Thursday, 10 September 2020
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
I thank everyone for making that proposal. Unfortunately, I cannot accede to it on the basis that I do not have the ability to make the alternative arrangements to have a second sitting tomorrow or on Monday. It is because I do not have permission to have access to the Dáil but probably more importantly because I do not have a Minister to conduct the legislation. I hear Members very loudly and clearly. I recall how standing here some six weeks ago I told the House that we would not do all Stages of Bills again and I find myself in a very uncomfortable position this week of having to ask Members to do it today. I give my solemn word today that except in the event of an emergency, by which I hope Members understand what we mean, namely, a real emergency, I will not accede to having all Stages of a Bill on a same day sitting in future. There is a caveat, we must find an agreement this afternoon at the Committee on Procedure and Privileges on how we run and order our business. We have access to the Dáil Chamber probably one day a week but that will not last. There is a real argument that the Dáil should be sitting in the Dáil for three days a week. If that is the case the Seanad should be sitting in the Seanad Chamber for three days a week. I encourage agreement this afternoon but unfortunately, we cannot accept the proposal today.