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 Header Item Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2018: From the Seanad (Continued)
 Header Item Children's Health Bill 2018 [Seanad]: Order for Report Stage
 Header Item Children's Health Bill 2018 [Seanad]: Report and Final Stages

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 974 No. 5

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  6 o’clock

(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh] I would have thought that was an obvious avenue where the practices this Bill is seeking to quell occurs. We have seen it in some court cases in the past. I also add a health warning to the effect that we could probably have done more and better as regards this issue and we will need to look again at it in the future.

The Minister of State, Deputy Stanton, said in the Seanad a few weeks ago that what I am raising is covered by various betting Acts. However, this was raised as a serious issue in the debates on the ever-promised gambling control Bill, which supposedly has been coming in for the past six years but we have not seen it yet. Has gambling been left on the back-burner? I hope that is not the case and that the Minister will be able to indicate exactly when we will get to grips with an issue that has been raised here in the House. That will not take away from the specifics the Minister is trying to achieve in the legislation today, but hopefully it will add to it.

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan I thank Deputy Rabbitte because if I correctly interpret her contribution it is one of forbearance towards the Government in respect of the gambling issue. I accept that with the grace with which it was offered. I acknowledge her contribution towards that and her interest in it. I am very keen that we can progress matters here. I assure her that every effort is being made in my Department, in particular under the stewardship of the Minister of State, Deputy Stanton, in order that we can meet specific targets. I understand Deputy Rabbitte's frustration and that of a number of Deputies who have been consistent in their interest in this issue and in their cause that matters would be updated. I accept everything that has been said but I would ask that at this point my bona fides would be accepted.

On the matter of the gaming and lotteries (amendment) Bill, work is ongoing between my officials and the Office of the Attorney General. It is envisaged that the Bill will be ready for publication late this year or very early next year. It has been included on the priority list for publication for autumn 2018. We have seven weeks left and we will keep in communication with the Deputy but I would be very disappointed if we do not have the Bill ready for publication within the timeframe envisaged. I will not go into detail but I will respond to some of the questions asked. The Bill will standardise at 18 the age limit for gambling and gaming. The age limit for the tote will now be set at 18. There will be a streamlining of applications for permits and licences. We hope to be in a position to move on to the publication of the Bill very shortly.

In response to Deputy Ó Snodaigh's question, it seems that bookmakers are already in compliance with the measures I am introducing here in respect of the money laundering directive. The amendments are similar to those which already exist in respect of bookmakers. Deputy Rabbitte asked why we are singling out private members' clubs and the reason for that is it is a requirement of the EU directive. It is an interim measure pending fuller regulation.

I acknowledge the support and work of Deputy Rabbitte and others in the House on the gambling regulation Bill. It has been helpful and it has not gone unnoticed by the Government. In January the Government approved the drafting of the general scheme to update the 2013 general scheme. The working group is chaired by the Minister of State, Deputy Stanton, and it is the group's intention that it would report directly to the Government prior to Christmas. Given the complexity of the gambling regulation Bill, which Deputy Rabbitte knows as well as anyone, it will take up to 12 months to draft the Bill. We will continue to work closely with the Office of the Attorney General. I would be very happy to keep Deputy Rabbitte and any other Deputies who are specialists in the area fully informed. I thank them for their work and interest in this issue.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 8:

  Section 34: In page 36, line 1, to delete “109A. (1) Subject” and substitute “108A.(1) Subject”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 9:

  Section 34: In page 36, line 28, after “of” where it firstly occurs to insert “paragraph (a) of”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 10:

  Section 34: In page 36, line 29, to delete “section 24(1)(a)” and substitute “section 24(1)”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 11:

  New Section: In page 37, between lines 17 and 18, to insert the following:

“Managers and beneficial owners of private members’ clubs - certificates of fitness

35.The Act of 2010 is amended by the insertion of the following sections after section 109:

“Managers and beneficial owners of private members’ clubs to hold certificates of fitness

109A.(1)An individual who—
(a)effectively directs a private members’ club at which gambling activities are carried on, or

(b)is a beneficial owner of a private members’ club at which gambling activities are carried on,
shall hold a certificate of fitness and probity (referred to in this section and sections 109B, 109C, 109D and 109E as a ‘certificate of fitness’) granted by a Superintendent of the Garda Síochána or, as the case may be, by the Minister.

(2)An individual who fails to comply with subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable—
(a)on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding €5,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or both, or

(b)on conviction on indictment to a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years, or both.
(3)Where on the date that is 6 months from the coming into force of this section an individual has applied for a certificate of fitness, this section shall not apply to that individual until such time as the application, and any appeal in relation to the application, has been finally determined.

Application for certificate of fitness

109B.(1)Upon compliance with subsection (2), an individual shall make an application for a certificate of fitness—
(a)where the individual ordinarily resides in the State—

(i)to the Superintendent of the Garda Síochána for the district in which he or she ordinarily resides, or

(ii)to the Superintendent of the Garda Síochána for the district in which the private members’ club concerned is located or is proposed to be located,

or

(b)where the individual ordinarily resides outside the State, to the Minister.
(2)An individual intending to apply for a certificate of fitness under this section shall, not later than 14 days and not earlier than one month before making the application, publish in two daily newspapers circulating in the State, a notice in such form as may be prescribed, of his or her intention to make the application.

(3)An application for a certificate of fitness under this section shall be in such form as may be prescribed.

(4)The applicant for a certificate of fitness shall provide the Superintendent of the Garda Síochána, or as the case may be the Minister, to whom the application concerned is made with all such information as he or she may reasonably require for the purposes of determining whether a relevant consideration referred to in section 109C exists.

(5)A Superintendent of the Garda Síochána, or as the case may be the Minister, to whom an application for a certificate of fitness is duly made under this section shall, not later than 56 days after receiving the application, either—
(a)grant the application and issue a certificate of fitness to the applicant, or

(b)refuse the application.
(6)A certificate of fitness under this section shall be in such form as may be prescribed.

(7)An individual who, in applying for a certificate of fitness under this section, makes a statement or provides information to a Superintendent of the Garda Síochána or, as the case may be, to the Minister, that he or she knows, or ought reasonably to know, is false or misleading in a material respect commits an offence and is liable—
(a)on summary conviction to a class A fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or both, or

(b)on conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €50,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years, or both.
(8)A Superintendent of the Garda Síochána shall, as soon as may be after making a decision in relation to an application for a certificate of fitness, notify the Minister in writing of that decision.

Grounds of refusal to grant certificate of fitness

109C.(1)A Superintendent of the Garda Síochána or, as the case may be, the Minister shall not refuse an application for a certificate of fitness made in accordance with section 109B unless—
(a)a relevant consideration exists, or

(b)he or she is not satisfied that the applicant has provided such information as he or she reasonably requires for the purposes of determining whether a relevant consideration exists.
(2)For the purposes of subsection (1), a relevant consideration exists if—
(a)the applicant stands convicted of an offence under—

(i)an enactment relating to excise duty on betting,

(ii) the Gaming and Lotteries Acts 1956 to 2013,

(iii) section 1078 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997,

(iv) the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001, or

(v) this Act,

(b)the applicant stands convicted of an offence under the law of a place (other than the State)—

(i)consisting of an act or omission that, if committed in the State, would constitute an offence referred to in paragraph (a), or

(ii) relating to the conduct of gambling,

or

(c)the applicant was previously refused a certificate of fitness and either—

(i)the applicant did not appeal the refusal, or

(ii) on appeal to the District Court, the refusal was affirmed.
(3)In this section, ‘enactment’ means—
(a)an Act of the Oireachtas,

(b)a statute that was in force in Saorstát Éireann immediately before the date of the coming into operation of the Constitution and that continues in force by virtue of Article 50 of the Constitution,

(c)an instrument made under—

(i)an Act of the Oireachtas, or

(ii)a statute referred to in paragraph (b).
Duration of certificate of fitness

109D.(1)A certificate of fitness shall remain in force until the expiration of 3 years after the date on which the certificate was issued.

(2)If, before the expiration of a certificate of fitness, the individual to whom it was issued makes an application for a new certificate of fitness, the first-mentioned certificate of fitness shall remain in force—
(a)until the issue of the new certificate of fitness,

(b)in circumstances where the application is refused by the Superintendent of the Garda Síochána concerned or by the Minister and the individual does not make a request referred to in section 109E(1), until the expiration of the period within which the request may be made,

(c)in circumstances where the application is refused by the Superintendent of the Garda Síochána concerned or by the Minister and the individual makes a request referred to in section 109E(1) but does not bring an appeal under that section, until the expiration of the period specified in subsection (3) of that section, or

(d)in circumstances where the application is refused by the Superintendent of the Garda Síochána concerned or the Minister and the individual appeals the refusal in accordance with section 109E, until—

(i)the District Court affirms the refusal in accordance with that section, or

(ii) the issue of a new certificate of fitness pursuant to a direction of the District Court under subsection (4)(b) of that section.
Appeal where application for certificate of fitness is refused

109E.(1)If a Superintendent of the Garda Síochána, or as the case may be, the Minister refuses an application for a certificate of fitness, he or she shall, on the request in writing of the applicant made not later than 14 days after the refusal, give the applicant a statement in writing of the reasons for the refusal.

(2)A person to whom a certificate of fitness has been refused may, not later than 14 days after receiving a statement in writing under subsection (1), appeal the refusal to the District Court.

(3)A person who brings an appeal under this section shall, in such manner and within such period as may be prescribed give notice of the appeal to the Superintendent of the Garda Síochána concerned or, as the case may be, the Minister.

(4)The District Court may, upon an appeal under this section, either—
(a)affirm the refusal, or

(b)grant the appeal and direct the Superintendent of the Garda Síochána concerned, or as the case may be, the Minister to issue a certificate of fitness to the appellant.
(5)The Superintendent of the Garda Síochána concerned or, as the case may be, the Minister shall comply with a direction of the District Court under this section not later than 3 days after the giving of the direction.

(6)The respondent in an appeal under this section shall not be entitled to advance as a reason for opposing an appeal under this section a reason not specified in a statement of the reasons for a refusal given to the appellant pursuant to a request under subsection (1).

(7)If the District Court affirms a refusal under subsection (4)(a), it may also make an order requiring the appellant to pay the costs incurred by the respondent in defending the appeal and may determine the amount of such costs.

(8)There shall be no appeal to the Circuit Court from a decision of the District Court under this section.

(9)An appeal under this section by a person ordinarily resident in the State shall be brought before a judge of the District Court assigned to the District Court district—
(a)in which he or she ordinarily resides, or

(b)in which the private members’ club concerned is located or is proposed to be located.
(10)An appeal under this section by a person not ordinarily resident in the State shall be brought before a judge of the District Court assigned to the Dublin Metropolitan District.”.”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 12:

  Section 39: In page 42, line 16, after “36” to insert “, 43”.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendments reported.

Children's Health Bill 2018 [Seanad]: Order for Report Stage

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): Information on Catherine Byrne Zoom on Catherine Byrne I move: "That Report Stage be taken now."

  Question put and agreed to.

Children's Health Bill 2018 [Seanad]: Report and Final Stages

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Amendments Nos. 1 and 2 are related and will be discussed together.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh I move amendment No. 1:

In page 6, line 9, after “section 5” to insert “, known as the Kathleen Lynn National Children’s Hospital”.

  This amendment is close to my heart. I first wrote to a Minister for Health in 2013, or perhaps it was even before that, when Senator Reilly was in charge of the health portfolio. I subsequently wrote to his successor, now Taoiseach, Deputy Varadkar. I also wrote to the current Minister, Deputy Harris. The reason I wrote to the Ministers for Health is that they are the ones overseeing the development in St. James's Hospital, in what was the South Dublin Union, of a new children’s hospital. I always felt that in naming the hospital it would be appropriate for us to pay homage to those who were the front runners in children's health in this country. We know of the earlier attempt to name it when, with some fanfare, the name Phoenix hospital was chosen. That debacle came to an abrupt end when the Phoenix Children's Hospital in the United States reminded those who could not do a Google search that it existed and that it would possibly sue if the name was used.


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