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An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (Continued)

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 980 No. 7

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(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Seán Kyne: Information on Seán Kyne Zoom on Seán Kyne]  Maidir leis an ngnó Dé Céadaoin, beartaítear: (1) go dtógfar Uimh 217 in am Rialtais agus go gcríochnófar í laistigh de dhá uair an chloig, tabharfaidh tairgtheoir óráid tosaigh nach rachaidh thar 20 nóiméad agus, ina dhiaidh sin, beidh aon bhabhta amháin óráidí ann ó Aire nó ó Aire Stáit agus ó phríomhurlabhraithe na bpáirtithe agus na ngrúpaí, nó ó chomhalta a bheidh ainmnithe ina n-ionad, nach rachaidh thar deich nóiméad i ngach cás, agus cúig nóiméad le haghaidh gach comhalta eile agus tabharfaidh Aire nó Aire Stáit freagra cúig nóiméad agus féadfaidh gach comhalta am a roinnt; (2) go gcríochnófar ráitis maidir le Uimh. 34a laistigh de 110 nóiméad agus déanfar na ráitis sa bhabhta tosaigh a theorannú le haghaidh Aire nó Aire Stáit agus phríomhurlabhraithe na bpáirtithe agus na ngrúpaí, nó le haghaidh comhalta a bheidh ainmnithe ina n-ionad, nach rachaidh thar deich nóiméad i ngach cás, beidh an dara babhta de ráitis ann nach faide iad ná 25 nóiméad san iomlán le haghaidh chomhaltaí an Rialtais, Fhianna Fáil agus Shinn Féin a roinnfear i gcomhréir ar bhonn 40-40-20 faoi seach, agus tabharfaidh Aire nó Aire Stáit freagra cúig nóiméad agus féadfaidh gach comhalta am a roinnt; agus (3) go rachaidh an Dáil, ar éirí di, ar athló go dtí 2 p.m., Dé Máirt, an 26 Márta 2019.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl There are two proposals to put to the House. Is the proposal for dealing with Tuesday's business agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with Wednesday's business agreed to? Agreed.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin The programme for Government indicates that the Government will ensure there are at least 9,500 Permanent Defence Force personnel and a full-strength Reserve, while also implementing the White Paper on Defence. There are currently 8,921 members of the Permanent Defence Force, of whom 440 are in training and cannot be deployed. The turnover rate is 8.1%, which means that we will not get to 9,500 personnel for well over 20 years. Did the Tánaiste see the report published yesterday by the Representative Association of Commissioned Officers, RACO, which indicates that almost 80% of recently inducted Defence Forces officers are planning to leave early due to the lack of a viable career path as a consequence of Government policy? In short, morale in our Defence Forces is on the floor and the Government is non-responsive. I have raised this matter with the Taoiseach and the Minister of State at the Department of Defence, Deputy Kehoe. It is appalling that members of the Defence Forces and officers who have pursued a vocation and spent years in training and education, making substantial personal and professional sacrifices to honourably serve our State, are so desperate to get out of our Defence Forces. What does the Government intend to do to fulfil its programme for Government commitments?

The Tánaiste: Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney As the Deputy knows, we have asked the Public Service Pay Commission to have a look at the Defence Forces specifically and to return with recommendations to the Government on areas where we may be able to respond to some of the concerns relating to pay and working conditions. When we get that report, we will be able to make informed choices.

Deputy David Cullinane: Information on David Cullinane Zoom on David Cullinane It has been reported that the Minister for Finance met officials from KBC Bank Ireland in January to reassure them of his and the Government's support in the wake of the forced eviction of a Roscommon family last year and the controversy that followed. A document released by suggests that the Minister would "fully accept that repossessions are part of the normal financial services landscape and that it must be possible to enforce security as a final resort when all else has failed". I wonder if the Minister has met the victims of evictions. I would say that he did not. This demonstrates again that Fine Gael sides with banks and it will always side with the cosseted privileged class in this State. Time would have been better spent by the Minister and the Government if they had amended the Private Security Services Act 2004 to ensure proper regulation and oversight in the area. Of course, Fine Gael does not do this but instead it sends cosy letters and has cosy meetings with bank officials to reassure them that everything is okay as they try to brutally evict families from homes. It is wrong and the meeting should not have taken place in the way it did. Is the Government minded to amend the Private Security Services Act 2004?

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan Yes.

Deputy Brendan Howlin: Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin On Friday, to mark International Women's Day, the Cabinet ratified the Istanbul Convention. A key requirement of that convention on sexual violence and domestic abuse is to have one refuge place for every 10,000 people.

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