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Business of Dáil (Continued)

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 906 No. 2

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(Speaker Continuing)

[The Taoiseach: Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar] The Ceann Comhairle will be conducting a meeting tomorrow, which will be very important in respect of the issues parties and individuals have brought forward on Dáil reform. I agree with him that it is important that a measure of agreement on some of these issues is arrived at tomorrow to be implemented, as intended, on 6 April to make the workings of the House more effective and engaging and have a greater degree of responsibility and accountability for all Members who are elected by the people.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Is it agreed, therefore, that we will meet-----

Deputy Pearse Doherty: Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty On a point of order, I seek clarification because I believe the Dáil should meet for the rest of the week, but it is clear that this will not happen.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Please, Deputy. We are perfectly clear, as is the Deputy, on what the position is. We have a proposal before us that the House consider nominations for Taoiseach on 6 April in accordance with the proposal from the acting Taoiseach. That is very clear and there is not a person in the Chamber who does not understand it. I will, therefore, put the proposal and Members may agree or disagree with it. We will then move on-----

Deputy Pearse Doherty: Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty On a point of order-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Excuse me, Deputy. Will the Deputy, please, resume his seat? We will then move on to consider other matters, including the revised order.

Deputy Pearse Doherty: Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty I thank the Ceann Comhairle. I am clear on the issue on which the Ceann Comhairle stated every Member was clear. However, the point on which I am seeking clarity from him or the Taoiseach - if the Ceann Comhairle allows me to make it, he can then answer me or ask the Taoiseach to do so - is whether it is the intention, under the amendment the Taoiseach has introduced for the sitting on 6 April, that the only matter that will be discussed on that day is the appointment of a Taoiseach and changes to Standing Orders.

There has been considerable discussion of how the House does its business and how all sides co-operate in dealing with major issues. A number of motions are before the House and we are asking the Taoiseach, in proposing an amendment to the order for the sitting on 6 April, to consider other voices outside his party and allow some of the issues these voices have been mandated to raise in the House to be accepted on 6 April. I am asking for clarity from the Taoiseach on whether the nomination of Taoiseach and the adoption of amended Standing Orders will be the only matters to be discussed on 6 April and, if not, whether he is willing to entertain some of the motions that have been placed before the House so far.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Again, let me be-----

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin In the context of-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl I call Deputy Micheál Martin on the same matter.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin While the Fianna Fáil Party fully accepts the Ceann Comhairle's ruling in the context of existing Standing Orders, we simply have to put down a marker. This is the second day on which we are witnessing procedural wrangling with political motivation.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams How dare we?

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin During the previous sitting we all witnessed the degree of serial misleading that took place in what actually transpired in the House when there was simply one vote on the order, as proposed by the Government. Last time out there was, for example, no motion on water charges proposed, yet it was sold and spun that somehow people had voted for or against a motion on water charges. We understand what is going on. I am fully committed to Dáil reform. I initiated it, put it on the table and want it to happen. I want the amendment to Standing Orders to be made before the next Government is formed. However, I am putting down a marker that, under no circumstances, will we stand around and watch the amended Standing Orders or new Dáil reforms being exploited for political show-boating in the House-----

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh The Deputy is the biggest show-boater in the Dáil.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin -----or in an attempt to promote one party over another. All parties have been tabling motions for a long time and all of them know that, under existing Standing Orders, they are taken in Private Members' time. Let us not try to pretend to the nation that somehow the motions of one party, as opposed to those of another, are being denied an airing. One simple solution has been put before the House and it relates to Standing Orders for today. It is correct that this is a debating Chamber, but it is also a legislative Chamber which can pass laws or have legislation put to it. However, if the procedural wrangling continues today along the lines of what took place the last day, we will not even get to discuss what we asked and agreed to discuss some weeks ago, namely, the issues of housing and homelessness. We will not get to discuss the issues, given the time that is elapsing as the procedural wrangling and political show-boating continues.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh That was some waffle.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl The position is clear; an amendment has been proposed to the Order of Business. The order on 6 April was agreed to by the House on 10 March.


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