Tuesday, 6 April 2004
Maritime Security Bill 2004: Report and Final Stages.
I thank the Senators for their support for the Bill and their agreement to have all Stages of the Bill dealt with before Easter, as I suggested earlier. This allows me to proceed to seek consideration of the Bill by the Dáil as early as possible after Easter. Such progress will not only help to reassure our important commercial shipping, port enterprise and offshore energy producers, but will also confirm the resolve of the Government to deal effectively with the terrorism dossiers during Ireland's EU Presidency.
We recognise the importance of getting this legislation through, particularly during the Irish EU Presidency. I thank the Minister of State and his official, Mr. Tobin, as well as those who did the research in the Department. I appreciate the Minister of State's magnanimity in accepting certain amendments and their spirit.
I thank the Minister of his State and his official for their presence in the House this afternoon. Our purpose here is to debate and eventually provide good legislation. The sole purpose of this House is to safeguard legislation and we have done that job this afternoon. It is important there is a recognition on both sides of the need to reach compromise and agreement regarding sections of Bills which eventually lead to better legislation. I also note the considerable level of input to this Bill by Senator Daly in his previous capacity as Minister of State at the Department.
I thank the Minister of State and his official, Mr. Tobin, for attending, and for their attention to this legislation. I also thank the Opposition spokespersons. When we spoke on this Bill previously, we were all in broad agreement with what it contained, and wanted to get the best possible piece of legislation on the Statute Book. That spirit was reflected here today, with certain amendments being accepted. If all legislation were handled in this way, we would all be better off.