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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

The Order of Business is agreed to every day. If the Senator has an issue, he can object to it. That is a matter for the Leader.
In respect of the point raised by Senator Colm Burke, I have the responsibility for choosing Commencement matters. It is probably not a matter for the Leader but the multiplicity of Commencement matters is extraordinary. An average of 12 or 14 are received and I am only allowed to pick four. At one stage, I thought that we could manage five, but given the way they roll on, it would conflict with the Order of Business, which cannot be permitted. I was quite happy for us to take five instead of four. It used to be three. The difficulty I have is that I must try to be fair to all groups. Some Members come in every week and if somebody comes in every two months or has an important issue, I must give them preference also. I try to be fair, but it does not always pan out. I will never have the ideal, but I am cognisant that the situation was difficult today. The way it panned out was that two Fine Gael Senators were chosen because there was nobody from Fianna Fáil who had tabled a Commencement matter. I tried to balance it and try to be fair. There is no utopian solution. I will take responsibility, but I will talk to Senator Colm Burke privately about it.