Wednesday, 4 June 2008
Business of Seanad
We object to that. The Order of Business was agreed and everybody made arrangements today. We are not acceding to the request that the Order of Business be changed at this stage. We have people who will be let go tomorrow and we are talking about having people back again. It may inconvenience many people but the Order of Business was agreed here this morning and to change it at 10.30 p.m. is a bit much.
The situation is one of ministerial availability and the fact that at this stage and after opening up the debate earlier today and resuming at 7.30 p.m., we have reached amendment No. 27 of 130 amendments. It does not seem technically feasible to reach all those amendments this evening. Neither is it in the tradition of this House to put in place a guillotine. Therefore, what we propose is to interrupt business tonight and resume with an opening time and no closing time tomorrow. That seems to be in the interests of this House.
My understanding of what the Acting Leader said was that we would get further information on the Order of Business in the morning, which does not necessarily imply that the debate will be held tomorrow. This Bill deserves two days and I am not sure it should follow tomorrow but that is a matter for the Leader and the Whips.
On a point of order, both sides could approach it in this sense. The Order of Business was ordered today. I do not know if the word "conclude" was used on the Order of Business. In that sense, the House could decide to finish its business at some stage. On the other hand, the point made by Senator Cummins is correct. It might be unfair for people who have already made diary arrangements for tomorrow afternoon in that sense. Perhaps that is the in-between position. Some closing time should be agreed tonight but that the debate would not necessarily resume tomorrow afternoon. That is unfair on people.
To be helpful, I was suggesting that the matter be addressed on tomorrow's Order of Business. If it is possible to follow through on it tomorrow, there would be a willingness to do so. However, if there are difficulties with that, we will discuss the matter further. As of now, there is a need to interrupt the business and continue the debate at a time to be determined.
The Dail Divided:
For the motion: 22 (Dan Boyle, Martin Brady, Larry Butler, Ivor Callely, John Carty, Mark Daly, John Ellis, Geraldine Feeney, John Gerard Hanafin, Cecilia Keaveney, Terry Leyden, Marc MacSharry, Brian Ó Domhnaill, Labhrás Ó Murchú, Francis O'Brien, Fiona O'Malley, Ned O'Sullivan, Ann Ormonde, Kieran Phelan, Jim Walsh, Mary White, Diarmuid Wilson)
Against the motion: 12 (Paul Bradford, Jerry Buttimer, Paudie Coffey, Paul Coghlan, Maurice Cummins, Paschal Donohoe, Nicky McFadden, Rónán Mullen, David Norris, Joe O'Reilly, John Paul Phelan, Alex White)
Tellers: Tá, Senators Fiona O'Malley and Diarmuid Wilson; Níl, Senators Maurice Cummins and Joe O'Reilly.
Question declared carried.