Dáil debates

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

12:00 pm

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

I understand that this morning, the Taoiseach met Maíria Cahill. Although I am not aware of what transpired in the course of their conversations, I have no doubt but that the Taoiseach would have been taken aback by her story and by her account of being raped as a young 16 year old. In addition, attempts were made earlier, when this story was revealed, to undermine her credibility. However, the story regarding the IRA interrogation into her abuse is one that would shake any person who has had the opportunity to hear it. Over the past decade, there have been many debates in this House relating to the issue of child sex abuse. These range from the swimming abuse inquiry many years ago to the inquiry into industrial schools to the various inquiries into Cloyne, Ferns and Dublin and across the board. Politicians from all parties were anxious that those debates would take place and they participated fully in them in the interests of the victims of such abuse, in the sense that those institutions had covered up and had transgressed the rights of victims. For many Deputies at that time, some of that material was uncomfortable. People could hardly believe what they were hearing on those occasions. I remember it well and was involved in initiating some of the inquiries myself. Sinn Féin Deputies were to the fore in condemning the Catholic Church. The Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, stated that Cardinal Brady should resign when it was revealed that as a young priest, the cardinal was secretary to a secret inquiry that swore to silence two young boys who were abused. The deputy leader of Sinn Féin, Deputy McDonald, has stated that anyone found to have covered up the abuse of children should be arrested and should face the full rigours of the law.

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

Thank you, a question please.

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

Members know that Maíria Cahill was sworn to silence by Sinn Féin-IRA. This is known and one should just read her father's testimony during the week. I put it to the Taoiseach that this morning, Members have learned of another victim from the Irish Independent. They got three options, namely, we will execute him, you can execute him or we will expel him. Expulsion meant moving to another parish and when one reads the blog on this issue by the leader of Sinn Féin, Deputy Adams, he stated that on occasions, the IRA shot them - we do not know what happened on the other occasions - or sometimes they expelled them. Expulsion means moving to another parish-----

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

Thank you.

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

----- and in fairness, he qualified it by noting it was not appropriate to shoot them.

I have a number of questions to put to the Taoiseach. The first is a question I asked sincerely yesterday.

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

Sorry Deputy, we are way over time.

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

I appreciate that. Will the Government ensure there is a comprehensive Dáil debate on this issue, like those held at any time abuse in other institutions came up? Members should have such a debate. Second, can the Taoiseach confirm whether the Minister for Justice and Equality has discussed this issue or case with the Minister for Justice in the Northern Ireland Executive, David Ford, because of the obvious cross-Border dimension to this matter? Third, will the Government give consideration to creating a facility to enable victims of such abuse at the hands of Sinn Féin-IRA to come forward and tell their story in confidence in order that the full story can come out?

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I had the opportunity and privilege of meeting Maíria Cahill over the past hour and a half or so. This is a courageous, confident and brave young woman who is a force to be reckoned with. She overcame the horror of being raped and was obliged to face down the IRA and its generals, secret or otherwise. All Members know that the horror of rape is that it is not simply a violation but is about control and power. While in that frightening situation her own control was taken from her, she never ceded in any way her own power. It is that power and that sense for truth that brought her here to Leinster House and that brought her to Government Buildings this morning. When innocence is defiled, clearly there are consequences when people have the courage to speak out.

Deputy Martin asked three questions. The answer to the first question is "Yes." The Government will facilitate a comprehensive debate on this matter. I cannot confirm for the Deputy whether the Minister, Deputy Fitzgerald, has spoken to the Minister, Mr. Ford, but he can take it from me that she will. We must reflect on the Deputy's third question in regard to having some facility, opportunity or method of allowing people who wish to come forward with their stories to so do in confidence. That is an issue on which Members must reflect in order to do that in the best way possible. As the Deputy mentioned in respect of what happened with the Catholic Church and sexual abuse, it is very much mirrored in what has happened here with IRA sexual abusers who are members of Sinn Féin. It is clear, from my conversations this morning with Maíria Cahill, that a number of clear questions must be answered. One such question concerns the movement of people from Northern Ireland involved in the IRA who were moved down to this jurisdiction. Moreover, they are still here. People know who they are, people know where they are and people know of their activities. It is time that people spoke up and answered these questions.

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

I thank the Taoiseach for his response and welcome the fact that there will be a comprehensive Dáil debate on this issue, just as there has been on quite a number of other issues and scandals, as I outlined. At that time, people did not claim that people were being political or whatever in discussing abuse within the Catholic Church. I can recall Deputy McDonald's words in respect of the abuse of children in the Dublin diocese. She stated:

The report on clerical sexual abuse of children in Dublin exposes how the most powerful men in the Catholic Church in the Dublin Diocese conspired to protect abusers of children. It was a gross betrayal of generations of children.
The most powerful men within the IRA interrogated victims of abuse at the hands of leading members of the IRA. That happened.

The most powerful men conspired to protect the abusers and swore the victims to silence. It is unpalatable to have to say that. There may be Members in the House who do not like me saying that but there is no getting away from it. It is an unpalatable truth. The difficulty is that the power and fear here was much greater than anywhere else and victims will tell one that.

12:10 pm

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

A question please, Deputy.

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

The point is we need to reflect. Will the Taoiseach give very serious consideration to how victims could be facilitated to come forward to tell their story?

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I will give it serious consideration. I take the advice of people in the House as to how best that might be able to be put in place. The Deputy is correct; the most powerful people in the IRA conspired in this. It is reprehensible that a young woman of this courage and bravery should have been kicked about in the last week. Her goalposts have changed and have been changed deliberately. I note from Deputy Adams's comments last night the first connection with the IRA in his statement outside the Mansion House. Perhaps when he has the opportunity he might confirm for the people of our country down here whether Maíria Cahill was required to attend at a meeting with her rapist and three other men to discuss this matter. That is the central issue here: a young woman who was raped and sexually abused being required by powerful people within the IRA to attend at a meeting and having to face her abuser.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I also welcome that debate. I was going to raise it later under the Order of Business. I am also very mindful that there are victims and families affected by abuse watching us. Some of them have been in touch with my office. Sexual abuse and abuse of any kind is wrong. The abuse of a child is a particularly heinous crime. The consequences for victims and their families are devastating. We know this having seen the human cost of abuse right across society.

I have set out the circumstances in the North when there was no democratic civic policing service. I have acknowledged that the IRA sought to deal with some cases of abuse when asked to do so by families and victims. While IRA volunteers were acting, in my opinion, in good faith, the IRA was ill-equipped to deal with such matters. IRA actions against sex offenders failed victims. That is a matter of profound regret for me and other republicans. I am acutely conscious that there may be victims who were let down or failed by the IRA's inability to resolve these cases. As Uachtarán Shinn Féin, I want to apologise to those victims. Those who wish to should come forward now and report their complaints to the appropriate authorities - An Garda Síochána, the PSNI or the social services, or the HSE in the South - and they will have Sinn Féin's full support in doing so.

Secrecy has surrounded abuse in Ireland. It was taboo to discuss it and some victims were very fearful to disclose. The only way to face this problem is to support and empower victims in order that they will speak out. To cover up child abuse is to deny the basic humanity of the victim and to shield the perpetrator. It is an unthinkable act of cruelty. Sinn Féin has not engaged in a cover-up of child abuse as some of our political enemies, including the Fianna Fáil leader and the Taoiseach, have alleged.

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

A question please, Deputy.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

This accusation is a slur on thousands of decent Irish republicans and Sinn Féin members.

Photo of Paudie CoffeyPaudie Coffey (Waterford, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

What about the victims?

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

The Taoiseach and the Fianna Fáil leader should go to the Garda or the PSNI with any information they say they have now.

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Why did the Deputy not do that?

Photo of Paudie CoffeyPaudie Coffey (Waterford, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

He relocated them down here.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Now, republicans-----

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

The Deputy is way over time.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I understand. I am about to finish.

Photo of Paudie CoffeyPaudie Coffey (Waterford, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

It is shameful. Shame on him.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Republicans are no different from any other Irish citizens.

Photo of Timmy DooleyTimmy Dooley (Clare, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

They are.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Like most parents, we do our best to protect our children and keep them safe. We have learned that ongoing vigilance and believing children is essential.

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

I ask the Deputy to put his question.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

We know that reporting quickly and to the right channels-----

Photo of Barry CowenBarry Cowen (Laois-Offaly, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Which is it?

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

-----is the way to seek and achieve justice. While I welcome a comprehensive debate in the House as opposed to the sleveen way that the Taoiseach and Fianna Fáil leader have approached this-----

Photo of Eric ByrneEric Byrne (Dublin South Central, Labour)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

That is a scurrilous comment by the Deputy.

Photo of Seán FlemingSeán Fleming (Laois-Offaly, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

He did not come forward.

Photo of Paudie CoffeyPaudie Coffey (Waterford, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

The masks have slipped.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

-----will the Taoiseach accept that these serious and difficult matters need to be dealt with in a victim-centred way by the appropriate authorities and not politicised as they have been in this Chamber?

Photo of Seán FlemingSeán Fleming (Laois-Offaly, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

By you.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Let us not forget that the central issue here is that a young woman was raped, sexually abused and required to go before her abuser and three other men from the IRA. The Deputy's deputy leader does not believe this. She has blind allegiance to the Deputy as leader of the party while a young woman with courage and bravery is not afraid to speak out. In the past week she has had numbers of others belonging to the same organisation come forward to her having contacted her about similar stories. I hope these people have the courage to speak out as well.

In putting his next question, the Deputy might confirm whether he knows, as leader of his party and Uachtarán Shinn Féin, whether Maíria Cahill was required to attend in a room with three men and her abuser, all members of the IRA, that a second meeting took place some months afterwards, and in the intervening period she was not allowed to go to the PSNI or to the police. The Deputy might confirm from his information from associates who were members of the IRA whether he is aware of any people who were moved down to this jurisdiction to Donegal or to Louth who were involved in sexual abuse of women in Northern Ireland and who are still in this jurisdiction. He might indicate to the House whether he knows anything about any of that because I think the story Maíria Cahill has to tell is not just powerful but will have serious consequences.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Maíria Cahill has made serious allegations and the Taoiseach has met her and listened to her allegations. Will he now facilitate a meeting with those she accuses? These are named people. Now that he has set himself up to make judgment on this, will he bring into Áras an Rialtais the people who have been named-----

Photo of Barry CowenBarry Cowen (Laois-Offaly, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

The Deputy knows them.

Photo of Seán FlemingSeán Fleming (Laois-Offaly, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

A kangaroo court-----

Photo of Barry CowenBarry Cowen (Laois-Offaly, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

An off-site court.

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

Deputies, please.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

-----and ask them the questions he is asserting as fact? I refute the allegations that have been made about me and about other Sinn Féin members who assure me all they did in their engagements, conversations and work-----

Photo of Michael McGrathMichael McGrath (Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Work?

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

-----with Maíria Cahill was to help them.

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

Will the Deputy please put his question?

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

No, a Cheann Comhairle-----

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

Please put your question. Thank you.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

If you treated the Taoiseach and the leader of Fianna Fáil like that yesterday-----

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

I beg your pardon.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Let me-----

Photo of Ciara ConwayCiara Conway (Waterford, Labour)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

That is outrageous.

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

I try to keep order to the best of my ability and Deputy Adams knows that very well. There is no need for those snide comments.

Photo of Derek KeatingDerek Keating (Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Hear, hear.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I am not making snide comments. Let me get to the point. The Taoiseach has made accusations against members of Sinn Féin and some of these were subject to court proceedings. Will he meet those people? Will he meet with me? Will he put to me the assertions that have been put?

(Interruptions).

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I ask the Taoiseach to listen because he has not listened.

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

He has.

A Deputy:

He asked the Deputy a question.

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Will he answer it?

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

Thank you, Deputy. We are over time.

12:20 pm

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I have already refuted the allegations made. I do not know who is not listening here. It is a very simple proposition. The Taoiseach has heard Maíria Cahill's story. All those from Sinn Féin who have met Maíria Cahill accept and acknowledge she was abused and traumatised. She then put a particular version of what occurred.

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

The Deputy is shameful.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

These are not nameless, anonymous people. These are decent people. Will the Taoiseach meet them and listen to their version of the story, and then make a judgment on these matters?

Photo of Timmy DooleyTimmy Dooley (Clare, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Did the Deputy bring in the clergy when making allegations about it?

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I find it absolutely unbelievable that Deputy Adams would come into this House of Parliament and say a man who raped and sexually abused a woman is a decent person.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I did not say that. The Taoiseach should not dare say that. The Ceann Comhairle should do his job.

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

I am doing my job and I do not need the Deputy to tell me to do so. This is a debate. Allegations are made across the floor and I cannot judge on every one made.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I did not say that. It is misrepresentation.

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

The Deputy should allow the Taoiseach to continue. He had his chance.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I did not say that.

Photo of Timmy DooleyTimmy Dooley (Clare, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

The record will show what the Deputy said.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

The Taoiseach knows precisely what he is doing.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Let me be quite clear: there are very many decent people in the Sinn Féin Party.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

The Taoiseach does not need to tell me that.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I asked the Deputy a question.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I answered his question. I refuted that allegation.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I asked him to confirm whether Maíria Cahill was required to attend-----

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I refuted that allegation.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

-----a meeting with three gentlemen and her abuser. The Deputy says these are included among the people who are decent. He needs to clarify that. He also needs, without laughing about it-----

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I am not laughing.

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

We are over time.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

-----to clarify for people down here whether his associates in the IRA, when it was in formal session, knew of people who were guilty of sexual abuse in Northern Ireland and were moved from there to this jurisdiction to so-called safe houses in this city and south of here, and also in Donegal and Louth, because of fear of publicity. Are those people still here? Is this true?

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I do not know.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Does the Deputy know any of the activities they are involved in now? These are the most serious matters for everyone. Sexual abuse was rampant in many sectors in society, not alone in paramilitary organisations, but the Deputy has responsibility for this and we need to know the answers. I will facilitate a comprehensive debate in the House in the best way possible and we can consider the opportunity for people to have their say.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Will the Taoiseach meet the people he is accusing?

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I will meet the four people to whom the Deputy refers, who are named.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Good man.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I will do so but I will not stand in judgment over them. I will ask them the question that the Deputy will not answer.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

On 19 December last year, the Taoiseach rammed through the legislation to create Irish Water. The Opposition refused to take part in what was a charade and we walked out in protest. One of the microphones was left on that day and it picked up a Government Deputy saying, "Let them go", with an expletive in the middle. This shows the kind of contempt this majority Government has for those with opposing views. The Government needed to ram through the legislation to proceed with the transfer of €11 billion in assets from county and city councils to Irish Water by 1 January. There are two things Irish people hate, namely, being bullied and being taken for fools. The Government and Irish Water have managed to do both.

The process of having to hand over one's PPS number makes people feel bullied. People are infuriated as they will be fined if they do not hand it over. They feel they have been taken for fools. There have been too many examples of this. The partnering with Bord Gáis was supposed to produce significant savings, but there were actually massive start-up costs. It also brought about a bonus culture. People are sick and tired of listening to the propaganda about this. The controversial awarding of the metering contract and almost all other facets of Irish Water do not sit well with people. The approach has alienated those who believe conservation, more so than fixing leaky pipes, is important, including myself. It has alienated people who have data protection concerns and those who are pretty much terrified about the uncertainty and extent of the growing number of charges. The approach has also alienated people who fear the Government and Irish Water are making it up as they go along.

The Government is hell-bent on giving the impression that the entire failure is a failure in communications and of the board of Irish Water when in fact it is a far more substantial one. It represents a total loss of trust in the Government. We are now at the blame game. What blame does the Government place on itself for the loss of trust associated with this omnishambles that is Irish Water? What possible difference can the extension of a month make? Does the Taoiseach believe the events of 19 December 2013 will ultimately determine the results of the next general election?

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

The answer to the Deputy's last question is that the people will decide the outcome of the next general election and make their choices, whenever it is called. The intention is that it shall be in the spring of 2016. That is always the way it should be. People are the masters and those whom they elect here are merely their servants.

With regard to Irish Water, I dealt with this matter at length yesterday. It is well known why it is necessary to set up Irish Water. It is to have a public entity enshrined in law that can borrow off the balance sheet for proper investment in infrastructure and treatment plants for high-quality water for drinking, business and industry. I dealt with the question of the unitary board involving Ervia, formerly Bord Gáis Éireann, and Irish Water, which board will be established at the end of November. The board has a particular function. I do not want to interfere in any way with the regulator, who made some comments yesterday at a meeting of the Oireachtas committee. We will follow through on whatever the regulator decides in light of his independent responsibility.

It is more than a matter of communications. Irish Water is one of the largest institutions to be created, and it is necessary that it be so. There are challenges with the timescale that has been set out. Most of the complaints I have received are about the mechanics of how Irish Water deals with telephone calls, queries, e-mails, requirements to fix leaks and questions about water supply and treatment-work supplies. The issues on which the Government reflected yesterday are being discussed by Irish Water and the Department. The regulator has independent responsibilities. I hope clarity and understanding will emerge from the discussions in order that people can have confidence in Irish Water and know what they will get for the contributions they make in terms of the improvement of plants and infrastructure, the ending of boil water notices and the creation of a system of water provision that is of the highest integrity and standard. This will be necessary for decades. It has never been dealt with and I know it is challenging and not easy. The system needs to be fair and the charges need to be affordable for everyone. I hope that over the next period we can ensure clarity and confidence for everyone in order that they will know the contribution they will make will be for the important purposes of investment, raising standards and providing water of high quality for domestic, business and industrial use for many decades to come.

It is not easy to get an institutions such as this running as efficiently as one would like. Clearly, there have been and are challenges and I hope we can deal with those.

12:30 pm

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I do not know to whom the Taoiseach is listening if he thinks that this is merely a communications issue or teething problems with setting up a utility. It is far more fundamental than that. The way it has been handled has been a disgrace and has caused considerable upset. The 100,000 people on the street were not complaining about their telephone calls not being answered.

The impression being given is that we are starting from scratch. The example given was that it is on a par with setting up the electrification of the country when, in fact, as I stated, €11 billion of assets, many of which are first-world assets that have been invested in over decades, were handed over to Irish Water.

This is far more important than a communications issue. It is a loss of trust in how Government has handled this issue, from ramming the legislation through to adding Irish Water to the list of organisations that can require persons to hand over their PPS numbers so as the Government could circumvent data protection rules, which is what the Data Protection Commissioner states.

I will repeat my question. Where does the Taoiseach place himself in this blame game, which is now focused on the board of Irish Water but which, in fact, it is a political failure?

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I place myself, obviously, as Head of Government. The Government made the decision to set up Irish Water and it was the correct decision to make. The Government also made the decision to not have every local authority involved, with a different standard of provision of water and the difficulties that they all encountered. That is the correct decision. The regime that is in place at present with the regulator means, for instance, that bills are capped at €278 for a couple with two children, but also that if the bill is less than that there is an incentive for the consumer to pay that lesser bill. The regulator will make his comments about that in due course.

As I stated yesterday, Irish Water has not done itself justice in pointing out what it is doing in terms of its capital programme of €1.2 billion to deal with 126 treatment works that are not up to standard across many other areas of the country. This is a public entity. Fears that this will be privatised or sold are wrong, unfounded and without base. It is the law. This is the provision of a public entity to invest in infrastructure so that consumers can have high standards of production and good quality water monitored by the regulator, who has already stated that he wants a reduction in its cost base by 8% by the end of 2016, including a substantial amount in respect of pay and salaries.

This is a case where there are challenges still ahead and we hope to deal with those clearly so that consumers can have confidence that this is a necessary facility and their contribution will go for what it is intended for many decades to come, including investment in infrastructure, the production of high-quality water, treatment works that stand up to scrutiny, and a service to consumers that is not like the service provided in this city at present, where the service can go wrong and is constantly on a knife-edge. I hope we can deal with all of those in the short period ahead.

^ Order of Business^

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

It is proposed to take No. a12, motion re membership of committee; No. b12, motion re ministerial rota for parliamentary questions; No. 12, Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) Bill 2013 Seanad – Financial Resolution; No. 29, Statements on the pre-European Council meeting of 23 - 24 October 2014; No. 30, Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2014 - Order for Report, Report and Final Stages; No. 4, Garda Síochána (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill 2014 - Second Stage (resumed); and No. 5, Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2014 - Order for Second Stage and Second Stage.

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that Nos. a12, b12 and 12 shall be decided without debate; No. 29 shall be taken immediately following the Order of Business and the proceedings thereon shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion after 65 minutes and the following arrangements shall apply: the statements shall be made by the Taoiseach and by the main spokespersons for Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and the Technical Group, who shall be called upon in that order, shall not exceed 15 minutes in each case, and such Members may share their time; a Minister or Minister of State shall be called upon to make a statement in reply which shall not exceed five minutes; and the suspension of sitting shall take place on the conclusion of No. 29. Private Members' business shall be No. 158, motion re Irish Water (resumed), to conclude at 9 p.m. tonight, if not previously concluded. Tomorrow's business after oral questions shall be No. 28, financial motions by the Minister for Finance [2014], motion 3, resumed.

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

There are two proposals to be put to the House. Is the proposal for dealing with Nos. a12, b12 and 12 agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 29 agreed to? Agreed. I call Deputy Martin on the Order of Business.

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

There had been reports that the Government believes that a legal bid by the former Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Shatter, to quash the findings of the Guerin review would not block a new commission of inquiry into Garda malpractice allegations that were made by Sergeant Maurice McCabe. Deputy Shatter went to the High Court in July to have certain findings against him made by Mr. Seán Guerin SC quashed, but the Guerin report called for a commission of inquiry and the Taoiseach announced to the House that there would be a commission of inquiry. So far the commission has not been established. The Taoiseach might indicate when this inquiry will be established and why the undue delay in its regard.

The second item relates to the early years strategy. As far back as January 2012, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Fitzgerald, when Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, announced that during 2012, the Department would develop Ireland's first national early years strategy - even though it would not have been the first. The announcement was approved by Cabinet in March 2012, the expert group was established in June 2012, the Minister stated she would publish the expert group report in December 2012, and the expert group report was launched in October 2013. It is October 2014. Three years on from when Deputy Fitzgerald announced this key part of the programme for Government - Deputy Troy has been on this case for some time - can the Taoiseach indicate when will we see it?

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I must come back to Deputy Martin on the latter issue he raised. I will let him know today.

In respect of the report from Mr. Guerin SC, the commission of inquiry is not yet set up. The Government has not finalised its terms of reference. Work is ongoing with the Minister for Justice and Equality. I will advise the House and the Deputy as to the timescale when we expect the commission to be formally launched and the terms of reference approved.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Tá ceist agam maidir leis an mBille um Inimirce, Cónaí agus Cosaint, the Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill, which was introduced here at First Stage in 2010. It has been in committee since. Given that persons are stuck in these direct provision facilities, in some cases for 14 years, this delay is unacceptable.

Last month, the chief commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, Ms Emily Logan, expressed concern at a committee meeting about the inordinate delay attached to the Bill, which has very real human consequences. I visited the direct provision facility at Mosney in County Louth where some people have been living for up to ten years. Some children born in the facility are still there eight or nine years later. Given that the former Minister, Deputy Shatter, said he would republish the Bill during his term of office, could the Taoiseach explain in the first instance the reason for the delay, and when the Bill will come back before the Dáil?

12:40 pm

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

An immigration Bill is on the clár, as it were. So many amendments were tabled to the Bill that it was considered better to withdraw it and draft a new Bill, namely, the international protection Bill. I have a note on it in respect of the commitment to legislate to reduce the length of time for asylum seekers must spend time in the direct provision system, through the establishment of a single applications procedure to be introduced by way of a protection Bill. Work is under way on it, taking into account all of the amendments that were tabled on the immigration Bill previously.

We must also consider the specialist group chaired by Mr. Justice Bryan MacMahon, which is dealing with representatives from all of the organisations concerned with immigration and asylum seekers. It is considering what should apply in the Bill and in the direct provision facilities, which is a subject of interest and focus for the Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality, Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, and the Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Frances Fitzgerald. I will provide an update to Deputy Adams on the work that is proceeding in terms of the drafting of the protection Bill. We must await the report of Mr. Justice MacMahon, taking into account the views of all the organisations on how the situation could be improved and expedited. The central issue is that it should not take ten years to decide whether an applicant is entitled to asylum.

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Does the Taoiseach have a notion of when the Bill will come back to the House?

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

It will be next year.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I received a letter from you this morning, a Cheann Comhairle, about Standing Orders and their application to the Technical Group. You told us that Members are selected to speak on the basis of an administrative convenience, and that if certain people are not included on our list of speakers, you are likely to call them. How do you think it will work in terms of administrative convenience because if any one of us goes to you and says he or she did not get five minutes or ten minutes speaking time, will you administer the entire Technical Group?

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

The answer to Deputy Murphy's question is "No". I do not interfere but if I get complaints that people have been excluded, it is my duty to see that they are entitled to speak in this House.

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Nobody in the Technical Group has been excluded.

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

I make no apologies for doing that. It is my preference that parties and groups would arrange their own business, but at the end of the day it is my responsibility in accordance with Standing Orders to call speakers. It is a matter of convenience that lists are prepared in a particular order but it is entirely a matter for the Chair as to who is called. If I receive a complaint that people are not being afforded the opportunity to make a contribution, I have a duty to make certain that they do, irrespective of whether one is a member of the Technical Group or any other group for that matter.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

So if-----

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

It is not a matter to be debated on the Order of Business.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I think it is.

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

No, it is not.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I think it is, a Cheann Comhairle.

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

No, it is not.

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

It is.

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

It certainly is not.

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

It is.

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

It is not a matter for the Order of Business as to what arrangements apply to the Technical Group in respect of speakers.

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

But is it not part of the Order of Business?

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Essentially, you are not interfering in any other group.

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

We live in a democracy which means that people are entitled to speak.

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin North, United Left)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

That was the arrangement when one is elected to a group.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

We received conflicting legal advice.

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

I do not care what legal advice the Deputy got. I go by the Standing Orders of this House.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

We got legal advice from your office, a Cheann Comhairle.

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

We got conflicting legal advice from you, a Cheann Comhairle. You gave us the legal advice.

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

No.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

We sought the advice of senior counsel.

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

Excuse me. Members should read Standing Orders and they will see who is entitled to call speakers. That is the Chair.

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin North, United Left)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

We had Standing Orders legally interpreted.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

We sought the advice of senior counsel.

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

It depends on the legal interpretation of Standing Orders. Your legal interpretation, a Cheann Comhairle, was wrong.

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

I am sorry but the Deputy has had her run. If she needs to discuss the matter further, she can raise it at the Committee on Procedure and Privileges. That is what it is there for.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

We sought the advice of senior counsel.

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

I will now call Deputy Cowen.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

We respectfully ask that you wait until we can give you the legal advice.

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

Deputy Murphy is not raising the matter on the Order of Business. She is a member of the Committee on Procedure and Privileges. She can bring the matter to the committee. I call Deputy Cowen.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

You are the one who interprets Standing Orders.

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

I call Deputy Cowen.

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

You are the one who is interfering with the running of the Technical Group.

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

Deputy Murphy has made her point. I call Deputy Cowen.

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

You are interfering, a Cheann Comhairle.

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

Deputy Halligan should stop shouting.

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

You are. I am not shouting. I am only making a point.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

We have sought advice.

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

Deputy Murphy should read Standing Orders. I call Deputy Cowen.

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

You would not do it with the Fine Gael or Labour parties so why would you do it to the Technical Group?

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

I call Deputy Cowen.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

You are interfering with the Technical Group.

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Why would you interfere with the running of the Technical Group when you do not do it to Fine Gael or Labour?

Photo of Paul KehoePaul Kehoe (Minister of State and Government Chief Whip, Department of An Taoiseach; Minister of State, Department of Defence; Wexford, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

It is Fine Gael, not fine Gael.

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

I am not interfering.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

You are making it impossible

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

What is the difference?

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

Deputy Murphy should resume her seat.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

No.

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

Deputy Murphy should please resume her seat.

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

No, you are interfering with the running of a democratically elected group.

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

If Deputy Halligan does not stay quiet he will find himself outside the Chamber.

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

You can do what you like but you are interfering with the running of a bona fide, democratic political group.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

You are interfering, a Cheann Comhairle.

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

Deputy Murphy is obviously seeking to be thrown out. She should resume her seat.

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

You have no right to interfere. You do not interfere with the running of any other group in the Dáil and you should not interfere with the running of this group.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

You are interfering.

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

Deputy Murphy should resume her seat.

(Interruptions).

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

The sitting is suspended for 15 minutes.

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

You can suspend it all you like.

Sitting suspended at 12.45 p.m. and resumed at 1 p.m.

12:50 pm

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

I call Deputy Barry Cowen.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Ceann Comhairle-----

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

I have called Deputy Barry Cowen. Resume your seat, please.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I ask that you afford us the courtesy of giving us time to consider the legal advice and to get alternative legal advice. I do not know how this is going to work. You are trying to demolish the Technical Group-----

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

I am on my feet. The Deputy should show some respect for the Chair.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

You are trying to make it unworkable. Do I send in 17 names for you to decide-----

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

If you resume your seat for a minute I will explain something to the Deputy.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

We have to employ two people and others want to contribute-----

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

The sitting is suspended for another 15 minutes.

Sitting suspended at 1.02 p.m. and resumed at 1.19 p.m.

12:55 pm

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

I call Deputy Barry Cowen.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I would like to continue to-----

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

The sitting is suspended for 30 minutes.

Sitting suspended at 1.19 p.m. and resumed at 1.50 p.m.

1:00 pm

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

I call Deputy Barry Cowen.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

The Independents are being discriminated against-----

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

Deputy, I am sorry, I am not going to through this charade again, nor am I-----

Deputies:

It is not a charade.

Photo of Finian McGrathFinian McGrath (Dublin North Central, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

It is gross political interference.

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

It is political interference in a group.

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

Nor am I going to allow the proper business of the House to be disrupted when you know you received a letter from the Clerk of the Dáil outlining the true procedures.

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

You are disrupting our business.

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

The procedures have been outlined-----

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

You are attempting to chair the Technical Group and we will not allow you to do it. You cannot do that.

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

If you just let me speak. You do not need to shout me down.

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I am not shouting at you.

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

The Clerk of the Dáil has outlined the procedures relating to people joining a technical group. He has done that independently and I just apply the rules. There is no point in having a go at me or shouting at me. That is not going to solve anything. The reality is-----

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

The Clerk of the Dáil gave conflicting advice. He already gave us legal advice that was incorrect-----

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

Hold a minute.

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

-----so why should we believe the Clerk of the Dáil?

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

Hold on a second, if you wish to change that Standing Order, have it debated at the Committee on Procedure and Privilege.

Photo of Mick WallaceMick Wallace (Wexford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

It is controlled by the Government.

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

Deputy Catherine Murphy is a member of that committee. There is no point in delaying the proceedings of this House because it is not going to be solved.

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

That committee is controlled by the Government.

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

We got a totally different ruling on that Standing Order.

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

Either Deputy Murphy resumes her seat and allows Deputy Cowen to make his contribution or I will have to ask her to leave the House.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I very much regret this. It is being made impossible for us.

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

I am sorry. If you are not prepared to adhere to the rules of the House-----

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

It is being made impossible for us to-----

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

-----I will have to ask you to leave the House.

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin North, United Left)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

We are trying to defend basic democracy on behalf of the people.

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

Are you listening to me, Deputy?

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I am.

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

If you are not prepared to resume your seat and allow Deputy Cowen speak, I will have to ask you to leave the House.

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

This is a gross-----

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I have no choice and I very much regret that. I will leave the House but this is discrimination against the Independents.

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

There is no discrimination against Independents.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

We are not being allowed-----

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

I have been through it all. I ask you to leave the House.

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

You are deciding who should speak for the Independents.

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

Is Deputy Murphy leaving the House?

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

No. She is representing us.

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin North, United Left)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

This Deputy is representing all of us.

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

I am addressing Deputy Murphy. Are you leaving the House?

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I believe I am speaking in a representative capacity with the rest of the Technical Group.

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin North, United Left)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Absolutely. She certainly is.

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

If you are not prepared to leave the House I am afraid I will have to move to Standing Order 62. I name Deputy Catherine Murphy and I move: "That Deputy Catherine Murphy be suspended from the service of the Dáil."