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 Header Item Order of Business (Continued)
 Header Item Tributes to Staff Member
 Header Item Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2012: First Stage
 Header Item Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2012: Referral to Joint Committee
 Header Item Draft Orders: Referral to Select Sub-Committee
 Header Item Message from Select Committee
 Header Item Estimates for Public Services 2012: Message from Select Committee

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 786 No. 1

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(Speaker Continuing)

[The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny] The Government is carefully studying the Supreme Court judgment which clarifies how it can make information available to the electorate during a referendum. The judgment in the McKenna cases stated the Government had a duty to provide information for the electorate and clarify issues that might arise during the course of a campaign without advocating a particular position. The Government welcomes the fact that the Supreme Court has for the first time since the judgment in 1995 provided guidelines on the application of this important principle.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Get off the stage.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The court has unanimously acknowledged that the principle enunciated in the McKenna judgment stands as firm as ever, but that the methods by which information is conveyed are very different from those which applied in 1995. It has found that the Government, in attempting to fulfil its duty to inform the people, strayed beyond the boundary of providing information for the electorate. It has also found that the Government at all times acted in a bona fide manner and that all the publications were issued with a view to informing the electorate about the referendum. The Government is committed to working within the parameters of the judgment delivered today in the context of future referendums and will carefully study the conclusions of the court.

In respect of the stability treaty - the Lisbon treaty - when Deputy Micheál Martin was Minister for Foreign Affairs he sent his own document which indicated that it had been produced by the Department of Foreign Affairs and set out what the stability treaty involved in a situation where there was no court judgment. It was much more obvious in terms of information.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Was it really?

Deputy Timmy Dooley: Information on Timmy Dooley Zoom on Timmy Dooley Stop the spin.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny What he sent on the Lisbon treaty in 2009-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett We cannot restate documents in the House.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin The Government issued its materials after the writ was moved.

Deputy Alan Shatter: Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter It was done in the same way on the advice of the then Attorney General.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I call Deputy Gerry Adams.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin A disgraceful performance.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny Do not come out with that one.

Deputy Timmy Dooley: Information on Timmy Dooley Zoom on Timmy Dooley The Taoiseach is not at the Ballinasloe horse fair.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin He changes the story all the time.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Please allow Deputy Gerry Adams to make his point on the Order of Business.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin The Taoiseach should acknowledge that he was wrong.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath Admit it.

Deputy Paul Kehoe: Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe It is like Deputy Micheál Martin's property tax leaflet.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams Tomorrow the report of Desmond de Silva, QC, on the murder of the human rights solicitor Mr. Pat Finucane will be published in London. This will be followed by a formal statement by the British Prime Minister. The process put in place by the British Government is in direct breach of the Weston Park agreement between it and the Irish Government and against the wish of the Finucane family for a fully independent inquiry. I recognise this is a very busy week, but I ask that time be made available in the next few days for the Dáil to hear short statements by Government and Opposition Members on the issue.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny I am not sure how we might arrange this. I spoke to the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Nicholas Clegg, about the matter in Oslo yesterday. The Prime Minister is to make a statement to the House of Commons tomorrow. As an interested party in so far as the Government is concerned, I expect that we will have access to the report a very short time before the Prime Minister speaks on it. I do not know what is contained in the report and will wait to find out. As Deputy Gerry Adams will be aware, for a long time this House has taken a unanimous view arising from the Weston Park agreement that whatever Judge Cory recommends should be followed through. This principle has been followed by the Government in respect of the Smithwick tribunal and we have consistently called for a public inquiry into the murder of Mr. Pat Finucane. I may have an opportunity to speak to the Prime Minister tomorrow and will wait to find out what is in contained the de Silva report, the view of the Finucane family and what is contained in the statement made in the House of Commons. I will try to facilitate the Deputy.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams Perhaps on Thursday or Friday evening.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny I will have to attend a European Council meeting in Brussels to deal with other matters. I will see what the Whips can arrange, even if it is for a short period.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett The time allowed for the Order of Business has expired.

Tributes to Staff Member

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny Sitting in the Chamber is Mr. Barry Whelan, a quintessential Dub from Drimnagh who is retiring today from his position as usher. Barry has given good service in the 21 years since 1992. On behalf of all Members of the House and his wife, Anne, his children, David, Sandra and Iain, and his little grandson, Matthew, I take the opportunity to wish him the very best. I thank him for his service, for what he has done for all Members and the many visitors to Leinster House and for his courtesy, efficiency and professionalism. I wish him good luck for the future in whatever he chooses to do in his spare time. May he enjoy a long, healthy and happy life in the company of his wife and family.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I join the Taoiseach in wishing Barry a happy and long retirement. I hope he breaks the pension fund and enjoys himself.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin On behalf of my party, I thank Barry for his unfailing courtesy. I ask him to avoid watching "Oireachtas Report" every evening.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I am sure that is the last thing on his mind.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams Ar mo shon féin agus ar son Sinn Féin, go n-éirí an t-ádh le Barry, a bhean chéile agus a theaghlach. Gabhaimid míle buíochas leis.

Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2012: First Stage

Deputy Anthony Lawlor: Information on Anthony Lawlor Zoom on Anthony Lawlor I move:

That leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to introduce criminal offences concerning vehicle mileage and related matters.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Is the Bill opposed?

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe No.

  Question put and agreed to.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Since this is a Private Members' Bill, Second Stage must, under Standing Orders, be taken in Private Members' time.

Deputy Anthony Lawlor: Information on Anthony Lawlor Zoom on Anthony Lawlor I move: "That the Bill be taken in Private Members' time."

  Question put and agreed to.

Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2012: Referral to Joint Committee

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe I move:

That the proposal that Dáil Éireann approves the following Order in draft:
Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2012,
a copy of which Order in draft was laid before Dáil Éireann on 6 December 2012, be referred to the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, in accordance with Standing Order 82A(4)(j), which, not later than 18 December 2012, shall send a message to the Dáil in the manner prescribed in Standing Order 87, and Standing Order 86(2) shall accordingly apply.”

  Question put and agreed to.

Draft Orders: Referral to Select Sub-Committee

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe I move:

That the proposal that Dáil Éireann approves the following Orders in draft:
(i) National Pensions Reserve Fund Act 2000 (Suspension of Exchequer Contributions) Order 2012,

(ii) Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income and Capital Gains) (Arab Republic of Egypt) Order 2012,

(iii) Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income and Capital Gains) (State of Qatar) Order 2012,

(iv) Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income and on Property) (Republic of Uzbekistan) Order 2012,

(v) Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income and on Capital) (Swiss Confederation) Order 2012,

(vi) Exchange of Information Relating to Taxes (San Marino) Order 2012, and

(vii) Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters Order 2012,
copies of which were laid before Dáil Éireann on 7 December 2012 and 10 December 2012, be referred to the Select Sub-Committee on Finance, in accordance with Standing Order 82A(3)(b) and (6)(a), which, not later than 20 December 2012, shall send a message to the Dáil in the manner prescribed in Standing Order 87, and Standing Order 86(2) shall accordingly apply.”

  Question put and agreed to.

Message from Select Committee

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett The Select Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine has completed its consideration of the Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 and has made amendments thereto.

Estimates for Public Services 2012: Message from Select Committee

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett  The Select Sub-Committee on the Environment, Community and Local Government has completed its consideration of the following Estimate for Public Services for the service of the year ending 31 December 2012: Vote 25 - Environment, Community and Local Government (Supplementary).


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