Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

Water Services Bill 2014: Report and Final Stages

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 862 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 111 Next Page Last Page

Water Services Bill 2014: Report and Final Stages

Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly: Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly On a point of order, I seek permission to move that section 5 be recommitted to Committee Stage from Report Stage based on an irregularity in how closure was sought under Standing Order 66 last Friday. My understanding is that closure of the debate requires a vote of the House. The transcript shows there was no vote, which is serious in light of a Member being suspended. I wish to move that section 5 be recommitted now.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett You will have to do that when we reach section 5.

Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly: Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly I was told that because we do not debate the Bill section by section on Report Stage, there is no opportunity to move the motion. I am more than happy to do it at the appropriate time.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett You can remind me when we reach section 5.

  Amendment No. 1 is out of order.

  Amendment No. 1 not moved.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Amendment No. 2 is out of order.

Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly: Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly On a point of order, I seek a ruling from the Chair on amendment No. 2. The reason given for amendment No. 2 being ruled out of order is that it is in conflict with the principle of the Bill. The amendment seeks to replace the plebiscite section with a provision that puts an onus on the Government to introduce a Bill providing for a referendum. How is changing a public vote to a public vote on the Constitution in conflict with the principle of the Bill?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett The amendment seeks to insert new text providing that within three months of the passing of the Bill the Government must introduce a constitutional amendment. The current Bill does not propose to amend the Constitution. The amendment is in conflict with the principle of the Bill as read a Second Time and must therefore be ruled out of order in accordance with Standing Order 131.

Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly: Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly If I may-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett It is out of order, Deputy. We must proceed.

Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly: Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly It is a procedural question. The amendment I tabled on Committee Stage was ruled out of order on the grounds that it sought to change the Constitution and a Bill that seeks to change the Constitution cannot do anything else. I resubmitted an amendment which does not seek to change the Constitution but to oblige the Government to bring forward a Bill to change the Constitution.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett That is not in accordance with the principle of the Bill. I assure the Deputy that this has been examined. If you wish to talk to the officials separately, they will explain it.

Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly: Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly I appreciate that, but-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett We cannot debate it on the floor of the House.

Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly: Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly Can I not get a ruling from you?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I have given the ruling. It is out of order.

Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly: Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly It is very difficult to understand how-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I read it for the Deputy.

Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly: Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly You read out the Standing Order, but the explanation-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I did not read out the Standing Order. I read out the reason. It has been ruled out of order in accordance with Standing Order 131.

Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly: Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly The rationale given for the ruling on the Committee Stage amendment does not apply here because-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett It does apply.

Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly: Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly The amendment does not seek to change the Constitution, so it does not appear to be in conflict with the principle of the Bill.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Amendment No. 2 proposes to amend section 2 of the Bill, which provides that where a Government proposes to initiate legislation which amends the ownership structure of Irish Water there must be a resolution from both Houses of the Oireachtas, and that the proposal would be submitted to referendum.


Last Updated: 24/04/2020 11:30:14 First Page Previous Page Page of 111 Next Page Last Page