An Bille um Údarás na Gaeltachta, 1978: An Coiste (Atógail). Údarás na Gaeltachta Bill, 1978: Committee Stage (Resumed).

Leanadh an díospóireacht ar leasú a 6:
Ar leathanach 11, roimh alt 9, alt nua a chur isteach mar a leanas:
"9—(1) Chun forbairt na Gaeltachta a chur chun cinn ó thaobh teanga, geilleagair, sóisialachta, cultúir agus gnéithiúlachta feidhmeoidh an tÚdarás, maidir leis na nGaeltacht, ó dháta an Achta seo a theacht in éifeacht, na cumhachtaí i ndáil le deonú cead pleanála a bhíonn á bhfeidhmiú faoi na hAchtanna Rialtais Áitiúil (Pleanála agus Forbartha) 1963 go 1976 i leith na Gaeltachta ag na húdaráis phleanála éagsúla ar ina gcuid limistéar atá an Ghaeltacht.
(2) Ní chuirfidh aon ní san alt seo srian le ceart aon iarratasóra achomharc a dhéanamh chun an Bhoird Phleanála."
NEW SECTION.
Debate resumed on amendment No. 6:
In page 10, before section 9, to insert a new section as follows:
"9—(1) For the purpose of promoting the linguistic, economic, social, cultural and environmental development of the Gaeltacht, an tÚdarás shall in respect of the Gaeltacht, exercise from the date of the coming into effect of this Act the powers in relation to the granting of planning permission exercised under the Local Government (Planning and Development) Acts 1963 to 1976 in respect of the Gaeltacht by the various planning authorities in whose areas the Gaeltacht is situated.
(2) Nothing in this section shall restrict the right of any applicant to appeal to an Bord Pleanála.".
—(Deputy Horgan.)

When I moved the adjournment I was explaining the reasons behind different aspects of this amendment. There are two minor but still significant aspects and one major aspect to it. The first of the two minor aspects of it is the revision of the order of the adjectives preceding the word "development" in order to ensure that the linguistic task of An tÚdarás is given priority in the Bill. If An tÚdarás is to be more than merely Gaeltarra Éireann under another name its linguistic task must be given priority in the Bill. As the Bill is presented to us its linguistic task is named third in rank order after "economic" and "social". This is a small part of the amendment which perhaps will need to be introduced separately at a later Stage but is something which should commend itself to the Minister and to the House.

The second point is perhaps purely linguistic and is the substitute of the word "environmental" for the word "physical" in the English text. I have searched the Department of Education's new Irish language dictionary to find the word "gnéithiúlachta" without finding it. If I found it at all it was in relation to physical comeliness of a type usually applied to young maidens and not of a type applied to the physical environment in which we live and breathe. I feel sure that environmental is meant here. Perhaps this is a matter for a separate and more detailed amendment later on, but I feel it worth while mentioning it at this stage.

I said that the main burden of this amendment is really at the core of our approach to this Bill. When I spoke on Second Stage I made it clear that without an effective say in planning the social and linguistic aspect of the work of An tÚdarás would effectively be a dead letter. I still believe that, and that is why I put down this amendment, which, although relatively brief, confers a considerable range of powers on An tÚdarás without, at the same time, impeding in any way the right of any person looking for planning permission to follow the normal procedures and appeal to An Bord Pleanála.

Part of the problem of many of the Gaeltacht areas in relation to planning is that they form only a small part—in some cases only a tiny part—of the total area over which their planning authority exercise jurisdiction. Their representation on that local authority and on the planning committee of that local authority is necessarily limited and may even be non-existent, so that with the best will in the world there is a high probability that the fundamental linguistic and social characteristics of the Gaeltachtaí may not be given sufficient weight when it comes to the granting of planning permission. We believe that this is a fundamental issue, I suspect that it is one which any Udarás of the type we are proposing here will come looking for very shortly after its establishment. We are looking to the Minister now to be generous in advance and to give An tÚdarás this power so that the total social and communitarian qualities of the Gaeltacht areas will have this very necessary protection against invasion and disruption.

Ní fheicim arís go bhfuil mórán difríochta idir an méid atá molta ag an Teachta Horgan agus an méid atá sa Bhille fhéin. Is dóigh, le firinne, má thógáimid an tAcht Pleanála mar atá sé i láthair na huaire níl i gceist ann ach pleanáil fisiciúil, mar a déarfá, agus níl aon cheist faoi cultúr ná a leithéidí sin. Is dócha gur locht ar an Acht féin é nach bhfuil rudaí mar sin curtha san áireamh. Mar sin fhéin, tá caoi ann le cur in aghaidh iarrataisí pleanála, is cuma cén áit a bhfuil siad nó cén chuid den tír a mbaineann siad leo. Tá sé luaite, fiú amháin, ag an Teachta fhéin i gceann de na moltaí atá déanta aige ansin go mbeadh deis ag an Údarás dul go dtí an Bord Pleanála le cur in aghaidh pleanáil nó a mhalairt. Sílim go bhfuil caoi ag an Údarás cibé cumhachtaí a shíleann siad a theastáil uathu ins na cumhachtaí seo a fháil agus go mbeadh muid ag cur isteach ar dhaonlathas na mball féin a bheith ag iarraidh scríobh isteach anseo céard go díreach ba cheart dóibh a dhéanamh. Tá cumhachtaí acu ins an Bhille nó deis acu na cumhachtaí an seo a iarraidh. Sílim gur fearr mar sin é ná bheith ag scríobh cuile shórt sa Bhille. Bheadh sé ag cúngú cumhachtaí an Údaráis níos mó ná tada eile má scríobhaimid cuile shórt go díreach isteach sa Bhille. Dá bhrí sin sé an tuairim atá agamsa gur fearr é mar atá sé agus deis a thabhairt don Udarás é féin nuair a thoghfar é iarraidh céard iad na cumhachtaí a theastaigh uathu maidir le cúrsaí mar seo agus iarraidh ar an Aire agus ar an Rialtas na cumhachtaí sin a thabhairt dóibh.

Measaim féin go bhfuil ceart ag an Aire. Tá Gaeltarra Éireann ann faoi láthair. Tá an tÚdarás ann agus Roinn na Gaeltachta ann. Measaim féin go bhfuil seans an-thábhachtach ag an Aire anois iad go léir a thabhairt le chéile. Tá siad scapaithe ag an bpointe seo. Mar sin féin déarfainn go bhfuil sé i bhfad níos measa ná mar a bhí sé riamh. D'fhéadfadh an tAire lá maith oibre a dhéanamh na comharchumainn uile a thabhairt isteach faoin Udarás. Tá na comharchumainn faoi láthair ag plé le saol sóisialta agus eacnamaíochta na Gaeltachta—gach gné den Ghaeltacht tá na comharchumainn istigh ann. Tá siad lastair den chultúr atá sa Ghaeltacht faoi láthair.

Tá difríocht mhór idir na deontaisí ó Roinn na Gaeltachta agus ó Ghaeltarra Éireann. Ba cheart don Aire féachaint ar ón bpointe sin. Cén fáth nach bhfuil sórt compulsory purchasing power ag an Údarás mar atá ag an IDA? Ba cheart go mbeadh an chumhacht sin ag Údarás na Gaeltachta. Dá mbeadh an chumhacht sin ag an Údarás bheadh sé an-oiriúnach ar fad. Cén fáth nach bhfuil an tAire ábalta an chumhacht sin a scríobh isteach san Bhille faoi láthair? Tá an tAire ag rá ó mhaidin go mbeidh sé ábalta na cumhachtaí sin fháil ón Rialtas. Cén fáth nach bhfuil sé ábalta rud mar sin a dhéanamh? Beidh sé á thaispeáint dúinn go bhfuil a chroí sa Bhille. Go dtí sin tá sé ag labhairt mar gheall ar chumhacht ach níl an chumhacht sin le feiscint in aon áit sa Bhille.

Ní maith liom dul ar ais ar an rud a dúirt mé cheana. Luaigh an Teachta Begley na cumhachtaí atá ag an IDA. Ní heol domsa gur bhain siad úsáid astu riamh.

Bhain siad úsáid astu i gCiarraí.

Ceart go leor. Mar adúirt mé ní féidir chuile shórt a scríobh isteach san Bhille. Má chuirimid na cursaí seo ar fad isteach an mbeifeá ar bhealach ag cur srian ar an Údarás féin. Is fearr é a fhágáil solúbtha agus deis a thabhairt don Údarás féin nuair a bheidh sé bunaithe cibé cumhachtaí a shíleann siad a theastaigh uathu a fháil agus ordú a chur ós comhair na Dála.

I am surprised the Minister did not know the IDA used compulsory powers. They did so in North Kerry not so long ago, as Deputy C. Aherne can tell him, and I am sure they did so in parts of Mayo too. If the Bill is to have teeth the Minister should write some powers into the Bill. It is fine for the Minister to say that if they look for the powers he will give them, but when they want the power the Minister might not be there or Deputy Horgan might not be here. Nobody knows who will be here, but would it not be great for posterity if some powers were written into the Bill, because they are non-existent in this Bill?

Táimíd ag caint ar leasú a 6 fós. An Teachta Horgan ar an leasú.

I might enlighten Deputy Begley as to why there is no possibility of inserting even at this point compulsory purchase powers into the Bill from this side of the House, and that is because it would suffer the same fate as a number of our amendments which were regarded as creating a potential charge on the revenue and were put out of order for that reason. The Minister's argument on this amendment was based on two points, first, An tÚdarás could make their views known to An Bord Pleanála and, second, we could not write every type of power into this Bill. Of course An tÚdarás can object to An Bord Pleanála but the right of objection to that board is no more than is given under the 1976 Planning and Development Act to every dog and devil in the Gaeltacht. There seems to be little point in going to the trouble of setting up the new Údarás if they will not be given any more rights in the Bill in relation to planning than any other single individual.

In relation to what the Minister said about putting powers in the Bill I would agree with him to this extent. You cannot write everything you would like to see into a Bill because the dangers and limitations of too much detail become self-evident after a while. An attempt was made by myself and Deputy Begley to write many other powers into the Bill but they were ruled out of order on the ground that they would involve a charge on the revenue.

This single power which we seek to write into the Bill would not involve any potential charge on the revenue and to my mind is worth all the other powers put together. If they had this power, we would not be making much of a fuss about any other power we think An tÚdarás might need. This is the critical one for the survival of Gaeltacht communities. If it is not given now God knows when it will be given and by then it may be too late, if it is given at all.

I support Deputy Horgan in what he said about planning. An tÚdarás cannot plan for the Gaeltacht because they have little or no power. I can visualise the cat fight which took place. The Minister for the Environment is not prepared to give away any of his powers. His Department wish to retain those powers, and the same thing is running through the Bill. The Minister was tied up by other Ministers when he went to the Cabinet looking for powers. I have a certain amount of sympathy for him because he gave an undertaking that he would bring in An tÚdarás but what he is bringing in is not what the people in the Gaeltacht, Connradh na Gaeilge or anyone else want. I would appeal at this late stage for the Minister to accept the spirit of Deputy Horgan's amendment that at least planning be included in the Údarás and assure us that he will come back on Report Stage, having twisted the arm of the Minister for the Environment to give that bit of power to the Údarás.

Mar adúirt mé, beidh an tÚdarás in ann na cumhachtaí seo ar fad, cosúil le cumhachtaí eile a luadh anseo inniú, a fháil. Ní bheidh moill ar bith orthu iad a iarraidh agus a fháil. Beidh sé i bhfad níos fusa é a dhéanamh ar an gcaoi sin ná a bheith ag iarraidh an rud atá molta ag an Teachta Begley agus an Teachta Horgan a dhéanamh. Nil duine ar bith ag cur in aghaidh na coda seo den Bhille, ach sílim gur fearr na rudaí atá á iarraidh a fhágáil amach. Má chuireann tú isteach pleanáil tuige nach gcuirfimid isteach rudaí eile? Sílim go mba cheart dúinn é a fhágáil mar atá sé.

Cuireadh an cheist: "Go gcuirfear isteach an t-alt nua a thairgeadh."

Question put: "That the new section be there inserted."
Rinne an Coiste vótáil: Tá, 47; Níl, 67.
The Dáil divided: Tá 47; Níl, 67.

  • Barry, Peter.
  • Barry, Richard.
  • Begley, Michael.
  • Belton, Luke.
  • Bermingham, Joseph.
  • Boland, John.
  • Bruton, John.
  • Burke, Joan.
  • Byrne, Hugh.
  • Clinton, Mark.
  • Cluskey, Frank.
  • Collins, Edward.
  • Conlan, John F.
  • Cosgrave, Michael J.
  • Creed, Donal.
  • Crotty, Kieran.
  • D'Arcy, Michael J.
  • Deasy, Martin A.
  • Desmond, Barry.
  • Desmond, Eileen.
  • Donnellan, John F.
  • Enright, Thomas W.
  • FitzGerald, Garret.
  • Fitzpatrick, Tom (Cavan-Monaghan).
  • Flanagan, Oliver J.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harte, Patrick D.
  • Hegarty, Paddy.
  • Horgan, John.
  • Kavanagh, Liam.
  • Keating, Michael.
  • Kenny, Enda.
  • L'Estrange, Gerry.
  • McMahon, Larry.
  • Mitchell, Jim.
  • Murphy, Michael P.
  • O'Brien, William.
  • O'Connell, John.
  • O'Leary, Michael.
  • O'Toole, Paddy.
  • Pattison, Séamus.
  • Quinn, Ruairí.
  • Spring, Dan.
  • Taylor, Frank.
  • Timmins, Godfrey.
  • Tully, James.
  • White, James.

Níl

  • Ahern, Kit.
  • Allen, Lorcan.
  • Andrews, David.
  • Briscoe, Ben.
  • Brosnan, Seán.
  • Browne, Seán.
  • Burke, Raphael P.
  • Calleary, Seán.
  • Cogan, Barry.
  • Colley, George.
  • Conaghan, Hugh.
  • Connolly, Gerard.
  • Cronin, Jerry.
  • Daly, Brendan.
  • Davern, Noel.
  • de Valera, Sile.
  • Doherty, Seán.
  • Farrell, Joe.
  • Faulkner, Pádraig.
  • Filgate, Eddie.
  • Fitzgerald, Gene.
  • Fitzpatrick, Tom (Dublin South-Central).
  • Fitzsimons, James N.
  • Flynn, Pádraig.
  • Fox, Christopher J.
  • French, Seán.
  • Gallagher, Dennis.
  • Geoghegan-Quinn, Máire.
  • Haughey, Charles J.
  • Herbert, Michael.
  • Hussey, Thomas.
  • Keegan, Seán.
  • Kenneally, William.
  • Andrews, Niall.
  • Brady, Gerard.
  • Brady, Vincent.
  • Killeen, Tim.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Lalor, Patrick J.
  • Lemass, Eileen.
  • Lenihan, Brian.
  • Leonard, Jimmy.
  • Leyden, Terry.
  • Lynch, Jack.
  • McCreevy, Charlie.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacSharry, Ray.
  • Meaney, Tom.
  • Molloy, Robert.
  • Moore, Seán.
  • Morley, P.J.
  • Murphy, Ciarán P.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Connor, Timothy C.
  • O'Donoghue, Martin.
  • O'Hanlon, Rory.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • O'Leary, John.
  • O'Malley, Desmond.
  • Power, Paddy.
  • Reynolds, Albert.
  • Smith, Michael.
  • Tunney, Jim.
  • Walsh, Joe.
  • Walsh, Seán.
  • Wilson, John P.
  • Woods, Michael J.
Tellers, Tá: Deputies B. Desmond and Creed; Níl, Deputies P. Lalor and Briscoe.
Amendment declared lost.
Airítheoirí: Tá, Teachtaí B. Desmond agus Creed; Níl, Teachtaí P. Lalor agus Briscoe.
Faisnéiseadh go rabhthas tar éis diúltú don leasú.
NEW SECTION.

Tairgim leasú a 7:

Ar leathanach 11, roimh alt 9, alt nua a chur isteach mar a leanas:

"9.—(1) Chun forbairt na Gaeltachta a chur chun cinn ó thaobh teanga, geilleagair, sóisialachta, cultúir agus gnéithiúlachta, iarrfaidh aon údarás pleanála a bheidh ag feidhmiú sa Ghaeltacht comhairle agus toiliú an Údaráis sula dtabharfar cead pleanála le haghaidh aon fhorbairt sa Ghaeltacht.

(2) Ní chuirfidh aon ní san alt seo srian le ceart aon iarratasóra achomharc a dhéanamh chun an Bhoird Phleanála.".

I move amendment No. 7:

7. In page 10, before section 9, to insert a new section as follows:

"9.—(1) For the purpose of promoting the linguistic, economic, social, cultural and environmental development of the Gaeltacht, the advice and consent of an tÚdarás shall be sought by any planning authority operating in the Gaeltacht before planning permission is given for any development in the Gaeltacht.

(2) Nothing in this section shall restrict the right of any applicant to appeal to an Bord Pleanála.".

This is the last opportunity that we have to give a significant role in planning to the Údarás and I would be prepared to consider altering this amendment. If the Minister still and steadfastly refuses to give the Údarás the right of a veto over the operation of the planning legislation he might at the very least give them a statutory right to act in an advisory capacity to all local authorities. If the Minister is not in agreement with the insertion of a power of consent, will he at least agree to the insertion of a statutory advisory power for the Údarás in respect of the planning legislation between now and Report Stage of the Bill?

Níl sé i gceist ag an bpointe seo agus a bhaineann sé liomsa aon athrú a dhéanamh ar an chuid seo den Bhille. Mar a dúirt mé, tá an deis ann ag an Údarás féin na cumhachtaí seo a iarraidh. Is ar na prionsabail atá ag fágáil na cúrsaí mar atá siad fhad is a bhaineann siad leis an chuid seo den Bhille.

Tarraingíodh siar an leasú, faoi chead.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
ALT 9.
SECTION 9.

Tá leasaithe a 8 agus a 9 as ord.

Cuireadh an cheist: "Go bhfanfaidh alt a 9 mar chuid den Bhille."

Question proposed: "That section 9 stand part of the Bill."

During the debate on the Second Stage I asked the Minister, and perhaps he could give me the information now, for any precedent in relation to subsection (2), paragraph (a) of section 9. This paragraph includes the phrase "including modification of statutory provisions". We would like to know if this creates a precedent for a different method of legislating in the future whether in relation to Údarás na Gaeltachta or any other statutory body. Does this mean that the Government may effectively by order change the law subject only to the passage of an affirmatory resolution by each House of the Oireachtas? This seems to me to be a new departure but, if there is a precedent for it, I would be interested to know from the Minister what the precedent is.

I láthair na huaire bíonn orduithe tugtha ós cómhair an Tí faoi chuid mhaith cúrsaí agus ní shílim go bhfuil aon athrú ar leith anseo nach bhfuil ann cheana. Bhí sé againn cúpla seachtain ó shin faoi chúrsaí iascair-eachta. An rud céanna atá i gceist anseo. Is féidir iarraidh ar an Rialtas orduithe a thabhairt isteach ó am go ham do réir mar a iarrfadh an tÚdarás orm rud mar sin a dhéanamh.

Cuireadh agus aontaíodh an cheist.

ALT 10.

SECTION 10.

Tá leasaithe a 10 agus a 11 as ord.

Tairgim leasú a 12:

Ar leathanach 13, fo-alt (3), line 3, "nó leis an Aire Talmhaíochta nó leis an Aire Iascaigh, de réir mar a bheidh," a chur isteach i ndiaidh "Fuinnimh".

I move amendment No. 12:

In page 12, subsection (3), line 2, after "Energy" to insert "or the Minister for Agriculture or the Minister for Fisheries as the case may be".

This amendment relates to page 12 of the English text and to page 13 of the Irish text. Subsection (3) refers to the need which is now laid statutorily upon the Minister for the Gaeltacht to consult with the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Energy in relation to the financial assistance to be provided for any particular project specified in subsection (2). That is in relation to the financial limits. It seems to us that the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Energy is not by any manner or means the only Minister concerned with the economic development of the Gaeltacht and the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Fisheries and Forestry should also be written in here because agriculture and fisheries are still among the most important components of the economic life of the Gaeltacht. It goes somewhat against the grain to be writing further consultation procedures into a Bill of this kind but in this particular case there seems to be a reasonable argument for it and it seems odd to include one of the three relevant Ministers without including the others.

I agree with Deputy Horgan this is a vital section because the limits to be set under this subsection are absolutely vital since they will determine the level of grants and incentives or shareholding which An tÚdarás can apply within their own discretion. The question of consultation with three Ministers bothers me. Why should we have to go to three Ministers?

Ba cheart go mbeadh rud éigin scríobtha isteach sa mBille. Ba cheart go mbeadh time limit ag na hAirí chun ceist a phlé, mar tá sean eolas agam féin nuair a chuaigh rud éigin go dtí an Roinn Airgeadais bhí sé ann ar feadh dhá mhí sular chuala an tAire go raibh an rud céanna sa Roinn aige. Iarraim ar an Aire rud den chineál sin a scríobh isteach sa mBille. Nílim ag cur an milleán ar an státseirbhis mar bíonn siad an-ghnóthach ar fad ach is minicí mar adúirt me go dtagann rud éigin isteach go dtí an Roinn Airgeadais agus ní fheiceann an tAire é in aon chor go dtí go dtéann duine eile go dtí an tAire ag lorg an eolais agus mar sin táim ag iar-raidh ar an Aire time limit a chur ar na hAirí eile, más féidir é.

Is gnáthach le Airí dul i gcomhairle le chéile faoi chúrsaí agus cuirimíd i gcás sa rannóg agam féin i láthair na huaire, go minic bíonn teagmháil againn leis an Roinn Iascaigh, leis an Roinn Talmhaíochta faoi chúrsaí eile, ach táimid ag caint faoi tionsclaíocht anseo agus tá cúram tionsclaíochta ar an Aire Tionscail, Tráchtála agus Fuinnimh. Sílim nach mbeimis ach ag cur srian ar an Údarás dá gcaithfimís scríobh isteach sa Bhille go mbeadh ar an Udarás dul i gcomhairle leis an dá Aire atá luaite. Ní shílim go bhfeabhsódh sé cúrsaí ar chor ar bith ach mar a luaigh an Teachta Begley é féin, go mbeadh sé ag cur constaicí i mbealach an Údaráis dá mbeadh na hAirí eile atá luaite aige ainmnithe. Tionsclaíocht atá i gceist anseo agus tá tionclaíocht faoi chúram an Aire Tionscail, Tráchtála agus Fuinnimh, agus sin an fáth go bhfuil sé sin luaite sa Bhille.

I am making the point that the Minister for Finance has a vital role to play as far as this section is concerned and there should be a time limit imposed on the Minister for Finance to come to a decision. I had personal experience of this during the Coalition Government. One particular project was sent by Roinn na Gaeltachta to the Department of Finance and nothing was coming back. I tackled the Minister, Deputy Richie Ryan, as to the reason for the delay and that was the first he heard about it. There should be a time limit. An area could very well lose an industry if a decision was not arrived at.

Bíonn ar chuile Aire dul os comhair an Aire Airgeadais agus caithfidh sé a dhícheall a dhéanamh leis an margadh is fearr is féidir leis a fháil i gcúrsaí. Is cuma cén Aire é caithfidh sé ar bhealach amháin nó ar bhealach eile dul os comhair an Aire Airgeadais am éigin. Níl fhios agam, b'fhéidir nach raibh an tAire a bhí ag an Teachta Begley ró-mhaith ina phost. Má tá seisean ag cur locht air níl mise ag dul ag cur leis, ach le dul ar ais chuig an mBille féin, níl i gceist san leasú seo ach an tAire Talmhaíochta agus an tAire Iascaigh. Níl aon fhocal faoin Aire Airgeadais.

Tarraingíodh siar an leasú, faoi chead.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Tá leasú Uímh. a 13 as ord.

Tairgeadh an cheist: "Go bhfanfaidh alt a 10 mar chuid den Bhille."

Question proposed: "That section 10 stand part of the Bill."

Tá rud éigin ag cur isteach orm anois. Nuair a bhí Gaeltarra Éireann ann níor ghá dóibh dul go dtí Aire na Gaeltachta agus an Roinn Airgeadais. Tá an triú Aire tar éis teacht anois, An tAire Tionscáil, Tráchtála agus Fuinnimh, agus measaimse gur de bharr sin go raibh níos mó cumhachta ag Gaeltarra Éireann ná mar atá ag an Údarás anois. Tá cumhacht Ghaeltarra Éireann á laghdú anseo.

It is obvious from this section that the approval of three Ministers is required. There are many grants dealt with under subsection (5) of this section, the research and development grant, the enterprise development grants, the marketing grants, the interest subsidy grants and others which are all subject to the consent of three Ministers. In my view Gaeltarra Éireann had more power because they had only to go to two Ministers, the Minister for the Gaeltacht and the Minister for Finance but now a third Minister is brought in. Those who have read annual reports of Gaeltarra Éireann will see that they are in competition with the IDA, a body which is under the aegis of the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Energy. That is where the conflict of interest can take place. The Minister for Industry, Commerce and Energy could delay a project long enough for the IDA to have it wrapped up and placed in an area other than a Gaeltacht area.

I appeal to the Minister to at least give an tÚdarás the same power that Gaeltarra Éireann had. On reading the annual report of Gaeltarra Éireann one can see that they are in competition with SFADCo and the IDA for the same industries. It is obvious that the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Energy has won his argument. Prior to this an industrialist approached Gaeltarra Éireann and the IDA and based his decision on the best bargain he got. The gun is now being put to the industrialist's head because he is at the mercy of the IDA who make the decision in relation to grants. The Minister for Industry, Commerce and Energy can delay a project sent by an tÚdarás long enough for it to finish up in the IDA books.

Amach anseo níl aon srian á chur ar Ghaeltarra ná ar an Údarás thar mar bhí curtha ar Ghaeltarra cheana. Bhí sé sin i gceist i gcónaí go mbeadh teagmháil leis an Aire Tionscail, Tráchtála agus Fuinnimh maidir le tionscail. Anois san ghnáth shlí má thagann tógra isteach chuig an údarás nó chuig Gaeltarra deineann siad féin cinneadh cé acu is ceart glacadh leis an tógra nó é a chaitheamh amach, agus ní chuireann duine ar bith isteach ar an obair sin, fiú amháin Aire na Gaeltachta. Is iad an bord iad féin a dhéanfaidh an cinneadh agus tá siad saor ar na bealaí sin agus beidh an rud céanna fíor faoin údarás. Tá coimhlint i gcónaí, is fíor sin; tá sé ann leis na County Development Teams agus an IDA. Tá sé sin ann le fada. Tá siadsan ag iarraidh tionscail a fháil iad féin agus is dóigh go leanfaidh an scéal ar aghaidh mar sin. Tá áiteacha faoina gcúram atá í dteideal tionscail a fháil díreach chomh maith agus atá sé ceart ag na Gaeltachtaí tionscail a fháil. Tá gach dream ag iarraidh an obair is fearr a dhéanamh lena gcuid cúraimi féin a thabhairt ar aghaidh. Níl srian ar bith á chur ar an údarás anseo. Níl aon difríocht idir an chaoi a bhfuil cúrsaí anois agus an chaoi a bhéas siad nuair a bhéas an tÚdarás bunaithe. Beidh cead ag an Údarás gach tógra a mheas iad féin agus moladh dá réir agus níl srian ar bith á chur orthu.

I appreciate what the Minister has said and that is why I sought a time limit. If there was a time limit for a Minister to make a decision after a project was placed before him that would be some protection for the Údarás but at the moment the Údarás is at the mercy of the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Energy.

Níl sé sin ceart. Fiú amháin in mo chás féin mar Aire na Gaeltachta deineann an bord an cinneadh agus glactar leis agus sin an méid atá ann agus beidh sé ar an gcuma chéanna leis an Údarás. Tá cumhacht acu cinneadh a dhéanamh ar na tograí a thiocfas os a gcomhair. Daoine stuama ciallmhara iad agus ní bheidh moill ar bith curtha ar togra ar bith de bharr aon Aire is cuma cén Aire é, Aire na Gaeltachta nó an tAire Tionscail, Tráchtála agus Fuinnimh. Níl ansin ach cúram atá ar an Aire Tionscail, Tráchtála agus Fuinnimh ach go praicticiúil ní thárlaíonn sé.

Admhóidh an tAire go dtéann tionsclóirí uaireanta go Gaeltarra Éireann ar dtús agus ansan go dtí an IDA. Nach bhfuil sé sin fíor? Tá fhios ag gach éinne nach bhfuil Gaeltarra Eireann agus an IDA ag obair as láimh a chéile. Tá fhios ag gach einne gur sciob an IDA tionsclóirí a bhí ag dul isteach go dtí an Ghaeltacht le déanaí. Níl fhios ag an Aire cad atá ar siúl mar sin.

A mhalairt b'fhéidir. Thárla a mhalairt.

I should like to put some questions of detail to the Minister and I would be grateful if he could give me an assurance on them. Can the Minister as-sure the House that the section as it stands gives the Údarás the right to make advances for working capital? I notice that under subsection (5) (a) an tÚdarás is allowed to make grants for purposes other than in respect of fixed assets or the training of workers. I hope this includes the question of making grants for working capital but perhaps the Minister would make this clear to the House. I ask this question because as far as I understand under the present Gaeltarra Éireann situation the maximum grant is approximately 60 per cent of the fixed assets of the company.

There are some forms of economic activity where the relationship between the amount of capital ploughed into fixed assets and the amount of capital involved in working capital is substantially different from the traditional relationship. For example, in agriculture and mariculture relating to the development of fisheries, both fresh water and sea water in the coastal areas which include many of the Gaeltacht areas, there can be a very small investment in fixed capital and a large and continuing investment in working capital for a number of years before the enterprise comes to fruition. If An tÚdarás are not going to be allowed to make advances in relation to working capital, this would strike at the heart of this possibility.

My second question to the Minister is whether the same section authorises the granting of loans by An tÚdarás. There is a need for them to be given such powers. It could be argued that loans are available already to enterprises through organisations such as the IDA, the ICC and BIM but the interest rates on loans vary considerably. For example, the ICC may give a loan for a project at 12 per cent or 12½ per cent whereas the most favourable loan rate available as far as I am aware is that available from BIM where, on certain projects, the rate is as low as 8 per cent. The cumulative 4 per cent for the term for which a loan is normally held is substantial, and I would argue strongly that An tÚdarás should not only have the power to give loans but that they should have the power to give loans on terms no less favourable than the most favourable terms available from any other semi-State organisation. If we mean what we say when we talk about the economic development of the Gaeltacht we should be doing this. We should put our money where our mouth is.

My final question relates to subsection (4) which states:

An tÚdarás shall not provide financial assistance in any particular case where financial assistance has been provided by the Industrial Development Authority.

I can see the point behind the subsection, that industrialists should not run around behind the back of the IDA to get a grant from An tÚdarás or vice versa. It may well be the case that a particular development in the Gaeltacht have got an IDA grant for their establishment, that they have been established and are doing very well and want to double their capacity. They may decide that the most appropriate source of financial help for this reinvestment programme is An tÚdarás. Under subsection (4) the fact that the IDA have given a grant to the enterprise seems to rule out the possibility of any assistance from An tÚdarás for further development, no matter how wise and sound such a development may be.

I would ask the Minister to state if he would consider at a later stage amending the subsection, to write in a proviso that financial assistance should not be provided by An tÚdarás in any case where financial assistance has been provided by the IDA without the prior consent of the IDA or without consultation by An tÚdarás with the IDA.

Maidir le caipiteal oibre agus iasachtaí tá mise sásta go mbeidh na cumhachtaí atá anseo faoin Údarás ceart go leor. Is féidir leo scaireanna a ghlacadh, cuirimíd i gcás, agus a chinntiú go n-aisíocfar na h-iasachtaí. Níl aon chumhacht ag an Údarás Forbartha Tionscail, an IDA, iasachtaí a thabhairt i láthair na huaire agus bíonn iasachtaí le fáil taobh istigh agus taobh amuigh den Ghaeltacht ón gcuideachta, An Cáirdeas Tionscail Teo, sin an ICC. Sa gnáth shlí is iad na bainc is mó a chuireann airgead ar fáil le h-aghaidh caipiteal oibre. Sílim go bhfuil na cumhachtaí sin, mar atá siad í láthair na huaire, réasúnta go leor. Bíonn deacrachtaí ann go minic maidir le daoine a bheith ró-fhlaithiúil agus ró-éasca le deontaisí a thabhairt amach. Is féidir leo teacht agus bob a bhualadh b'fhéidir ar an Údarás agus ansin glanadh leo. Caithfidh srianta a bheith ar chumhachtaí an Údaráis fhéin maidir le dáileadh amach airgead le h-aghaidh deontaisí ar nós scaireanna agus a leithéidí sin. Sílim dá bhrí sin go bhfuil an chuid seo den Bhille ceart go leor mar atá sé.

Maidir leis an IDA agus iasachtaí eile, fo-alt (4)?

Maidir leis an IDA de ghnáth is é an chaoi a n-oibríonn Gaeltarra taobh istigh de limistéirí na Gaeltachta. Ní bhíonn fonn ar an IDA aon bhaint a bheith acu le tograí nó le deontaisí a thabhairt taobh istigh de limistéirí na Gaeltachta. Ar an gcuma chéanna is annamh a thárlaíonn sé go mbeadh an scéal ar an gcaoi eile maidir leis an Údarás. Ní bheadh siadsan ag tabhairt cuidiú taobh amuigh den Ghaeltacht ach amháin i gcaoí go mbeadh b'fhéidir ceangal éigin ag an tionscail leis an nGaeltacht féin. Dá mba rud é go raibh a leithéid ann bheadh comhoibriú idir an dá dhream ach go hiondúil ní thárlaíonn sé agus baineann sé sin leis an rud a raibh muid ag plé cheana, an chuid den Acht faoin teagmháil a cheart a bheith ag an Aire Tionscail, Tráchtála agus Fuinnimh, gur cheart an ceangal sin a bheith aige le Roinn na Gaeltachta agus leis an Údarás ins na cúrsaí seo.

An mbeadh an tAire ábalta cumhacht iasachta a thabhairt don Údarás in ionad an chumhacht atá sa Bhille seo? As it appears it is a licence for the banks to blackmail the Údarás. That is the way this Bill reads. If the Minister could insert into the Bill that they could guarantee loans, beimid anashásta ar an dtaobh seo.

Tá an prionsabal sin ann cheana. Ní thugann Gaeltarra iasacht ach nuair a glactar le tógra agus go mbíonn caipiteal oibre ag teastáil ón tionsclaí, go hiondúil bíonn na bainc sásta an cuidiú airgid a thabhairt dóibh.

Tá deacrachtaí ann, sílim. Fiú amháin má thógann tú Bord Iascaigh Mhara, tugann siad amach iasachtaí do dhaoine le bád a fháil. Cé go bhfuil siad fial agus cé nach bhfuil an ráta úis agus a leithéidí sin ró-throm, san am céanna bíonn go leor deacrachtaí acu ag iarraidh airgead a fháil ar ais. Ní thugann an IDA iasachtaí. Nuair atá airgead an Stáit i gceist, bíonn daoine, déarfainn, ag iar-raidh bheith ró-fhial. Ní shílim gur ceart dúinn dul thar an bpointe seo maidir leis an Údarás agus na cumhachtaí seo.

I am sure the Minister will understand the point I am making: that any industry coming into the Gaeltacht has a certain amount of high risk attached. That is the reality of the situation. Instead of making special allowance for such depressed areas the banks can now apply stringent conditions. That is why I appeal to the Minister again: the Údarás would be running less risk if they had loan powers rather than guaranteeing powers. The banks now can blackmail any industrialist who comes into the Gaeltacht and will blackmail the Udarás.

Tá cumhacht bheise ansin in alt a 10 (5) (b):

...a ráthú go n-aisíocfar iasachtaí a fuair daoine ar thug an t-Údarás cúnamh airgid ina leith.

Ní raibh an chumhacht sin ag Gaeltarra. Sin cumhacht bheise atá ansin. Sin céim ar aghaidh maidir le cúrsaí airgid.

Let us consider an in-dustry in which the Údarás has not got a majority shareholding. It cannot decide in what direction the company should go because it has not a majority shareholding. The banks then can decide what way it is going to go. That is the point I am making.

Tá na bainc cúramach faoin chaoi ina caithfidh siad airgead. Caithfidh siad a bheith sásta go bhfuil ionchúis i gnó ar bith ina gcuirfidh siad airgead ann. Más rud é nach bhfuil na bainc sásta airgead a chur ar fáil, ní shílim go mbeadh sé ró-chiallmhar go mbeadh na cumhachtaí ag an Údarás, go mbeidh siad ró-fhial agus go mbeadh siad in ann airgead a cur ar fáil. Ní cuir-fidh na bainc airgead amú. Sílim go bhfuil an rud mar atá sé ceart go leor agus go bhfuil sé níos sábháiltí. Nuair a bhimid ag plé le airgead an Stáit ní ceart a bheith ró-fhial.

Mar sin féin, tá dualgas ar na bainc rud fónta a dhéanamh do na Gaeltachtaí. Mar atá an Bille faoi láthair, níl aon dualgas orthu. Instead they can put in the strictest conditions in any loan arrangement.

Chun a bheith fírinneach agus chun a gceart a thabhairt dona bainc, tá páirt acu i go leor dena tionscail a bunaíodh sna Gaeltachtaí agus is ar éigean go mbeimid in ann dul ar aghaidh go dtí seo gan an cúnamh sin. Ní fheicimse go mbeidh aon athrú san gceist sin dá bharr an Bhille seo mar tá an scéal dhá láidriú.

Cuireadh agus aontaíodh an cheist.

Question put and agreed to.
ALT 11.
SECTION 11.

Tairgim leasú a 14:

Ar leathanach 13, líne 15, "le toiliú an Aire Saothair," a scriosadh.

I move amendment No. 14:

In page 12, lines 16 and 17, to delete ", with the consent of the Minister for Labour,".

Go dtí go mbeidh AnCO ábalta buachaillí agus cailíní a thréanáil trí Gaeilge ní cóir an t-alt sin bheith san mBille.

Sílim nach fiú bheith ag iarraidh feidhmeanna a aistriú ón gComhairle Oiliúna. An tAire Saothair atá i bhfeidhil na cúrsaí sin. I láthair na huaire tá AnCO lonnaithe thuas i nGaoth Dobhair agus cúrsaí ar siúl ansin. Tá sé ag dul ar aghaidh go maith. B'fhéidir go mbeadh sé níos fearr, ar ndóigh, go bhféadfaimid ionaid den chineál sin a chur ins na Gaeltachtaí eile. Go dtí seo tá cúrsaí sásúil go leor maidir leis an obair atá ar siúl ansin. Fiú amháin tá sé le leathnú amach i láthair na huaire. Níl an áit fairsing go leor le freastal ar na cúrsaí atá ar siúl ansin.

An bhfuil an tAire ábalta geallúint a thabhairt don Teach go gcuirfidh sé scéal go dtí AnCO, go mór mhór ins na háiteanna go bhfuil buachaillí agus cailíní ón nGaeltacht ag freastal ann, iarracht níos fearr a dhéanamh iad a thraenáil trí Gaeilge?

I nGaoth Dobhair an ea?

Ní hea, i nGaeltachtaí ar fud na tíre.

Tarraingíodh siar an leasú faoi chead.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Tairgim leasu 15:

Ar leathanach 13, líne 18, "nó chun gníomhaireachta eile de réir mar is iomchuí leis an Aire" a chur isteach i ndiaidh "Oiliúna".

I move amendment No. 15:

In page 12, line 17, after "Oiliúna" to insert "or other agency as the Minister may consider appropriate".

I put down this amendment because of the habit of the Judiciary when in-terpretations of legislation are in question to interpret in a very strict manner. If they see in this section, with whose general import we are in full agreement, the creation of a power to arrange for the transfer to AnCO of certain functions they are quite capable of construing that in a negative fashion in order to support any challenge that may be made by somebody about any decision of An tÚdarás to transfer functions to any other body or organisation. I am not sure, as at this time, whether it would be necessary to transfer any functions to any other organisation under this section. But it surely makes sense to write in a general power into the section if only to prevent the possibility of this section being interpreted by a court in a very narrow way.

Sílim nach ndéanann an leasú aon difríocht don Bhille, nach bhfuil ann ach plé le úsáid focal. Ní dóigh liom go gcuireann sé as ar bhealach ar bith don Bhille. Sílim gur cheart é a fhágáil mar seo mar beidh deacrachtaí eile má bhimíd ag dul ar ais de bharr leasaithe mar seo. Sílim go bhfuil sé ceart go leor mar atá sé. Ní fheicim go ndéanfaidh sé aon difríocht don Bhille féin.

Tarraingíodh siar an leasú, faoi chead.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Aontaíodh alt a 11.
Section 11 agreed to.
ALT 12.
SECTION 12.

Tairgim leasú a 16:

Ar leathanach 13, línte 19 go 41 a scriosadh agus an méid seo a leanas a chur ina n-ionad:

"(1) Is iad a bheidh ar fhoireann an Údaráis státseirbhísigh a cheapfar de réir forálacha Acht Choimisinéirí na Stát-Sheirbhíse, 1956, agus beidh eolas inniúil acu ar an nGaeilge.".

I move amendment No. 16:

In page 12, to delete lines 20 to 42, and substitute the following:

"(1) The staff of an tÚdarás shall be civil servants appointed in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service Commissioners Act, 1956 and shall have a competent knowledge of the Irish language.".

Ba cheart do státseirbhísigh a bheith i gceannas an Údaráis. Níl aon sórt guarantee á thabhairt do na daoine a bhéas ag obair ann nach mbeidh politíocht ag baint le ceapachán gach duine don Údarás.

There is no question but that the Údarás will have political overtones. If they are to have a worthwhile staff who have a competent knowledge of Irish they should be civil servants. This discreation should not be left to the Minister for the Gaeltacht of the day. The recruit-ment of staff should be the responsibility of the Local Appointments Commission. If civil servants are appointed they will have a guarantee of survival, and that is the object of the amendment.

Cuireann sé iontas orm go gcuirfeadh an Teachta Begley leasú mar seo síos. I láthair na huaire tá cumhacht iomlán ag Gaeltarra maidir le foireann a thoghadh. Ní Státseirbhísígh forieann Ghaeltarra i láthair na huaire agus is maith an rud é go mbeidh bord neamhspleách le daoine a thoghadh. Bhí deacracht, cuirimid i gcás, ag Bord na Gaeilge nuair a bunaíodh é, go raibh srian orthu maidir le togha fóirne, agus d'éirigh linn an laincís sin a bhaint díobh agus tá cead acu anois foireann a cheapadh dóibh féin. Go minic beidh daoine le cáilíochtaí faoi leith, ag teastáil le postanna a fháil faoin Údarás. Ní bheidh bac ar bith, dar ndóigh, ar státseirbhísigh cur isteach ar na postanna sin má tá siad oilte lena n-aghaidh, ach ni shílim gur ceart glacadh le leasú mar seo a chuirfeadh srian leis an Údarás féin nuair a bheadh siad ag toghadh fóirne.

Deir fo-alt (5) den alt seo:

Féadfaidh an tÚdarás tráth ar bith aon chomhalta d'fhoireann an Údarás a chur ó bheith ina comhalta dá fhoireann.

This means that the Údarás may, at any time, remove a member of their staff. If the Bill goes through as it is, any person who is disliked by the powers that be may be dismissed by the Údarás without any reason being given. If it were specified that the reasons would have to be given, then I would accept the logic of the Minister's argument. Tá an tAire ag lorg cumhacht cosúil le dictator. D'fhéadfaí fear a chaitheamh amach ar an mbothar gan a fhios a bheith aige an chúis. I would appeal to the Minister to reconsider this section because there is no comparison between Gaeltarra and the Údarás. The staff of the Údarás should be persons recruited by the Civil Service Commission. They must have some guarantee of tenure. While subsection (5) remains people will not bother to apply.

Bhí na cumhachtaí atá luaite ansin ag Gaeltarra cheana, agus tá fhios ag an Teachta go maith nuair a bhionn duine fostaithe anois go mbíonn conradh aige, go mbíonn sé in ann a chearta a éileamh i bpost ar bith. Ní féidir i láthair na huaire duine a chaitheamh as a phost muna mbíonn dian-ghá leis ar bhealach éigin. Ní ceart go mbeadh aon imní ar dhuine ar bith faoin chuid sin den Bhille. Má táimid ag caint ar chumhacht, sin cumhacht a bheidh ag an Údarás agus bainfidh sé le cás ar bith a bhfuil gá leis. An uair dheireannach a bhí mise ag caint leis an bpríomh-fheidhmeannach i nGaeltarra cuid den ghnó a bhí aige ná go raibh sé ag dul go Londain ag caint le tionsclaí a bhí ag teacht agus mar chuid den ghnó nuair a bhí sé thall ansin bhí sé ag bualadh le fear a chuir iarratais isteach ar phost ar bith ar fáil i nGaeltarra, duine a raibh cáilíochtaí faoi leith aige. Nior cheapadh an duine seo ach bhí an Príomh-Fheidhmeannach ag cur agallaimh air agus é i Londain. Bionn daoine mar sin ag teastáil agus sílim go mbéimis á gcungú ró-mhór agus ag cur srian ar an Údarás féin muna mbeadh cead acu foireann a thoghadh gan bheith ag dul faoi laincísí Choimisinéirí na Státseirbhíse. Tá fhios againn uilig chomh leadránach agus chomh mall is atá sé le daoine a fhostú faoin gcóras sin.

Tarraingíodh siar an leasú, faoi chead.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Tairgeadh an cheist: "Go bhfanfaidh alt a 12 mar chuid den Bhille."

Caithfidh na daoine a bheidh á fostú bheith in ann Gaeilge a labhairt agus a gcuid gnó a dhéanamh trí Ghaeilge. Níl sé sin scríofa isteach san Bhille. B'fhéidir go gcuirfí é sin isteach ar Chéim na Tuarascála.

Subsection (6) refers to the transfer of staff and notes that the terms and conditions of such transferred staff shall be such as An tÚdarás may from time to time determine and are not, in the opinion of An tÚdarás, less favourable to those previously enjoyed by the person transferred. It is certainly open to question whether the terms and conditions considered equivalent by An tÚdarás would also be considered equivalent by the trade union representing the member involved. I would suggest that this kind of thing is more easily written into a Bill than ac-tually made to happen, and the Minister should impress on the members of An tÚdarás whom he appoints the necessity for paying attention to responsible representations by trade unionists representing workers who may be transferred from Gaeltarra to An tÚdarás.

Tá ar Bord na Gaeltachta i láthair na huaire duine atá ansin ón lucht oibre mar ionadaí don lucht oibre. Tá sé ansin mar tuigimid an tábhacht duine mar sin a bheith ar an mbord. Féacfaidh sé chuige go bhfaighfidh an fhoireann a gcearta i gcónaí.

Cuireadh agus aontaíodh an cheist.

Question put and agreed to.
ALT 13.
SECTION 13.

Tá leasú a 17 as ord.

Tairgeadh an cheist: "Go bhfanfaidh alt a 13 mar chuid den Bhille."

Question proposed: "That section 13 stand part of the Bill."

Mar atá an Bille scríofa tá cuid de na leasuithe a chuir an Teachta Horgan agus mé féin isteach as ord, de réir an Cheann Comhairle. Níl aon chumhacht ná cead ag an Údarás anois dlíodóir nó innealtóir a thabhairt isteach gan cead a fháil ó Aire Stáit. Tá srian ar an Údarás é sin a chur ós comhair Aire Stáit. Measaim nach bhfuil bun ná barr leis sin.

Dhá rud atá i gceist anseo. Seo ceist saineolaí nó mar sin a bhéas ag teastáil ar feadh tréimhse—consultants nó mar sin. Sin é an fáth go bhfuil sé sin ann.

Tá sé an-ghéar mar atá sé scríofa faoi láthair.

Tá an Teachta ar a mhalairt d'argóint anois. Bhí sé ag argóint ar ball go mba cheart dúinn an Státseirbhís agus an Civil Service Commission a thabhairt isteach agus tá sé ag rá anois gur cheart dúinn iad a chaitheamh amach.

As everybody knows, the Minister for the Public Service is in a difficult position at the moment. If the Údarás wish to appoint an engineer or a quantity surveyor, it is not good enough that they must go cap in hand to the Minister for the Public Service for sanction for that appointment. If they employ a clerk of works to look after a project, if it is an extra job, they will have to go the Minister for the Public Service for sanction. The spirit of that is all wrong and the Údarás should have some type of independence.

Tá an Teachta Begley ag iarraidh an rud seo a chasadh, ag casadh rud nach bhfuil ann ar chor ar bith. Tá an tÚdarás saor le foireann a cheapadh iad féin gan srian ó dhuine ar bith. Bhí sé ag cur in aghaidh sin cúpla noiméad ó shin——

Ní raibh mé.

Bhí sé ag rá go mba cheart an Státseirbhís a theacht isteach agus Coimisiún na Státseirbhíse. Séard atá i gceist anseo ná, dá mbeadh daoine, saineolaithe agus a leithéid, ag teastáil, a bheadh ann ar feadh cúpla bliain, go gcaithfí cead a fháil ón Aire le daoine mar sin a thabhairt isteach. Tá gá leis sin ar eagla go mbeadh daoine á dtabhairt isteach agus airgead poiblí á chur amú. Ó thaobh an ghnáth-fhoireann a bhéas ag an Údarás tá an tÚdarás saor le daoine a cheapadh ach i gcás daoine faoi leith, saineolaithe a bheadh á dtabhairt isteach acu go ceann cúpla bliain, caithfidh siad cead a iarraidh ar Aire na Seirbhíse Poiblí.

Like the Office of Public Works the civil service have to employ architects and engineers who are not civil servants to do specific jobs. How many engineers are there in the Civil Service? The Minister's argument is futile. There is no point in barking up that tree. I am too long on the road to be side-stepped. If the Údarás wish to employ an engineer, an architect or a solicitor, they will have to get the per-mission of two Ministers. That situation is chaotic. They have so little independence that they must go cap in hand to two Ministers.

Ins an leasú a chuir an Teachta Begley síos cúpla noiméad ó shin d'alt a 12 bhí sé ag iarraidh státseirbhísigh a cheapadh de réir forálacha Acht Choimisinéirí na Státseirbhíse, 1956 agus go mbeadh eolas inniúil acu ar an nGaeilge. Níl sé sin sa Bhille againne. Tá cead ag an Údarás foireann dá gcuid féin a chepadh. Ba cheart don Teachta alt a 13 a léamh:

Faoi réir fho-alt (2), agus faoi réir cibé coinníollacha a bheidh arna sonrú de thuras na huaire ag an Aire le toiliú Aire na Seirbhíse Poiblí, féadfaidh an tÚdarás cibé sainchomhairleoirí nó comhairleoirí a fhostú ó am go ham....

Ní foireann buan atá i gceist ansin. Tugann sé sin cead daoine a thabhairt isteach go mbeidh gá leo anois agus arís le eolas faoi leith a thabhairt don Údarás nó le cuidiú leo ar bhealach amháin nó ar bhealach eile. Níl sé i gceist go gcuirfear an scéal sin faoi bhráid an Aire ach amháin i gcás daoine a tugtar isteach go sealadach.

There is no point in the Minister telling me the Minister for the Public Service will not play a prominent part in the implementation of this section. It is stated clearly in the Bill that the Údarás must get the permission of the Minister and the Minister for the Public Service if they want to employ any consultants. That is ridiculous. The Údarás should have some autonomy. The Office of Public Works can employ an architect, a clerk of works or a consulting engineer, without getting the permission of the Minister for Finance in the case of a new school or a drainage scheme, and so on. The Minister should be big enough to agree that the Minister for the Public Service should have no say in the employment of consultants by the Údarás. The Údarás should be independent enough to be able to employ people. They would not employ them if they did not need them.

Níl srian ar bith ar an Údarás i gcás foireann seasmhach a thoghadh ach, má tá sé i gceist go mbeadh saineolaithe dá dtabhairt isteach, sin ceist eile ar fad. Nuair atá siad ag fostú daoine lánaimsireach bíonn ceisteanna páighe agus coinníollacha socraithe. Má tá sé i gceist go mbeadh saineolaithe á dtabhairt isteach ó am go ham, bheadh ceist phá ann. Níl mé ag trácht sa chuid seo den Bhille ach ar dhaoine a bheidh fostaithe go sealadach.

Tá srian ar an Údarás ag Aire na Seirbhíse Poiblí. Cén fáth go bhfuil sé luaite san alt sin?

Fostaíocht shealadach—temporary employment only. Ní bhaineann sé le furmhór an Údaráis.

Má tá fonn ar an Údarás innealtóir a cheapadh chun féachaint ar phíosa talún thíos i gCiarraí Thiar agus map a dhéanamh caithfidh an tÚdarás cead a fháil ó Aire na Seirbhíse Poiblí.

Ní chaithfidh, ach dá nglacfaí leis an leasú a chuir an Teachta isteach chaithfeadh siad an cead a fháil. In alt a 12 táimíd ag caint faoi fhostaíocht shealadach. Nílimid ag caint faoi fhostaíocht lánaimsearach.

Ní bheidh siad ábalta innealltóir a cheapadh. Sin deireadh leis.

Cuireadh agus aontaíodh an cheist.

Question put and agreed to.
ALT 14.
SECTION 14.
Tairgeadh an cheist: "Go bhfanfaidh alt 14 mar chuid den Bhille."
Question proposed: "That section 14 stand part of the Bill."

Could I ask the Minister whether it is permissible under subsection 6 of section 14 for an tÚdarás to make special arrangements by way of golden hand-shakes or other gratuities to people who may leave their employment or their service subject to approval? Where does the approval have to come from?

Ba cheart dom a rá maidir leis an chuid seo go bhfuil ceartú le déanamh ansin, nach ceart an comma a bheith ansin indiaidh "cnapshuime".

Fo-alt a (6).

Fo-alt a (1), alt 14. Gabh mo leithscéal, ní raibh mé ag eisteacht leis an Teachta nuair a luaigh sé an pointe deireanach sin.

I was asking the Minister whether it would be permissible under subsection (6) for An tÚdarás to make a termination gratuity payable to any employee or former employee and what would be the conditions governing any such gratuity. Who would have to approve it for example?

Tá sé sin i bhfo-alt (2). Maidir leis na cúrsaí sin tá sórt riail ghinearálta maidir le daoine a bhíonns ag éiri as a bpostanna agus a leithéidí sin. Sílim go mbaineann sé le postanna ar bith faoin Stát. Braitheann sé ar an seirbhís atá acu agus cúrsaí mar sin, agus is dóigh gurb é an treoir sin a mbaintear úsáid as maidir leis an chuid seo den Bhille.

Cuireadh agus aontaíodh an cheist.

Question put and agreed to.
ALT 15.
SECTION 15.
Tairgeadh an cheist: "Go bhfanfaidh Alt 15 mar chuid den Bhille."
Question proposed: "That section 15 stand part of the Bill."

I am against this section of the Bill because it contradicts itself. I would say that this is the only Bill in relation to a State body in the history of the State that has such an obnoxious section in it. A person without the consent of An tÚdarás cannot disclose any information obtained by him when performing duties as a member of An tÚdarás or as a member of the staff of An tÚdarás or as an adviser or consultant to An tÚdarás. A person who contravenes this subsection cuirfear fineáil nach mó ná £100 air. I am intrested in this section. Ba mhaith liom a fháil amach ón Aire an bhfuil an t-alt sin in aon semi-State body? Tóg an pointe seo: Dá rachadh mé féin i gcóir an Údaráis thios i gCiarraí Thiar agus gur sheas muintir Chiarrai Thiar laistiar dom agus gur bhuaigh mé suíochán san Údarás, nílim ábalta caint i dtaobh oibreacha an Údaráis toisc go bhfuil an t-alt seo san mBille ach dá dtagainn isteach anseo go dtí Dáil Éireann d'fhéadfainn caint agus ní fhéadfaí aon fhineáil a chur orm.

The point I am making is that this section contradicts itself. Some members of An tÚdarás will have to keep their mouths shut but if an elected member of An tÚdarás is a TD he can come in here and say what he likes about An tÚdarás and about the workings of An tÚdarás and he cannot be caught. Under the law of the land he can say what he likes. I would appeal to the Minister to look again at this section. I would like to improve the Bill but certainly as it reads now it is all wrong because some members can talk and others cannot. That is not fair. Under the Constitution it is not fair. I would appeal to the Minister to look again at that section.

Ní shílim gur rud mór é seo ar chor ar bith. Tá sé curtha sa Bhille le cur ina luí ar bhaill an Údaráis gur cheart dóibh ó am go ham rudaí a choinneáil faoi rún. Nuair atá tú ag plé le cúrsaí gnó, cuirimíd i gcás, gur comhairleoir chontae a bhí ina ionadaí ar an Údarás nó leis an Teachta Begley é féin—ní gá go mbeadh sé ina bhall den Údarás ach cuirimíd i gcás go raibh sé ag cur isteach moladh éigin faoi ghnó éigin—ní shílim go mbeadh sé ceart go dtabharfadh an Teachta Begley nó duine ar bith eile a bheadh ina bhall den Údarás gaoth do rud mar sin agus gur cheart dó dul thart agus insint don phobal go raibh seo no siúd ar siúl. Bíonn am ann le tograí go gcaithfidh rudaí a beith faoi rún agus níl san chuid sin den Bhille ach le cur ina luí ar na baill go bhfuil sé tábhachtach go gcoinneofaí rudaí faoi rún.

Céard is £100 sa lá atá inniu ann? Ní bac romhór é sin ná ní fineáil rómhór é sin. Tá sé sin go díreach curtha isteach leis an srian sin nó le cur i dtuiscint do na baill chomh tábhachtach agus atá sé cúrsaí a choinneáil faoi rún, go mór mhór nuair atá daoine tofa; ní ceart go rachadh siad ar ais— ag pointe áirithe, atá mé ag rá anois, de thogra. Tagann tograí isteach, ní bhíonn moladh cinnte déanta agus níor mhaith le daoine ag an bpointe sin go mbeadh fhios ag an bpobal faoin gnó atá ar siúl acu.

Tá an srian sin ar an mBord Gáis, cuirimíd i gcás, agus mar adúirt mé ní rud mór ar fad é. Mar atá fhios ag an Teachta Begley é féin, is iomaí rud a bhionn ar eolas againne mar Theachtaí faoi chúrsai i bhfad sula bhfáigheann an pobal eolas ar, b'fhéidir cúrsaí tionsclaíochta, b'fhéidir go mbeadh aithne againn ar dhaoine san IDA nó fiú amháin i nGaeltarra féin agus go mbeadh eolas againn ar chúrsaí i bhfad sula a mbeadh fhios ag an bpobal é. Ní thugann na daoine é sin ós comhair an phobail go dtí go mbíonn an rud socraithe ag Gaeltarra Éireann nó ag an IDA.

While I have some sympathy with the points advanced by Deputy Begley I disagree with him on one or two aspects of the question. Unless I misunderstood him he was talking earlier about some reservations which were expressed by the chief executive of Gaeltarra Éireann on the possible deleterious effects on confidentiality of certain aspects of this Bill. If that person believes that confidentiality is important for the working and functions of Gaeltarra Éireann, which will be taken over by an tÚdarás, there is at least a prima facie case for agreeing that the power to ensure confidentiality should find some place in the Bill.

There might be a difference of opinion between the Minister and me about the phrasing of the thing because as it is phrased in the section one is given the impression that everything is confidential unless specific approval is given by An tÚdarás for its publication whereas, unless I misread him, the force of the Minister's reply was that from time to time the Údarás would want to make certain things confidential and might, therefore, consider wording the article to give the Údarás power to make things confidential if it so chooses rather than giving the same power in the reverse way to exempt things from confidentiality. The effect is the same but it creates a small bias in favour of openness where confidentiality is not necessary.

The other point I would like to make in relation to confidentiality, although I have some sympathy with Deputy Begley's remarks about the need for people to report back to their electorate, is that confidentiality can be a protection for the elected representative concerned. who may in certain circumstances be subjected to very strong local pressure in relation to certain decisions or in relation to certain business to be transacted by An tÚdarás. I feel that some elected local representatives might be grateful in the long run for an apron of confidentiality over certain decisions which would enable them to do their duty to the Gaeltacht as a whole as they see it, irrespective of any particular sectional interests in their own constituency or, indeed any other ones as well. In relation to the openness or otherwise of the dealings of An tÚdarás, could the Minister tell us if one of the effects of this section and perhaps of the Bill as a whole will be to remove Gaeltarra effectively from the ambit of the committee on State-sponsored bodies under which, certainly at one stage, Gaeltarra was included?

Cad tá i gceist ag an Teachta?

Would the Minister refresh my memory as to whether under the latest motion setting up the committee on State-sponsored bodies Gaeltarra was included in that or was not?

If Gaeltarra Éireann is now ceasing to exist and becoming An tÚdarás would the committee's writ not run over An tÚdarás in the same way as it would have run over Gaeltarra?

Ní fhéadfainn a rá ach is dócha nuair a cheaptar é go dtiocfaidh sé faion srian céanna agus a tháinig Gaeltarra.

I am grateful to Deputy Horgan for reminding me of something I said in the morning because I now have a transcript of the Gaeltarra Éireann in-terview which took place on 15 November 1978 and in order to clear up any misunderstanding—

Nuair a bhí Bainisteor Ghaeltarra Éireann a raibh mé ag caint mar gheall air ar maidin, ag rá nach raibh sé sásta leis an Údarás. I now quote from the interview which took place:

Jim Fahey: This could well be the last year that Gaeltarra Éireann will be functioning as it has up to now as we have known it, with the introduction of the new Údarás, its powers and its functions may be changed. As the man who has guided Gaeltarra for quite a number of years now do you think that there are any fundamental changes needed to be made if it is going to function effectively, particularly in the face of increasing competition from industrial development authorities in other regions of the Continent, I am thinking of Scotland of France and the south of Italy?

Bainisteoir: That has not stopped us up to now from obtaining new projects even though the number of approvals in 1977 was lower than in 1976, but the changes which will make us more competitive in the future will be determined outside. Within the Udarás we will have a question of the democratic influence by having a majority of elected representatives and it will be the job of management to see to it that we derive the maximum advantage from the better communication with the people of the Gaeltacht which this will give us, and also that we will minimise the possible disadvantages which might result from a majority of elected members of the Udarás.

Jim Fahy: What kind of disadvantages?

Bainisteoir: There could be a danger that elected representatives would be under pressure to reveal information about companies which were involved in transactions with the Udarás where up to now there would be no worry on the part of industrialists about any breach of confidentiality. There would also be the possibility that there would be a competition between elected representatives for projects on the basis of geographic distribution rather than on a basis of logical situation.

Thug an Teachta go díreach an fáth gur cheart an chuid sin den Bhille a bheith ann.

I am not against confidentiality. I want to make that point quite clear and I am sorry if the Minister misunderstood me. Suppose three TDs stood for this Údarás, Deputy Paddy Harte in Donegal, Deputy Enda Kenny in Mayo and myself in Kerry if we could come in here and discuss the Údarás ad lib if we liked—I am not saying that we would do it—we would have a big advantage over the other members of An tUdarás who could not open their mouths. I am bothered that some members have an advantage over other members of the Udarás. I do not know how the Minister will get around it. I know it will depend on the integrity of the elected representatives because, like the bainisteor of Gaeltarra Éireann, I would be worried that if a company thought their affairs would be discussed from A to Z, their profit and loss, their projects and what they were going to do for the coming year, and some person found the Údarás was able to go along and tell a rival that this person was going along on this line he would be there before the new company had started at all. I am bothered about this point.

Táim an-bhuíoch don Teachta Begley mar tá sé ag rá níos fearr ná d'fhéadfainn é a rá na hargóintí ar son an chuid sin——

Níl an freagra san alt. Sin an rud atá ag cur isteach orm.

Tá an t-alt féin ann le cur ina luí ar baill den Údarás chomh tabhachtach agus a bheidh sé cursaí a choinneáil faoi rún. Sin an pointe atá ag an Teachta féin.

Is mór an diobháil nach raibh Teachta Dála ábalta a sheasamh, mar bheadh an freagra ag an tAire ar an rud. Any industrialist who will come in will know that if a TD has a chip on his shoulder against a certain company—I know the public representatives should not do it—he can use a certain situation against that company. The danger is there and I am worried about it.

(Cur isteach.)

Nílim sásta mar atá an t-alt scríofa faoi láthair. Ba chóir don Aire féachaint arís air. Tá sé rofhoscailte faoi láthair. Dúirt Bainsteoir Ghaeltarra Éireann go raibh sé oscailte. Tá seans ann anois, maidir le cuid de na daoine a bhfuil monarchain acu sna Gaeltachtaí, go rithfidh siad as na Gaeltachtaí. Sin rud nach bhfuil ag cur isteach ormsa.

Nach shin é díreach an rud atá ann—ní nochtóidh aon duine gan ceadú an Údaráis aon eolas a fuair sé agus é ag comhlíonadh a dhualgais mar chomhalta den Údarás.

Aontaím le sin go huile. Ach dá mbeadh Teachtaí Dála mar bhaill den Údarás, bheidis ábalta gach ní a rá san Teach seo i dtaobh monarchan áirithe.

Cur síos leasú ag iarraidh sin ar Theachtaí Dála.

Cuireadh agus aontaíodh an cheist.

Question put and agreed to.
ALT 16.
SECTION 16.
Tairgeadh an cheist: "Go bhfanfaidh alt a 16 mar chuid den Bhille."
Question proposed: "That section 16 stand part of the Bill."

I would like to ask the Minister a question in relation to the phrase "stand seconded from employment by An tÚdarás" in subsection (1). This phrase is capable of interpretation in a number of ways. The first interpretation is that anybody who is effectively a Dáil or Seanad candidate and is elected shall have his job kept on ice for him until he comes back at the end of his period of membership of Dáil or Seanad. The other interpretation is that any member of the staff who is nominated for and elected to the Dáil or Seanad shall have a job kept for him, on conditions no worse in relation to salary and other matters, than he had when he left, presumably increased by national wage agreements and other devices.

There would be a problem if this ambiguity remained because of the possibility that some member of the staff might become a member of the Dáil or Seanad and because of this ambiguity the Údarás might not be able, for a period of perhaps several or many years, to fill that precise position. Say, for example, the person concerned was the public relations officer of An tÚdarás and decided to run for election, for a political party or otherwise, for the Dáil or Seanad. Would the effect of the subsection be that as long as he remained a member of the Dáil or Seanad, An tÚdarás could not appoint anybody else to that job? If that were the interpretation, or even a possible interpretation, of the subsection it might seriously hamper the work of An tÚdarás by preventing them from filling specific jobs which may have been vacated on secondment from time to time by people who stand for and are elected to the Dáil and Seanad.

I would ask the Minister to look at this section between now and Report Stage to ensure that the hands of An tÚdarás are not tied in relation to the filling of jobs that may be vacated for several years by people who are going into active politics, while at the same time guaranteeing, as the section attempts to guarantee, the right of such persons to continuing employment by An tÚdarás after they cease their full time involvement in politics.

Aontaím leis an Teachta go bhfuil dainséar ann ceart go leor le duine faoi leith, mar a déarfá, duine a bheadh post faoi leith aige san Údarás agus post go mbeadh gá lena líonadh agus go gcaithfeadh duine a bhéas ar chomh-chéim leis an duine a bhí tofa a chur isteach. Maidir le duine de ghnáth an Údaráis ní bhéas an scéal céanna ann. Sílim go bhfuil pointe maith á dhéanamh ag an Teachta Horgan gur ceart dearcadh ar sin ceart go leor le fáil amach i gcásanna mar sin, cásanna ina mbeidh cáiliochtaí speisialta aige, agus go mbeidh sé tairbheach don Udarás a phost a líonadh fhad is bheadh sé in a Theachtá Dála nó in a Sheanadóir. Níl fhios agam an ceart rud ar bith a scriobh isteach sa Bhille faoi ach ba cheart dúinn cinneadh ar an phointe sin maidir le fostaíocht duine mar sin.

Nach bhfuil an scéal sin faoi láthair sna comhairlí contae? Nach bhfuil Airí Stáit iad féin ina mbaill de chomhairlí contae.

Tá ach ni hionann an cás——

Má tá sé dleathach ansin is dócha go bhfuil sé——

Ní hé sin an pointe atá á dhéanamh ag an Teachta Horgan mar a thuigimse é. Tá sé ag caint faoi dhuine a mbeadh eolas faoi leith aige, b'fhéidir, nó post faoi leith aige san Údarás. Níl sé ag cainnt faoi ghnáth bhaill an Údaráis. Ní bheidh deacracht ar bith faoi gnáth bhall den Údarás. Beidh sé cosúil leis na múinteoiri, leis na státseirbhisigh agus daoine eile atá anseo—baill de chomhairle chontae, mar adúirt an Teachta féin. Ní bheidh aon deacracht ansin. Is féidir duine a thabhairt isteach go sealadach leis na postanna a líonadh, ach i gcás duine a mbeadh eolas faoi leith aige, saineolaí de chineál éigin agus go mbeadh tábhacht in a chuid oibre don Udarás, ní ionann an cás sin ná ní bheadh sé furasta duine den chineál sin a fháil.

If the Minister will have a look at this in this spirit between now and Report Stage I will be satisfied. If he feels that a specific amendment is necessary to protect An tÚdarás in this kind of situation and to allow them to fill special positions needing special qualifications that may have been vacated in this manner, he will have the support of this side of the House for any such amendment.

Cuireadh agus aontaíodh an cheist.

Question put and agreed to.
ALT 17.
SECTION 17.

Tairgim leasú Uimh. a 18:

Ar leathanach 17, line 24, ", ar feadh tréimhse nach faide ná cúig bliana," a chur isteach i ndiaidh "mheastacháin eile".

I move amendment No. 18:

In page 16, line 22, after "estimates" to insert ", for a period not exceeding five years,".

This amendment while appearing to limit the scope of the section is in fact one which intends to have the opposite effect. The need for long-term budgeting has been accepted in principle by Irish Governments for some time. The first Devlin report which suggested the idea of quinquennial budgeting was accepted in principle by the Fianna Fáil Government at that time. I think it would be a very good exercise for the Minister to look for reasonable projections over, say, a three- to five-year period from An tÚdarás not with a view necessarily to restricting the scope of their financial activities but to making sure that the money they have available is put to the best possible use.

Under a system of purely annual budgeting it is possible for the expenditure implications of particular financial commitments, over a period of time beyond the time for which the budget is produced and the plans are drawn up, to be missed. As we on this side of the House are very much in favour of planning and of creative forward planning of the economy in general, we hold that the activities of An tÚdarás provide a very useful encapsulated sort of area where effective planning could have very profoundly beneficial linguistic and social as well as economic effects.

Aontaím leis an Teachta Horgan go bhfuil gá le pleanáil agus le dearcadh ar chúrsaí ní amháin ar feadh bliana ach ceathair nó cúig bliana. Sílim go nglacann chuile dhuine leis sin ach ní shílim go gcuireann an chuid seo den Acht mar atá sé i láthair na huaire srian ar a leithéid. Cuirimíd i gcás d'fhéadfadh duine tréimhse sé bliana nó seacht mbliana a luadh. Dá nglacfaí leis an leasú bheadh muid ag cur srian cúig bliana air. Ach mar atá sé i láthair na huaire níl aon chaoi a chuireann an chuid sin den Acht féin srian ar phleanáil ar feadh cúig bliana, ceithre bliana nó cibé rud is mian leo a chur ar aghaidh.

Tairgeadh siar an leasú, faoi chead.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Aontaíodh an tAlt.
Section agreed to.
Aontaíodh Alt a 18.
Section 18 agreed to.
ALT 19.
SECTION 19.

Tairgim leasú Uimh. a 19:

Ar leathanach 17, fo-alt (2), line 49, "d'imeachtaí" a scriosadh agus "de ghníomhaíochtaí" a chur ina ionad.

I move Amendment No. 19:

In page 16, subsection (2), line 46, to delete "Proceedings" and substitute "activities".

I tabled this amendment because of the possibility of a misunderstanding or ambiguity in respect of a phrase in subsection (2). The word "proceedings" in English and "imeachtaí" in Irish have the connotation of minutes as in the minutes of a meeting, whereas, in line with all we have been saying here, it is precisely to the minutes of meetings to which will most frequently apply the confidentiality that the Minister was talking of. I am sure that what the Minister intends is a reference to the activities of the Údarás and that these are the matters he may wish to see referred to in general terms in the report. Therefore, I urge that this drafting amendment be accepted.

Tá rud amháin a gcaithfidh mé moladh a thabhairt don Teachta Horgan faoi. Is léir gur chaith sé go leor ama leis an mBille seo ag cur síos na leasaithe seo. Ní maith liom a bheith go siorraí ag caitheamh amach na tuairimí atá aige ach ní fheicim, leis an fhírinne a dhéanamh, go bhfuil aon difríocht idir an rud atá molta agus an rud atá sa mBille féin: "imeachtaí" agus "gníomhaíochtaí". Tá ciall leathan go leor ag an bhfocal "imeachtaí" agus ní shílim go ndearna sé aon athrú bunúsach don chuid seo den Bhille féin.

Tairgeadh siar an leasú, faoi chead.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Aontaíodh Alt a 19.
Section 19 agreed to.
ALT 20.
SECTION 20.

Tairgim leasú Uimh. a 20:

Ar leathanach 17, line 50, "nó do chomhalta de cheachtar Teach den Oireachtas" a chur isteach i ndiaidh "don Aire".

I move amendment No. 20:

In page 16, line 48, after "Minister" to insert "or a member of either House of the Oireachtas".

Iarraim ar an Aire focail bhreise a chur isteach san alt seo. Tabharfaidh an tÚdarás don Aire agus don Oireachtas aon eolas a iarrfaidh an tAire ó am go ham maidir le comhlíonadh feidhmeanna an Údaráis. An bhfuil an tAire sásta glacadh leis na focail sin ionas go mbeimíd ábalta ceist a chur síos san Teach seo i dtaobh an Údaráis ó am go ham?

Ní thig liom glacadh leis an leasú. Ní maith liom bheith ag teacht ar ais arís faoin rud adúirt tú féin. Sílim gur fearr é mar atá sé. Beidh an tÚdarás faoi chúram an Aire agus sílim nach gcuideoidh leis an mBille an leasú mar atá sé molta.

Cuireann an tAire ionadh orm toisc nach bhfuil sé ábalta glacadh leis na focail sin "don Oireachtas". Ó am to ham tagann daoine go dtí Teachtaí Dála agus bíonn orthu ceist a chur síos i dtaobh rudaí áirithe. Anois tá sé faoin Aire a chinneadh más an leis freagra a thabhairt. Níl sin ceart in aon chor.

This is a retrograde step. It is diminishing the power of the Oireachtas Members. From time to time individuals will approach Deputies with all sorts of stories—some with foundation, others without foundation—and it has been a Deputy's privilege, been handed down from one generation to another, to table a Dáil question. By not accepting this amendment the Minister appears to be depriving us of that power. It is not good enough for the Minister to say that there will be confidential matters between himself and the Údarás. He should be big enough to accept the amendment.

Tá sé seo ag teacht le alt 15, an rud a raibh muid ag caint faoi cheana. Beidh an tÚdarás féin faoi chúram an Aire. Ní shílim go nglacadh bord Stáit ar bith le riail nó le Acht go mbeadh an ceart céanna ag chuile bhall den Oireachtas le eolas a fháil uathu agus a bheadh ag an Aire atá go díreach freagarthach i gcás an bhoird seo ar leith atá i gceist. Ní thiocfadh liom glacadh leis an leasú sin.

The Minister is being very narrow-minded in this instance. Deputies will not be inquiring into the affairs of any company. They would not be entitled to such information but a Deputy is entitled to ask questions regarding the activities of a member of the Údarás or to ask questions regarding a member of the staff of the Údarás who might go beyond the call of duty. If we do not have that privilege there is not much point in us being here. My amendment is not framed to include information regarding the private affairs of companies, but there is something very wrong if either the bainísteóir or an ordinary member of the Údarás cannot be questioned in regard to his activities.

Do réir mar atá an Bille féin deir sé "tabharfaidh an tÚdarás don Aire aon eolas a iarraidh an tAire ó am go ham maidir le comhlíonadh feidhmeanna an Údaráis". Tá mé cinnte go mbeidh an deís céanna ag Teachta Dála ceisteanna a chur síos faoi chúrsaí maidir leis an Údarás agus atá faoi ghnáth chúrsaí mar a dheineann siad chuile lá. Níl bheidh aon bhac orthu.

Tá mise ag iarraidh deis a bheith ag baill an Oireachtais ceisteanna a chur síos. It is not our wish to pry into the workings of any company involved in industry in Gaeltacht areas, but other matters may arise from time to time and to that extent we should be entitled to ask questions. What objection has the Minister to telling Members of the Oireachtas what is going on in the event of a situation causing public disquiet? Is the Minister to retain all that power to himself and adjudicate accordingly in the absence of any consultation with the Oireachtas?

It will be a question of making representations to one's local member of the Údarás.

There is an important principle involved here. We are setting up a small dictatorship.

Beidh cead ag chuile bhall den Oireachtas an t-eolas a bheidh le fáil ag an Aire ó fhreagra an Údaráis a fháil. Sin cead nach bhfuil ag bord Stáit ar bith. Beidh cead ag Teachtaí a theacht isteach anseo agus ceisteanna a chur sa Dáil faoi chúrsaí an Údaráis, faoi bhaill an Údaráis, faoi chúrsaí an Údaráis fhéin. Ní bheidh bac ar bith orthu maidir le ceisteanna mar sin a chur síos. Ach ní shílim go bhfuil ciall ar bith le iarraidh ar an Údarás go gcaithfidh siad insint ó am go ham do bhaill an Oireachtais conas a bhfuil cúrsaí ar siúl. Beidh an cúntas bliantiúil agus a leithéidí sin le fáil. Beidh eolas ansin faoi chursaí reatha an Údaráis. Rud poiblí é sin. Agus an t-airgead a bhéas le fáil ag an Údarás gach bliain, beidh cead ag ball an Oireachtais teacht isteach anseo agus é sin a phlé anseo sa Dáil. Nuair a bhéas rudaí mar sin dhá phlé, is féidir ceisteanna a chur agus eolas ar bith a theastaigh uathu ar chúrsaí an Údaráis a fháil.

Níor thug an tAire aon leathscéal dúinn cén fáth go bhfuil sé in aghaidh na focail i leith an Oireachtais a chur isteach.

Níl aon chiall leis.

Fáisnéiseadh go rabhthas tar éis diultú don an leasú.

Amendment declared lost.
Aontaíodh alt a 20.
Section 20 agreed to.
Aontaíodh alt a 21 agus alt a 22.
Sections 21 and 22 agreed to.
ALT 23.
SECTION 23.
Tairgeadh an cheist: "Go bhfanfaidh alt a 23 mar chuid den Bhille."
Question proposed: "That section 23 stand part of the Bill."

Would the Minister care to write into the record of the House the amount being effectively written off by the Government here in relation to advances which are being totally written off to Gaeltarra Éireann and advances which are not required to be repaid for the time being? This is an important sum. Has the Minister that information available?

Níl mé lán-chinnte ag an bpointe seo. Thart ar mhilliúin, sílim, de réir an eolais seo.

Cuireadh agus aontaíodh an cheist.

Question put and agreed to.
Aontaíodh alt a 24.
Section 24 agreed to.
ALT 25.
SECTION 25.
Tairgeadh an cheist: "Go bhfanfaidh alt a 25 mar chuid den Bhille".
Question proposed: "That section 25 stand part of the Bill."

I want to make an inquiry in relation to section 25 (3) which states:

If, in any local financial year, an tÚdarás certifies that the undertaking has failed to observe the terms upon which financial assistance was provided, a remission under this section shall not have effect in respect of that local financial year.

Given that the remission in question will probably relate to the financial year immediately preceding the one in which the final authorisation is given, what is the position of the local authority in relation to any enterprise involved? Are the local authority entitled to sue for the recovery of rates or for any partial or total remission of rates if a remission certified by the Údarás has been withdrawn?

Sílim go bhfuil cead acu cur isteach in aghaidh sin.

Nach bhfuil sé ann i láthair?

Tá. Tá sé ann i láthair na huaire.

There is one final aspect of the same question. In respect of any succeeding year will the enterprise or undertaking concerned have to apply afresh for a remission or will the original remission revive in a subsequent year and need another cancellation by the Údarás in order to make sure that this cannot happen again?

Níl mé ró-chinnte faoi seo ach sílim go mbainfídh sé leis an bhliain amháin.

Cuireadh agus aontaíodh an cheist.

Question put and agreed to.
Aontaíodh alt a 26.
Section 26 agreed to.
ALT 27.
SECTION 27.
Tairgeadh an cheist: "Go bhfanfaidh alt a 27 mar chuid den Bhille."
Question proposed: "That section 27 stand part of the Bill."

Ba mhaith liom leasú a dhéanamh san alt seo. Tá an Beárla ceart go leor. Ar leathanach 21, line 20, "nó" a athrú go "ná".

Aontaíodh leis an leasú.

Amendment agreed to.
Aontaíodh alt a 27 mar a leasaiodh.
Section 27, as amended, agreed to.
ALT 28.
SECTION 28.

Tá leasú Uimh, a 21 as ord.

Tairgeadh an cheist: "Go bhfanfaidh alt 28 mar chuid den Bhille".

Question proposed: "That section 28 stand part of the Bill."

Gan dearmad a dhéanamh ar na Gealtachtaí beaga. Tá Dún na nGall, Maigh Eó, Gaillimh agus Ciarraí sásta go leor. Tá trí Gaeltachtaí beaga—Corcaí, Port Láirge agus Ráth Cairn. Níl mise sasta iad a fhágaint amach ar fad. An bhfuil an tAire ábalta aon ní a dhéanamh mar measaim féin go bhfuil ard-mheas ag dul do na Gaeltachtaí siúd mar do choimeádar an teangan beo nuair a bhí ana-bhrú orthu ar fad. Tá sort "Big Brother" attitude againn anois anseo: Tá gach rud ag dul go dtí na Gaeltachtaí móra. Níl aon ní do na Gaeltachtaí beaga. Níl a dhóthain daoine ins na Gaeltachtaí beaga duine a thoghadh mar bhall den Údarás. Tá na hoileáin againn freisin. Leigh me i bpáipéar nuair a ceapadh an tAire mar Aire na Gaeltachta gur thug sé cuairt ar cheann dena h-oileáin. Dúirt sé go raibh sé beartaithe aige na deontais chéanna a thabhairt dona daoine a bhí ag maireachtaint sna hoíleáin cosúil leis na daoine a bhí ag maireachtaint sa Ghaeltacht. An bhfuil dearmad déanta ag an Aire ar an gcuairt sin? Chonaic mé a phictiúr i gceann dena nuachtáin as a chontae féin agus bhí an tAire ag féachaint galánta sa phictiúr.

Bíonn i gcónaí.

Bhí sé scríobtha san bpáipéar céanna go raibh sé beartaithe aige rud éigin a dhéanamh dona hoileáin. Tá ana-sheans aige anois. Níl sé ag déanamh tada mar gheall air. Ar dhein an tAire dearmad mar gheall ar an gcuairt sin?

My amendment has been ruled out of order but, speaking on the section, I would urge the Minister to look again seriously at the plight of the small Gaeltacht areas such as Rath Cairn, Waterford and Cork. The people owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to those living in these areas for the way in which they have kept the language alive despite all the pressures on them. It is easy to keep a language alive where everyone speaks the language. In these particular areas the people have gone out of their way to promote Irish culture and the Irish language in every walk of life. I would appeal to the Minister even at this late stage not to let these people think they are forgotten. They are a special case and I am sorry the Minister would not accept our appeal to him that membership of the Údarás should be increased to include representatives from these areas.

I am interested too in the islands. The islands are fast becoming depopulated. I remember a report of the Minister meeting a deputation of islanders and telling them it was his intention or the GovernMent's intention——

Ní hea——

Tóg bog é anois, the Minister told them he would certainly improve their lot. The Minister now has a golden opportunity to honour that commitment. I know that he and the Minister for Defence, Deputy Molloy, may have been flushed with victory when they visited the islands. I tabled a question to the Taoiseach asking if it was intended to improve the grant structure for the islands for new houses, and so on, and that question was transferred to the Minister for the Gaeltacht. His reply was he was looking into the matter. He has spent a year and a half now looking into it and is in a position now to make an indelible mark so far as the islands are concerned by including them in this section. These people have a part to play. They live in these remote districts without the facilities enjoyed on the mainland. I would urge the Minister to think again about the islanders and the small Gaeltachts.

Luaigh an Teachta Begley cuairt a thug mé ar na hoileáin. Bhí mé i ngach oileán ar an gcósta ó Thoraí go Oileán Chléire. Sílim nuair a bhí sé ag caint faoi na hoileáin i Maigh Eó b'fhéidir nach bhfuil sé ar eolas aige—níl fhios agam cén fáth ar thárla sé seo ach tá sé fíor i gcás dhá oileá agus ceann atá ar chósta na Gaillimhe, Oileán Bofín, nach Gaeltachtaí iad agus nach raibh Gaeilge ins na h-oileáin sin le fada an lá.

Thug on tAire geallúint dóibh.

Thug mé geallúint dóibh agus cloífidh mé leis, ach ní bhaineann sé sin leis an mBille seo. Cuirimíd i gcás fiú amháin dá nglacfaí leis an moladh sin bheadh sé an-deacair toghroinn ceantar amháin a dhéanamh dena h-oileáin ó Thoraí síos go h-oileán Chléire. Dá dtoghfaí duine i gCléire cuirimíd i gcás nó duine i dToraí nó fiú amháin i gceann ar bith dena h-oileáin cén chaoi a dtiocfadh leis freastal ar na h-oileáin ar fad? Sin an cás atá dhá dhéanamh ag an Teachta Begley. Tuigeann muid uilig na deacrachtaí atá ag na h-oileáin sin. Sílim gur fíor a rá go bhfuil níos mó déanta ar na h-oileáin sin ná mar atá déanta ar na h-oileáin eile. Tá deontais faoi leith le fáil acu, tá cumhacht aibhléise acu; bíonn siad in ann deontais a fháil le haghaidh tithe a dheisiú, deontais nach bhfuil ar fáil sna hoileáin eile. Le blianta beaga anuas tá siad ag fáil cuidiú sna comharchumann ar na hoileáin sin le cúrsaí a reachtáil agus arís tá deontais á fháil acu nach bhfuil le fáil ag muintir na n-oileán eile. Tugann sé sin le tuiscint nach bhfuil Roinn na Gaeltachta ag déanamh faillí ar bith ar mhuintir na n-oileán sin. Tuigimid na deacrachtaí atá acu ach de réir a chéile táimid ag teacht i gcabhair orthu chomh maith agus is féidir linn. Ní morán cabhair dóibh bheith ag caint faoi nó bheith ag iarraidh breis ionadaíochta a thabhairt, nuair mar tharla ar maidin, a votáileamar nach mbéadh ar an Udarás ach triúr dhuine dhéag.

Maidir leis an argóint sin, ní aontaim leis. Thug sé mar argóint go raibh na hoileáin an-scaipthe ó Oileán Toraí, go Oileán Cléire agus nach bhféadfaí togh-cheantar amháin a dhéanamh díobh. Is fíor sin ach mar sin féin tá Contae na Mí anfhada amach ó iarthar na hÉireann agus tá ó thuaisceart na hÉireann agus tá Gaeltacht ansin, tá Gaeltacht i bPort Láirge agus tá an Ghaeltacht seo curtha isteach le Gaeltachtaí atá i bhfad i bhfad ó bhaile, mar a déarfá. Tá Gaeltacht Chiarraí ann. Is dóigh liom gur fíor-lag an argóint a rá go bhfuil siad ró scaipthe le h-iad a chur isteach i dtogh-cheantar amháin.

Dúirt an tAire go raibh eolas maith aige ar na deacrachtaí agus ar na fadhbanna a bhaineann leis na h-oileáin sin. Tá mé cinnte go bhfuil taithí aige ar an gcuid sin den tír, taithí go deo aige, le fada an lá. Ní haon mhaith eolas a bheith agat ar na deacrachtaí agus ar na fadhbanna munar féidir leat rud éigin a dhéanamh futhu. Mar adúirt mise anseo nuair a bhí an Bille seo á phlé cúpla seachtain ó shin, ní thuigim cén fáth nach féidir rud éigin nua a dhéanamh maidir leis an fhadhb seo agus triail a bhaint as cheantair nach bhfuil an Ghaeilge mar theanga labhartha iontu a thógáil isteach agus triail a bhaint as an scéim seo féachaint an dtiocfaidh feabhas ar bith ar an scéal ó thaobh na teanga dhe. Tiocfaidh feabhas cinnte ar an scéal chomh fada is go mbeidh deontais á bhfáil ag na daoine seo atá ar fáil faoi láthair ag Gaeltachtaí móra. Ní thuigim an argóint atá ag an Aire faoi na ceanntair seo a bheith scaipthe i bhfad amach ó chéile agus nach féidir féachaint orthu mar aonad faoin mBille seo. Tá ceantair ar an mórthir atá i bhfad níos scaípthe á gcur isteach le pobail atá scoilte amach na mílte uathu. Mar sin, ní dóigh liom gur argóint chóir nó cheart nó réasúnach í sin.

Fáisnéiseadh go rabhthas tar éis glacadh leis an cheist.

Question put and declared carried.
ALT 29.
SECTION 29.

Tairgim leasú Uimh. a 22:

Ar leathanach 23, línte 5 agus 6 a scriosadh agus an méid seo a leanas a chur ina n-ionad: "ní bheidh duine intofa don Údarás mura mbeidh an teorainn aoise a bhaineann le hintofacht do Dháil Éireann agus d'údaráis áitiúla slánaithe aige.".

I move amendment No. 22:

In page 22, to delete lines 6 and 7, and to substitute "unless he has reached the age limit which applies in respect of eligibility for election to Dáil Éireann and local authorities.".

Cén fáth nach bhfuil an rud atá san mBille cosúil leis na teorainn aoise a bhaineann le iontofacht don chomhairle contae nó do Dháil Éireann? I gcás údarás áitiúla tá an 1 Aibreánluaite. D'fhéadfaidh duine a bheith ocht mbliana déag i mí na Nollag agus bheadh sé ábalta vótáil.

As it reads at present it is very loose; it is intended as a tidying up amendment. As it stands a person who will be 18 in December will be entitled to vote. If the Minister would make it the same as local elections or Dáil elections that would satisfy me.

Ní bhaineann sé leis na daoine a mbeidh cead acu vótáil ach leis na baill fhéin.

Níl aon mí scríofa isteach.

Mar atá sé i láthair na huaire, sé an chaoi a bhfuil leis i mBéarla ná, "a person shall be disqualified for being elected or chosen or being a member of a council of a county or of a district or of any town commissioners if he is under the age of 18 years —" Article 12 of the Application of Enactments Order, 1898, amended by section 4 of the 1973 Local Government Act. Is leis na hAchta sin atáimid ag cloí. Ní bhaineann sé le cead vótála an duine ach leis an bhall féin.

Tarraingíodh siar an leasú, faoi chead.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Aontaíodh alt a 29.
Section 29 agreed to.
Aontaíodh alt a 30.
Section 30 agreed to.
ALT 31.
SECTION 31.

Tairgim leasú Uimh. a 23:

Ar leathanach 23, línte 14 go 16 a scriosadh, agus an méid seo a leanas a chur ina n-ionad:

"(1) San alt seo agus in alt 32, ciallaíonn `an tAire' an tAire Comhshaoil.

(2) (a) Déanfaidh an tAire, chun críocha Achta seo, ceann comhairimh a cheapadh i leith gach toghlach a shonraítear in alt 28 den Acht seo, agus is é an ceann comhairimh a cheapfar faoin bhfo-alt seo don toghlach sin:

(a) i gcás contae nó contaebhuirg ag a bhfuil sirriam an sirriam, agus

(b) i ngach cás eile, an cláraitheoir contae."

I move amendment No. 23:

In page 22, to delete lines 15 to 17, and substitute:

"(1) In this section and in section 32, `the Minister' means the Minister for the Environment.

(2) (a) The Minister shall for the purposes of this Act, appoint a returning officer in respect of each constituency specified in section 28 of this Act, and the returning officer appointed under this subsection for such a constituency shall be:

(a) in the case of a county or county borough for which there is a sheriff, the sheriff, and

(b) in every other case, the county registrar."

Molaim an leasú seo don Teach. Measaim féin nach bhfuil sé ceart d'aon Aire Stáit a rúnaí a tharraingt isteach sa phoilitíocht. Tá prionsabal ann. Go dtí seo bhí an sheriff, the county registrar or the county manager ann. There is a principle involved here. It is wrong to be dragging the secretary of a Department into politics. It will now be up to the secretary to appoint personnel to run the elections. The secretary may appoint persons who appear suitable to people living in Dublin but who might be very active in local politics, and who would be in charge of local political party branches. It should be written into the section that objections to the appointment of personnel would be listened to. This situation would not arise if county managers or county registrars were responsible for running the election.

The Department of the Gaeltacht have no experience of running elections. It is very unfair to put the Secretary of that Department in this position and to set him up as a target for opposition parties in the life of a Dáil because of something that might have happened in the course of an election to an tÚdarás. County registrars are considered to be above politics. This section put the secretary of a Department in an invidious position. We can now have a go at him. I am quite sure that the Secretary of the Department will do his duty according to his conscience. He would not have reached that position if his integrity had not been beyond question. For the first time the Minister is questioning publicly the integrity of a Secretary of a Department. I appeal to the Minister to leave that side of it to the hardened politicians, the county registrars or the county managers as the case may be. The Minister should take the Secretary out of the line of fire.

Ní shílim go bhfuil fáilte ar bith ag an rúnaí roimh an chuid seo den Bhille, ach sé an rud atá ann ná go bhfuil cuid mhaith contaethe i gceist agus go gcaithfear duine éigin a thoghadh a bheidh in ann comhshnaidhmiú a dhéanamh ar na toghcháin sna contaethe ar fad. Mar a fheicimse é, is é an gnáth chóras a bhéas ann i ngach contae ná na daoine atá ag plé le toghcháin i láthair na huaire, sin iad a bheidh i bhfeighil na toghchain i ngach contae, agus ní fheicim go mbeidh aon athrú ar sin ach amháin go gcaithfear duine éigin a cheapadh a bheidh ag stiúrú na hoibre ar fad agus sin é an post atá á thabhairt do Rúnai Roinn na Gaeltachta, cibé rúnaí a bhéas ann. Is iad na contaethe atá i gceist ná contae Dhún na nGall, Maigh Eo, Gallimh, Ciarraí, An Mhí, Corcaigh agus Port Láirge.

Tá an leithscéal sin analag ar fad. Cad mar gheall ar na toghcháin don European Parliament? Tá na constituencies measctha go léir ansin. Tá an Clár istigh le Port Láirge, tá an Ghaillimh istigh le Dún na nGall, agus tá an tAire Comhshaoil ábalta Returning Officer a chur i mbun na dtoghchán sin. Sin an prionsabal atá ann.

Beidh sé sin amhlaidh anseo chomh maith. Sé an Registrar i ngach Contae a bhéas i bhfeighil.

Níl sé sin scríofa san Bhille.

Ní féidir na toghcháin a reachtáil gan na daoine sin.

Tarraingeoidh mé siar an leasú má scríobhtar é sin isteach san Bhille ar Chéim na Tuarascála.

Tá an Teachta amhrasach faoi chuile shórt.

Tarraingíodh siar an leasú faoi chead.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Tairgeodh an cheist: "Go bhfanfaidh alt a 31 mar chuid den Bhille."
Question proposed: "That section 31 stand part of the Bill."

Tá an tAire ag cur Rúnaí na Roinne i mbun na hoibre seo agus níl mé sásta go bhfuil sé sin ceart.

Cad a tharlaíonn, cuirim i gcás, nuair a bhíonn toghchán uachtaráin ann? Cé bhíonn i bhfeighil sa chás sin?

An Returning Officer.

Agus sin mar a tharlaíonn i ngach contae.

Ach níl "county registrar" scriobhta isteach sa Bhille seo. Dá mbeadh sé sin ann bheinnse sásta.

Cén imní atá ar an Teachta?

Cuirfidh mé leasú isteach le haghaidh Céim na Tuarascála.

Rud amháin atá ann, caithfear a iarraidh ar na County Registrars aontú le seo i ngach contae, agus ní féidir é sin a chur isteach san Bhille gan a iarraidh orthu an rud a dhéanamh. Níl aon fhadhb ann chor ar bith. Cé eile atá in ann deileáil le cúrsaí mar sin i gcontae ar bith ach na daoine ansin go bhfuil taithí acu ar na toghcháin áitiúla agus na mór-thoghcháin? Níl aon cheist go mbeadh aon duine eile ag plé leis.

Cén fáth nach gcuireann an tAire isteach sa Bhille é?

Ní féidir é a chur isteach i láthair na huaire gan iarraidh orthu.

Faisnéiseadh go rabhthas tar éis glacadh leis an cheist. Question put and declared carried.

ALT 32.

SECTION 32.

Tairgim leasú Uimh. a 24:

Ar leathnach 23, fo-alt (2), line 51 a scriosadh agus an méid seo a leanas a chur ina hionad:

"(vii) teanga agus foirm an pháipéir bhallóide a úsáidfear,".

I move amendment No. 24:

In page 22, subsection (2), to delete line 48 and substitute the following:

"(vii) the language and form of the ballot paper to be used,".

Bheadh mise lán-sásta an leasú seo a tharraing siar, i gcás amháin, má deireann an tAire liom go bhfuil sé cinnte go mbeidh cuile pháipéar ballóide as Gaeilge agus as Gaeilge amháin. An féidir leis é sin a rá liom?

Sin an rud atá i gceist agamsa go gcuirfí i nGaeilge amháin í. Ach tá pointe amháin ann: má tá duine ag dul ar aghaidh don Udarás agus go dteastaíonn uaidh a ainm a bheith i mBéarla ar an bpáipéar vótala, ní féidir linn stop a chur le sin.

Tarraìngiodh siar an leasú, faoi chead.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Tairgim leasú Uimh. a 25:

Ar leathanach 25, fo-alt (2) (xii), line 4, "náisiúnta, gairmscoileanna, scoileanna pobail nó scoileanna cuimsitheacha" a chur isteach i ndiaidh "scoileanna".

I move amendment No. 25:

In page 24, subsection (2) (xii), line 4, before "schools" to insert "national, vocational, community or comprehensive."

This amendment is in relation to the fact that at least some of the schools in the Gaeltacht are private institutions and presumably the regulations made by the Minister will not have any effect on schools that are private institutions. I am thinking in particular of secondary schools. The effect of the amendment is to limit the scope of the regulations to schools that are within the public domain to a complete or to a greater extent.

Níl aon ghá leis an leasú mar tugtar an miniú seo a leanas ar "scoileanna" sna rialacháin i leith an Acht Toghcháin (Leasú), 1974:

"Schools" includes a national school and a secondary vocational or other post-primary school.

Tarraingíodh siar an leasú, faoi chead.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Tairgim leasú Uimh. a 26:

Ar leathanach 25, fo-alt (2), linte 14 agus 15 a scriosadh, agus an méid seo a leanas a chur ina n-ionad:

"(xix) clár a ullmhú (arb é a bheidh ann clár toghthóirí an Údaráis) de dhaoine atá i dteideal a gcláraithe mar thoghthóirí chun críocha an Achta seo.".

I move amendment No. 26:

In page 24, subsection (2), to delete lines 13 to 15, and substitute the following:

"(xix) the preparation of a register (which shall be the register of Údarás electors) of persons who are entitled to be registered as electors for the purposes of this Act.".

An nglachfaidh an tAire leis an leasú seo?

Leis an fhirinne a rá ní rabhamar anseo go dtí inniu agus ní raibh am againn an rud a scrúdú anseo. An bhfágfaidh an Teachta againn é?

Maith go leor.

Tarraingíodh siar an leasú, faoi chead.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Tairgeadh an cheist: "Go bhfanfaidh alt a 32 mar chuid den Bhille."
Question proposed: "That section 32 stand part of the Bill."

Could the Minister enlighten us about two things in relation to this section. First of all the arrangements for postal voting, how exactly will these operate? Will the postal vote be given to all persons on the register irrespective of whether they are in residence at their addresses on the register on polling day or not and, if so, what arrangements will be made for ascertaining where they are and for giving them a postal vote? That is the first question.

The second question is: will it be open—as it is in local elections at present—to people who are resident but non-nationals of the State to vote in elections for members of an tÚdarás?

Maidir leis an chéad cheist is dóigh go gcloifimid leis na rialacha mar atá siad i láthair na huaire maidir leis na toghcháin áitúla. Is deachair ar bhealach an dara pointe a luaigh an Teachta a fhreagairt. Tárlaíonn sé go minic, cuirimid i gcás, go dtagann daoine dár gcuid féin ar ais as Mheiriceá agus gur Gaeilgeoirí iad. Tá aithne agam féin ar dhuine ach is náisiúnai Meiriceánach anois é ó thárla gur chaith sé cúpla bliain ansin. Bheadh sé íontach deacair duine mar sin a choinneáil ó vótáil ach ag an am gcéanna cuirimíd i gcás gur Sasanach, Gearmánach nó duine éigin den chineál sin a bhí i gceist níl fhios agam an mbéinn chomh báúil leis sin le cead vótála a thabhairt dó.

(Cur isteach.)

Is dóigh liom, go ginearálta, go gcloífimid leis na rialacha mar atá siad i láthair na huaire maidir le toghcháin áitiúla.

Cuireadh agus aontaíodh an cheist.

Question put and agreed to.
AN CHÉAD SCEIDEAL.
FIRST SCHEDULE.

Tairgim leasú Uimh. a 27:

Ar leathanach 25, mir 2, line 39, "se" a scriosadh agus "cúig" a chur ina ionad.

I move amendment No. 27:

In page 24, paragraph 2, line 38, to delete "six" and substitute "five".

Aon bhall a bhéas tofa ar an Údarás ní bheidh sé mar bhall den Údarás ach ar feadh chúig bhliana. Ach na daoine a bheidh ceapaithe ag an Aire, beidh siad sin mar bhaill ar feadh sé bhliana. I cannot understand that the elected members of An tÚdarás shall hold office for five years only while the men or women who will be appointed by the Minister will have tenure of office for six years. Could the Minister tell me why the difference? Could he not have uniformity—five years for the elected members and five years for those whom he will appoint himself? Why make one a privileged class above the other?

Níl mé ag cur in aghaidh an leasaithe; is cuma faoi cúig nó sé. Sílim gurb é an rud a bhí ann leis an sé ná go minic i leith daoine a bhionn tofa bíonn tréimhsi, b'fhéidir, tri bliana nó ceithre bliana ag cuid de bhaill an bhord mar sin, agus má bhionn tréimhse dhá bhliain nó trí bliana acu tá sé níos fusa oibriú le sé ná le cúig. Ach is cuma liom. Glacaimíd leis an leasú.

Aontaíodh an leasú.

Amendment agreed to.

Tairgim leasú Uimh. a 28:

Ar leathanach 25, mir 2 (b) (ii), line 52,

", nó a gheofar ciontach i gcion faoi alt 15 den Acht seo, nó a mhainneoidh leas a nochtadh mar a cheanglaítear faoi mhír 8 den Sceideal seo", a chur isteach i ndiaidh "sin".

I move amendment No. 28:

In page 24, paragraph 2 (b) (ii), line 50, after "constituency" to add:

", or who is found guilty of an offence under section 15 of this Act or who fails to make a disclosure required under paragraph 8 of this Schedule.".

This is an important amendment because it relates to the matter on which the Minister has placed such emphasis in his interventions here today, specifically that of confidentiality and of disclosure of interest. It is absolutely essential for the effective working of An tÚdarás, and for An tÚdarás to be seen as impartial, efficient and just in the administration of the moneys entrusted to them by Dáil Éireann and the Minister, that any infringement of a fiduciary relationship by a member of An tÚdarás should be punished in the most obvious way by rendering a member of An tÚdarás ineligible to continue in membership after a breach of such relationship. This is not a case in which half measures can be tolerated, because you cannot have half confidence or semi-confidence in a member of An tÚdarás; you have to have complete confidence in him, or you have no confidence in him. Paragraph 7 (2) of the First Schedule lays it down only that a member of An tÚdarás shall be disqualified for holding office... if he is adjudged bankrupt or makes a composition or arrangement with creditors or is sentenced by court of competent jurisdiction to imprisonment or penal servitude or ceases to be ordinarily resident in the State.

I am seeking to add two further causes of disqualification for members of An tÚdarás: the first is when a member of An tÚdarás is in breach of confidentiality under section 15 (2) of the Bill. The second is in relation to any member of An tÚdarás who fails to make a declaration of interest in relation to a matter with which An tÚdarás is dealing under paragraph 8 (1) of the First Schedule.

It seems to be inescapable, in the logic of the Minister's own remarks and from the whole thrust of the Bill, that if we are to have confidence in An tÚdarás breaches of this kind must merit the ultimate sanction of exclusion from the workings of An tÚdarás in the future.

I would ask the Minister to consider adding these criteria to those for disqualification contained in paragraph 7 (2) of the First Schedule at present.

Taímid sasta athbhreithniú a dheánamh ar sin.

Tarraingíodh siar an leasú, faoi chead.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Tairgim leasú Uimh. a 29:

Ar leathanach 27, línte 11 go 15 a scriosadh.

I move amendment No. 29:

In page 26, to delete lines 13 to 16.

Táimíd chun seacht mball den Údarás a thoghadh agus cuir i gcás go bhfaigheann duine amháin acu bás nó má éiríonn sé as oifig. I think the Minister must re-phrase this paragraph. It is wrong because the Minister said only the elected members can decide a co-option. Let me cite the example of a situation in which seven people are elected. One of the seven is called away or resigns from office for some reason or another. There is then the situation in which there are six remaining. Let us say that three of them are Fianna Fáil, perhaps two are Fine Gael and one Labour, or perhaps three Labour, three Fianna Fáil, or whatever the case may be. Who will decide then on the person who is going to be nominated? It does not make sense as it is. Will you draw from a hat, toss a coin or what but, as the paragraph reads, it does not make sense. The Minister will have to look at this paragraph again and come back to me. I think it is an error in the drafting of the Bill.

Will the Minister appoint the person in the event of a tie? He is elected to the Dáil. The co-option will be by elected members. The Minister owes it to the House and to the spirit in which we have been debating this Bill to state how the appointment will be made if a tie situation exists. How is the appointment to be made when it is specifically stated in the Bill that only elected members shall coopt? I would ask the Minister to reconsider this.

Táimid ag caint faoi na daoine a bheidh tofa ansin. Mar a tharlaíonn sé i gcomhairle chontae, sé an nós céanna a bhéas ann. Is dóca go dtiocfaidh leis an Udarás é fein rialú maith a dhéanamh faoi. Tá sé deacair pointe mar sin a chur isteach i mBille mar seo.

Ní fhreagraionn sin an cheist. Má tá triúr duine ann, conas a cheapfar an duine?

Fág ansin é agus b'fhéidir go dtiocfaimid ar ais air ar an gcéad Céim eile.

Tarraingíodh siar an leasú, faoi chead.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Tairgim leasú Uimh. a 30:

Ar leathanach 27, mír 8 (1), line 39, "a mbeartaíonn an tÚdarás aon deontas a thabhairt dó nó" a chur isteach i ndiaidh "chomhlacht".

I move amendment No. 30:

In page 26, paragraph 8 (1), line 37, after "body" to insert "to which an tÚdarás proposes to make any grant or".

The effect of amendment No. 30 is to clear up any possible misunderstanding or ambiguity in relation to the wording of the Schedule. As I read paragraph 8 (1) of the Schedule it does not specifically include the word "grant". It includes the words "contract or other agreement" but I am not clear that the words "other agreement" include the word "grant". As a major part of the activities of An tÚdarás may involve the making of grants, it seems important to write it in here in the absence of any assurance from the Minister that accepted practice includes grants in a phrase like "other agreements".

Tugann an tÚdarás deontas do dhuine nó do dhreamanna le comh-aontú ball eile. Ní aontaim go bhfuil an leasú riachtanach. Bionn an comh-aontú ann i gcónaí. Ní dóigh liom, dá bhrí sin, go bhfuil gá leis an leasú seo.

Tarraingíodh siar an leasú, faoi chead.

Amendment, by leave withdrawn.
Tairgeadh an cheist: "Gurb é an Chéad Sceideal, mar a leasaiodh é, is Céad Sceideal den Bhille."
Question proposed: "That the First Schedule, as amended, be the First Schedule to the Bill."

No. 3 of the Schedule refers to the eligibility for reappointment of a member of An tÚdarás other than an elected member. Would it not be as well for the purposes of tidiness to insert another part to the Schedule to make it clear that elected members of An tÚdarás are also eligible for re-election? As the Schedule stands, it seems to refer only to the non-elected members.

Ní dóigh liom go bhfuil gá leis sin.

Cé mhéid airgid atá beartaithe a thabhairt? Cád é an teacht isteach? Nach bhfuil sé socraithe fós?

Ba cheart an cheist seo a chur ar Aire na Seirbhise Poibli. Beidh costais thaistil agus mar sin i gceist.

An bhfuil fhios ag an Aire cá mbeidh cruinnithe an Údaráis?

Is dóca go mbeidh siad san áit is feiliúnaí, sílim, Gaillimh, in áit áirithe idir Tír Chonaill agus Corcaigh agus Port Láirge. Beidh oifig ag an Údarás chomh maith.

Cuireadh agus aontaíodh an cheist.

Question put and agreed to.
Aontaíodh an Dara Sceideal.
Second Schedule agreed to.
Aontaíodh an Teideal.
Title agreed.
Tuairiscíodh an Bille le leasaithe.
Bill reported with amendments.

An chéad Céim eile?

Coicís ó inniu.

Ordaíodh go dtógfaí Céim na Tuarascála Dé Céadaoin, 13 Nollaig 1978.

Report Stage ordered for Wednesday, 13 December 1978.