Order of Business .

: It is proposed to take business in the following order: Motion for the Appointment of a Member of the Government; Nos. 4, 12, 13, 14, 5 and 15. Private Members' Business will be taken from 7 p.m. to 8.30 p.m., Item No. 19 (Resumed). By agreement the Member concluding the debate will be called on not later than 8.15 p.m. this evening. Also by agreement it is proposed that the Dáil will not sit tomorrow until 4 p.m. and will sit until 8.30 p.m. There will be no Questions tomorrow.

: I should like to raise with the Taoiseach a matter of which I have had no opportunity of forewarning him and which has come to my notice only in the last few minutes. Perhaps he could clarify the situation in regard to what has happened in Wexford where it has been reported, I understand, that a charge of murder was preferred against someone in connection with the murder of a garda, which is of course a capital murder, and that that charge has been withdrawn and can he give us any information as to what has happened in regard to this matter. I apologise to the Taoiseach for raising it without warning. Of course he may not be able to help us very much in the circumstances.

: I understand very briefly from the Minister for Justice who has in fact gone to Wexford that the original charge is withdrawn but that another charge has been substituted for it.

: Can the Taoiseach say what that charge is?

: I am not sure but I understand it is a charge of murder also. But I am speaking from a very quick briefing by the Minister for Justice before he left for Wexford.

: Yes. When the Taoiseach says a charge of murder——

: I do not think there is any basic difference. I think it is just a technical matter.

: Is it a charge of murder or of capital murder?

: I do not know at this stage.

: May I ask the Taoiseach if the person who was charged last night with the murder of Garda Quaid—which charge was apparently withdrawn this morning in the court—was and is still in police custody?

: Yes. I should point out to the House, of course, that this is all a matter for the Director of Public Prosecutions and the matter is entirely in his hands. The Minister for Justice informed me—again before he left for Wexford—that the person who was originally charged is in custody. In fact he may well be in hospital. There is some information to the effect that he may be in hospital but he is either in hospital or in custody.

: If he is in hospital is he in hospital in police custody or has he been discharged by the courts until a new charge is brought against him?

: My information is that another charge has been brought against him.

: So that he is still in custody even if he is in hospital?

: I am very sorry to tell the House that I am speaking very much on the basis of a very sketchy briefing given me by the Minister for Justice who was leaving hurriedly for Wexford. But my understanding is that the Director of Public Prosecutions has issued another charge in this case.

: Perhaps the Taoiseach could keep us informed.

: Could we move now to the next item on the Order of Business, the motion for approval of the nomination of a member of the Government?