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Order of Business (Continued)

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 861 No. 1

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An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett There are three proposals to be put to the House. Is the proposal for dealing with the late sitting agreed to?

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin My party is not agreeing to the late sitting. It is appalling and farcical what is going on. I genuinely say that. There is no need for this. We are debating the order of today's business at 7.50 p.m.

Deputy Noel Grealish: Information on Noel Grealish Zoom on Noel Grealish It is a joke.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin It is farcical.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan The night is young yet.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin It would not happen in any organisation.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The motion of confidence-----

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin That is not the reason.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny It is the reason.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin It is not the reason. We could have had the motion of confidence and the Private Members' motion, and that would be that. There is no need for this.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny We just had it.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin It is just an awful ramshackle, ham-fisted-----

(Interruptions).

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Sorry, please.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin It is a ham-fisted, ridiculous and farcical way of ordering the business of this House. I would ask the Taoiseach to postpone No. 31, for example, which is to be debated for just one hour before adjourning, which could potentially bring us through to 1.30 a.m. or 1.45 a.m.

Deputy Emmet Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg Zoom on Emmet Stagg 2 o'clock.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin 2 o'clock? Have we lost our marbles in this House completely?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I thank Deputy Martin.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Has the Taoiseach not learned anything from the last occasion when we-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Deputy Martin has made the point.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin One second, a Cheann Comhairle; this is important - when we went beyond midnight-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I know it is important but it is also important-----

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin -----and how that disgraced the House and the public perception of the House? The Taoiseach is now going to say, as people prepare to march, that we will bury the water issue to the middle of the night. We are talking about trying to attract people, particularly women, into politics, and there are lifestyle issues. There is no basis whatsoever for meeting at 11 o'clock tonight.

Deputy Noel Grealish: Information on Noel Grealish Zoom on Noel Grealish Hear, hear.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath Hear, hear.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin All Deputies, when we meet in corridors, will ask each other-----

Deputy Noel Grealish: Information on Noel Grealish Zoom on Noel Grealish This is madness.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin -----what we are doing here.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath Madness.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Who will be listening at midnight-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Deputy Martin has had his say.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin -----or 1 a.m. to us debating issues like this? It is unacceptable.

Deputy Noel Grealish: Information on Noel Grealish Zoom on Noel Grealish They should put it on to Friday.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Am I in a position to table an amendment?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Unfortunately, Deputy Martin cannot. He can vote against.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin I ask the Taoiseach-----

Deputy Noel Grealish: Information on Noel Grealish Zoom on Noel Grealish Would they go to 3 o'clock on Friday?

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

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Instead of keeping on saying no, I am asking the Taoiseach sincerely. This is ridiculous. The debate on Committee Stage will adjourn, which means it can be continued again. We are talking about an hour for the Water Services Bill. I ask the Taoiseach not to take that this evening-----

Deputy Noel Grealish: Information on Noel Grealish Zoom on Noel Grealish Put it on to Friday.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin -----and we could do it on another occasion.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath Dé hAoine.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I thank Deputy Martin. He has made his point.

Deputy Noel Grealish: Information on Noel Grealish Zoom on Noel Grealish Put it on to 2 o'clock on Friday.

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins Zoom on Joe Higgins Questions to the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht have to be taken tonight. In fairness to all those who are responsible, Topical Issue Matters and Private Members' business have to be taken.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin We have no problem with that.

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins Zoom on Joe Higgins However, allocating one hour for the Committee Stage of the Water Services Bill-----

Deputy Noel Grealish: Information on Noel Grealish Zoom on Noel Grealish Crazy.

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins Zoom on Joe Higgins -----at midnight and going on until possibly 1 o'clock or after is completely unnecessary.

Deputy Noel Grealish: Information on Noel Grealish Zoom on Noel Grealish Madness.

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins Zoom on Joe Higgins There is provision for a Friday sitting to finish the Water Services Bill. I say to the Taoiseach to put that hour to Thursday and Friday. Otherwise, he will have Deputies going home to their families at 2 a.m. or 2.30 a.m.

Deputy Joe McHugh: Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh They are lucky if they can go home to their families.

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins Zoom on Joe Higgins Some of the same Members must be back in here at 9.30 a.m. for committees and for questions. We are talking about making the Dáil more family-friendly, etc. That is a simple issue to resolve.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny As the Minister of State, Deputy McHugh, commented, it is lucky for some if they can go home to their families.

Deputy Joe McHugh: Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh Every night.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny This is the first time I have heard of an Opposition not wanting a debate on an issue that has-----

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath That has nothing to do with it.

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

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny -----been so controversial for the past number of years. Deputy Martin did not state that his party would give us a guarantee now that this will finish Committee and Report Stages on Thursday without a guillotine. I will not guillotine this Bill and the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Deputy Kelly, is adamant that there be one hour's debate on it this evening. The Government Deputies have no problem in staying here tomorrow, Thursday or Friday. None

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins Zoom on Joe Higgins That is his legacy.

Deputy Noel Grealish: Information on Noel Grealish Zoom on Noel Grealish Why not put that hour onto Friday?

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath The Minister's legacy.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny It is most unusual that the Opposition Members seem to find the heat in the kitchen a little too much here. They want to go home and have a rest.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath Nonsense.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny If they are here to work and legislate, then that is the business that we are in.

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins Zoom on Joe Higgins The Taoiseach is in charge.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny Yes. We are telling Deputy Higgins that, after the motion on Palestine, we will have one hour's debate on Committee Stage.

Deputy Noel Grealish: Information on Noel Grealish Zoom on Noel Grealish Why can we not have it on Friday?

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins Zoom on Joe Higgins It is Report Stage. It can be completed on Thursday and Friday.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I thank the Deputies.

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins Zoom on Joe Higgins A Cheann Comhairle-----

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin I am sorry, a Cheann Comhairle, this is clear-cut.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett No. I am putting the question.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny I am quite sure if I said to Deputies Martin and Higgins that we will suspend this hour, they would be crowing about something else.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin The Taoiseach-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Deputy Martin should resume his seat. I am putting the question: "That the proposal for dealing with the late sitting be agreed to." Is that agreed?

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Hold on a second, a Cheann Comhairle. The Taoiseach's response has been ignorant, arrogant, dismissive and despicable.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett It is also despicable that Deputy Martin ignores the Chair and he should resume his seat.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin With the greatest respect, a Cheann Comhairle, there should be respect shown to this House. What the Taoiseach just did is an absolute disgrace.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Deputy Martin also must respect the Chair. He had his say. Would he please resume his seat?

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin There is no question of anybody not wanting to debate something here-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Would Deputy Martin please resume his seat?

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin -----but there is an issue about the order of this House, and going past midnight is an absolute joke.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Would Deputy Martin resume his seat and show some respect to the Chair?

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin I am showing it correctly. With the greatest of respect, I have never initiated the kind of behaviour that others have in this House, but this is going a step too far.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Please. Deputy Martin had his say and I put the question.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin To get that glib, arrogant, ignorant response from the Taoiseach is unacceptable.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath On a point of order-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett The question has been put. There is no point of order.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath On a point of order-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Deputy Mattie McGrath should resume his seat. We are in the middle of putting the question.

  Question, "That the proposal for dealing with the late sitting be agreed to", put and declared carried.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Is the proposal for dealing with Nos. 15 and 16 agreed to?

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin On No. 15, if I could get clarification, what Departments are involved there?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny Defence.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Is that proposal agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 32, statements on homelessness, tomorrow, agreed to? Agreed. I call Deputy Martin on the Order of Business.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin A speech made in the House last Wednesday on a serious issue and material that was disseminated, individually, to members of the Committee of Public Accounts. I wish to invoke Standing Order 59. In essence, as a House we need clarification on this because names were mentioned in the House and those who were mentioned have categorically denied any assertions or allegations that were contained in that material. It was wrong and out of order for Deputy Mary Lou McDonald to name names in the context in which she did. In particular, the individuals concerned need to know how they can get redress or, in essence, get their names cleared on the record and their reputations cleared as well.

I ask the Taoiseach as well the status of the documentation and material that the authorised officer has disclosed to 13 members of the Committee of Public Accounts in terms of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. My understanding is that the parliamentary legal adviser to the Oireachtas is concerned that names could not be mentioned and that the Committee of Public Accounts did not have jurisdiction over the issue and could not inquire into it, and yet it seems that some sort of shadow inquiry is under way. The Revenue Commissioners were before that committee last week and there may be more discussions around it. We are either holding an inquiry or we are not. There is an issue around the legal advice pertaining to the Protected Disclosures Act 2014. These are important issues for all of us in the Oireachtas, but particularly for those who were named because they have had no chance to have their names cleared and no mechanism has been provided to them to enable them to have the allegations and assertions withdrawn.

There is comprehensive and extensive documentation on this issue within the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.


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