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 Header Item European Council Brussels: Statements (Continued)
 Header Item Appropriation Bill 2012: Order for Second Stage
 Header Item Appropriation Bill 2012: Second and Subsequent Stages
 Header Item National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Bill 2012: From the Seanad

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 787 No. 4

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  1 o’clock

(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore] The two are very much intertwined.

  In respect of the points raised by Deputy Mathews, any of the contributions made here by any Deputy are listened to and taken on board. If I can follow the analogy, we have gone beyond antibiotics. The problem in the European economy and banking system is not one that can be dealt with by prescribing antibiotics.

Deputy Peter Mathews: Information on Peter Mathews Zoom on Peter Mathews I said cortisone.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore Or even cortisone. This problem requires surgery and it is that surgery that is underway because that is what must be addressed the way we are doing it.

Deputy Peter Mathews: Information on Peter Mathews Zoom on Peter Mathews It needs a €3 trillion utilisation.

Acting Chairman (Deputy Tom Hayes): Information on Tom Hayes Zoom on Tom Hayes The Tánaiste, without interruption. We have gone over time.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore It is fortunate that Ireland will assume the Presidency of the EU at the very time when the issue of banking union is coming to fruition. It gives us an opportunity to use the position we have in the Council to drive forward the process and implementation of what has already been agreed. It also gives us the opportunity to put the issues we face in respect of bank debt centre stage.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin The Presidency does not do that.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore Deputy Martin is just talking it down.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin The Tánaiste is over-stating it and grandstanding for political reasons.

Acting Chairman (Deputy Tom Hayes): Information on Tom Hayes Zoom on Tom Hayes I ask the Deputy to allow the Tánaiste to finish as he only has one minute left.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore Deputy Martin seems to wish that the Government would fail in this.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin No, that is unfair. He is making a very unfair charge. I am not making that point.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore This is the seventh Irish Presidency of the EU and it must be the first time the Leader of the Opposition effectively wishes that the country would not be able to deliver or that we would not be able to develop our Presidency. I am not being dishonest but Deputy Martin is constantly hectoring.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Is the Tánaiste being serious? That is an outrageous statement. I never said that. The Tánaiste should not be dishonest in the House.

Acting Chairman (Deputy Tom Hayes): Information on Tom Hayes Zoom on Tom Hayes The Tánaiste has the floor.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Why is the Tánaiste being so dishonest in the House? I did not say that. He did not hear my speech.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore No.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin He is being dishonest. I did not say that. He is doing his usual Labour's way, Frankfurt's way, overstating everything. I am asking him not to overstate things and grandstand. People have had enough.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore I am not grandstanding.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin It is a bit like child benefit. People have had enough. The Government says it will not do this and will do that but people do not believe it.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore Deputy Martin came in here and said he wanted to put an end to Punch and Judy politics. If he carried on like that on the Punch and Judy stage, the children would get tired of it and go home.

Appropriation Bill 2012: Order for Second Stage

Bill entitled an Act to appropriate to the proper supply services and purposes sums granted by the Central Fund (Permanent Provisions) Act 1965, to make provision in relation to deferred surrender to the central fund of certain undischarged appropriations by reference to the capital supply services and purposes as provided for by section 91 of the Finance Act 2004 and to make provision in relation to the Financial Resolutions passed by Dáil Éireann on 5 December 2012.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin I move: "That Second Stage be taken now."

  Question put and agreed to.

Appropriation Bill 2012: Second and Subsequent Stages

Acting Chairman (Deputy Tom Hayes): Information on Tom Hayes Zoom on Tom Hayes In accordance with the Order of the House today, I must put the following question: "That the Bill is hereby read a Second Time, that sections 1 to 4, inclusive, Schedules 1 and 2 and the Title are hereby agreed to in Committee and the Bill is, accordingly, reported to the House without amendment, that Fourth Stage is hereby completed; and the Bill is hereby passed."

  Question put and agreed to.

Acting Chairman (Deputy Tom Hayes): Information on Tom Hayes Zoom on Tom Hayes This Bill, which is certified to be a money Bill in accordance with Article 22.2.1o of the Constitution, will be sent to the Seanad.

National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Bill 2012: From the Seanad

  The Dáil went into Committee to consider amendments from the Seanad.

Seanad amendment No. 1:
Section 22: In page 24, between lines 40 and 41, to insert the following subsection:

"(2) The Chief Bureau Officer shall periodically report directly to the Garda Commissioner in relation to the performance and management of the functions of the Bureau.".

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

Seanad amendment No. 2:
Schedule 1: In page 29, line 20, to delete "2001." and substitute the following:

"2001,

(g) a reception or accommodation centre which provides residential accommodation services to applicants for asylum under contract to the Department of Justice and Equality.".

Acting Chairman (Deputy Tom Hayes): Information on Tom Hayes Zoom on Tom Hayes Does the Minister wish to make a statement?

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter There are two Seanad amendments before the House. The first deals with the chief bureau officer who is to report periodically directly to the Garda Commissioner in respect of the performance and management of the functions of the bureau. Amendment No. 1 inserts a new subsection between lines 40 and 41 on page 24. The purpose of this amendment is to make it clear in the Bill that the chief bureau officer shall report to the Garda Commissioner in respect of the performance and management of the bureau in respect of any issues arising. Section 23 of the Bill already provides that the bureau will make an annual report via the Garda Commissioner to the Minister, which will be laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas. However, the Bill should also provide that if in the course of any year, urgent issues arise which the chief bureau officer needs to bring to the Garda Commissioner's attention, he or she may do so. It is important that there is a direct reporting relationship between the chief bureau officer and the Garda Commissioner for a range of reasons. For example, if it turns out that the amount of work the bureau must undertake as a consequence of the implementation of the Bill is putting it under pressure or if there are staffing issues, it is important that this can be directly and immediately reported to the Garda Commissioner and my Department in so far as there is assistance we can give in these matters. Another example would be if some technical difficulty arose in the working of the new legislation. I would not want to go through different levels in the Garda Síochána before that was communicated to us. It is important that communications occur at speed. It is an amendment that ensures that the office can operate in a manner that is efficient and communications take place efficiently.

The second amendment deals with reception or accommodation centres which provide residential accommodation services to applicants for asylum. In retrospect, we thought that we should include those within the Bill for vetting purposes. It is worth putting on the record of the House that my Department's contracts with persons or organisations providing accommodation for asylum applicants already require that persons working in these accommodation centres be vetted. However, it is appropriate to make this requirement in law rather than relying solely on administrative arrangements. This amendment, therefore, makes it clear that the vetting of persons who work in such accommodation centres is a legal requirement.

I conclude by saying a few words about this Bill. I pay tribute to those working in what will now be referred to as the National Vetting Bureau. They do extraordinary work very efficiently. I pay tribute to the head of the bureau, Superintendent Pat Burke, who works beyond the call of duty in the hours he puts in, the very efficient way he co-ordinates the work of the bureau and in the manner in which he tries to facilitate circumstances of individuals and organisations where vetting is required at speed for some particular reason.


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