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 Header Item Business of Dáil (Continued)
 Header Item Questions on Proposed Legislation

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 918 No. 1

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Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Regina Doherty): Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty It is proposed that the arrangements agreed to by the House for the business to be conducted this week be amended as follows: (1) that, if not previously concluded, the debate on the motion on the citizens' assembly shall be brought to a conclusion after 90 minutes, with the speeches of all Members not exceeding five minutes in each case; (2) that if the motion on the citizens' assembly concludes before 10 p.m. tonight, it shall be followed immediately by the Electoral (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2016; (3) that Committee and Remaining Stages of the Commission of Investigation (Irish Bank Resolution Corporation) Bill 2016 and Second Stage of the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Bill 2016 shall be taken tomorrow after the business already scheduled; and (4) that Question Time shall be taken at 6.30 p.m. tomorrow or at the conclusion of Second Stage of the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Bill 2016, whichever is earlier.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl There is one proposal to be put to the House. Is the proposal to amend the arrangements agreed to by the House on Tuesday agreed to?

Deputy Mick Barry: Information on Mick Barry Zoom on Mick Barry A request was made on the floor of the House yesterday that the speaking time allowed in the debate on the citizens’ assembly be increased from five minutes. It was agreed that it would be considered by the Business Committee.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl It was and the Deputy will now have double the time proposed yesterday.

Deputy Mick Barry: Information on Mick Barry Zoom on Mick Barry Is it now ten minutes?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Forty-five minutes was allowed yesterday and it is now proposed that there be 90 minutes available.

Deputy Mick Barry: Information on Mick Barry Zoom on Mick Barry I thank the Ceann Comhairle for clarifying the matter.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Is the proposal agreed to? Agreed.

Questions on Proposed Legislation

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin With regard to the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Bill, the Taoiseach is aware of the case of Mary Boyle who went missing in 1977 while visiting her grandparents’ home in County Donegal. It has been the subject of considerable public interest. Her family are, obviously, devastated by their loss. Obviously, no one in the House can interfere with an ongoing investigation and it was recently confirmed that the serious crime review team, known as the cold case unit, was investigating Mary Boyle’s disappearance. That is to be welcomed. Will the Taoiseach ensure, in the context of victims’ rights, sufficient dedicated resources will be made available and that the investigation will be wholly independent of previous investigations and separate from what happened before?

I have received correspondence from the Minister for Justice and Equality on a request made by Mary Boyle's sister, Ann Doherty, regarding when the coroner's inquest would take place. There is a legal precedent for accepting her request. Again in the context of victims’ rights, will the Taoiseach re-examine the issue with the Minister for Justice and Equality? I have received a reply from the Minister on it, in addition to the replies to parliamentary questions I have tabled, in which she has confirmed that she is very much aware of all the issues involved and the allegations that have been made about the case but that the Garda, first and foremost, is investigating such allegations. I believe the forum in question would be the proper one in which to investigate this case.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny Like the Deputy, I have had some meetings with members of the family. I am glad that the special unit will examine the case completely independently. It will be seen to that the resources it needs to do its job independently will be made available because the family is still grieving over the loss of Mary Boyle.

The Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Bill is priority legislation and a great deal of work has been done on it. I do not know whether it will be published before the end of this session, but it is moving towards completion. A coroners Bill is being worked on in the Department of Justice and Equality. I will update the Deputy on the extent of the work done in this regard.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams Ba mhaith liom ceist a chur faoi chlár an Rialtais. The programme for Government states the Government will utilise the rural development programme to support the promotion of farm safety. The Health and Safety Authority's report for 2015 has revealed that 56 people were killed in workplace accidents, 18 of whom were working in the agriculture sector, the sector with the highest number of deaths. The report also reveals that there were over 7,500 non-fatal injuries, which represents a huge increase on the figure for the previous year. At the same time, there has been a decrease in the number of inspections and investigations, by more than 40%, since 2009. The chairman has blamed this on resource issues. Is this acceptable? What steps will the Government take to honour its commitment in the programme for Government to promote farm safety? Will it increase funding and make more resources available to ensure health and safety at work?


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