Wednesday, 6 November 2019
Gnó na Dála - Business of Dáil
It is proposed that, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, a motion on membership of the Committee on Members' Interest shall be take now without debate, and that any division demanded thereon shall be taken immediately; and that tomorrow the motions on by-elections for Dublin Mid-West, Cork North Central, Dublin Fingal and Wexford shall be taken immediately before the sos.
Is it agreed that the motion on membership of the Committee on Members' Interestbe taken now, without debate? Agreed. Is it agreed the motions for the by-elections in Dublin Mid-West, Cork North Central, Dublin Fingal and Wexford to be taken before the sos tomorrow?
On a point of order, did an alternative arrangement get passed for today's business which took out the Solidarity-People Before Profit slot? An email came from the Business Committee but was it ever voted on by the Dáil?
The last substantive vote on this in the Dáil was on Tuesday when we voted for the business as outlined in the second report of the Business Committee, which outlined for today a slot for a two-hour debate on the Solidarity-People Before Profit motion, with the motion "to be confirmed". If that was never undone by the Dáil, I do not understand how it was removed without a vote of the House. I think that is a problem.
Surely the Dáil should have had a vote on that if a slot was going to be removed without reference back to the Dáil. The Business Committee is not entitled to alter the work of the Dáil. I was genuinely not sure whether a vote had taken place earlier on.
The order for Wednesday included sympathies for a former member. I am told we are in conformity with the regulations. Is the motion for the by-elections in Dublin Mid-West, Cork North Central, Dublin Fingal and Wexford to be taken immediately before the sos tomorrow agreed? Agreed.
I am not interested in a suspension of the House but it seems highly unusual that the Dáil's business would be changed without a vote. It is quite undemocratic and is very problematic. It is the second substantial thing that has happened this week. We should return to it in future but it should not have been removed from the website, for example, without the agreement of this Dáil. The Dáil agenda should not have been changed other than by a vote of the Dáil.
We agreed the second Business Committee report, which included a slot "to be confirmed" for our motion. That stayed on the website, for example, until this morning at some point when it was removed. How can that have happened without a vote of the Dáil?
This has significant implications because one of the reasons the High Court judge did not give us an interlocutory injunction was because of the idea the Dáil had voted to not have our Members' business. Can I get clarity that did not happen, that the House did not vote on any aspect of Private Members' business yesterday?