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Special Committee on Covid-19 Response: Covid-19: The Situation in Meat Processing Plants (13 Aug 2020)

James Lawless: Did the Chairman not say that I would speak in the second round? That was our understanding of how this would work.

Special Committee on Covid-19 Response: Covid-19: The Situation in Meat Processing Plants (13 Aug 2020)

James Lawless: I was going to take seven minutes rather than five.

Special Committee on Covid-19 Response: Covid-19: The Situation in Meat Processing Plants (13 Aug 2020)

James Lawless: The issue is that Deputy McAuliffe was going to yield some of his five minutes to me so that I would have seven or either minutes.

Special Committee on Covid-19 Response: Covid-19: The Situation in Meat Processing Plants (13 Aug 2020)

James Lawless: My preference would be to take it now.

Special Committee on Covid-19 Response: Covid-19: The Situation in Meat Processing Plants (13 Aug 2020)

James Lawless: My preference would be to go now, if that is possible.

Special Committee on Covid-19 Response: Covid-19: The Situation in Meat Processing Plants (13 Aug 2020)

James Lawless: I thank the Chairman and the witnesses. I commend the trade union representatives appearing before the committee on their efforts, not just in respect of this issue but on many others down the years. Some may be aware that I used to be a branch secretary for a number of years in a workplace in the Unite trade union, so I support and have sympathy for and an awareness of the work the...

Special Committee on Covid-19 Response: Covid-19: The Situation in Meat Processing Plants (13 Aug 2020)

James Lawless: I will go straight to questions as we are under some time pressure. I will start with the representatives from the HSA. I thank them for their contributions. Other witnesses spoke at our earlier session about various regulations that could have been put in place but that are not in place. I refer specifically to the categories of notifiable illnesses in this regard. If a worker at a meat...

Special Committee on Covid-19 Response: Covid-19: The Situation in Meat Processing Plants (13 Aug 2020)

James Lawless: I am sorry to interrupt but I am conscious that we are short on time. I agree with Dr. McGuinness that the primary legislation, which in this case is the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, is paramount. All other regulations, secondary legislation and ministerial orders are delegated legislation. The constitutional power of the Oireachtas is in passing primary legislation and...

Special Committee on Covid-19 Response: Covid-19: The Situation in Meat Processing Plants (13 Aug 2020)

James Lawless: Do they have any difficulties gaining access to workplaces, or is there any protocol or memorandum of understanding that would compromise the performance of their obligations?

Special Committee on Covid-19 Response: Covid-19: The Situation in Meat Processing Plants (13 Aug 2020)

James Lawless: I missed the earlier comment to which Dr. McGuinness referred but I imagine it is along the lines of what has been put to me. It has been put to me is that there are a number of agencies, such as subcontractors or delegated agencies, which are conducting inspections on behalf of the HSA and that those agencies or agents do not enjoy the same powers as the HSA and can be turned away. There is...

Special Committee on Covid-19 Response: Covid-19: The Situation in Meat Processing Plants (13 Aug 2020)

James Lawless: I thank the Chairman. I will be as brief as I can. It will not come as a surprise to the representatives of the meat industry who are here today that the three counties lay the blame at its door. The three counties have been locked down for what is seen as lax regulation and practices in the meat plant sector. A number of damning stories have been put out in recent days and weeks and I...

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: School Accommodation (30 Jul 2020)

James Lawless: 26. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills her plans to provide additional funding to upgrade school buildings in preparation for the reopening of schools. [19329/20]

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: State Pensions (29 Jul 2020)

James Lawless: 26. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when the commission on pensions will be established; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18964/20]

Written Answers — Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (29 Jul 2020)

James Lawless: 215. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the case of a person (details supplied) will be reviewed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19232/20]

Ministers and Secretaries and Ministerial, Parliamentary, Judicial and Court Offices (Amendment) Bill 2020: Second Stage (Resumed) (24 Jul 2020)

James Lawless: I am proud to see a Government led by a Fianna Fáil Taoiseach initiating a new Department of higher education and research. Actually, I believe the Minister has renamed it to the "Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science". It follows in a tradition. I am proud of my party's history in this area, in particular higher education and research. In 1940,...

Special Committee on Covid-19 Response: Covid-19: Impact on Public Transport (24 Jul 2020)

James Lawless: I welcome the witnesses and thank them for their submissions. I will speak primarily to the NBRU submission. While I have an interest in taxis, I have a greater interest in public transport, specifically the rail and bus side of it. I represent Kildare North, which is very much a commuter constituency. Pre-Covid, the bulk of the working population in north Kildare migrated into the greater...

Special Committee on Covid-19 Response: Covid-19: Impact on Public Transport (24 Jul 2020)

James Lawless: I have full confidence in them.

Written Answers — Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government: Legislative Programme (23 Jul 2020)

James Lawless: 18. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the status of the development of the marine planning and development Bill 2019. [17638/20]

Written Answers — Department of An Taoiseach: Covid-19 Pandemic (21 Jul 2020)

James Lawless: 42. To ask the Taoiseach if Bermuda will be included on the green list of countries for approved and simplified travel arrangements in view of the significant containment of the disease on the island, the number of Irish citizens working in professional services there and their confinement for the past number of months. [16575/20]

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