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Order of Business (Continued)

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 971 No. 1

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An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl As I understand it, only amendment No. 29 is remaining, which has already been moved by the Minister. I would hope that one hour should be sufficient time in which to deal with that.

Deputy Thomas P. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan There is no chance. It is a recommittal. I sit with the Ceann Comhairle on the Committee on Procedure and it is time we looked at the issue of recommittals and the fact there are no time limits on speakers. The Ceann Comhairle and the Leas-Cheann Comhairle tried in a very democratic and professional way to get us through the Bill under the existing rules but we would need until lunchtime to try to finish this much needed legislation. What has happened with this Bill is bad for the reputation of this House. It cannot go on.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl When we are consulting this afternoon on the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017, we will consult on that matter as well and will see if progress can be achieved. Is Thursday's business agreed? Agreed.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin I thought the Tánaiste was lacking in gratitude to the leader of Sinn Féin. He forgot to mention the strong electoral alliance between his party and Sinn Féin, as manifested in Sinn Féin voting in its entirety for Senator Lawlor. It was very noticeable and the most striking electoral alliance so far in the House this year. The enthusiastic support for the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2017 also was quite revealing, given Sinn Féin's great relationship with the Judiciary over the years. They are strongly behind the Government and Deputy Ross on that.

The Tánaiste: Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney I am glad the Deputy is making those points.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Jealousy will get the Deputy nowhere.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin On childcare, the programme for Government promises to develop targeted supports to reduce childcare costs, broaden parental choice and increase supports to stay-at-home parents. This commitment is not being met and weekly costs are enormous. In Fingal, for example, it is €204 per week. In south Dublin, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin city and nationally it is very high. It is the biggest outlay per month next to mortgage payments. The Tánaiste should outline how the Government plans to improve the situation for parents out there over the next couple of years.

The Tánaiste: Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Maybe it is the heat getting to the Deputy but I am glad that when he talks about any potential for coalition between Fine Gael and Sinn Féin, he says it with a smile on his face. The reality is that Fianna Fáil have voted with Sinn Féin a lot more regularly in this House than has Fine Gael.

Deputy Darragh O'Brien: Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien Not true.

The Tánaiste: Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney My understanding is that there is no dispute among the Front Bench in my party on that issue. Maybe the Deputy should check his own.

Deputy Darragh O'Brien: Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien Jet lag is getting to the Tánaiste.

The Tánaiste: Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney On childcare, nobody could criticise this Government for not being ambitious in trying to introduce a more affordable childcare model. The Minister, Deputy Zappone, has brought forward a hugely expensive package for the State but it is money well spent and we will see a transformation of childcare provision in the coming years on the back of that proposal.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl I call Deputy McDonald.

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald: Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald I thank the Ceann Comhairle.

The Tánaiste: Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Does the Deputy feel wanted this morning?

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald: Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald Pardon me?

The Tánaiste: Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Is the Deputy feeling wanted?

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald: Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald Kind of. They say the only thing worse than people talking about you is people not talking about you and I take that view. I welcome the Tánaiste back and can see that he is jet-lagged. I am not sure about the sunstroke Deputy Howlin or Deputy Barry was suggesting.

The British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference, BIIGC, is to be convened on 25 July. I welcome that fact. As the Tánaiste knows, we have been calling since February for this conference to be convened. It is clear that the focus of the conference now needs to be the outstanding issues that have prevented the re-establishment of the power-sharing institutions in the North, namely, marriage equality, Acht na Gaeilge and legacy issues. The conference will be a lost opportunity if it proves to only be a one-day wonder or a delaying device to do nothing. I ask the Tánaiste to shed some light on what will be the conference's agenda. What items does he foresee it dealing with and will the Government agree to statements in the Dáil next week on the North in advance of the convening of the intergovernmental conference?


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