Thursday, 14 March 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
I want to touch on the proposed amendment to the Order of Business, which I support fully. It is a cross-party proposal, which should be accepted by the Government side. It is sensible. The rationale behind the amendment was vindicated by the Minister himself last night when he reached out to some of the fishermen in a last-ditch attempt to salvage the legislation. That was an acknowledgement in itself that for two years, he did nothing. At the 11th hour, he sought to reach out to the fishermen, which indicates the need for consultation here. The amendment is a compromise that should be accepted by the Government. Following Committee Stage, meaningful consultation should take place with fishermen around our coast and no attempt should be made to proceed on Report Stage in this House prior to such consultations taking place. The context is the hugely damaging effect of the proposed legislation to our natural resources. I hope the Leader is willing to accept that sensible and pragmatic compromise. I wish all Members a very happy St. Patrick's Day.