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 Header Item Order of Business (Continued)
 Header Item Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2012: Motion
 Header Item Finance (Local Property Tax) Bill 2012: Financial Resolution
 Header Item Message from Seanad
 Header Item Topical Issue Debate
 Header Item Inter-Country Adoptions

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 787 No. 3

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An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett There are five minutes remaining. I will not be calling on too many Members as I do not want to eat into the time available for the Bill for which we have just provided.

Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath Do not forget the Technical Group.

Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl The Government has made a decision on the A, B and C v. Ireland expert group report. When will we see the legislation and regulations promised? Will the content of that legislation address the issue of suicide?

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The Government decided today to choose option D as set out by the expert group, which is legislation and regulation. The process will involve information hearings by the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children on either 7, 8 and 9 January or 8, 9 and 10 January. After that, the heads of a Bill will be prepared and sent to the Oireachtas committee for discussion. When the Oireachtas committee concludes its discussions and it returns here, the details of the regulations that would be required will be published simultaneously with the legislation so that everybody will have the fullest information about all the issues involved.

This matter is to deal with the clarification of the Constitution and therefore the law by the Supreme Court in the X case. It includes the question of suicide arising from the X case in cases where there is a threat to the life, as distinct from the health, of the mother. That is why I want everybody in the House to be able to contribute to this and put in place legal certainty and regulation in an area that is unregulated. There is no intention for this to be seen as some sort of abortion on demand or abortion replacing contraception.

The Deputy asked when the legislation will be published. It will be prepared after the information hearings of the committee dealing with health. The heads will be discussed by the Oireachtas committee. The legislation will only be published in conjunction with the regulations which will become effective once the Bill is put through the House. I want everybody to be able to contribute to the process in a mature, sensitive and as comprehensive a fashion as is possible.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams Cuirim fáilte roimh an ráiteas sin. I welcome the statement and the announcement that the Government will legislate for the X case in the new year. Bearing in mind the conversation we had earlier, it would have been appropriate for the Taoiseach to make that announcement in here. I know it is a difficult issue for people to deal with, not least the women of this State and island.

Will the Taoiseach make time in the new year for the Dáil to debate the de Silva report on the Pat Finucane case? I wrote to the Taoiseach and asked if he would review all correspondence in the Department of the Taoiseach, particularly under the tenure of the late Charles Haughey, regarding information that may have been put into the Department by the late Mr. Paddy McGrory a month before Pat Finucane was killed and immediately afterwards. Specifically, I ask that we have the opportunity to debate in some detail the de Silva report.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny Yes, this is an important report. I spoke to British Prime Minister Cameron and Geraldine Finucane last week on the publication of the de Silva report. I have already asked the Whip that at the appropriate time when the Dáil returns in the new year, we should make time available for a discussion on the de Silva report. I have received the Deputy's letter and will give it consideration before replying properly.

Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath The Housing Bill deals with the regulatory framework for housing. Is the Taoiseach aware that last night the residents of Priory Hall stood in the cold and rain and that this is the second Christmas where they will have no homes? The families are suffering extreme hardship. I urge the Taoiseach to urge the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government and people directly involved in the mediation process to get on with the job and support those families.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny This is a legacy issue of great concern to the people involved. The Minister is awaiting a response from the judge in this case and obviously cannot interfere with that process. There has been some progress and if we can get the pieces in place, the process may be quickened. For the Deputy's information, the Minister is also in discussion with the Minister for Finance about a substantial loan from institutions to deal with the pyrite matter, another legacy issue that has caused much angst for people who bought houses and found them literally cracking around them. That is a matter about which there is discussion between the Departments of Finance and Environment, Community and Local Government, with a view to the problem being rectified in 2013. That should be good news for those people.

Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2012: Motion

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

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.

  Question put and agreed to.

Finance (Local Property Tax) Bill 2012: Financial Resolution

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin I move:

THAT provision be made in the Act giving effect to this Resolution for the imposition in accordance with the Act of local property tax; for the establishment and maintenance by the Revenue Commissioners of a register of residential properties in the State; for the cessation of the household charge; and for the collection of any arrears of household charge.

  Question put and agreed to.

Message from Seanad

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Seanad Éireann has passed the Health and Social Care Professionals (Amendment) Bill 2012 without amendment and the Europol Bill 2012 without amendment.

Topical Issue Debate

Inter-Country Adoptions

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan I am pleased to have the opportunity before the end of the term to raise the issue and I thank the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs for her attendance. I am concerned about both the cost and the delay involved in the assessment for those involved in inter-country adoption. I recognise the need to have the most rigorous of procedures in place, particularly with regard to vetting, home studies, HSE approval and approval of the Adoption Authority of Ireland, as well as suitability of applicants and those wishing to provide home and shelter for underprivileged children on a long-term permanent basis. Notwithstanding this, there are a number of issues that must be addressed, and I refer particularly to the case of inter-country adoption with Bulgaria.


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