Coroners Bill, 1961—From the Seanad.

The Dáil went into Committee to consider amendments from the Seanad.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 1:

Subsection (2) deleted and the following substituted:—

"(2) Where a coroner has the permission of the Minister (which permission may at any time be withdrawn by the Minister) to have his ordinary residence at a particular place outside his district, he shall be deemed to be fulfilling the requirements of subsection (1) of this section so long as he has his ordinary residence at that place."

The purpose of the first two amendments is to meet an objection to the original Bill which was put forward in the Seanad. The first amendment relates to a case where a coroner has permission to have his ordinary residence outside his district and where he shall be deemed to be fulfilling the requirements of the section so long as he has his ordinary residence at that place.

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 2, which relates to deputy coroners:

Subsection (8) deleted and the following substituted:—

"(8) Where a deputy coroner has the permission of the Minister (which permission may at any time be withdrawn by the Minister) to have his ordinary residence at a particular place outside that coroner's district, he shall be deemed to be fulfilling the requirement of subsection (7) of this section so long as he has his ordinary residence at that place."

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 3:

In subsection (5), line 50, "inspector" deleted and "sergeant" substituted.

The House will recall that there was quite a lot of discussion on this matter and I was pressed by a number of Deputies to provide in the Bill for notification to a sergeant or to any member of the Garda Síochána. I undertook to consider it. I was further pressed in the Seanad on the same point and I agreed to an amendment allowing notification to a sergeant of the Garda.

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 4:

In subsection (2), page 12, the following paragraph inserted:—

"(b) for the purpose of paragraph (a) of this subsection, a coroner or deputy coroner who is a solicitor and an executor of the deceased shall not be taken to benefit under a testamentary disposition merely because he is authorised to charge fees in respect of the administration of the estate."

This is in pursuance of an undertaking I gave Deputy Sweetman to meet the point of view put forward here and in the Seanad. The purpose of the amendment is to ensure that a coroner will not be debarred from acting at an inquest simply because there is a clause in the will entitling him to charge professional fees for acting as an executor.

I am greatly obliged to the Minister.

Question put an agreed to.
Amendments reported and agreed to.