Seanad debates

Monday, 15 February 2021

Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2020: Report and Final Stages


10:30 am

Photo of Barry WardBarry Ward (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I disagree with what the other Senators have said. I welcome the fact that the Minister of State and the Department have listened to what has been said in this Chamber, taken it on board and rendered it into legislative format. That is welcome. I still think, as Senator McDowell has said, there are difficulties, and Senator Bacik has perhaps identified just one such difficulty. I cannot let stand the comment of Senator McDowell to the effect that councillors have more powers than anyone in this House individually. While I accept the importance of the work local authorities do, it is important to note that the chief executive of each local authority wields the vast majority of the power and that these Houses have, during the lifetimes of successive Governments, been responsible for stripping councillors' powers away since the enactment of the Planning and Development Act 2000.It is my understanding that chief executives of local authorities would not be subject to the PEP provisions. Therefore, there are still massive contradictions in the way this is phrased. I support what Senator McDowell has said about raising this at European level at the Justice and Home Affairs Council meetings to suggest to our European counterparts that there are issues here. Perhaps the sixth framework could look at amending these in a way that would allow us to come back here in the coming years and make them more reasonable.

At the beginning the Leas-Chathaoirleach said we would be allowed speak only once. Was he referring to each aspect or the entirety?


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