Business of Joint Committee

Clerk to the Committee

The Chairman has given notice that he will be unavoidably absent from this meeting. In this, according to Dáil Standing Orders, the committee must proceed at once to elect one of its members as Acting Chairman. I invite nominations for the position of Acting Chairman.

I propose Deputy Shane Cassells.

I second that proposal.

Clerk to the Committee

Are there any other nominations? Is it agreed that Deputy Shane Cassells be elected as Acting Chairman? Agreed.

Deputy Shane Cassells took the Chair.

I propose that we go into private session. Is that agreed? Agreed.

The joint committee went into private session at 1.57 p.m. and resumed in public session at 2.05 p.m.

We are on No. 5, consideration of public petitions. Petition No. 00001/19 from Ms Eleanor Glacken. The petition concerns the price of sanitary products in Ireland. Does any member wish to contribute on the matter? No. Having considered the matter in private session we propose that we would correspond again with the Department of Health and also with the Department of Justice and Equality asking for an update on this issue within the context of the National Strategy for Women and Girls 2017-2020: Creating a Better Society for All, and to forward a copy of the response from the Department of Health as well as the official transcripts from both the Seanad and Dáil debates that have taken place, to the petitioner informing her that the petition remains open. The debate was something the petitioner sought. I note that the petitioner is a student and we have always encouraged participation from students with this committee. Is that agreed? Agreed.

Petition No. 00003/19 is from Mr. Conor Desmond and concerns the issue of hard-copy payslips for school employees and retired members of staff, specifically in the Department of Education and Skills. Does any member wish to contribute on the matter? No. Our decision is that we propose to forward a copy of the response of the Department of Education and Skills to the petitioner, as there has been progress in respect of advancing this issue and the concerns raised by the petitioner, and that we would forward it to the petitioner and close the petition. Is that agreed? Agreed.

The final petition for consideration today is Petition No. 000010/19 from Mr. Brendan Keaveney concerning the production of electricity to improve regional development in Ireland. Does any member wish to contribute on the matter? No. We propose that we forward a copy of the response from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment to the petitioner, who has extensively outlined Project Ireland 2040 and the national planning framework, NPF, and the matters regarding state aid and intervention in this area. Is that agreed? Agreed.

Having considered all of the business in terms of both correspondence and petitions I propose that the committee adjourns until Wednesday, 8 May 2019 at 1.30 p.m.

That coincides with the Arbour Hill mass to commemorate 1916. The Dáil and Seanad will not be sitting in the morning. I respectfully ask that we would look at the timing of the next meeting.

Given what Senator Buttimer said, perhaps we could revert to members and try to agree an alternative date, possibly on the Tuesday afternoon of that week. We will agree the time with members through a circular. Is that agreed? Agreed. We will meet on 8 May but not set a specific time. I thank members for their attendance.

The joint committee adjourned at 2.10 p.m. until Wednesday, 8 May 2019.