Díreoimid anois ar ár mbreithniú ar an ábhar atá os ár gcomhair inniu, is é sin, Beart na Breatnaise agus na caighdeáin a chuireann sé i bhfeidhm. Cuirim fearadh na fáilte roimh Choimisinéir Teanga na Breataine Bige, Aled Roberts. Gabhaim buíochas leis, agus leis na baill, as a bheith anseo linn inniu.
Ar dtús báire, rachaidh mé tríd an ngnáthráiteas. I have to go through the normal notice on parliamentary privilege agus ansin beidh mé leis an gcoimisinéir. Cuirim ar aird an fhinné go bhfuil finnéithe, de bhua alt 17(2)(l) den Acht um Chlúmhilleadh 2009, faoi chosaint ag lánphribhléid maidir leis an bhfianaise a thugann siad don choiste seo chomh fada is atá siad lonnaithe sa seomra coiste féin. Má ordaíonn an comhchoiste dóibh, ámh, éirí as an bhfianaise a thabhairt i leith ní áirithe agus má leanann siad dá tabhairt, níl siad i dteideal dá éis sin ach pribhléid cáilithe i leith na fianaise acu.
I wish to draw the attention of the witness to the long-standing parliamentary practice that he should not criticise or make charges against any person or entity by name or in such a way as to make him, her or it identifiable or otherwise engage in speech that might be regarded as damaging to the good name of the person or entity. Therefore, if his statements are potentially defamatory in relation to an identified person or entity, he will be directed to discontinue his remarks. It is imperative that he comply with any such direction. As he is participating in this meeting from outside the parliamentary precincts of Tithe an Oireachtais, he should note that there are some limitations to parliamentary privilege and, as such, he may not benefit from the same level of immunity from legal proceedings as a witness physically present does. In addition, as he is participating in the meeting from a jurisdiction outside the State, he is advised that he should also be mindful of his domestic law and how it may apply to evidence he gives. He should be advised that his opening statement and any other document he has laid or will lay before the comhchoiste will be published on the comhchoiste's website after this meeting.
Meabhraím do na baill den chomhchoiste atá anseo linn inniu an cleachtadh parlaiminte atá ann le fada nár chóir dóibh tuairimí a thabhairt maidir le duine atá taobh amuigh de na Tithe nó oifigeach ina ainm nó ina hainm ar shlí ina bhféadfaí iad a aithint.
I formally thank Mr. Roberts for agreeing to be with us and sharing his thoughts today. A number of members have just stepped out but have said that they will be back. Mr. Roberts will see on his screen Senator Ward and me, the Chair. Deputy Connolly, who is the vice chair of the Dáil, has had to step out. She is speaking in the Chamber in a few minutes. She has promised she will be back. I have received apologies from a number of other members, including Senators Ó Donnghaile and Mullen. Deputy Calleary has said he will be late but that he will be here. I formally ask Mr. Roberts to start the debate nó tús a chur leis an díospóireacht.