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 Header Item Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation (Continued)
 Header Item Gnó na Dála - Business of Dáil
 Header Item Special Joint Committee on Climate Action: Motion
 Header Item Ábhair Shaincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Matters

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 980 No. 8

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(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick: Information on Peter Fitzpatrick Zoom on Peter Fitzpatrick] The Minister also stated that all Irish-registered fishing vessels of 18 m and over will be excluded from fishing inside Ireland's six-mile fishery limit from 2021 onwards, yet the Government is attempting to fast-track legislation that will allow vessels from Northern Ireland to fish inside Ireland's six-mile fishery zone. The UK has already stated that it is leaving the London Fisheries Convention, severing the existing arrangements which allow for access to inshore waters between neighbouring member states. Irish fishing organisations and fishermen are totally frustrated. It is hoped that the Bill is at least delayed until the outcome of the Brexit negotiations is known, and there is time for proper consultation with stakeholders.

Deputy Michael Creed: Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed It is important to put on record what exactly we propose to do, which is to reinstate a reciprocal arrangement that existed long before the London convention was agreed in the early 1960s, which recognised that there were established fishing patterns in play. What happened in October 2016 is the Supreme Court found that our arrangements were struck down in that context. Fishermen in the Republic of Ireland still enjoy a right and entitlement to fish in the Northern Ireland inshore sector. We are merely proposing to reinstate by legislation an arrangement that existed up to then.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl There are three Deputies offering. I will take 30 second questions from each of them.

Deputy Imelda Munster: Information on Imelda Munster Zoom on Imelda Munster There are more than 4,500 people on the housing waiting list in County Louth. The Rebuilding Ireland targets are to deliver just 1,074 homes between now and 2021. That leaves a shortfall of more than 75% without even taking into account those families who will come onto the housing list between now and 2021. Despite the Government's protestations, Rebuilding Ireland is clearly not working because the figures are there to prove that. Does the Tánaiste accept that only the roll-out of a policy to provide public housing on public lands with public finances will solve this crisis?

Deputy Brian Stanley: Information on Brian Stanley Zoom on Brian Stanley I wish to raise a separate issue.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl I know that.

Deputy Brian Stanley: Information on Brian Stanley Zoom on Brian Stanley My question relates to page 3 of the programme for Government, which relates to reducing waiting lists in emergency departments to less than six hours. I wish to raise that in the context of Portlaoise hospital. A consultation process was announced for the hospital at the end of 2017. When we met the Minister for Health he said there would be a consultation process with local stakeholders, which he promised would be speedy but the process has not started yet. At the time I asked if it would be used to just to kick the can down the road and 16 months later that is exactly what has happened. I asked the Minister numerous times in this Chamber when the consultation process would start and I was told before Christmas that a facilitator would be appointed soon. Then, hey presto, I got an answer this morning from the Minister which said consideration is being given to appointing an independent external facilitator for the consultation process.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Does the Deputy have a question?

Deputy Brian Stanley: Information on Brian Stanley Zoom on Brian Stanley This is a step backwards.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Does the Deputy have a question?

Deputy Brian Stanley: Information on Brian Stanley Zoom on Brian Stanley This is causing major uncertainty about the emergency department in Portlaoise hospital.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Does the Deputy have a question?

Deputy Brian Stanley: Information on Brian Stanley Zoom on Brian Stanley It is causing problems for the recruitment of staff because the hospital is over dependent on temporary staff.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Does the Deputy have a question?

Deputy Brian Stanley: Information on Brian Stanley Zoom on Brian Stanley The issue is going around in circles.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Deputy Stanley is going around in circles.

Deputy Brian Stanley: Information on Brian Stanley Zoom on Brian Stanley When will the consultation process on Portlaoise hospital start?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Will the Deputy resume his seat?

Deputy Brian Stanley: Information on Brian Stanley Zoom on Brian Stanley When will the facilitator for the consultation process be put in place?

Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice: Information on Michael Fitzmaurice Zoom on Michael Fitzmaurice In the programme for Government a commitment was made that within the first three months an application would be made by the Government to the EU for the western arc to be included in TEN-T funding. The commitment has not been honoured by the Government. I do not know where the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport has gone but he does not seem to realise that with Brexit going on it is now more important than ever for counties along the west coast, from Donegal down, to be included in core TEN-T funding. Will the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade take an interest in the matter and get it delivered, in conjunction with the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport because he does not seem to have an interest in it?

The Tánaiste: Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney I will give three fairly concise answers. First, in response to Deputy Munster, her party, along with other parties on the all-party committee that was set up to look at housing and social housing, set targets with which Rebuilding Ireland is consistent, in terms of delivering an extra 50,000 social housing units.

Deputy Imelda Munster: Information on Imelda Munster Zoom on Imelda Munster The targets are not working.

The Tánaiste: Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney That is because this is a five-year strategy. It will not work in year one or year two on its own. One can only measure the delivery of social housing on the basis of increasing output over a five-year period, which is exactly what is happening.

Deputy Imelda Munster: Information on Imelda Munster Zoom on Imelda Munster The Tánaiste is eight years in government.

The Tánaiste: Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney We are meeting the figures to which Deputy Munster's party signed up in the context of the original Rebuilding Ireland document and the all-party committee. In fact, the figures from the point of view of Rebuilding Ireland have been upgraded since then to 50,000 from approximately 47,000 extra social housing units.

I will get the Minister to respond directly to Deputy Stanley. I will raise the issue with him and outline the frustrations expressed by the Deputy today.

In relation to TEN-T funding, I do not think the Government could be accused of not investing in transport infrastructure in the west given some of the recent announcements in terms of road developments there. I will raise the question Deputy Fitzmaurice asked about TEN-T funding with the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Deputy Ross, and ask him where that specific issue is at, and the qualification criteria.

Gnó na Dála - Business of Dáil

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney I move:

That notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders or the Order of Business of 12 March 2019, first, the rota for Private Members' business in accordance with Standing Order 143F shall be amended by way of the following temporary sequence: Solidarity-People Before Profit shall take the slot on 26 March and the Social Democrats-Green Party group shall take the slot on 17 April, and the rota shall otherwise be unchanged; second, No. 16b, motion re special committee on climate action on today's supplementary Order Paper shall be taken now, without debate, and any division demanded thereon, shall be taken immediately.

  Question put and agreed to.

Special Joint Committee on Climate Action: Motion

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney I move:

That, in relation to the Special Committee on Climate Action-----

(a) the Order of 3rd July, 2018 appointing the Committee (as amended by Order of the Dáil of 28th February, 2019) is amended by the substitution of ‘28th March, 2019’ for ’14th March, 2019;
and
(b) notwithstanding the Order of the Dáil of 28th February, 2019, having reported to both Houses of the Oireachtas on or before 28th March, 2019, the Committee shall, not more than two weeks thereafter, report to both Houses recommending revised draft orders of reference for the Committee.”

  Question put and agreed to.

Ábhair Shaincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Matters

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl I wish to advise the House of the following matters in respect of which notice has been given under Standing Order 29A and the name of the Member in each case: (1) Deputy James Browne - to discuss with the IDA the provision of additional jobs and further investment in County Wexford; (2) Deputy Eamon Scanlon - to discuss provision of an emergency ambulance service in the north west; (3) Deputy John Brassil - to discuss the allocation of residential services for people with disabilities in Cork Kerry community healthcare and nationwide; (4) Deputy John Curran - to discuss the lack of primary school places in Rathcoole; (5) Deputy Shane Cassells - to discuss development of the new St. Mary's special school in Navan; (6) Deputies Eoin Ó Broin and Thomas P. Broughan - to discuss developments on the proposed cannabis access programme; (7) Deputy Mick Wallace - to discuss EU intervention for an end of the US sanctions in Venezuela; (8) Deputy Fergus O'Dowd - to discuss the allocation of home care hours from the HSE, for persons in the CHO 8 area; (9) Deputy Frank O'Rourke - to discuss improvements in public transport for north Kildare, particularly in Celbridge; (10) Deputy Dara Calleary - to discuss the impact of the decision of the Commission for Regulation of Utilities in relation to the Mayo Power project; (11) Deputy Niall Collins - to discuss a review of the Prohibition on Incitement to Hatred Act 1989 and racism here; (12) Deputy Jim O'Callaghan - to discuss support for all victims of terrorism and violence on the island of Ireland and the United Kingdom; (13) Deputy Pat Buckley - to discuss closure of respite beds at Midleton hospital; and (14) Deputy Robert Troy - to discuss the potential impact of Brexit on Ireland’s cruise ship and tourism industry.

The matters raised by Deputies Shane Cassells, Pat Buckley and Dara Calleary have been selected for discussion.

  Sitting suspended at 1.20 p.m. and resumed at 2.20 p.m.


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