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Order of Business (Resumed).

Wednesday, 27 March 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 551 No. 3

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Mr. Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan In view of the willingness of the Tánaiste to answer questions here for the past 20 minutes on the contact details surrounding the National Aquatic Centre, will she use her good offices as Tánaiste to talk to the Taoiseach and between the two of them make time available for a fuller debate in the House before the recess?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison Zoom on Séamus Pattison The matter of a debate is not a matter for the Order of Business but one for the Whips.

Mr. Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan Will the Tánaiste talk to the Whips?

Mr. Belton: Information on Louis J. Belton Zoom on Louis J. Belton When the rainbow Government is in office, the Tánaiste will be on the plinth.

Mr. Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins Zoom on Joe Higgins  (Dublin West): The Minister of State at the Department of the Environment and Local Government has managed to make a pig's ear out of a proposal with which the vast majority of people in this State agree, the prohibition of the use of hand held mobile phones while driving. Can the Tánaiste say where this proposal rests, if amendments to the unworkable formulation of the Minister of State are being brought forward and if the Government intends to rescue road users from this hapless Minister of State?

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Harney Zoom on Mary Harney The regulations have been signed. I understand the Garda Commissioner has sought clarification on this from the Attorney General before he will issue guidelines to his members. This is a road safety measure. When drink driving rules were brought in there was a good deal of challenge as well. We should be less concerned with loopholes and more concerned with road safety issues. I hope that if there are difficulties, they will be resolved.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes Zoom on Alan M. Dukes That is a brave statement. The Government will put Garda cars and fire engines off the road.

Mr. Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan The Garda Commissioner thinks there are difficulties.

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Harney Zoom on Mary Harney If there are difficulties, l hope they can be solved so that road safety issues take priority.

[579]Mr. Coveney: I ask the Tánaiste on behalf of the Government to express the condolences of the House to the family of the late Fr. Declan O'Toole whose body is being returned home to Ireland today from Uganda. He was a 31 year old missionary priest who was representing Ireland in perhaps the most dignified of ways working as a missionary in one of the toughest countries to work in at the moment. It is appropriate that the Government would recognise the work he has done and express the sympathy of this House to his family.

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Harney Zoom on Mary Harney I would like to join Deputy Coveney in expressing my sympathy and that of the Government to the family of the late Fr. Declan O'Toole. It was a dreadful tragedy. He was a man doing so much good in impoverished and difficult circumstances. His funeral removal is this evening in Galway and the Government will be represented at it.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent Zoom on Trevor Sargent On behalf of the Green Party I would like to be associated with those expressions of condolences. I want to ask the Tánaiste about the Greater Dublin Area Land Use and Transport Authority Bill which is important because of the proposed aquatic centre. Up to 30,000 people will arrive here hoping to participate in the Special Olympics and difficulty in getting to venues is a problem we all share in Dublin. Is the matter considered urgent, considering the traffic chaos in existence on the rails as well as on the roads?

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Harney Zoom on Mary Harney I understand the heads of that Bill are still being drafted. I cannot give a precise date for its publication.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen Zoom on Bernard Allen I ask the Tánaiste for a commitment that her Government will carry out a departmental inquiry into the reasons for the tragic death of a young man in Cork.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison Zoom on Séamus Pattison A query on an inquiry should be pursued by way of a parliamentary question.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen Zoom on Bernard Allen There were dozens of witnesses, yet no charges have been brought some months later.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison Zoom on Séamus Pattison This is not in order.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen Zoom on Bernard Allen I raised this matter on the Adjournment some weeks ago and I have received no acknowledgement so far. It is 12 months this week since that man died and no prosecution has taken place.

Mr. Enright: Information on Tom Enright Zoom on Tom Enright What is the position on the Industrial Development Science Foundation Ireland Bill? When is it expected that it will be published? While I am on my feet I will also ask the Tánaiste whether there have been any developments on the provision of employment in the Laois-Offaly area where we have experienced [580] serious job losses in the past 18 months to two years.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison Zoom on Séamus Pattison That should be pursued in another way. It is not in order on the Order of Business.

Mr. Enright: Information on Tom Enright Zoom on Tom Enright It is of importance as we have suffered serious job losses and I am anxious to bring up this matter as the Tánaiste is in the House. She was not present on the last occasion when Deputy Flanagan and I raised it. Now that she is here I would like a reply from her and I am sure Deputy Flanagan supports this. We would like a comprehensive reply about the lack of employment opportunities.

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Harney Zoom on Mary Harney The heads of that Bill—

Mr. Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan I am sure she will be seen frequently around the Laois-Offaly area in the next few weeks.

Mr. Enright: Information on Tom Enright Zoom on Tom Enright I hope the news will be better than it is now.

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Harney Zoom on Mary Harney I hope I will be welcome.

Mr. J. O'Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe Hope springs eternal.

The Tánaiste: Information on Mary Harney Zoom on Mary Harney The Government approved the heads of that Bill some time ago and the intention is to publish it very shortly. I am always optimistic about the possibilities.

Mr. Belton: Information on Louis J. Belton Zoom on Louis J. Belton On the Order of Business earlier, a Cheann Comhairle, you ruled me out of order. I now ask the Tánaiste how many inquiries under the Companies Acts have she and her Department set up.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison Zoom on Séamus Pattison That is out of order.

Mr. Belton: Information on Louis J. Belton Zoom on Louis J. Belton It is very much in order and very appropriate at this time. I am asking the Tánaiste how many inquiries her Department has set up under the Companies Acts.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Séamus Pattison Zoom on Séamus Pattison The Deputy will have to pursue that in an orderly way. That concludes the Order of Business.

Mr. Belton: Information on Louis J. Belton Zoom on Louis J. Belton The Tánaiste did not inquire into the main company on 19 December.


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