Wednesday, 12 February 2003
Private Business. - The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (Charters Amendment) Bill 2002: Second Stage.
Mary O'Rourke (Fianna Fail)
I am glad to speak in favour of this Private Bill. Even though I am quite a long time in the parliamentary system and have been a Member of the Seanad in the past, this is quite new to me as we did not deal with a Private Bill at that time. It is interesting that the original charter was granted by George III on 11 February 1784 and today, 12 February 2003, 219 years later, there is a modest commemorative event. Perhaps "shindig" is the wrong word but the college has a little celebration on its charter day, and rightly so.
While we were very well briefed on this issue, I was interested in how Private Bills were dealt with in the Seanad. The procedure for dealing with such Bills was established in 1939 and one wonders who decided it. I agree with Senator Henry that though it seems arcane now, it is novel and interesting, marking out the work of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.