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 Header Item Order of Business (Continued)
 Header Item Topical Issue Debate
 Header Item Ambulance Service Provision

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 835 No. 1

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(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Catherine Murphy: Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy] Today the Taoiseach organised a briefing for the leaders of Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin. The Technical Group comprises one third of the Opposition. We have made it easy for the Taoiseach and Ministers to make a telephone call to arrange for someone to attend such briefings. We need to know why we were excluded. Was a decision made to exclude us deliberately? It is not right that we are told to rely on newspapers or Twitter to get information when the rest of the Opposition parties are briefed. What was the thinking behind excluding us?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny I assure Deputies Richard Boyd Barrett, John Halligan, Thomas Pringle, Joan Collins and Catherine Murphy that I am prepared to brief any one of them, but I need to know from the Technical Group who its spokesperson is.

Deputy Catherine Murphy: Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy The Taoiseach knows.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny Who is its spokesperson?

Deputy Catherine Murphy: Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy The Taoiseach has done it before.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny Should we call the Deputy?

Deputy Timmy Dooley: Information on Timmy Dooley Zoom on Timmy Dooley The people outside got the information quicker than those who had gone in.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Please, Deputy.

Deputy Catherine Murphy: Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy I must object because we notified all Departments and have been briefed in the past by the Department of the Taoiseach. They know that one telephone call needs to be made to my office which will co-ordinate the rest of the Technical Group.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett The Deputy has made her point.

Deputy Catherine Murphy: Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy We deliberately made it that easy.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny I take the Deputy's point and thank her for reaffirming it. Briefings that take place in the future will include the Technical Group and the telephone call will be made to the Deputy's office. She will decide whether Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan or whoever else will turn up.

Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath There is no need for the dig.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett The Taoiseach referred to the security of the State. I put it to him that what is at stake with the resignation of the Garda Commissioner is not the security of the State but democracy and the accountability of the State to its citizens.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I am sorry, Deputy, but we have been through that issue.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett It is unacceptable in the aftermath of the Commissioner's resignation and on foot of a litany of scandals-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Will the Deputy please resume his seat?

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett -----that the Taoiseach excluded one third of the Opposition from the briefing and refused to facilitate the making of statements in the House. The statements that will be taken later this week pertain solely to the penalty points issue. We need a statement from the Taoiseach on the resignation of the Garda Commissioner-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I ask the Deputy to please resume his seat.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett -----and an end to discrimination against one third of the Opposition.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Is the Deputy part of the Technical Group? If so, his spokesperson has just made that point. Is Deputy Joan Collins raising a separate issue? We are not going to go through this issue again.

Deputy Joan Collins: Information on Joan Collins Zoom on Joan Collins It is very important.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I know it is.

Deputy Joan Collins: Information on Joan Collins Zoom on Joan Collins The Technical Group was excluded from the briefing today.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Deputy Catherine Murphy made that point on behalf of the Technical Group. We are not going to have another discussion on it.

Deputy Joan Collins: Information on Joan Collins Zoom on Joan Collins Had we attended the briefing, we would have pointed out that the statements arranged for this week pertained to the penalty points issue rather than resignations, or retirements as the Taoiseach put it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Please arrange the debate with the Whips. I call Deputy Joe Higgins on a different issue - I hope.

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins Zoom on Joe Higgins I want to ask a question about legislation. However, the Taoiseach should stop digging.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Just ask the question.

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins Zoom on Joe Higgins He must be the only person in the country who has the neck to say the Garda Commissioner retired as opposed to resigning, as if the events of the last three or six months never happened.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Please ask a question.

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins Zoom on Joe Higgins The Taoiseach should stop digging; he is still in denial.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett The Deputy can speak to the Taoiseach outside the Chamber.

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins Zoom on Joe Higgins Can I ask about legislation?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Yes, of course.

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins Zoom on Joe Higgins When will the Taoiseach bring forward the workplace relations Bill and the industrial relations (No. 2) Bill? Is it Government policy to use the courts to break the democratic right of workers to engage in industrial action, as Aer Lingus, in which the Government has a major shareholding, is doing? That company is pursuing an individual representative in order to bankrupt him. Is that Government policy, with the Labour Party on board?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett The Deputy has made his point.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The courts struck down the legislation. The two Bills to which Deputy Joe Higgins referred, the workplace relations Bill and the industrial relations (No. 2) Bill, are due for publication this session.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan On promised legislation, what is the status of the climate action and low carbon development Bill which may become more important as fuel concerns increase? The international tax agreements Bill may be similarly important, given that the issues arising caused some discussion in recent times. To what extent have these Bills been agreed to by the Cabinet and made ready for publication?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The low carbon development Bill and the international tax agreement Bill are due for publication later this year.

Deputy Ray Butler: Information on Ray Butler Zoom on Ray Butler In the light of media reports on the number of people out on bail, when is the Bill to consolidate and amend the bail laws due to be published?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny A lot of work has been done on the Bill in the Department, but I do not have a date for its publication. Deputy Durkan has raised the issue on around 20 occasions already.

Deputy Timmy Dooley: Information on Timmy Dooley Zoom on Timmy Dooley Is that why it is not being done?

Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Given that the Minister for Health is in the House, I acknowledge the progress made for the people who suffered in the Magdalen laundries and from symphysiotomies. There are only 32 survivors of thalidomide, who are represented by two organisations. The programme for Government made a firm commitment in this regard. Has the Minister met the two organisations and are we advancing towards a solution to the problem for the 32 individuals in question?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The Minister has not met them recently, but I understand the matter is before the courts.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath On the Central Bank (consolidation) Bill, when will we have something on the banks? Obviously, they are not adhering to the code of conduct. ACC Bank, which is owned by Rabobank, is trying to evict a family from a house in Kildare. When will we see action taken? All we have had are empty promises.

When will the Government hold a debate on the Children First Bill and the money misappropriated during the referendum proposed by our wonderful Minister for Justice and Equality?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett We will check it out.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The Children First Bill is due this session. I do not have a date of publication for the Central Bank (consolidation) Bill. It is a serious piece of work.

Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick: Information on Peter Fitzpatrick Zoom on Peter Fitzpatrick The housing (miscellaneous provisions) Bill aims to expand and strengthen the regulatory framework for social housing and provide a new system for housing assistance payments. Every day in my clinic I encounter husbands or wives whose marriages have broken down. One ex-partner will remain in the house with the family, while the other has to leave but is not entitled to social housing or housing payments. When is the aforementioned Bill due to be brought before the House?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The heads of the Bill were cleared last December and the Bill is due for publication this session, prior to the summer.

Topical Issue Debate

Ambulance Service Provision

Deputy John Lyons: Information on John Lyons Zoom on John Lyons In the short time available to me I wish to speak about the valuable service provided by Dublin Fire Brigade in our capital city and the ongoing review of ambulance services. Dublin Fire Brigade and Ambulance Service has operated since 1898. Dublin Fire Brigade performs a dual role, which means that either an ambulance or a crew on a fire appliance will arrive at a scene and stabilise a patient until an ambulance arrives. As a result of this dual role and the brave work of fire fighters, Dublin has one of the best survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest cases in the world. Dublin Fire Brigade is a first class example of a fire service based emergency medical service, which is recognised internationally as best practice.


Last Updated: 20/09/2016 15:38:43 First Page Previous Page Page of 118 Next Page Last Page