Seanad debates

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2017: Committee Stage (Resumed)


10:30 am

Photo of Ivana BacikIvana Bacik (Independent) | Oireachtas source

Senator Conway is right that we do have a weekly leaders’ meeting. It is very welcome that we do that and is a practice we have had for some time but there is still a Leader of the Seanad and that is a post and a role that is held currently by Fine Gael. It is unfortunate if comments reflect badly on that person because the Leader does seek to lead by negotiation and by giving every other leader of the groups notice. That is welcome and is an exemplary style of leadership. It is unfortunate that the Minister would make a comment that suggests the leadership of the House is somehow lacking or inadequate. I call upon the Minister again to withdraw his remark.

I have not spoken much in recent times on the Committee Stage of this Bill because my amendments have been dealt with. We have debated those and I have indicated to the Minister that I would withdraw quite a number of them in order to resubmit them on Report Stage, notably those on the gender balance issue around sections 44 and 45. However, I wish to speak briefly on Senator Norris’s comments on the amendments we are debating currently, Nos. 91(d), (e) and (f), and the fact Senator Norris, as he has said, was reading from a briefing with which he had been provided. That is an absolutely acceptable practice. If I am not personally able to be present when my amendments are before the House I would provide a written briefing to whatever colleague I had asked to introduce them on my behalf. That is what Senator Norris was doing, as he has said, and there is nothing wrong with that.


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