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 Header Item Aircraft Noise (Dublin Airport) Regulation Bill 2018: Report Stage (Resumed) (Continued)
 Header Item Ábhair Shaincheisteanna Tráthúla (Atógáil) - Topical Issue Matters (Resumed)
 Header Item Gnó na Dála - Business of Dáil
 Header Item Sitting and Business of Dáil: Motion

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 979 No. 7

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(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Clare Daly: Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly] It is a fundamental problem and shows that the points about Fingal County Council's independence have not been adequately addressed. We do not have to rely on that correspondence alone. We also have correspondence from the EU expressing its concerns about the issue of independence. The Minister is saying that everything is okay and the issues have been addressed because the Attorney General said that there was not a conflict of interest. Let us say that we accept that, but the Attorney General did not say that there would be a conflict of interest with the Commission for Aviation Regulation or the EPA either. The conflict of interest issue is not the only consideration, as the competent authority also has to have expertise.

We now have a major problem because of the manner in which this issue has been handled. In that sense, the complaints procedure takes on even greater prominence. When the Minister's own Government colleague and Chair of the Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport asks questions about letters and this information not being brought before the committee, it is an unprecedented problem. The manner of the Bill's handling in the House has been shambolic from start to finish. In some ways, my heart goes out to the officials. It is a difficult job, but we have tried to engage. I recognise that we have made improvements to the Bill, but if the Minister believes he can shout and roar in the Chamber and say that there is no conflict of interest and that the Attorney General will address the issues we have raised, he is wrong. Will he please address the issues that Deputies across the Opposition benches have raised about these points?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Next is Deputy Darragh O'Brien, whom I will be calling on in approximately a minute to adjourn the debate.

Deputy Darragh O'Brien: Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien I agree with Deputy Clare Daly, in that the structure of the competent authority has not been clarified. I have raised this issue with the Minister. We have discussed levels of competence, experience and so on with the officials. We have been told that there would be consultations on same. A great deal more work is needed on these matters.

On Committee Stage, amendments were passed regarding the making of complaints. It is good that we will have an authority to which residents can make a complaint, as that has been a major issue, with the DAA effectively being the only avenue open to people to date to make complaints. Most of us would agree that the majority of complaints have not been heard fairly.

The issue of complaints receiving written responses if the competent authority decided that a complaint was spurious or that it would not proceed with an investigation was the spirit of the Committee Stage debate. My colleagues in Fianna Fáil and I supported Deputy Clare Daly strongly on that amendment. While we acknowledge that there will be somewhere to make a complaint to and that the competent authority will be able to decide whether there is enough in the complaint to take the matter a step further, we agreed on Committee Stage that, if the authority decided that it could not or would not proceed, a written explanation would be given. That should be the bottom line. We understand that spurious complaints can be made and, hence, we were not saying that the competent authority had to investigate every complaint, but if there is a reason for it being unable or unwilling to investigate, that needs to be explained to the complainant in writing.

I support the request that, when the Bill is before the Seanad-----

Deputy Clare Daly: Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly We need a commitment.

Deputy Darragh O'Brien: Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien Yes. Does the Leas-Cheann Comhairle want me to adjourn the debate?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Yes. The Deputy will have five minutes to continue when the debate resumes.

Debate adjourned.

Ábhair Shaincheisteanna Tráthúla (Atógáil) - Topical Issue Matters (Resumed)

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I wish to advise the House that the Topical Issue in the name of Deputy Joan Collins will not be taken and is being replaced by one in the name of Deputy Joan Burton - to discuss the shortage of specialised training for educators of vulnerable children with autism spectrum disorder, ASD.

Gnó na Dála - Business of Dáil

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Seán Kyne): Information on Seán Kyne Zoom on Seán Kyne It is proposed notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders or the Order of Business of Tuesday, 19 February, that No. 14b, motion re sitting and the business of the Dáil, on today's Supplementary Order Paper shall be taken now without debate.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Is that agreed? Agreed.

Sitting and Business of Dáil: Motion

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

That, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, and unless the Dáil shall otherwise order, the following arrangements shall apply in relation to the sittings of the Dáil on 26th, 27th and 28th February, 2019:
(a) on Tuesday--
(i) topical issues under Standing Order 29A, and private members’ business under Standing Order 140, shall not be taken; and

(ii) the Dáil shall sit later than 10 p.m., and shall adjourn on the conclusion of the first and second speaking rounds on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2019;
(b) on Wednesday--
(i) the Dáil shall sit at 9.30 a.m. to take Questions to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade under Standing Order 38;

(ii) topical issues under Standing Order 29A shall be taken immediately following Leaders’ Questions under Standing Order 29, and the deadline for such topical issues shall be 6 p.m. the previous day;

(iii) questions on promised legislation under Standing Order 28 shall not be taken;

(iv) Questions to the Taoiseach under Standing Order 38 shall not be taken;

(v) the suspension of sitting under Standing Order 25 shall take place at 3 p.m. for 60 minutes;

(vi) private members’ business under Standing Order 140 shall not be taken; and

(vii) the Dáil shall sit later than 10.15 p.m., and shall adjourn not later than 11.30 p.m., but in any case, if there are no further speakers offering on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2019, the debate shall be adjourned;
(c) on Thursday--
(i) the Dáil shall sit at 9.30 a.m., to take Fianna Fáil’s private members’ business which would have been taken on Wednesday, for two hours;

(ii) Questions to the Minister for Finance under Standing Order 38 shall be taken at 11.30 a.m.;

(iii) Leaders’ Questions under Standing Order 29 shall be taken at 1 p.m.;

(iv) questions on promised legislation under Standing Order 28 shall not be taken;

(v) the motion re the Special Committee on Climate Action shall be taken without debate following Leaders’ Questions, and the weekly division time under Standing Order 70(2) shall be taken on the conclusion of proceedings on the motion;

(vi) no Committee report or private member’s Bill under Standing Orders 91 or 140A respectively shall be taken;

(vii) topical issues under Standing Order 29A shall be taken as the last item of business; and

(viii) the Dáil shall sit later than 8.03 p.m., and shall adjourn not later than 11 .30 p.m.;
(d) the Order of the Dáil of 6th February, 2019, referring the European Parliament Elections (Amendment) Bill 2019 to the Select Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government is hereby discharged, and Committee Stage of the Bill shall be taken in Committee of the whole Dáil;

(e) after Thursday, I4C’s private members’ business, which would have been taken on Tuesday, shall be taken on the next available occasion under Standing Order 140, with the private members’ business rota resuming after that on the slot which would have next occurred under Standing Order 143F if the rota had not been temporarily adjusted; and

(f) the following arrangements shall apply in relation to the second reading of the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2019:
(i) the first speaking round shall consist of speeches by the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and the main spokespersons for each party or group, or a member nominated in their stead;

(ii) the second speaking round shall consist of speeches by the Taoiseach and the leaders of each party or group, or a member nominated in their stead;

(iii) all members may share time; and

(iv) any division demanded on the proceedings relating to the second reading shall be taken immediately.

  Question put and agreed to.


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