Private Members' Business. - Crime Policy: Motion (Resumed).

The following motion was moved by Deputy Jim Higgins on Tuesday, 18 November 1997:
That Dáil Éireann, recognising the abandonment of the former Fianna Fáil zero tolerance crime policy and the unequivocal commitments to introduce a series of new policies with a view to achieving an immediate and dramatic reduction in crime levels, expresses its serious concern at the recent alarming number of murders and assaults and deplores the failure of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform to
—unveil any new crime prevention policies since taking office;
—finalise his submission to the Taoiseach in order to enable the report of the strategic management initiative on the Garda to be published, debated and implemented;
—put an end to the costly and self-defeating revolving door system of token imprisonment;
—adequately resource the overburdened probation and welfare services in order to enable it to prevent and divert crime and guarantee supervision of convicted persons placed in its care;
—introduce a comprehensive drug treatment and therapy programme for women prisoners who are drug addicts; and,
—introduce effective prison programmes and post-release programmes for sex offenders, and,
calls on the Minister to finalise within two weeks his submission on the strategic management initiative on the Garda, to guarantee that there will be no further closures of Garda stations or reduction in Garda hours or numbers and to place on record his policy objectives in crime reduction, the operation of the prison system, the resourcing of the probation and welfare services and implementation of treatment programmes for drug and sex offenders.
Debate resumed on amendment No. 1:
To delete all words after "That" and substitute the following:
"Dáil Éireann
—notes the determination of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform to pursue a policy of zero tolerance against those who are engaged in criminality which interferes with the right of citizens to live their lives in peace, free of the fear of criminal intrusion, including the criminal trafficking in drugs which causes so much human misery especially to the young;
—welcomes the plans of the Minister to increase the strength of An Garda Síochána to 12,000 within the lifetime of the Government;
—supports the measures which are being taken by the Minister to provide 1,000 prison spaces within the next two years;
—welcomes the provision of resources for the introduction of a formal witness security programme;
—notes that ongoing discussions are taking place with the Eastern Health Board with a view to expanding the range of drug treatment services available in Mountjoy female prison;
—confirms the continuation of individual counselling for sentenced sex offenders and the expansion in dedicated sex offender treatment programmes within the prison system;
—endorses the recent decision taken by the Minister to establish a review group to examine the Probation and Welfare Service;
—commends the decision of the Minister to establish a crime forum and a crime council in order to assist in the ongoing formulation and integration of crime policy with wider social policy;
—welcomes the announcement by the Minister that he will publish, in 1998, the first ever White Paper on crime in the history of the State;
—welcomes the Government's commitment to publish the Criminal Justice Bill;
—welcomes the Government's publication of the Courts Service Bill, 1997;
—notes that the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform is in the process of preparing a discussion document on sexual offences including the possibility of a register of sex offenders;
—welcomes the passing by both Houses of the Oireachtas of the Europol Bill; and
—notes that Government decisions on the Garda SMI report are imminent."
— (Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform).

I thank Deputy Broughan for sharing time. The motion and the amendment are meaningless and this debate is tiresome. The issue of crime in the community is not well served by the Minister and the Opposition slugging it out in this Chamber or over the airwaves. There is an element of macho shadow boxing involved which does little to inspire public confidence in Members. It also does nothing to help us get at the root causes of crime and discover practical ways to tackle the problem.

It appears that the framers of the motion merely plucked aspects of the crime problem out of the sky. Why is the main Opposition party calling for the introduction of a comprehensive drug treatment and therapy programme for women prisoners? Why only women prisoners when there is a major and, in many ways, more serious problem with their male counterparts in this regard? The motion is very selective in respect of the areas to which it draws attention. I fault the motion in the same way I faulted the Minister's approach to tackling the crime problem because of its overemphasis on legislation. There seems to be a view that legislation alone can tackle the serious problem of crime in the community. The motion also fails to recognise the close relationship between drug abuse and high crime figures. Unless we get to the nub of the issue and put in place practical and well funded measures to tackle the supply of and demand for drugs, our discussions will only be so much hot air.

In the amendment, the Minister begins with his usual rant about zero tolerance. The root of this concept, which is in operation in New York and certain parts of Britain, is that an equally strong arm approach should be taken to minor and serious crimes. Having been in office a number of months, however, the Minister has decided that the issue is more complex than he stated during the election campaign. He has discovered that this approach is not possible in the Irish context. The Minister now states that people did not understand what he meant by "zero tolerance" and it should, in fact, be applied only to serious crimes. This makes a nonsense of his original proposal from which he gained huge mileage before and during the election campaign. Most people accept that the concept of zero tolerance — as it is understood in other jurisdictions — is dead as far as the Government is concerned.

The amendment to the motion also refers to the Minister's plans to increase the strength of the Garda Síochána to 12,000, which is hardly an ambitious proposal. The Dublin area is under-staffed in respect of Garda personnel. This issue is regularly raised at public meetings because people want gardaí back on the beat so that they will be familiar with the areas they patrol, have better relations with the community and be more vigilant. There has been much discussion about large scale crimes but the majority of people are more concerned about the frequency of burglaries, bag snatches, car thefts, etc. We should be able to deal with such problems at local level through the provision of more gardaí on the beat. However, increasing Garda strength to 12,000 is not particularly ambitious.

The amendment also supports the measures taken by the Minister to provide 1,000 prison spaces. It is difficult to sift through press releases and public statements but, as far as I can see, the Minister is only proposing the provision of an additional 200 spaces over and above those already provided by the previous Government. I am open to correction but it appears that is all the Minister has secured.

With regard to drug treatment in prisons, the amendment "notes that ongoing discussions are taking place with the Eastern Health Board". There are, in fact, few such discussions taking place. There is a major drug abuse problem in Mountjoy Prison and great difficulty in deciding how best to tackle it. I made this point on previous occasions and I believe drug treatment services in our prisons should be the equal of those available in the wider community. I am familiar with people who were involved in the drugs culture and who, following a long wait, managed to gain acceptance to community treatment programmes. However, they were then given prison sentences of two to three years for the larceny associated with their drug abuse. They entered Mountjoy Prison where a treatment programme is not available and returned to using heroin. That is an utter disgrace. I do not know how any Minister can preside over such a situation. This matter requires urgent attention and the Eastern Health Board is willing to become involved, on an agency basis, and provide a full range of drug treatment services to the 60 per cent plus prisoners in Mountjoy who are addicted to drugs. However, this will only happen if there is a change in the mindset in the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.

The amendment also refers to counselling for sex offenders. The programme available is pathetic as there are ten people on it at any one time. Apart from removing offenders from the community, the main function of prisons should be to rehabilitate. However, we are utterly failing to rehabilitate prisoners serving sentences for drug or sex offences, which is a disgrace.

The amendment to the motion welcomes the Government's publication of the Courts Service Bill, which was already in train before the change of Administration, and notes the Government's imminent decision on the Garda SMI report. The latter is overdue and I urge the Minister to get on with publishing the final report.

Included in the amendment is the Government's welcoming of its commitment to publish the Criminal Justice Bill, about which so much was reported in the media today. As I understand it, it is the policy of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform to introduce on an annual basis a "tidying up" Bill which is precisely what the Criminal Justice Bill represents. To loud fanfares today, the Minister referred to mandatory sentences but I read the Bill and it is clear he has walked away from the issue of mandatory sentences. There were headlines today and talk from the Minister about the introduction of ten year mandatory sentences for drug offences, but there is an opt-out clause. We have been sold a pig in a poke. Today the Minister got away with it and it is to be hoped the media will pay attention to what is in the Bill and discover the Minister has reneged on his pre-election promise. I will not complain too much about that because I am glad he is now taking the advice of the Law Reform Commission and of his own Department on mandatory sentencing. However, the headlines and the fanfare only bring this House into further disrepute by making it seem out of touch with problems.

Although tidying up a few aspects of the law, this Bill does nothing to tackle the drug problem which is seriously affecting my constituency and many constituencies throughout the country.

I could not help but notice Deputy Shortall's hypocritical attitude to drug treatment centres. As chairman of the Eastern Health Board, of which I also am a member, Deputy Shortall is well aware it had a marvellous premises in the Weir Home which was eminently suitable for development as a drug treatment centre. It was to be a headquarters for the centre city from which five satellite clinics throughout the south inner city would operate, and it was labour activists and members of the Labour Party in my constituency who prevented it going ahead.

We are talking about prisons.

I am talking about drug treatment centres. It would certainly be much easier to have a drug treatment centre in a prison.

Why does the Minister not introduce them?

We have been in office for five months. The Deputy's party was in office for the past couple of years. I did not hear her asking these questions a few months ago. While it is necessary for men to have methadone treatment in prisons, I do not know why Deputy Shortall should be offended by the fact that women are being given the chance of treatment first. However, I emphasise that the opposition to drug treatment centres in my constituency is being led by the Labour Party.

That is not true.

It is true, and there is plenty of evidence of it. The task forces in the area would be the first to confirm what I am saying. They are doing their best to get the public in their communities to accept treatment for drug addicts in their own communities.

The Deputy is getting away from the point. Why are there no drug treatment centres in the prisons?

It is the Labour Party, through their activists and with support, albeit reluctant, from their own Labour members who are opposing the centres.

What about Deputy Liam Lawlor in Blanchardstown?

When we said we would introduce zero tolerance that is what we meant. I am delighted the Minister has introduced this Bill. It is most welcome. Many of the changes are necessary. If the Minister finds we do not have enough prison places or that building works need to be carried out on existing prisons to bring them up to a modern standard, he should consider leasing prisons from the private sector. The private sector could build prisons and lease them to the State, just as it does in the case of toll roads, and when it has made its money, the prisons could revert to the State, just like the Roche Bridge in Dublin which will revert to Dublin Corporation when it has been in operation for 20 years. I suspect we may not have enough prison places, although having a ten year minimum sentence for people in possession of drugs worth more than £10,000 for the purposes of supply should act as a deterrent. However, the mules will have to be careful that they are not used by drug dealers to keep more of their product. Regarding the testing of drugs, it sometimes takes up to six months to test the strength of drugs. This is far too long in bringing a case to court. It is important that more facilities are provided and I hope the Minister will provide them.

The Minister said the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform was in the process of preparing a discussion document on sexual offences, including the possibility of a register of sex offenders. I am totally in favour of that, and the Minister should have no doubt that the vast majority of the people want a proper register of sex offenders. Deputy Dan Neville said something similar earlier and I agree wholeheartedly with him. I am sceptical about the suggestion that anything can be done to treat such people. I do not believe any paedophile has ever been cured. We must be careful not to give these people another way out. We need to show zero tolerance towards them.

At the last election I said zero tolerance was what this Government would stand for. I stand over that and believe it will be seen to be true. We will not tolerate crime any more. There will be no more excuses. I felt for the Minister this evening because of the manner in which he was interviewed on television and blamed for a judicial problem. Any fair-minded person would agree that we should have a school for judges because some of our judges make decisions that give rise to concern. I hope the President of the District Court will deal firmly with this matter if there has been a serious error of judgment. Somewhere down the line there has been an error of judgment but the Judiciary and the Executive are separate and the Judiciary will have to police themselves.

I welcome the Bill. The people in my constituency will be pleased to know we are carrying out our promises on law and order.

The Opposition have a brass neck to come in here after just five months to criticise the Minister for not addressing in that short time the neglect perpetrated by the last Government over a period of two and a half years. He has clearly and unequivocally laid out his philosophy on zero tolerance. To expect a major advance on this in less than six months, which also included the summer recess, is totally unrealistic.

Fine Gael has little to shout about, having maintained in office a Minister who not only sat on her hands when decisive action was required but who could not even get the most fundamental elements of her programme past her coalition partners. I need hardly remind Deputies Higgins and Flanagan of the red faces which abounded in their party when Deputy Owen's proposals on the bail laws which had been trumpeted all over the media were publicly and brutally slapped down by her so-called partners in the Labour Party. It was the regrettable death of Veronica Guerin which galvanised Deputy Owen into action and forced her and her partners of the loony left, through the strength of public opinion, to put together a face saving programme of measures. Otherwise it would have fallen to the Minister, Deputy O'Donoghue, to initiate an even wider programme of reform today. Fine Gael has always had to be shocked into action, in the same way as the mongrel foxes had to eventually toe the line in 1972 when another crisis gripped the country and they were forced to withdraw their opposition to another Fianna Fáil measure. History repeats itself.

Reference has been made to some of the achievements and proposals of the Minister. I do not propose to slavishly repeat them but I draw the attention of the Opposition to the massive increase in the financial provision for the Department of Justice for next year. Ministers can waffle for hours about what they would do if they had the money or, worse still, promise a great deal and provide no funding. The Minister, Deputy O'Donoghue, has set out clearly and with no equivocation his needs for next year in terms of the Estimates. I again draw the attention of the Opposition to his commitment to spend 10 per cent extra on necessary areas in his Department next year. That is a positive and tangible advance in the fight against crime. When this extra resource has been spent as wisely as he proposes then there will be action on the ground and a positive advance on the road to zero tolerance.

Today a constituent asked me to congratulate the Minister on providing new four wheel drive vehicles for the Garda. The public have noticed these vehicles on the streets of their towns.

They will need them tonight.

This is one of the more visible measures being taken by the Minister.

I congratulate the Minister on putting in place the State's first witness protection programme. It is an unfortunate sign of the times that we have in our midst criminal elements who are willing to interfere with witnesses to the point of inflicting serious injury or even death in an effort to escape the rigors of the law. Formerly this was the preserve of subversive organisations. Unfortunately criminal elements have taken over in this area. If it is properly promoted and fully funded this new programme will go a long way to restoring public confidence in the criminal justice system. In the same way as he had the foresight and ability in Opposition to initiate and promote the proceeds of crime legislation in 1996, the new Criminal Justice Bill will form the backbone of additional measures against criminality.

Deputy O'Donoghue is a strong and forthright Minister who commands the respect and inspires the support of his colleagues in Government. He has no need on his path to zero tolerance to look over his shoulder to see who on this side of the House might snipe at him and his proposals. His course is clear, his task is set and his goals are fully defined. He recently announced the appointment of a new assistant State pathologist. Fianna Fáil campaigned strongly for this appointment when in Opposition and the Minister has delivered on his promise after only a short time in Government.

Given the number of murders, we need a few more assistant State pathologists.

I am glad Deputy McGahon has come into the House to support me. I appreciate it very much.

We are all only too well aware of the immense workload of Dr. Harbison and the great responsibility he carries in the administration of the justice system. I congratulate the Minister on this new appointment and look forward as a result to the speedier administration of justice which will end in more criminals finding themselves behind bars, with a resultant improvement in the quality of life for people under threat.

The Minister cannot make any clearer his commitment to reduce the effects of drug addiction on our streets today. I was most surprised to hear Deputy Higgins on lunch time radio belittle the Minister's proposals on stiffer sentencing for serious drug offences or mandatory sentencing where it is patently called for. There has to be a scale of seriousness applied to this offence and the value of the drugs and the consequential profit are as good a yardstick as any other. Would the Deputy maintain that the robbery of £1,000 is as serious as the robbery of £10,000? In spite of all his fancy rhetoric, Deputy Higgins does not yet understand that the public wants decisive action on serious crime.

Zero tolerance is not all about the major criminals with fancy nicknames. It is about bringing about an improvement in the quality of life for us all. It has to do with reducing traffic accidents, eliminating road deaths and making life in our cities and towns a little better for us all. That is why the Minister proposes to deploy 150 probationary gardaí in ensuring that traffic and buses can run on time over Christmas. We in the capital will clearly benefit, as will the probationary gardaí who will gain a level of experience not usually available to members at their level. Respect for the law and concern for road users is what not parking on yellow lines is all about. Unfortunately, it is necessary to point out this to people and to penalise them if they infringe the law. The Minister is making a good point on our behalf in taking this traffic safety initiative.

Zero tolerance is ultimately about raising the consciousness of people to even the most minor misdemeanours and indiscretions in our society so that we can live as normal a life as possible. We are all human and guilty of some misdemeanours and if the punishment fits the crime and is applied equitably then I have no problem in being corrected for any of my indiscretions. This is a concept I wholeheartedly espouse on behalf of my constituents who have seen civic standards fall before their eyes on a daily basis. We will all have to change our habits and accept that a new society begins with us and the effort we make. It will eventually come down to the lesser wrongdoings such as littering the streets, defacing public property, the neglect of private buildings etc. Society means all of us trying to live together in the least disruptive manner possible. Society is not about punishing someone else for wrongdoing, it is about the people who make up the communities in which we live.

Zero tolerance is not just about providing extra prison accommodation, even though the Minister proposes to provide 1,100 new spaces by the end of two years and 2,000 spaces by the end of five years. It is also about using these places wisely, an issue which the Minister has also addressed. Time does not permit me to deal in detail with the work of the Criminal Assets Bureau, the abolition of the preliminary examination procedures in the courts or the introduction of greater methods of efficiency in courts administration. I need hardly mention the drug treatment programmes, the sex offender treatment programme or the probation and welfare services, all of which have the Minister's attention. We can look forward in the near future to the setting up of the crime forum which will lead to a White Paper on crime. It is only then that the Minister's work towards achieving his stated goal of zero tolerance will be exposed.

The Opposition has a brass neck to call the Minister to task for what he has done. If the previous Minister had done more than sit in her chair then the backlog would not be as great as it is. I have no difficulty in expressing my confidence in the Minister and have no doubt that when he goes before the electorate in five years' time it will give him and the Government the kind of resounding vote of confidence which will put them back in office for a further term.

I welcome the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the aspects of crime policy set out in the motion. I am glad the debate has been conducted in an unemotional way. I am sorry Deputy Shortall has left the Chamber as I wish to deal with the weaknesses she identified in the Criminal Justice Bill, 1997. Her comments smack of the same attitude adopted by the Labour Party in relation to the referendum on bail and the provision of extra prison spaces. Deputy Quinn vetoed that provision in the absence of the then Minister, Deputy Owen. It is a pity that obstructionist approach is still prevalent in the Labour Party.

I welcome the Minister's comprehensive overview of the crime debate, which not only addresses law enforcement issues but places welcome emphasis on the need for us as a society to identify and deal with the root causes of crime. The publication today of the Criminal Justice Bill, 1997, by the Minister, Deputy O'Donoghue, is the clearest signal yet of the absolute determination of the Government to crack down on crime and tackle the criminal head on. With the passage of that legislation there will be, as promised, no hiding place for the perpetrators of pain and suffering on society. In implementing zero tolerance, the Government is stating clearly that the laws of the land will be implemented and the necessary resources provided. The resolve and commitment in this regard could not be clearer.

The determination shown by the Minister when on the Opposition benches in proposing radical reforming legislation is being carried through in his role as Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform. In addressing the House last night he placed considerable emphasis on the need not only to be tough on crime but also on the causes of crime. All empirical and anecdotal evidence points to the fact that the highest levels of crime are committed in areas with poor housing, lack of educational and employment opportunity, little or no recreational facilities and a high level of dependency on social welfare.

I welcome the renewed emphasis in the Minister's address on the need to tackle the causes of crime on a multi-agency basis. This reinforces the finding of the Lord Mayor's commission on crime, published in this city a couple of years ago, which statedinter alia that regrettably there was a concentration of crime in a small number of postal districts in Dublin city, the same areas which down the years have had poor quality housing, with little planning consideration and even less strategic thought. They are the areas where there is greatest alienation from main-stream society, where gardaí are treated with suspicion and are most likely to be viciously attacked, where the old and vulnerable are most likely to be attacked with blood-filled syringes or have a knife held to their neck, where men attempting to round up horses are set upon, beaten up and their jeep burned, as happened in my constituency last Thursday night. Those activities cannot be condoned. We must examine the reasons behind those incidents. Is there too much violence on television? Is there too much tolerance of outrageous behaviour? I hope these matters will be explored by the proposed crime forum and the White Paper on Crime.

We must involve the public as never before in a fundamental heart-search of society's ills. That must be done at community level, involving all groups, in every home, school and youth club, at trade union meetings and factory assembly lines. If it is not done objectively, from the bottom up, the whole exercise will be a wasted effort.

The gardaí must actively engage in the debate.

They must listen because they will have their critics as well as their supporters. Unless they are seen to be responding and responsive, the communities hardest hit will lose confidence in their capacity to protect them and work with them. Other professionals such as teachers and health and social workers will have to be equally involved. Without pre-empting the outcome of the debate, I hope each Garda district will ultimately have its own liaison council which will be a monitoring vehicle for crime strategy in the district. In this regard communities need to be assured enforcement strategy forms part of a continuum.

I have doubts about the value of recent operations such as Operation Freeflow. No sooner had the motorist begun to realise that parking illegally was unacceptable and become used to disciplined driving than the whole exercise was wound down. The same can be said about the Christmas drink driving campaign, with wall to wall checks for a few weeks around Christmas. Public confidence is hard won but easily lost, particularly in areas of law enforcement.

On longer-term strategies, I welcome the Minister's commitment to the expansion of the youth crime diversion projects. Those projects have been extremely successful, particularly where they dovetail with mainline youth provision. I would, however, sound a cautionary note. I have been long enough in youth work — most people would say far too long — to have seen many excellent projects into which generous resources were put, only to be starved of funding once the pilot phase has passed. That happened in the case of youth encounter projects introduced by the Department of Education and neighbourhood youth projects sponsored by the Department of Health, which were the product of discussions begun by the late Frank Cluskey when parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Social Welfare.

A plethora of projects are funded by the national drugs strategy team and by EU funding. Those projects, which are considered long-term, are at present awash with cash, but what will happen when the first tranche of funding dries up? Before many more such projects are brought on-stream, a thorough evaluation of the effectiveness of those that are up and running must be undertaken.

I welcome the Minister's commitment to the provision of significant resources for extra prison places. Without additional places the revolving door syndrome will continue inexorably to become more chronic. We are, unfortunately, paying dearly for the lack of provision by previous Governments. When I was a member of the board of Trinity House in Lusk officials of the Department of Justice decided to scale down that centre. If that facility had been built to its original scale, it is likely at least some of our most notorious criminals would not have been able to ply their evil trade so freely or flaunt their wealth so openly in recent years. Some of the most notorious criminals of today could not be housed in that centre because of lack of space. Even in those days criminals had to be released early.

I welcome the recent innovation by the Garda in introducing closed circuit television. We are already beginning to see the benefits of that in the Temple Bar area and O'Connell Street. I welcome the Minister's decision to extend CCTV to the Finglas area in 1998. Together with additional resources such as the provision of all-terrain vehicles and the Garda air support unit, that will help to reassure the hard-pressed community there.

People, whether urban or rural dwellers, irrespective of age and gender, want to be reassured the Government of the day has a clear policy to counter criminal activity, a policy which will allow them sleep undisturbed in their beds and walk the streets in safety. The Minister for Justice will meet that requirement. The Government has the resolve to provide the resources and the determination to implement policy which will be tough on crime and on the causes of crime.

I wish to advert to comments by Deputy Shortall on mandatory sentencing as it relates to the Criminal Justice Bill published today. The Bill amends the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1977, by the introduction of a new offence of possession of drugs with a value of £10,000 or more with intent to supply. The Bill proposes a minimum penalty of ten years to be imposed where a person is convicted of the offence. That will apply automatically subject to certain limited exceptions. For example, a court will be able to take into account the fact that a person pleaded guilty or materially assisted the Garda in the investigation of the offence. It is disingenuous of Deputy Shortall to infer that there is a lack of commitment on the part of the Minister in that regard.

I wish to share my time with Deputies Cosgrave, Farrelly, Kenny and McGahon.

Is that agreed? Agreed.

This debate could not be more timely. I thank Fine Gael for putting down this motion during Private Members' time. The issue of crime was the keynote of Fianna Fáil's policies before the last election. The Minister for Justice, Deputy O'Donoghue, made his reputation in Opposition as the hardline, hard headed opponent of crime who would zap the criminals with his policy of zero tolerance. After five months in Government, however, that reputation lies in tatters. Far from being a man who strikes terror in the hearts of the criminal fraternity, the Minister is likely to be remembered for his failure to live up to his promises and responsibilities. His pledge of zero tolerance, which he resurrects as a pale shadow of itself in the Criminal Justice Bill, is a joke. Zero tolerance has been shrunk beyond recognition in that Bill, which deals mainly with administrative measures and proposes mandatory sentences for possessing drugs worth £10,000 or more.

On the day he published the Bill, the Minister revealed an astonishing inability to take responsibility. Five people walked free from a court even though they were charged with a series of drug related crimes. Those five men were arrested and charged as a result of a £3 million drugs seizure. The Minister took delight in basking in the success of the seizure, but adopted a rather different approach subsequently. The men were released when it was discovered the extension of the period of detention under the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act was without proper authority. They were immediately rearrested and charged again when, incredibly, they were released for a second time because there was no court warrant. Today while the Minister was promoting himself on the airwaves as a champion of the lawful and the foe of the criminal, five men arrested on charges involving drugs worth more than £3 million walked free from a court because of technical blunders. Those blunders are of monumental significance and the Minister must take ultimate responsibility for them.

In Opposition Deputy O'Donoghue pointed out many times that the Minister is ultimately responsible when blunders occur. Yet this evening he tried to wriggle out of blame. It is despicable that a Minister should use bluster and denial to cover up his or her inadequacies. In her time as Minister, Deputy Owen, had the courage and conviction to stand up in the House when Deputy O'Donoghue tried to pin every single glitch in the system on her, even down to the loss of a photocopy in an extradition case. She took responsibility while he has taken refuge in offloading the blame. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If the Minister is not willing or unable to accept his role, he should stand aside and let somebody else take over who is willing to live up to the office.

This is not the first time a blunder has led to the release of persons charged with serious drug offences during this Minister's watch. In September a person remanded in custody, charged with possessing drugs worth £1.5 million, was released on bail because of an administrative error. In the Bill published today the Minister wants to introduce mandatory sentencing for those charged with possessing drugs worth £10,000 or more. Yet in the five months since the Minister took up office six people charged with possessing drugs worth £4.5 million walked free from court and, to add insult to injury, the Minister is in denial.

The public is entitled to better. They are entitled to know the Minister is not only willing to take the credit when things go right, but brave enough to shoulder the blame when things go wrong. I wonder if the Minister understands how shocking these events are for the public, many of whom expected Fianna Fáil to tackle crime. The public is not reassured by the sight of a Fianna Fáil Minister washing his hands when those arrested and charged with serious crime walk free.

We have serious problems to tackle. The previous Government laid the ground work in terms of legislation and investment in resources. Crime rates are beginning to drop, but we have a long way to go. The Minister is not capable of filling the role. He has failed to deliver on his promises and to live up to his responsibilities. The public deserve better.

I thank Deputy McManus for sharing time with me.

Given that the Minister for Justice is such an avid supporter of zero tolerance on crime, I am sure he will be more than willing to address the issues affecting my constituency of Dublin north east and the country in general. Crime has become more than a token concern to be addressed by candidates in an election campaign. It is the single most sinister threat to public well-being in modern Ireland. The Celtic Tiger and our booming economy mean little if people are afraid to walk the streets after dark or fear for their children as they play.

The murder of Veronica Guerin was a wake-up call for our judicial system. Much has been made of the gardaí's progress in the murder investigation and they are to be commended for their success to date. Unfortunately, the effort, manpower and intensity which has gone into that investigation is rare in the general area of crime. The handling of that case has shown the gardaí to be a highly competent skilled police force when given the necessary resources. Most crime committed here, including the murder of Veronica Guerin, is linked to drugs. Even what would have been considered a simple purse snatch some time ago can now pose a threat to life due to the emergence of blood filled syringes as the modern thug's weapon of choice. In my constituency there have been numerous attacks on bus drivers and Irish Rail staff by known drug users. Apart from the serious risk to the safety of staff and commuters, this has led to the curtailment of bus services in parts of Coolock, Darndale and other parts of my constituency.

One cannot deny there have been positive developments in the area of crime, the most notable being the establishment of the Criminal Assets Bureau and changes in the bail laws during Fine Gael's last term in office. Those changes have put more pressure on the drug barons, but we must ensure they do not have any place to hide and that there is an end to the revolving door prison system. We must examine possible flaws in our judicial system from the moment a person is suspected of a crime through to the courts process. The alleged rape of a woman patient in St. Vincent's Psychiatric Hospital in Fairview on 5 June is a matter of grave concern. Even though the attack was witnessed by a member of staff and a suspect was detained and questioned by the gardaí, no person has been charged with the crime. This has caused great distress to the woman's family and to the staff of the hospital. The only suspect in the case was released without charge and the Director of Public Prosecutions received a file on the case only this month, six months after the incident. This means a man who could be a potential threat to society is free to strike again while our legal system tangles itself in bureaucracy. I received a reply today to a question I tabled to the Minister on this case and, while I accept his hands are tied at this stage, I expect a fuller report from him in due course.

For many years I have called for a proactive response to the increasing crime levels in my constituency, which should take the form of a new Garda station in Donaghmede. We also need more gardaí on the streets. This would act as a deterrent to would-be criminals and reassure long suffering communities. The further development of community policing and neighbourhood watch schemes should also be encouraged.

Crime can manifest itself in many forms. Bay-side DART station has been the subject of numerous vandalism attacks while undergoing an £80,000 improvements scheme. Apart from the nuisance caused to commuters and the serious blow to Irish Rail, which is trying to improve facilities for its customers, unless the root cause of this mindless vandalism is tackled head on, the petty criminal of today will be the drug baron of tomorrow.

I have seen many Ministers perform in the House over the past 20 years but I had not heard until this evening an admission from a Minister for Justice that he was not embarrassed about a monumental blunder which has allowed five people to go free. I thank the Minister for his lesson but the public does not believe it. Whether he likes it or not, he is the person to whom the public will ascribe political responsibility for all such activities. It is a lesson he will learn.

The country does not appreciate the extent and depth of the challenge which faces it in tackling drugs, a world wide problem which is being experienced increasingly in our country. Yesterday, with a number of other Members, I met a group of people from the US Congress. The head of the US Drug Enforcement Agency was with the group. His budget is larger than the Irish national budget — $70 billion a year is spent in combating drugs through education and other prevention activities. He walked around Dublin with some of his officials and he saw intelligent, ambitious and proud young people. He said that the one common denominator which was apparent between them was money. Young people with money in an affluent economy face the danger of drugs. The Minister faces the responsibility of providing the resources and facilities to deal with the problem. If parents are not educated to the challenge the consequences from the drug barons will be enormous. These criminals are not the kind who steal apples from trees. They could compete in many cases with Fortune 500 companies given the amount of money involved in the drugs trade.

The Minister will have the full support of the House in the action he takes to tackle drugs barons and drug related crime. The setting up of the Criminal Assets Bureau by the Government of which I was a member was one of the best decisions made by any Government to deal with an issue such as this.

The Minister should see to it that the Garda Commissioner restores Operation Shannon for the winter months. It was successful and provided a deterrent to those who travel to carry out crimes. It appears that the latest two unfortunate killings in County Galway happened after sporting occasions when licensing exemptions applied. They are serious cases the details of which will emerge in due course, but it would appear that the deaths may be drink related.

The Minister should ask the Commissioner to continue to encourage his superintendents to reside in the areas in which they operate and to ensure that that station rosters apply as previously. One can travel through many small towns early in the morning and find 200 or 300 young people on the streets. This does not lend itself to normal activity and it would do no harm if a Garda presence was available in such towns on more occasions than at present.

The Minister faces a great challenge and where he does right we will give him credit. However, he must take responsibility. He is the political master of the Department of Justice and those under his aegis will look to him to lead.

For 15 years I have seen parties in this House use crime as a political football. Deputy Kenneally referred to the Opposition having brass necks. I agree — all Members have brass necks on this issue.

Has the brass gone off the Minister's neck yet?

No one more so than the Minister and his dancing partner, the Minister of State, Deputy O'Donnell. Over recent years the Minister waxed eloquent and charged Deputy Owen when she was Minister with conceiving crime. Unfortunately for him his finest days are behind him and the chickens are coming home to roost.

Perhaps there is an element of opportunism about this motion and I accept that the Minister is only five months in his job. I wish him well and I do not lack sympathy with the concept of zero tolerance. However, the problem is zero punishment. The Minister and his predecessors are prisoners of the system. The sooner we remove the civil servants and the Department from the administration of justice and return it to the Garda Síochána, who are professionally trained to fight the criminals, the better. The Garda knows what is happening, not the desk bound civil servants who may only have theories and analyses of why people commit crime. We must take the fight to the criminals.

A society which denies the right of a father or mother to chastise a child for wrongdoing cannot expect stability. A society which denies the right of a school teacher to administer punishment to a youth for wrongdoing does not deserve to have stability. It is the absence of deterrents which causes the problem. We can listen to fine analyses and theories but it is the absence of deterrents which is crucial. There is now a rate of one murder a week which is a horrifying indictment of society and it is because there are no penalties or deterrents. What will it be like in 20 years?

The drug culture is established for all time and we are only tinkering at the edges of the problem at present. It is a natural by-product of the drinking culture which has engulfed the youth in a sea of drink. It is also a product of the violence we see on American television programmes every night. We must do something to stop this and prevent some children from imitating such violence. The creation of deterrents is what is needed.

The people will always be offered referenda on sexual or moral issues, but they will not be offered a referendum on crime prevention measures. If there was to be such a referendum people would vote for the return of capital punishment for wilful crimes. It is horrendous to consider all the people, especially women, who are being killed week after week while the State seems powerless to prevent the deaths. People who make huge amounts of money from drugs should be put in jail forever and the key thrown away. Such sentences should be used as a deterrent to others who would take their places. Unless strong measures are introduced to deal with crime all the analysis which takes place here, no matter who is in Government or Opposition, will be as ineffectual as a eunuch in a harem.

Deputy Farrelly has 60 seconds.

It will be a short dance.

Do not blame the Chair.

I support this motion. When the Minister was in Opposition his attitude to the then Minister for Justice was disgraceful.

On a point of order, the Ceann Comhairle made a mistake where Deputy Farrelly's time is concerned.

The Deputy has nine minutes.

I wish to share my time with Deputy Belton.

Is that agreed? Agreed.

I hope we will not have to listen to the Minister giving any more television interviews, such as on this evening's "Six-One News", where he dares Opposition politicians to question whether he or his Department are responsible for different problems. It is not acceptable. He did not pursue that line when in Opposition. According to him, everything was wrong, nothing was done correctly and he did not take into consideration the legacy of work done by the former Minister in establishing the Criminal Assets Bureau and restarting the prison building programme which was abandoned by the Fianna Fáil-Progressive Democrats Government.

There are many problems where crime is concerned. It is annoying to think Ireland is top of the league for drug abuse among young people. If the crime problem is to be solved, many things need to be done. The proposals announced by the Minister yesterday will not solve many of them. I hope he has greater initiative than he had prior to the general election with his policy of zero tolerance. The then Garda Commissioner stated it could not be implemented. The only major change to take place was the retirement of the Deputy Garda Commissioner because he probably could not work with the Minister of the day. It is amazing how this policy has been overturned by the Minister and a spokesperson for the Department of Justice since his time in Opposition. It is frustrating not alone for Members but for the public who tell us they are cynical about politicians because of the way major issues are dealt with by us in the Department of Justice.

The previous Minister for Justice put more proposals in place to deal with many variant problems that she inherited from the previous Government. The Minister has an enormous amount of work to do to live up to half of what he promised. He is only five months into his tenure and many of his proposals have fallen by the wayside.

I wish the Minister of State for the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, my constituency colleague, well in her efforts and I have no doubt she will give it the attention and dedication it requires but I hope what the television viewers witnessed tonight will not become an ongoing event as the Minister deals with such a serious problem.

I wish the Minister of State, Deputy Wallace, well. I also wish the Minister well but he will need more than wishes. Prior to the last general election, the public was told that crime would be the key issue during the election campaign. It was the first time in the history of the State that crime was an election issue, which was sad, because crime is always an issue. It is a social problem with a serious impact on its victims.

The Government parties attacked the former Minister day in day out and now there is not a word from them. The public has realised that she introduced legislation, increased Garda numbers and made provision for 800 prison places while being castigated in the House. Calls were made for her to resign. The "untouchables" were touched by her and I pay tribute to the Garda on its 75th anniversary and I wish the new Garda Commissioner, Mr. Byrne, well because his force is doing a good job. The Minister was prepared to provide the resources for the Garda and this has produced results. The Government must face up to its responsibilities and support the Garda. Fine Gael has always been on the side of law and order and it is only when all people of goodwill support the Garda and security forces that crime can be defeated. It was not too long ago that the country was on the edge but the Garda fought back and is winning the war.

The Minister assured the House last night that zero tolerance is being implemented. There is a clear and determined focus on tackling those who are engaged in criminal activity and that the strategy is zero tolerance, a determination that law enforcement agencies will be properly equipped and resourced to deal with crime and will work with each other and other relevant agencies in a cohesive manner. There is a commitment to address the causes of crime so that yesterday's mistakes will not be tomorrow's problems. Everyone in the House will agree we can never tolerate a state of affairs in which lives are destroyed by drug dealers. Zero tolerance is the only answer to such evil.

The publication today of the Criminal Justice Bill is proof positive of the Government's commitment and that of the Minister to zero tolerance. It is worth looking again at the proposals in the Bill published today. Deputy Shortall described it as a tidying-up Bill. This tidying-up Bill introduces such measures as a minimum sentence of ten years for persons found guilty of trafficking in drugs to the value of £10,000; trials will take place more quickly through the abolition of preliminary examinations; courts will automatically initiate an inquiry into the assets of people convicted of drug trafficking offences with a view to confiscating those assets; gardaí will spend less time in court through extending the type of evidence which can be given by certificate and the rules relating to courts taking into account guilty pleas are being placed on a clear statutory basis. The Minister deserves great credit for bringing forward the legislation and for his commitment to zero tolerance. He is determined that the law enforcement agencies will be properly equipped and resourced to deal with crime and that they will work with each other and other relevant agencies in a co-ordinated and cohesive fashion.

We all recognise that the establishment of the criminal assets bureau represented substantial progress in the fight against crime and, in particular, against those who profit from ill-gotten gains. The bureau has mounted definitive attacks aimed at denying criminals their illegally acquired assets and more will be done to fight organised crime. The Minister has given authorisation for a formal witness security programme to be put in place by the Garda Síochána. The key aspect of that new measure is its formal structure to process applications by persons who wish to be considered as protected witnesses. It will have its own budget. That is an acknowledgement that the Government is serious about that initiative. The scheme may also be backed up by legal changes which may be regarded as complementary to it. These changes are not actually required for the scheme to be in operation but are designed to enhance it. An example of that is the law on the preservation of the identity of witnesses will be examined to see whether stronger provisions are required. The Garda regard this new programme as an important measure which will strengthen their hands considerably in this most difficult and dangerous area of criminal investigation.

The Minister is delighted to demonstrate the Government's resolve to deal with serious crime. The Garda will also have additional resources. I join with Deputy Belton in wishing the Garda Síochána well in its 75th anniversary. The programme for Government provides additional recruitment to bring the strength of the Garda force to 12,000. Deputy Shortall said that was a big deal but it is 1,000 additional Garda over and above the previous Government's proposals.

The Government, recognising the urgent need for a significant increase in prison accommodation, is proceeding as a matter of priority, and as rapidly as is feasible, with a major prison building programme.

Where are the temporary places the Minister promised, which he thought were so easy to provide when he was on this side?

Where is the Minister?

The Minister of State to continue without interruption please.

The building programme will deliver in excess of 1,070 additional prison places.

The Minister inherited the building of 800 places.

The previous Government talked about providing extra places, this Government is doing something about it. Actions speak louder than words.

The Minister should try to uncover the truth.

The Minister wants to look also at the custodial side of the system. In this regard he has decided to establish an expert working group. The Government's programme against crime is a comprehensive one. It involves the implementation of zero tolerance, the recruitment of more gardaí, the provision of extra prison spaces, continued action against organised crime, tough legislation aimed at drug dealers, a process of public consultation through the crime forum, the setting up of a crime council and measures to tackle the causes of crime. It is a programme that can be summed up in one word, action.

And zero.

I wish to share the remaining 15 minutes with my colleague, Deputy Higgins.

Is that agreed? Agreed.

I refer to the Minister's speech when, with great gusto, he announced after five months in office what the Government was going to do in the form of a crime programme. He mentioned the three components which he called the engine of the criminal justice system, namely, the Garda, the courts and the prisons. I expected in the remaining pages of his script that he would tell us how he would crank that engine. At the end of his speech I can only form the opinion that the engine the Minister was talking about is one for which he has not provided petrol, oil or a battery. Given his performance on the public airwaves this evening the Minister should be ashamed of himself.

Actions speak louder than words.

If I can refer, uninterrupted, to the engine the Minister speaks of—

Speak about the action.

The Deputy without interruption please.

—the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform lacks the basic information in many crucial areas from the commission of the crime to the release of the criminal back into the community. Without this information we cannot hope to properly deal with the criminal justice problem. There is a huge problem because of the lack of communication or inter related activity between the three major operational branches of the system — the Garda, the courts and the prisons. If we do not have the statistical data how can we assemble the detailed expertise to understand the extent of the problem?

In regard to the Minister's engine I expected a clear and positive statement on his participation in Government and what he intended to do. Instead, the response has been more of the now typical masterly inactivity or fudge that we have heard from the Minister since he took office five months ago.

It is difficult at this stage to speak about zero tolerance without breaking down in laughter. It was heralded by the Minister from the boreens of Cahirciveen to the hallowed halls of Leinster House as the solution of all solutions. It was dropped by the Minister in a Galway speech in September. Last night he reaffirmed it as the fundamental plank and backbone of his policy. Today he revealed the Criminal Justice Bill that bears no relation to the type of zero tolerance the Minister trumpeted in Opposition in recent years. A simple question I wish to put to the Minister is, how can his concept of zero tolerance fit in with the juvenile liaison scheme or the whole concept of compassionate juvenile justice? The Minister should forget about zero tolerance and settle down to his work in the Department.

Much play was made by the Minister when he was in Opposition of the matter of prison places. Repeatedly he refused to acknowledge the improvements carried out by the former Minister, Deputy Owen, to the tune of 800 places when between 1989-93 not one single prison place was provided. The Minister was so aggravated by the former Minister's performance on prison spaces that he upped the ante in his anger and called for 2,000 extra prison places. He now tells us he is putting 2,000 extra prison places in train.

The Minister would do well to reflect on the role of the prison within the criminal justice system because our prisons are mere recycling units for criminals. I refer to a study undertaken by criminologist, Paul O'Mahony, which showed that the average prisoner has been convicted about 15 separate times, that he has received five non-custodial sentences and was sentenced to prison on ten separate occasions. This horrific profile is typical of both short-term and long-term prisoners. Prison sentences will fail to prevent reoffending and may even contribute to the revolving door revolving even faster than heretofore, unless he reflects on the role of prison in the community. The Minister has discovered that pithy soundbites on radio and television are no longer acceptable and that knee-jerk reactions of the type engaged in by him when in Opposition are less than constructive or helpful. His hysterical outburst this evening was extraordinary. I will not condemn him, rather I will leave it to the general public to judge.

In the age of the computer it is unacceptable that the Department of Justice does not have sufficient statistical data to evaluate fully the various criminal justice system interventions. We do not have information on all recorded crimes which can be related in a meaningful way to prosecutions and verdicts, penalties and early releases. If the criminal justice system is to function properly we must be able to analyse and determine whether a prison sentence imposed on a teenage criminal for a certain type of criminal offence is a more effective deterrent than a community service order.

In the meantime our prisons are chaotic, being schools of criminal activity for some and a home from home for others and anything but an organised centre of detention or penal correction. The challenge for the Minister is not to provide thousands of extra prison spaces but to operate institutions where rehabilitation and preparation for a return to society as well as punishment and deterrents are the order of the day. The chaos and lack of organisation within the system will continue until the Minister takes a leaf from the book of the previous Minister for Justice, Deputy Owen, who decided to establish an independent prisons board as recommended in the Whitaker report. The Minister has been silent on the issue of penal or prison reform.

During the past 12 months there has been an increase in the number of sex crimes. The Minister made no reference to his proposals on domestic violence. If he states that he will adhere to the concept of zero tolerance in this area we will support him.

The peddling of the concept of zero tolerance by the Minister when in Opposition was a callous and cynical exploitation of the crime problem for cheap political gain. The only beneficiaries were the Minister, his Fianna Fáil colleagues and sidekicks in the Progressive Democrats. Following a murder in this jurisdiction last year the Minister of State, Deputy O'Donnell, said that a serial killer was stalking the land and that the then Minister for Justice, Deputy Owen, was in some way responsible.

On mandatory sentencing, the Criminal Justice Bill is a blunt instrument which will tie the hands of the Judiciary by removing their discretion, one of the basic pillars of the democratic process. In essence, mandatory sentences make bad law.

The five months the Minister has been in office have been a damp squib when matched against his zealous attitude when in Opposition. It appears that his fire and brimstone act when Opposition spokesperson has been shelved. The jury is out on his performance to date. What it has heard so far is not inspiring.

I thank all those who contributed to the debate. I thank in particular Deputy Perry with whom I shared time. He is one of the new Members in the House and has a great grasp of a range of subjects.

I also thank the Minister for Justice for gracing us with his presence for a brief period. Like his past performances, his contribution was long on rhetoric but short on specifics. The amendment in his name calls on Dáil Éireann to note his determination and sets out the programme he intends to follow during the next four to five years. This speaks for itself. The amendment refers to the ongoing discussions taking place with the Eastern Health Board with a view to expanding the range of drug treatment services available. There is no reference to discussions with the Southern Health Board, the Western Health Board and so on, although approximately 80 per cent of crime is drug related.

Dáil Éireann is asked to confirm the continuation of individual counselling for sentenced sex offenders. Of the 250 persons incarcerated in our prisons for sex offences, ten are receiving treatment. It is the Minister's intention to expand the service. Does this mean that the number in receipt of treatment will increase from ten to 11, 20 or 30?

Dáil Éireann is also asked to endorse the recent decision by the Minister to establish a review group to examine the probation and welfare service which does extremely good work on a miserly budget of £12 million in deterring and heading off would be criminals. It has been left to languish as the Cinderella of the Department.

Dáil Éireann is further asked to commend the decision of the Minister to establish a crime forum and a crime council. There is one murder per week in this jurisdiction by strangulation, stabbing or shooting, not to mention physical violence and public disorder. The Minister's response is to establish a crime forum and a crime council to talk about the matter. He has announced that it is his intention to publish a White Paper on Crime — a discussion document on sexual offences is also being prepared — and borrowed a number of Bills produced by the previous Minister for Justice, Deputy Owen, whom he derided when in Opposition. These include the Courts Service Bill, which he said solemnly in his own pouting and pompous way would strip the Minister and the Department of their powers and functions, the Europol Bill and the Children Bill.

What we are left with is threadbare legislation, the Criminal Justice Bill. If a Bill was ever sterile and stillborn this is it. It is unfortunate that the Minister is not present. He is missing, like Lord Lucan, Shergar or the Progressive Democrats.

He is afraid.

The Minister who was present until 8 p.m. is dealing with the Children Bill in the Seanad.

There is no sign of the Progressive Democrats.

A mere five months ago the Minister made nine promises. He promised to establish within two months of taking office a specialised organised crime unit and a specialised squad to deal with what he described as certain types of murder; to provide for the suspension of pub licences where drugs are found on the premises; to establish a specialist drug court, custodial detention centres for drug addicts and a community warden service; to provide for the provision of temporary accommodation immediately — as Deputy Owen said, 50 prisoners per day are being released from Mountjoy Prison to make room for incoming inmates — and to pursue the concept of zero tolerance which nobody understands. There has not been one word about any of these.

On the day the Minister launched his magnum opus, the Criminal Justice Bill, on which he worked throughout the summer when he was invisible, five people charged with possession of £3 million worth of cannabis seized last week in Tallaght were released from the courts. A mere five weeks ago Denis Mulligan was hauled before Court 44 presided over by Mr. Justice Smithwick. What happened? He was refused bail, committed to Mountjoy but later released on bail of £350, and that for a seizure of £1.5 million. Of course, with regard to the courts clerks issue, which the Minister was informed was impending and must be rectified, he did nothing, indeed he blundered. First he signed a collective warrant which was invalid. Over the weekend, having signed that and allowed further very serious cases to be struck downy — cases of grievous bodily harm, of offences against the person and against property — lo and behold, at the eleventh hour, he signed a second warrant, on that occasion an individual one.

The Minister should get his act together and get a handle on his Department. He is managing the most important Government Department, that charged with public safety. He should be visible more frequently and more answerable. As I said, like Lord Lucan, Shergar, Elvis or Albert while he may remain missing the day of reckoning is fast approaching.

Amendment put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 72; Níl, 57.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies S. Brennan and Callely; Níl, Deputies Barrett and Sheehan.

    Amendment declared carried.

    Ahern, Dermot.

    Keaveney, Cecilia.

    Ahern, Michael.

    Kelleher, Billy.

    Ahern, Noel.

    Kenneally, Brendan.

    Ardagh, Seán.

    Killeen, Tony.

    Aylward, Liam.

    Kirk, Séamus.

    Blaney, Harry.

    Kitt, Michael.

    Brady, Johnny.

    Lawlor, Liam.

    Brady, Martin.

    Lenihan, Brian.

    Brennan, Matt.

    Lenihan, Conor.

    Brennan, Séamus.

    McCreevy, Charlie.

    Briscoe, Ben.

    McGuinness, John.

    Browne, John (Wexford).

    Moffatt, Tom.

    Callely, Ivor.

    Molloy, Robert.

    Carey, Pat.

    Moloney, John.

    Collins, Michael.

    Moynihan, Donal.

    Cooper-Flynn, Beverley.

    Moynihan, Michael.

    Coughlan, Mary.

    Ó Cuív, Éamon.

    Cowen, Brian.

    O'Dea, Willie.

    Cullen, Martin.

    O'Donoghue, John.

    Daly, Brendan.

    O'Flynn, Noel.

    Davern, Noel.

    O'Keeffe, Batt.

    de Valera, Síle.

    O'Keeffe, Ned.

    Dempsey, Noel.

    O'Malley, Desmond.

    Dennehy, John.

    O'Rourke, Mary.

    Doherty, Seán.

    Power, Seán.

    Ellis, John.

    Roche, Dick.

    Fahey, Frank.

    Ryan, Eoin.

    Fleming, Seán.

    Smith, Brendan.

    Flood, Chris.

    Smith, Michael.

    Foley, Denis.

    Treacy, Noel.

    Fox, Mildred.

    Wade, Eddie.

    Gregory, Tony.

    Wallace, Dan.

    Hanafin, Mary.

    Wallace, Mary.

    Haughey, Seán.

    Walsh, Joe.

    Healy-Rae, Jackie.

    Woods, Michael.

    Jacob, Joe.

    Wright, G. V.

    Níl

    Barrett, Seán.

    Connaughton, Paul.

    Belton, Louis.

    Cosgrave, Michael.

    Boylan, Andrew.

    D'Arcy, Michael.

    Bradford, Paul.

    Deasy, Austin.

    Broughan, Thomas.

    Deenihan, Jimmy.

    Browne, John (Carlow-Kilkenny).

    Dukes, Alan.

    Bruton, Richard.

    Durkan, Bernard.

    Burke, Liam.

    Enright, Thomas.

    Burke, Ulick.

    Farrelly, John.

    Carey, Donal.

    Finucane, Michael.

    Clune, Deirdre.

    Fitzgerald, Frances.

    Flanagan, Charles.

    Noonan, Michael.

    Gormley, John.

    O'Keeffe, Jim.

    Hayes, Brian.

    O'Shea, Brian.

    Higgins, Jim.

    Owen, Nora.

    Higgins, Joe.

    Penrose, William.

    Higgins, Michael.

    Perry, John.

    Howlin, Brendan.

    Rabbitte, Pat.

    Kenny, Enda.

    Reynolds, Gerard.

    McCormack, Pádraic.

    Ring, Michael.

    McDowell, Derek.

    Sargent, Trevor.

    Shatter, Alan.

    McGahon, Brendan.

    Sheehan, Patrick.

    McGrath, Paul.

    Shortall, Róisín.

    McManus, Liz.

    Stagg, Emmet.

    Mitchell, Jim.

    Stanton, David.

    Mitchell, Olivia.

    Timmins, Billy.

    Naughten, Denis.

    Upton, Pat.

    Neville, Dan.

    Yates, Ivan.

    Motion, as amended, put and declared carried.