Derek NolanDerek Nolan (Galway West, Labour)
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Deputy Mary Lou McDonald is his leader.

Photo of Peter MathewsPeter Mathews (Dublin South, Independent)
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She is my colleague.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Is the proposal for dealing with No. 12 agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with the sitting and business of the Dáil tomorrow agreed?

Photo of Timmy DooleyTimmy Dooley (Clare, Fianna Fail)
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On that point-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Does the Deputy agree to the proposal? The only proposal I am putting is that of dealing with the sitting and business of the Dáil tomorrow.

Photo of Timmy DooleyTimmy Dooley (Clare, Fianna Fail)
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I have a question on it. In the light of the statements the Tánaiste and her party made on entering Government with Fine Gael and her desire to try to have the business of the House more appropriately dealt with, is it not ironic that in the latter days of the term we are rushing through such a phenomenal amount of legislation in the next two days? In her new role, the Tánaiste might try to manage the ordering of legislation in a more appropriate way.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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I will put the question.

Photo of Timmy DooleyTimmy Dooley (Clare, Fianna Fail)
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We reserve our right to object on an ongoing basis if the Tánaiste does not do it.

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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A Cheann Comhairle-----

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Does the Deputy object to the proposal that we sit tomorrow?

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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No - yes, for the purposes of standing on my feet.

(Interruptions).

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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No.

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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A Cheann Comhairle, come on, be reasonable and balanced.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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This is a proposal for dealing with the sitting and business of the Dáil tomorrow, full stop.

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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Let me object on the following grounds.

Photo of Derek NolanDerek Nolan (Galway West, Labour)
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Is that Deputy Peter Mathews's new leader?

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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Yesterday we objected to the rushing through of the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland Bill 2014, which is to be guillotined. It is wrong. We have waited a very long time for the legislation, which was signalled in the programme for Government. I reiterate the objection.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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That is not on tomorrow's Order of Business.

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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In respect of the same legislation, I ask, once again, that five minutes be allocated for the non-aligned Deputies to contribute to the debate.

(Interruptions).

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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the Deputy is making a joke out of it.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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The Electoral (Amendment) (No. 4) Bill 2014, as all the parties are aware, is a purely technical piece of legislation.

Photo of Pearse DohertyPearse Doherty (Donegal South West, Sinn Fein)
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No, it is not.

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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The Tánaiste is a chartered accountant. It certainly is not.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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I refer to the business on the schedule for tomorrow. The Electoral (Amendment) (No. 4) Bill 2014 is technical legislation. It will be interesting to see whether people will require all the time allocated.

Question, "That the proposal for dealing with the sitting and business of the Dáil tomorrow, be agreed to," put and declared carried.

Photo of Timmy DooleyTimmy Dooley (Clare, Fianna Fail)
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During yesterday's discussion between our party leader and the Taoiseach on Leaders' Questions it emerged that the Government had taken a decision to extend the GP cards to everybody over 70 years of age.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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No, we are not dealing with that issue but promised legislation.

Photo of Timmy DooleyTimmy Dooley (Clare, Fianna Fail)
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One would have expected that legislation would be required and follow from the Taoiseach's statement. When is it intended to bring the legislation before the House?

Are draft heads of a Bill available? Is it something that has emanated from the discussions between the Tánaiste and the Taoiseach in the past few days and was there a rush by him to get the good news out ahead of publication of the document on which they are working?

12:40 pm

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Is this on promised legislation?

Photo of Timmy DooleyTimmy Dooley (Clare, Fianna Fail)
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Have discussions taken place with the IMO on this decision?

Photo of Aodhán Ó RíordáinAodhán Ó Ríordáin (Dublin North Central, Labour)
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It is against it.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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Is there promised legislation?

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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Ultimately, this is reflected in the fact that there have been very fruitful discussions between the Taoiseach and me on the roll-out of GP visit card access.

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary South, Independent)
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Are they making jam?

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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The Taoiseach mentioned it yesterday in relation to the over-70s. We are also ambitious to extend it to children. We have legislation under way addressing the issue of under six year olds and I would like to see the next phase deal with primary schoolchildren and the phase after that with children in secondary school.

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary South, Independent)
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The big boys.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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I am also delighted that one of the senior officials in the HSE was able to confirm to the committee earlier this morning that she understood 10,000 medical cards would be returned by tomorrow.

Photo of Seán FlemingSeán Fleming (Laois-Offaly, Fianna Fail)
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What does that have to do with promised legislation?

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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By next week, the figure will be 15,000.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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We are dealing with the Order of Business.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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The process that was promised to the House is under way.

Photo of Timmy DooleyTimmy Dooley (Clare, Fianna Fail)
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The Government is behind already. I thank the Tánaiste for the information.

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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I understand that on Thursday next there are to be statements on the commission of investigation into mother and baby homes. Will the Tánaiste confirm for the House that the terms of reference of the commission of investigation will be brought to the House on Thursday? Will she confirm that they will be comprehensive and that no institution, victim or survivor will be left out and indicate whether the scope of the investigation will be all-Ireland in nature?

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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We cannot deal with the content.

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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Will the Tánaiste confirm that in its form and in terms of the person leading it, the commission will be independent beyond question?

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy cannot have all of those questions answered on the Order of Business, as she knows well enough. We have been here for three and a half years at this stage.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and his predecessor have done a huge amount of work recently on the terms of reference. Very good progress is being made, but I do not have a timeline I can provide for the Deputy. With many others, I have met the Minister and had very positive discussions. He has completed a great deal of work, but I cannot provide the precise timeline at this stage, except to say very good progress has been made. I compliment him on the progress he has made.

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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Will the Tánaiste confirm, even in writing at some stage today, that the terms of reference will be presented next Thursday?

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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No, we have not even been told that the item is being taken next week.

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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Statements are scheduled.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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I have not received a schedule for next week.

Photo of John O'MahonyJohn O'Mahony (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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The public health (standardised packaging of tobacco) Bill has been in the House in recent weeks. Will the Tánaiste provide a timeline for Committee Stage and when the Bill will be enacted? I have been contacted by a cigar company in Ballaghaderreen about the implications for a company which is exporting and providing hundreds of jobs.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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That is a matter for the scheduling of business.

Photo of John O'MahonyJohn O'Mahony (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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My second question is on the fines legislation and when it will be enacted.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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I understand the tobacco legislation is going through the House, but I am not clear on when it will be finalised. The Fines (Payment and Recovery) Bill 2014 was enacted in April.

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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The geothermal energy development Bill is promised for publication in 2015. In view of the importance of the energy sector, in particular, the geothermal energy sector, would it be possible to publish the legislation somewhat earlier to ensure it is passed on the earliest possible date?

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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I understand the minerals development Bill will be dealt with first and that the geothermal energy development Bill should be published later this year.

Photo of Robert TroyRobert Troy (Longford-Westmeath, Fianna Fail)
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We have had the initial stages of the Children First Bill in the House. When will Remaining Stages take place? Recently and in the context of the review of the Westmeath county development plan, the Minister intervened on wind energy policy in County Westmeath, citing publication of national wind energy guidelines. When will the national guidelines be published and when will the report on the review of the Westmeath county development plan be published?

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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The Children First Bill is before the committee. I cannot say what the exact timeline will be. On the development issue, I understand it will happen later this year.

Photo of Patrick O'DonovanPatrick O'Donovan (Limerick, Fine Gael)
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The Valuation (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill has been awaiting Committee Stage in the Seanad for a considerable period. Is there a planned date by which the Department will bring amendments back to the Seanad to allow Committee Stage to be ordered there? The Bill has been awaiting Committee Stage in the Seanad for almost two years.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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It is still awaiting Committee Stage. I understand amendments are being worked on.

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary South, Independent)
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I congratulate the Tánaiste on her recent elevation and wish her well. The criminal justice (victims rights) Bill is intended to strengthen the rights of victims of crime and their families and give effect to an EU directive. Will the Tánaiste request the new Minister for Justice and Equality to meet the Omagh victims' families? The last Minister refused to meet them and I hope it will happen as it is a very serious issue. If we are going to be serious about the victims of crime, it is necessary.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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We will get the information on the Bill for the Deputy.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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There is no date for publication of the Bill. Work on it is under way and the Minister hopes to have the legislation early next year.

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary South, Independent)
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Will the Minister meet the families?

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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That is a separate issue, not one for the Order of Business.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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The Deputy might take up that matter privately with the Minister.

Photo of Pearse DohertyPearse Doherty (Donegal South West, Sinn Fein)
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Ba mhaith liom gach rath a ghuí ar an Tánaiste fosta. The Moriarty tribunal reported to the House over three years ago, but its recommendations have not been implemented. I am told in reply to a parliamentary question that some of the recommendations were included in a Bill which was introduced in 2007 and is still before the House. Other recommendations are still being dealt with by Departments. When are the recommendations of the Moriarty tribunal to be given legislative effect?

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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A series of recommendations were made by the Moriarty tribunal, some of which have been addressed. I will come back to the Deputy with a further report on where any outstanding recommendation stands and obtain an update.

Photo of Tommy BroughanTommy Broughan (Dublin North East, Independent)
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I congratulate the Tánaiste on her appointment. When is the children (amendment) Bill expected to be brought forward? Is it intended to legislate early in the next session on the guardian ad litemissue? Funding is due to run out tomorrow week at the largest community crèche in Ireland, the Jigsaw crèche in Darndale.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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That is not a matter for the Order of Business.

Photo of Tommy BroughanTommy Broughan (Dublin North East, Independent)
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The Ceann Comhairle kindly allowed me to raise the matter about six weeks ago. We are up against the clock and funding is due to run out.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy should have a word with the Tánaiste after the Order of Business.

Photo of Tommy BroughanTommy Broughan (Dublin North East, Independent)
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The Tánaiste might raise the matter with the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Deputy Charles Flanagan, to address it urgently.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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We cannot deal with these matters on the Order of Business. If I allow one, I will have to allow them all every day.

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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Some complex legal issues have arisen as a result of a High Court judgment and it is necessary to develop a new policy regime and legal provisions on remission in children's detention schools. This has required a very detailed policy review and legislative drafting. In addition to the remission issue, work is ongoing on other legal issues which have been identified. Publication of the children (amendment) Bill is now expected in the next session.

12:50 pm

Photo of Brendan SmithBrendan Smith (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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Has the Government, or the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, sought an emergency meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council to discuss the escalating Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the terrible loss of life?

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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We cannot deal with that matter on the Order of Business.

Photo of Brendan SmithBrendan Smith (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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It is very important.

Photo of Seán BarrettSeán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle; Dún Laoghaire, Ceann Comhairle)
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We dealt with the issue during Leaders' Questions.

Photo of Joe CareyJoe Carey (Clare, Fine Gael)
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What is the position on the greyhound industry Bill?

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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There is no date for the Bill.