Dáil debates

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

2:45 pm

Photo of Seán CanneySeán Canney (Galway East, Independent)
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Today's business shall be No. a10, motion re the tenth report of the Committee of Selection and appointment of Chairs; No. 15, statements on Srebrenica; and No. 16, Mediation Bill 2017 - Order for Report, Report and Final Stages. Private Members' business shall be No. 37, Waste Reduction Bill 2017 - Second Stage, selected by the Labour Party.

Wednesday’s business shall be No. 2, Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Bill 2017 - all Stages; No. b10, motion re defence; No. 16, Mediation Bill 2017 - Report Stage (resumed) and Final Stage, if not previously concluded; and No. 17, Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman Bill 2017 - Order for Report, Report and Final Stages. Private Members’ Business shall be No. 38, Mortgage Arrears Resolutions (Family Home) Bill 2017 - Second Stage, selected by Fianna Fáil.

Thursday’s business shall be No. 18, summer economic statement; No. c10, motion re 11th report of the Committee of Selection; No. 3, Planning and Development (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2017 - all Stages; No. 22, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Bill 2017 - Order for Report, Report and Final Stages; No. 19, National Shared Services Office Bill 2016 - Order for Report, Report and Final Stages; No. 1, Adoption (Amendment) Bill 2016 - amendments from the Seanad; and No. 10, motion re framework agreement between the EU and Republic of the Philippines, back from committee.

Friday’s business shall be No. 39, Mental Health (Amendment) Bill 2017 -Order for Report, Report and Final Stages; No 19a, Independent Reporting Commission Bill 2017 - Committee and Remaining Stages; No. 4, the Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registration Bill 2017 - Order for Second Stage and Second Stage; and No. 5, Legal Metrology (Measuring Instruments) Bill 2017 - Order for Second Stage and Second Stage.

In relation to today's business, it is proposed that (1) the Dáil shall sit later than 10 p.m. and shall adjourn on the conclusion of Private Members' time; (2) the motion re the Tenth Report of Committee of Selection and Appointment of Chairs shall be taken without debate; (3) the statements on Srebrenica shall be brought to a conclusion after 40 minutes, if not previously concluded, and shall be confined to a single round from a Minister or Minister of State and the main spokespersons, or a Member nominated in their stead, which shall not exceed five minutes each and all Members may share time; and (4) the proceedings on Second Stage of the Waste Reduction Bill 2017 shall commence not later than 8.40 p.m. and shall conclude within two hours.

In relation to Wednesday's business, it is proposed that (1) the Dáil shall sit at 10 a.m. and sit later than 10.15 p.m. and will adjourn not later than 11 p.m.; (2) any division demanded on the proceedings of Second Stage of the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Bill 2017 will be taken immediately; (3) the proceedings on the motion re defence shall be brought to a conclusion after 40 minutes, if not previously concluded, and shall be confined to a single round from a Minister or Minister of State and the main spokespersons, or a Member nominated in their stead which shall not exceed five minutes each, and all Members may share time; and (4) the proceedings on Second Stage of the Mortgage Arrears Resolutions (Family Home) Bill 2017 shall conclude within two hours.

In relation to Thursday's business, it is proposed that (1) the Dáil shall sit at 10 a.m. and sit later than 7.48 p.m. and will adjourn on the conclusion of Topical Issues; (2) the summer economic statements shall be brought to a conclusion after three hours, if not previously concluded and the statements of a Minister or Minister of State and the main spokespersons, or a Member nominated in their stead, shall not exceed ten minutes each, there shall be a second round of 30 minutes in total for Members of the Government, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin parties to be divided proportionally on a 40:40:20 basis, respectively, all other Members shall have five minutes with a ten minute response from a Minister or Minister of State, all Members may share time, and if the statements conclude before 1 p.m., then the Dáil shall suspend until 1 p.m.; (3) Leaders' Questions shall take place at 1 p.m.; (4) the weekly divisions shall take place at 1.47 p.m.; (5) any division demanded on the proceedings of Second Stage of the Planning and Development (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2017 will be taken immediately; (6) the motion re the Eleventh Report of the Committee of Selection and Motion re Framework Agreement with EU and Republic of the Philippines (back from committee) shall be taken without debate, and the motion re Framework Agreement with EU and Republic of the Philippines, back from committee, shall be taken immediately before Oral Questions and any division demanded thereon shall be taken immediately; (7) the Dáil shall suspend on the conclusion of the voting block for 30 minutes; (8) any division demanded on the Adoption (Amendment) Bill 2016 shall be taken immediately; (9) notwithstanding Standing Order 140(2), neither a Private Members' Bill nor a committee report shall be taken; and (10) questions to the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government shall be taken on the conclusion of Government business, or at 8.42 p.m., whichever is the earlier.

In relation to Friday's business, it is proposed that (1) the Dáil shall sit at 10 a.m. to take the business outlined above and shall adjourn not later than 6 p.m. and the Dáil, on its rising, shall adjourn until 2 p.m. on Wednesday 20 September 2017; (2) the Order for Report, Report and Final Stages of the Mental Health (Amendment) Bill 2017 shall be taken in Government time; (3) the Order of the Dáil of 6 July 2017 that the Independent Reporting Commission Bill 2017 be referred to the Select Committee on Justice and Equality be discharged and Committee and Remaining Stages shall be taken on Friday; (4) any division demanded on the Order for Second Stage of the Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registration Bill 2017 or the Legal Metrology (Measuring Instruments) Bill 2017 shall be taken immediately; and (5) the Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registration Bill 2017 shall adjourn after the opening round of speeches on Second Stage which shall conclude after two hours and 40 minutes, if not previously concluded.

2:55 pm

Photo of Pat GallagherPat Gallagher (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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There are four proposals to be put to the House. Is the proposal for dealing with Tuesday's business agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with Wednesday's business agreed to?

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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In respect of the defence motion that is scheduled for tomorrow, we have not had sight of it yet. Obviously there was some discussion of the change from operation Pontus to operation Sophia. We would need to see the detail. It is not good policy to have a very significant decision being made without the Opposition parties having more than a matter of hours' sight of it. If it has not already happened, when will the motion be circulated? Is it necessary to proceed with this tomorrow? It is very bad practice for a decision of this importance to be rushed in this fashion.

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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This is a procedural motion to allow for 40 minutes to discuss a defence motion which, as Deputy Howlin said, has not been produced yet. We have heard in the media that it was before Cabinet. That is not good enough. The implications of this motion, if it is to come before the House, are huge. I am not going to go into the specifics of it because we are now discussing the procedural motion. We in this House are supposed to have a triple lock. We cannot take a decision of such huge significance, which undermines our neutrality and changes our policy, in 40 minutes.

Photo of Pat GallagherPat Gallagher (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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The Taoiseach to respond.

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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There has been no pre-legislative scrutiny or discussion in committee. This is a fundamental change and we have to object.

Photo of Lisa ChambersLisa Chambers (Mayo, Fianna Fail)
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Hear, hear.

Photo of Pat GallagherPat Gallagher (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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In respect of the procedural motion to the effect that the defence motion be brought to a conclusion after 40 minutes, the defence motion has not been circulated yet. I call on the Taoiseach to respond.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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Why the rush?

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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It can certainly be circulated today. It will be a very short motion so people will have plenty of time to read and consider it. On the advice and recommendation of the Defence Forces, the Government just this morning approved Defence Forces participation in operation Sophia. It is a UN mandated EU naval operation in the southern central Mediterranean. The decision on participation is subject to the triple lock. It requires a UN mandate, which is in place, and a Government decision, which was made this morning. The only thing delaying our Defence Forces and our Navy from taking part in operation Sophia is that we require a resolution of the Dáil.

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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We are not delaying anything. This House is not a delay.

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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Of course, we want this resolution of the Dáil to go through before the recess.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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If the triple lock is to mean anything, we have to have time to see the motion.

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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We are happy to produce the motion today. It will be a very short motion, maybe only one page. People will have time to consider it and have the debate tomorrow. If more time is required for the debate, that is certainly not a difficulty.

Photo of Pat GallagherPat Gallagher (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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The Taoiseach confirms that the motion will be circulated shortly and that if more time is necessary, the Business Committee-----

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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Can we return to this issue tomorrow morning when we have had a chance to look at the motion? Then we can see what kind of timeframe is required.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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I do not think we can say that the Dáil is delaying an issue. If anything, the delay has been on the Government's side. We are willing to facilitate this.

Photo of Pat GallagherPat Gallagher (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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In the meantime, the Taoiseach has given a commitment that the motion will be circulated shortly. There could be an extension of time, which would be a matter for the Business Committee.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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Let us park the issue until tomorrow morning.

Photo of Pat GallagherPat Gallagher (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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The Deputy may bring it back tomorrow morning but, in the meantime, is Wednesday's business agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal in respect of Thursday's business agreed to? Not agreed.

Photo of Seán CroweSeán Crowe (Dublin South West, Sinn Fein)
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There are two items. In respect of No. 3, the Planning and Development (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, it is proposed to do all Stages in one day. That is bad practice. We are talking about a planning Bill.

Photo of Pat GallagherPat Gallagher (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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No. 3 on Thursday is Leaders' Questions.

Photo of Seán CroweSeán Crowe (Dublin South West, Sinn Fein)
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I am highlighting the proposal in respect of the Planning and Development (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, to do all Stages in one day. No. 10 is the EU-Philippines framework agreement. Again we want to oppose this motion for the Dáil to consider the framework without debate on Thursday afternoon. I heard the Taoiseach say that it is going to foreign affairs-----

Photo of Pat GallagherPat Gallagher (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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We have heard the Deputy's two points. Deputy Mick Barry is indicating to speak on the same issue.

3:05 pm

Photo of Mick BarryMick Barry (Cork North Central, Solidarity)
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The proposal for Thursday is to take a motion regarding the EU-Philippines framework agreement without debate. As all Deputies in the House will know, there are major human rights issues coming out of the Philippines. There has been a dramatic escalation in-----

Photo of Pat GallagherPat Gallagher (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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We are not going to have a Second Stage debate.

Photo of Mick BarryMick Barry (Cork North Central, Solidarity)
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We are not. The idea that this would be taken without debate-----

Photo of Pat GallagherPat Gallagher (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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The proposal-----

Photo of Mick BarryMick Barry (Cork North Central, Solidarity)
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There needs to be space for a debate. If there is no space for a debate on it this week, it needs to be left until the autumn. It cannot be ratified without debate.

Photo of Pat GallagherPat Gallagher (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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There are two questions. It is proposed to take any divisions demanded on the Planning and Development (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2017 immediately. The other proposal relates to the framework agreement.

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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I will ask the Minister, Deputy Eoghan Murphy, to speak about the Planning and Development (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2017. The EU-Philippines agreement is being considered by the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence at 12.15 p.m. tomorrow. There will be ample time to discuss it at the committee. The committee is free to discuss it for as many hours as it wishes.

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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On a procedural matter, we are deciding to take a motion tomorrow regarding a matter which is before a committee tomorrow.

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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Thursday.

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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We in this Chamber are being presumptuous about what the committee will decide. We do not know whether it will pass the motion tomorrow.

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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Thursday.

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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Yes, both of them are on Thursday. We have no idea whether the committee will ask for a debate in this House. It should not be on the Order Paper for-----

Photo of Pat GallagherPat Gallagher (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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Can we revisit this on Thursday morning?

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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No.

Photo of Pat GallagherPat Gallagher (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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The Taoiseach said there would be-----

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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When this goes to the committee tomorrow, the committee can discuss it further.

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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It goes to the committee on Thursday.

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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No, the committee is tomorrow. It is coming in here on Thursday.

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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The committee and the Dáil are dealing with it on the same day.

Photo of Pat GallagherPat Gallagher (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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The Business Committee can look at this. Is it agreed that the Business Committee can look at this, or after the-----

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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I made the Business Committee aware of this when we met on Thursday. I explained-----

Photo of Pat GallagherPat Gallagher (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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The Business Committee is represented by all-----

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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I disagreed with the business that was being proposed because it had not passed the committee and was not likely to.

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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This is a shambles.

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary, Independent)
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The Business Committee discussed it and agreed it.

Photo of Pat GallagherPat Gallagher (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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Is Thursday's business agreed?

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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It is not agreed.

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary, Independent)
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It is agreed.

Photo of Pat GallagherPat Gallagher (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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With regard to Thursday's business, issues have been raised about the Planning and Development (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2017 and the framework agreement.

Photo of Barry CowenBarry Cowen (Offaly, Fianna Fail)
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We have not yet heard from the Minister, Deputy Eoghan Murphy, on the Planning and Development (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2017.

Photo of Eoghan MurphyEoghan Murphy (Dublin Bay South, Fine Gael)
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The Planning and Development (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2017 is a very short Bill, with two sections speaking to one issue. It was actually part of a previous Bill that was debated on Committee Stage. It provides for the extension of planning permission in cases in which people who are building at the moment might not be able to get a second extension to continue building their homes over the summer. If we do not take this particular provision out of the Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill 2016 and pass it in this way, and instead wait until the autumn for that Bill, which is currently on Report Stage, to be continued and finalised, there is a risk that people will have to stop building over the summer months.

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary, Independent)
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They have stopped building.

Photo of Eoghan MurphyEoghan Murphy (Dublin Bay South, Fine Gael)
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This matter has already been debated and considered at length at committee. This is a very short Bill. It speaks to one particular issue, which is the second extension of planning permissions.

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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On that very issue, has the Government selectively taken certain sections or amendments and put them forward, but not others? There are real questions from the Opposition side about what is going on here. Are there specific developments that the Government wants to support and see built?

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry, Independent)
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What is wrong with development?

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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We need that level of detail before we delve into this business. The way this Bill is being introduced is highly unusual.

Photo of Pat GallagherPat Gallagher (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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We have to move on.

Photo of Eoin Ó BroinEoin Ó Broin (Dublin Mid West, Sinn Fein)
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For the record, the specific-----

Photo of Pat GallagherPat Gallagher (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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Deputy Ellis has spoken on behalf of the Deputy's party.

Photo of Eoin Ó BroinEoin Ó Broin (Dublin Mid West, Sinn Fein)
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-----provisions of the Planning and Development (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2017 have not been discussed by the committee. The general issue was raised. We have no difficulty with the intention behind the Bill. The problem is that we do not have enough time to scrutinise the legislation properly to ensure that there are no unintended consequences and that it cannot be abused. It is not appropriate to try to railroad this legislation through all Stages in a few hours.

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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I might have to unleash the nuclear weapon.

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)
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A Leas-Cheann Comhairle, this was agreed by the Business Committee last Thursday.

Photo of Pat GallagherPat Gallagher (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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Many items are agreed by the Business Committee. It has been agreed by the Business Committee. There are two issues-----

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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Deputy Cowen wants to come in on the planning and development Bill.

Photo of Barry CowenBarry Cowen (Offaly, Fianna Fail)
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We support what is being proposed in the Planning and Development (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2017. We would have preferred a more extensive Bill to deal with many other items that have been discussed previously by the committee with a view to the introduction of more extensive legislation to help this sector to improve its ability to respond to the housing crisis. Having said that, I have already acknowledged that the delay in the way the Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill 2016 has been fashioned has been an error on the part of the Government. We respect the intention to bring forward this aspect of the Bill immediately in order to have it approved by the Dáil and the Oireachtas, thereby allowing developments to continue at pace.

3:15 pm

Photo of Pat GallagherPat Gallagher (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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I respectfully suggest that we agree-----

Photo of Eoin Ó BroinEoin Ó Broin (Dublin Mid West, Sinn Fein)
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Not agreed.

Photo of Pat GallagherPat Gallagher (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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-----Thursday's business subject to the Business Committee revisiting matters in the context of the Planning and Development (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2017 and the framework agreement. If Members do not agree, I must put the question.

Question put:

The Dáil divided: Tá, 81; Níl, 39; Staon, 0.


Tellers: Tá, Deputies Joe McHugh and Tony McLoughlin; Níl, Deputies Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Denise Mitchell.

Bobby Aylward, Maria Bailey, John Brassil, Declan Breathnach, Colm Brophy, James Browne, Richard Bruton, Peter Burke, Mary Butler, Catherine Byrne, Thomas Byrne, Jackie Cahill, Dara Calleary, Seán Canney, Joe Carey, Pat Casey, Shane Cassells, Lisa Chambers, Niall Collins, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Barry Cowen, John Curran, Jim Daly, Pat Deering, Regina Doherty, Stephen Donnelly, Timmy Dooley, Andrew Doyle, Bernard Durkan, Damien English, Alan Farrell, Frances Fitzgerald, Michael Fitzmaurice, Peter Fitzpatrick, Simon Harris, Michael Harty, Seán Haughey, Danny Healy-Rae, Michael Healy-Rae, Martin Heydon, Heather Humphreys, Paul Kehoe, Seán Kyne, John Lahart, James Lawless, Michael Lowry, Marc MacSharry, Charlie McConalogue, Finian McGrath, Mattie McGrath, John McGuinness, Joe McHugh, Tony McLoughlin, Josepha Madigan, Micheál Martin, Kevin Moran, Aindrias Moynihan, Margaret Murphy O'Mahony, Eoghan Murphy, Eugene Murphy, Denis Naughten, Hildegarde Naughton, Tom Neville, Michael Noonan, Éamon Ó Cuív, Darragh O'Brien, Jim O'Callaghan, Kate O'Connell, Fergus O'Dowd, Kevin O'Keeffe, Fiona O'Loughlin, Frank O'Rourke, Anne Rabbitte, Michael Ring, Noel Rock, Shane Ross, Eamon Scanlon, Niamh Smyth, David Stanton, Robert Troy, Leo Varadkar.

Níl

Gerry Adams, Mick Barry, Richard Boyd Barrett, John Brady, Tommy Broughan, Pat Buckley, Joan Burton, Joan Collins, Catherine Connolly, Ruth Coppinger, Seán Crowe, Clare Daly, Dessie Ellis, Martin Ferris, Kathleen Funchion, Séamus Healy, Brendan Howlin, Gino Kenny, Martin Kenny, Catherine Martin, Mary Lou McDonald, Denise Mitchell, Imelda Munster, Catherine Murphy, Carol Nolan, Eoin Ó Broin, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Louise O'Reilly, Jan O'Sullivan, Willie Penrose, Maurice Quinlivan, Brendan Ryan, Eamon Ryan, Bríd Smith, Brian Stanley, Peadar Tóibín, Mick Wallace.

Question declared carried.

Question put:

The Dáil divided: Tá, 81; Níl, 39; Staon, 0.