Before coming to the Order of Business I propose to deal with a number of related notices under Standing Order 30 from Deputies Geoghegan-Quinn and Harney. I propose to call the Deputies in the order in which they submitted their notices to my office.
Requests to move Adjournment of Dáil under Standing Order 30.
I wish to ask for the suspension of the Dáil under Standing Order 30 to discuss the following urgent and important matter: the admission of liability by the Blood Transfusion Service Board for the first time in the hepatitis C controversy and the steps the Minister for Health now proposes to take to amend the scheme of compensation for the hepatitis C tribunal which specifically omits claims for liability.
I, too, wish to move a motion under Standing Order 30 to seek the suspension of the normal business of this House to discuss an urgent and specific matter, namely, that the Blood Transfusion Board has, for the first time, admitted liability to a hepatitis C victim who died last Tuesday evening. This House needs to debate the circumstances surrounding the concealment of vital information both to this House and the Miriam Hederman-O'Brien inquiry. We need to stand down the tribunal of inquiry and ensure that the cases which have already been settled there can be reopened.
Having considered the matters fully I do not consider them to be contemplated by the Standing Order and, therefore, I cannot grant leave to move the motions.
I protest. If there was ever a time when this House should suspend its normal business to discuss a matter which has affected the lives of 1,000 women and their families it is today. These women got a pittance while the people responsible received golden handshakes. If there was ever a time when a scandal should be discussed in this House it is today.
(Limerick East): We will have a debate.
All that these women sought was the truth. They wanted the State to admit liability.
The Deputy should please desist. While there has been a development in the matter, I do not consider that it is likely to develop significantly before the Dáil will in practice have an opportunity of discussing it.
The Government owes it to this House and the thousands of women infected with hepatitis C to admit liability.
Will the Deputy please listen?
The Minister for Health should explain to us today in Government time what happened and how——
We will do so.
——and put a proper scheme of compensation in place.
I have the formal Order of Business before me but we will have no difficulty in providing time for a debate on this issue after Question Time when the Minister for Health will be available, the arrangements to be agreed between the Whips. Whatever time is required will be provided.
I thank the Tánaiste.