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An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (Continued)

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 984 No. 5

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Deputy Mary Lou McDonald: Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald At the risk of annoying you, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle, I think the better use of the hour would be to have questions and answers rather than statements in the time allotted to us on Wednesday. I think it is important that the Minister comes in and is initially held to account and subjected to questions.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher We have to decide on it. Can we get consensus?

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald: Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald Statements is one thing, but questioning the Minister------

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin The Business Committee agreed to statements. There is a useful purpose in parties setting out their positions albeit we have seven minutes on it tomorrow, but next week there can be further debate and questions. I envisage far more time next week than the hour allocated this week. I envisage a couple of hours next week.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Tomorrow after 60 minutes the debate is to be adjourned. It will become clearer after the Business Committee meeting on Thursday.

Deputy Brendan Howlin: Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin That is a new proposal.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Is Wednesday's business agreed? Agreed. We are eating into the time.

  Is the proposal for dealing with Thursday's business agreed to? Agreed.

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan I wish to acknowledge the importance of the Business Committee. The Business Committee agreed last week to facilitate the placing on the agenda of five justice Bills and a justice motion. Members on all sides agree on the importance of these. My concern is that this may well unravel in the context of new demands. I ask the Leas-Cheann Comhairle to ensure, insofar as he can, that what was agreed by the Business Committee will not now unravel.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin That is all agreed. The Minister for Justice and Equality should talk to the Chief Whip.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher The intention would be that all this legislation would be taken. We have to find additional time if necessary. We all have to be pragmatic about this when we meet on Thursday.

Deputy Seán Kyne: Information on Seán Kyne Zoom on Seán Kyne I wish to reply to the Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Flanagan. There are three justice Bills listed for this week, including the Parole Bill, the Judicial Council Bill and the Courts (Establishment and Constitution) (Amendment) Bill.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher It is all in the document. It has been read out. No changes were made.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin On a point of order, I note the unprecedented over-riding of a Government Whip by a Minister.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher That is not a point of order. We are going to move on.

  I put it to all 20 Members on the list that we are taking about time-saving yet we are 20 minutes behind. We cannot have more slippage. I ask leaders to make short and concise answers. I will not get to all 20 Deputies so they should not be disappointed.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin In the context of the programme for Government, climate change and the protection of biodiversity, most people would have been shocked and taken aback by the decision of Japan to leave the International Whaling Commission and recommence commercial fishing of whales. Albeit it was doing it for research purposes, the last commercial hunt was in 1986. This is further evidence of a growing unilateralism in international relationships and in the withdrawing by new leaders in countries from multilateral obligations and approaches to issues of this kind. We have had this with deforestation and now with Japan leaving the International Whaling Commission. Has the Government lodged a complaint and protest with the Japanese Government via the embassy in Dublin?

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I will have to come back to the Deputy. I do not know what has been done but certainly I share his dismay at the decision of the Japanese Government.

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald: Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald I wish to raise the Public Service Pay Commission report on pay and recruitment issues for the Defence Forces. It is unfortunate that consideration of the matter has been postponed due to the absence of the Taoiseach. I do not propose to rehearse the issues at play but I note that the last time these matters were debated last month the leaking of proposals to the media in advance of consultation with the Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association and the Representative Association of Commissioned Officers, the representative bodies of the Defence Forces, caused some angst. Judging by the coverage in the media again today, it seems the lessons have not been learned from that episode. Why have proposals again been leaked prior to consultation taking place with soldiers and their representative bodies? Will meaningful consultation with them take place as soon as possible directly and not through the media?


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