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Business of Dáil (Continued)

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 906 No. 2

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  11 o’clock

(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Paul Murphy: Information on Paul Murphy Zoom on Paul Murphy] We should discuss these issues as motions today. The Dáil should have the ability to pass motions instructing the caretaker Government to take action.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl I thank the Deputy. By way of response to the points raised by Deputies Adams, Pringle and Paul Murphy, there are a couple of matters to take into account. As we meet today, we are bound by the current Standing Orders of the House. Tomorrow, we will convene the first meeting of the Dáil reform committee. Having read all 22 submissions, it appears that there is a substantial amount of commonality in the proposals that Members are making for change. I hope that, at our first meeting on Wednesday, we will quickly agree a number of substantial reforms that could be brought to the House for agreement on 6 April but as we meet today, we are bound by the current Standing Orders. The idea that they could be suspended is not possible under the existing Standing Orders, specifically Standing Order 200(3), which precludes a Member other than during Private Members' business from setting aside Standing Orders. We must proceed with the business that is before us and agree to it or disagree with it, whichever the case may be.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams I wish to make two points. I thank the Ceann Comhairle for his remarks. First, I appeal to the Taoiseach. This is within his gift. He has ordered the business of the Dáil. He said we should go away for 15 days but we do not believe we should. I appeal, through the Chair, to the Taoiseach to allow us to discuss these matters.

I spoke to the Ceann Comhairle about my second point this morning. Any association, group, Parliament or Dáil that comes together has the right, if it so wishes, to order its own business. Any Teachta Dála has the right to propose that Standing Orders be suspended. The Dáil might not agree with or support the proposal and it might fall, which is fair enough. Will the Ceann Comhairle, through his good offices, ask the Taoiseach to consider the points we have made? Will the Ceann Comhairle allow me to move a motion to suspend Standing Orders?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl I appreciate the Deputy's points and it is open to the Taoiseach to consider the first of those but it is not open to me at all to allow the Deputy to move the suspension of Standing Orders, as we are operating under them and they preclude him from doing what he is proposing. The rules as they stand are explicit at Standing Order 177(3) and do not allow him to do what he is attempting. As such, further debate on the matter is pointless. What we must now decide is whether to accept the Taoiseach's proposal that he return to the House on 6 April to raise the issue of the nomination for the appointment of a Taoiseach. Are we in favour of that or are we not?

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh On a point of order, the Taoiseach made two proposals. One was to extend-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl That is a second matter that I will discuss in a minute.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh I will deal with that point in a minute. The proposal involves a change to an order that was made at the last sitting, which suggests that the House can alter the arrangements for today or 6 April.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Yes but the Deputy is long enough here to realise that change can only be made on the proposal of the Government. The Government is proposing a change-----

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh But-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Let us be a little orderly.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh We put-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl We are dealing with the return of the House on 6 April to consider the nomination of a Member as Taoiseach. Are we in favour of that or not?

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh If the Ceann Comhairle is putting the Taoiseach's proposal, the House can move amendments to the effect of returning earlier or later than 6 April or ordering the business for the rest of that day. That would be open.

Deputy Paul Murphy: Information on Paul Murphy Zoom on Paul Murphy Can we call on the Taoiseach to agree that as well as discussing the election of Taoiseach on 6 April, and presuming that none is elected, we might at least discuss water charges and Irish Water?


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