Offences against the State (Amendment) Bill, 1998: Report and Final Stages.

I move amendment No. 1:

In page 3, between lines 30 and 31, to insert the following:

"2. —A person under the age of seventeen years shall not be detained under section 30 of the Act of 1939 (as amended by this Act).".

This amendment relates to the age at which persons may be detained under the Bill. I am concerned because I see no lower age limit. We are all conscious of past miscarriages of justice such as the Annie Maguire case, which was one of the most notorious. Some young children were locked up for a number of years and there were tragic consequences. How does this legislation affect younger people or will they be dealt with under the Criminal Justice Act?

This amendment provides that a person under 17 will not be detained under section 30 of the Offences against the State Act. I appreciate the thinking behind this amendment but it would be very foolish to pretend that the type of organisation we are dealing with would not use 16 year olds to pursue their activities, particularly if it was aware that those young people could not be detained for questioning. Deputy McManus would accept that if the Garda knew that a 16 year old was involved in the Omagh bombing it would be vital that they were able to question him or her. The approach taken in relation to detention of young persons, which applies under section 30 as it stands and longer periods of detention under the Drug Trafficking Act, is not to exclude the possibility of detention but to provide in the custody regulations special measures in relation to the detention of young people. The custody regulations make special provision in relation to the detention of young people such as the obligation to notify an adult about the detention. That is the proper approach to this matter and in the circumstances I cannot support the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment No. 2:

In page 3, between lines 30 and 31, to insert the following:

"2. —The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform shall not exercise any power conferred on the Government or the Minister, as the case may be, by or under any enactment to provide for—

(a) the release (including temporary release) of prisoners from prisons or places of detention, or

(b) the remission or commutation of any punishment imposed by a court exercising criminal jurisdiction,

in respect of any person convicted of any offence or offences as referred to in section 5(1) of this Act on or after 22nd May, 1998.".

This amendment relates to offences under section 5 of the Act and inferences drawn from the failure of an accused person to mention particular facts in relation to offences in which he or she was suspected of involvement. This applies particularly to the prisoner issue, and Fine Gael is very supportive of the reference to the prisoners issue in the British-Irish Agreement. A fundamental part of advancing the peace process is the often delicate question of prisoners, and the manner of prisoner release is enshrined in legislation that the Minister was reluctant to bring forward.

It is important in the context of this legislation that we are clear on the sentences that will be imposed by courts in given circumstances and that these sentences should not come under the ambit of the British-Irish Agreement's provisions for the early release of prisoners. This amendment specifically states that the Minister shall not exercise any power of commutation or order the release of any prisoner, temporary or otherwise, from a prison or place of detention with particular reference to an offence committed after 22 May 1998.

It is important to send a strong message. I believe the Minister will agree that the import and, indeed, the objective of this legislation is to ensure that those who are still prepared to engage in acts of violence against this State will not be tolerated under any circumstances, that they will be brought to justice at the earliest opportunity, that they will be convicted by the courts and given due sanction by a court of law. If that sanction is a term of imprisonment, it should be served in its entirety without reference or ambiguity on the part of any Minister as to the length of sentence persons might from time to time serve.

It is important we specifically refer to the question of prison sentences in this harsh legislation, which is designed to be so and to ensure we send a strong message from this House that no form of appeasement will be tolerated. We already agreed in legislation that prisoners affiliated to organisations which have not established a ceasefire will not benefit from the arrangements under the Agreement. I understand that situation will be kept under review.

In circumstances where acts of terrorism were committed after 22 May, it is important that no benefit under the Agreement or otherwise is forthcoming to these persons. It is not overstating the fact that this should be enshrined in the legislation. I hope the Minister will accept the amendment and assure the public that there is no ambiguity and that persons sentenced by a court for offences under this legislation will serve their sentences as set out by the courts, which will not be subject to any variation on the Minister's part at any stage.

The purpose of this amendment — let us not be in any way coy about it — is to put on a statutory basis what the Government has already said is the case, that is, that there is an agreement that people who may have committed offences before or since the Agreement but who have not been convicted will not benefit from the prisoner release programme, as agreed under the British-Irish Agreement. The Minister and the Taoiseach have said that on the record. The reason they are on record is that, as everybody knows, strong concern was expressed that people now accused of the killing of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe might under the British-Irish Agreement have been released almost before being convicted and sentenced. The Government said there was absolute certainty that would not be the case. I have not seen this in any legislation and it is not part of the British-Irish Agreement. It appears to be an understanding or a side deal agreed behind closed doors in Belfast when the Agreement was being reached. The purpose of Fine Gael's amendment is to make it explicit as opposed to something which is implicitly said.

Those who claim to be members of organisations which committed offences before or since 22 May but have not been convicted cannot be party to the releases. If we do not put this into legislation there is a risk that some months or years from now pressure will be put on a Minister for Justice — perhaps it will be somebody from this side of the House — to release these people. We want to ensure that the people who will be convicted of the killing of Detective Gerry McCabe will not be released under this Agreement. It is already causing great anguish to the families of policemen killed by members of terrorist organisations.

The punishment for a capital offence was changed to 40 years imprisonment but nobody in this House envisaged at that time that the killers of policemen would be released early. That will happen now and it will cause great pain and anguish to the families. Those of us who want to see this Agreement work have had to accept that there are elements of it that will not gain overall support.

It would not have been easy for the Minister to agree to this because I am sure he was lobbied heavily by the Garda Síochána. Gardaí put their lives on the line every day to protect us and it is understandable that they feel their work is not valued as it was before the Agreement.

In this amendment, which I hope the Minister will accept, we want to ensure that people who are not yet convicted of offences committed before 22 May will not slip under the parapet of the Agreement.

(Mayo): May I ask the Minister the steps that have been taken to establish whether any of those in custody under the existing offences against the State legislation have defected to the Real IRA? Disaffected members of the INLA on the outside have defected to the Real IRA as have members of the Provisional IRA. Can the Minister give a categorical assurance that everything possible will be done before any further releases to ensure such defections do not take place?

These acts of terrorism are not acts of war. People talk about the war being over but these acts could not reasonably be termed as acts of war. If it were a war, however, what happened in Omagh would be a war crime. It was certainly a crime against humanity.

The general thrust of this legislation has to be supported. I have certain reservations about it which I referred to earlier on Second Stage but I ask the Minister, when he has an opportunity, to consider the possibility of introducing in our law an offence which is a crime against humanity. If it were not possible to bring the people guilty of the bombing in Omagh before the Irish courts they should be brought before an international crimes tribunal. Thankfully, it is possible to bring them before the courts here but when that happens there should be an offence which is a crime against humanity. The crime in Omagh and similar crimes of the past 25 years should be designated crimes against humanity. Where there are crimes against humanity, there should be no question of early release of prisoners. I urge the Minister to consider in future legislation the issue of crimes against humanity, which is what Omagh was. Early release should not apply to people who committed crimes which fall into that category.

People convicted of offences after the date mentioned in the amendment will not benefit from the special early release arrangements. The amendment as set out is too broad in scope. It would preclude the temporary release of a very ill person and there could be situations where that would be the humane thing to do. The offences are also broader than terrorist ones. I accept the point about sending a strong message but I cannot accept an amendment which is as sweeping in its terms as this. It would preclude the legitimate exercise of the release powers by the Minister and that would be detrimental. However, where acts are committed after the date mentioned, the early release provisions will not apply.

What about acts committed before the date for which convictions were not obtained until after? Are they covered under the early release scheme?

(Mayo): What about possible seepage of prisoners within the prison system to the Real IRA?

Fifteen people are on charges arising from offences alleged to have been committed. None of these has been released pursuant to the British-Irish Agreement nor has any been charged pursuant to section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.

The Minister began his reply in a manner which gave me a sense that he understood the import of the amendment by saying that those convicted after the date mentioned would not benefit from early release. However, he finished by saying that those who had committed offences or acts after the date would not benefit. We want an assurance that acts committed before 22 May for which no one has yet been convicted will not be included in the early release scheme. The case I have in mind, the Jerry McCabe murder, is one of those. I emphasise this matter because it is not written anywhere in the legislation that the Minister does not have the power under the Agreement to release people if they committed an act before 22 May for which they were not convicted at the time of the Agreement. As it is not written anywhere, we have only the words spoken in the House to convince people who have lost loved ones in this manner that their killers will not benefit from early release.

I have made it clear on a number of occasions, as has the Taoiseach, that any persons convicted of the murder of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe will not benefit from the early release provisions under the terms of the British-Irish Agreement. The Agreement makes clear that prisoners affiliated to organisations which have not established or do not maintain a complete and unequivocal ceasefire will not benefit from the early release arrangements. The Agreement indicates that the situation will be kept under review.

Amendment put and declared lost.

Amendments Nos. 3, 6 and 8 are related and may be taken together.

Dr. Upton

I move amendment No. 3:

In page 4, between lines 39 and 40, to insert the following:

"(6) Where a person is arrested for the purpose of detention pursuant to section 30 of the Act of 1939, on suspicion of having committed an offence under section 21 of that Act, he or she shall, so far as is reasonably practicable, be removed to, and detained in, a Garda Síochána station to which the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 (Electronic Recording of Interviews) Regulations, 1997 (S. I. No. 74 of 1997) apply.".

We had an opportunity to refer to the basic contents of this amendment on Committee Stage. It proposes that as far as is practicable people in custody should be video taped during questioning. These facilities are available and should be used in the case of the Real IRA and its associates which comprise a relatively small number of people. The basis for this amendment is the manner in which prisoners and suspects are treated while in custody. There is also the risk of false or malicious accusations being levelled against the Garda Síochána.

This matter has been under consideration for more than 15 years. The Martin committee concluded in 1990 that this system should be utilised. That recommendation was based on studies of similar systems in the US, Australia and elsewhere. It provides valuable safeguards for the suspect in prison and those questioning such suspects and allows matters of fact to be determined objectively.

The technology is available. Even if it is not possible to equip every Garda station in a short period it is possible to equip a small number of stations at which suspects would be questioned. It should be possible to manage this matter in such a way that when questioned, suspects are brought to stations where these facilities exist. That would mean taking them to one of the four stations which have this technology or the extra station at which it is planned to install the system. It may be necessary to install the system at other stations. Only a small number of stations would need to be equipped with these facilities in a short space of time. The technology is readily available and I hope the Minister will accede to this amendment.

I concur with Deputy Upton's approach to this matter. I will speak to my amendment which is more modest but Deputy Upton's proposal is preferable if feasible. The Minister should give a commitment on the issue of video recording and tape recording the interviewing of suspects. There is an anomaly in having a police force which often operates out of stations which are not fully equipped, up to date or suitable for the 21st century or which do not keep up with general changes in society. There are a large number of camcorders and video recorders in the general population, yet we have very limited provision for the use of such technology within the Garda Síochána.

It is not helpful to law and order for a police force to be out of date in terms of technology and other aspects of policing. Technology is an important aid and is common in other areas of life. It should be common within policing for two reasons. It can protect the innocent in relation to this proposed amendment and the Garda from wrongful accusation. That is a feature we have to take on board as well as ensuring the innocent are protected. Those enforcing the law have a right to certain protections. The Minister will have to go further than simply say this is a lovely idea. It needs to be provided in the context of this legislation because of its significance and the impact it will have not only on the few who are the perpetrators of serious violence but those others who may be brought in for questioning and may subsequently be released.

It is ironic that all over the city there are video cameras and closed circuit television which are used effectively by the Garda to uphold the law and catch criminals. There is no reason we cannot use the same technology to protect those who are taken into Garda custody and to protect the Garda from wrongful accusation.

As I understand it, the uptake of the video taping and recording option is low. Will the Minister confirm that only 8 per cent of people take up the offer. Why is this the case? We need to get to the bottom of it. There is anecdotal evidence that in some cases the Garda may use video surveillance of people while in custody as a plea bargaining that in the event of such use the charges will be even greater. We need to find out why only 8 per cent of people use it. If it were mandatory it would get over these problems. Since we are entering the 21st century, it is absolutely vital in upholding the law that we also have effective monitoring in upholding civil liberties.

I have great sympathy with this amendment. Deputy Gormley's amendment is badly worded because it is very specific. It states that any interviews conducted will be recorded on audio and video tape. If that were accepted many cases would be thrown out if they were not conducted in that way.

Deputy Upton's amendment is more reasonably worded. I am surprised the Minister has not included this amendment given his own words on the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Bill, 1998, that the video taping of interviews by the Garda can be introduced if it is deemed that certain safeguards are required to ensure innocent people will not be victimised as a result of an inference being drawn by way of corroboratory evidence from an individual's silence. That was in the days when the Minister was in Opposition. I am surprised he has not included this provision in the legislation although I realise there is a difficulty.

Video taping and recording was introduced on the basis of ensuring nobody was victimised, that it would not be obligatory or mandatory and that was the way people wanted it. It was introduced as a civil libertarian reason. After a number of years of testing it was found that a small percentage of people willingly chose to have the interview conducted on tape. I would have thought everybody would have used that option to ensure nobody did anything untoward to them, but for some reason people who were being questioned did not want to be videoed. While Minister, I amended the legislation to allow for cameras to be turned on automatically, unless the person did not choose that option. Perhaps the Minister can tell us what percentage of people have opted to exercise their right not to use the cameras. The idea was that the gardaí would say when the video recording machine was being turned on and that it would only be turned off if the person asked that that be done. This would ensure the procedure was not used in any untoward manner in the court either against the person or the gardaí. I do not understand why the Minister cannot find a way to do what is being suggested.

There were only four stations which were properly equipped with the necessary technology when I left the Department. The risk is that people might have to be driven all over the country if they are arrested in a place which is 150 miles from the nearest station with recording equipment. I would not like half the time in detention being used to drive people around. I wonder what the Minister's response to this matter will be. Is it practicable for gardaí to be told that as far as possible they should bring people to the stations with the necessary equipment? I hope the Minister will be able to inform us that he has sought additional resources to put more of this equipment into a much wider range of stations throughout the country.

(Dublin West): I support amendments Nos. 3, 6 and 9. However, video taping is not the be all and end all and its use would not make everything else in the Bill okay. It would not counter some of the extremely repressive and unfair provisions by which innocent people can be put at a serious disadvantage if charged under the legislation. Section 5, for example, allows inferences to be drawn in the case of a person mentioning something in their defence in court which they were unable to state when questioned by gardaí. The provision of video recording would not assist them in overcoming the disadvantage they are put at under that section.

Regarding demeanour, those who are innocent are far more likely to look uncomfortable than hardened criminals in video recordings shown in court. Those who are innocent and who are not members of illegal or paramilitary organisations, etc., are those most likely to be disorientated, confused and perhaps seemingly evasive because of their state of mind, the unfamiliar situations, the questioning about serious issues, etc. Video taping might work against them in a sense.

While such provision can be seen as a safeguard in some senses, I wish to make it clear that the inclusion of such provision would not cleanse the Bill of the serious attacks on civil liberties implied in it.

It is very important that these amendments be supported. The manner in which evidence is presented in court is the basic issue in the context of video and audio recording, regardless of wording — Deputy Upton's wording would be very acceptable if acceptable to the Minister. As things stand we are inclined to get the Garda presentation which is given by a trained presenter. I feel it would be the lesser of two evils to make it mandatory for cases brought under this legislation, because it is so wide-ranging, to be video taped and for those being interviewed to have their solicitor present — another important aspect of these amendments. That is the nub of the legislation. I urge the Minister, as I did earlier on Second Stage, at least to ensure the availability of video taping technology — technology which should have been there a long time ago — and to consider the mandatory requirement of video taping so that people would not be bounced into making confessions when the public mood is so outraged that such a thing might be possible.

Deputy Owen, the former Minister for Justice, is quite correct that pilot trials in the use of audio and audio-visual recording of interviews with suspects are ongoing at four selected Garda stations.

Which stations are they?

The Bridewell Garda stations in Dublin and Cork and also in the Garda stations in Tallaght and Portlaoise. These trials are being overseen by a steering committee under the chairmanship of the President of the Circuit Court, Judge Esmond Smyth. His task is to assess them and report to the Minister on a national scheme.

Until February of last year the pilot trials had been in operation in these stations on a non-statutory basis. Deputy Gormley is correct — on average only 8 per cent of suspects agree to have their interviews recorded. It is fair to say that the low take up rate by detained persons of the option of electronic recording caused serious difficulties in progressing the pilot scheme; if one does not have the data it is impossible to assess the scheme. The steering committee did advise that it would be unable to reach a definitive conclusion on the effects of electronic recording on the basis of such a low percentage take up. Accordingly it recommended that arrangements be made under section 27 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984, to make it mandatory that interviews in the pilot trial stations be recorded, subject to the gardaí having the discretion to discontinue electronic recording where a suspect objected.

Arising from this recommendation, the then Minister for Justice, Deputy Owen, pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act, 1984, issued the Electronic Recording of Interviews Regulations 1997 on 11 February 1997. These regulations provide for the electronic recording of interviews of suspects in the four Garda stations which I mentioned. With these regulations in place, the committee expects that the pilot scheme will begin to produce data upon which a proper evaluation can be based. The services of a research consultant have been engaged for the purposes of carrying out the necessary statistical analysis of the data emanating from each of the pilot scheme stations.

I am anxious that as much progress as possible is made in this matter as quickly as possible. I will take whatever steps are open to me to achieve that. It is my intention to discuss this matter with Mr. Justice Smyth in the near future because I want to talk to him about measures which would facilitate the committee's work. I will bring to his attention what has been said in this debate.

I can tell Deputy Owen that a further two Garda stations — Henry Street, Limerick and Mill Street, Galway — will be added to the pilot scheme and the necessary installation work is being undertaken. However, it would not be possible to put in place a workable nationwide scheme for some time. The measures in this Bill are clearly required right now. In that context, it is worth noting it was decided it would be appropriate to proceed with much longer periods of detention under the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act without a nationwide scheme being in place. We would also have to proceed on this basis in regard to the detention provisions of the Bill currently before the House.

A seven day detention period is provided for in the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act, 1996, but the Garda authorities advised me they did not require seven days detention under this legislation and that the time set out would be adequate for their purposes. Distinctions must be drawn between an offence of drug trafficking on the one hand and an offence to which this legislation relates. There is the question of ingestion where drugs are concerned and the question of evidence coming from abroad from agencies such as Europol or Interpol. Neither of those situations would arise in relation to detention pursuant to this legislation.

The second one might.

I must take the advice of the Garda authorities. It would be foolish to do otherwise. The approach outlined in the Labour Party amendment requires a person detained under section 30 to be detained, as far as practicable, in a Garda station where electronic recording is available. This is mirrored to some extent in the amendment tabled by Democratic Left although it only applies where a further period of detention has been granted by the court and it purports to impose an absolute obligation that a person be detained in a Garda station equipped for recording. Given the reality I have outlined, I do not believe these approaches are workable. The concept of "as far as practicable" could lead to endless litigation and the amendments would have the unintended consequence of substantially increasing the amount of time a person is held in Garda custody as the time of detention for the purposes of section 30 only counts from the time the person reaches the station. The provisions could not be brought into operation quickly if these amendments were accepted and accordingly, I cannot support them. My argument does not emanate from any philosophical base or from a point of principle, rather it is a question of logistics.

Dr. Upton

I welcome the general attitude adopted by the Minister in that he seems to be favourably disposed towards the amendments but cannot accept them because of practical considerations. What does this kind of equipment cost or what is involved in installing it?

A special room is required.

Dr. Upton

How long would the installation of such equipment take and would it, as Deputy Owen has suggested, require the construction of a special room? Will the Minister reconsider the amendment or some modification of it? The provision of "as far as practicable" was specifically included to cater for awkward situations which could arise where such provisions would not be feasible. I understand the Office of the Attorney General, the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and the Garda are in favour of such measures. Will the Minister reconsider the amendment and give us some indication as to when it might be feasible to put such a process in train?

Unfortunately, I cannot give Deputy Upton a definitive answer in relation to the questions he has raised. I will arrange for the cost to be communicated to him. Presumably it will be related to the size of the station and the kind of equipment to be purchased. I will give the Deputy a general idea of the current position and when it is hoped to have a sufficiency of data which will enable us to progress the matter further.

Amendment put and declared lost.

I move amendment No. 4:

In page 6, line 27, to delete ", activities or associations" and substitute "or activities".

This amendment calls for the deletion of the word "associations" as defined as an aspect of conduct. It applies most acutely to the new provisions contained in section 3 of the Act concerning notification of witnesses. Taking sections 3 and 4 of the Act together literally provides for an offence of guilt by association. One could be on a committee or a voluntary body with someone who is arrested and charged under this legislation. In that scenario the application of sections 3 and 4 together leaves a person open to a charge of guilt by association. That is an unacceptable basis upon which to build a legislative provision, no matter what its intention. This is a Kafkaesque scenario where a person can be found guilty by association, something which this House should find unacceptable.

Dr. Upton

I support Deputy Sargent's amendment. I have already set out my concerns in relation to the whole question involved in my Second Stage speech.

It was regrettable that we did not have an opportunity to tease out this matter at Committee Stage. I have grave reservations about what is meant by associations, what it could mean and what it is intended to mean. I ask the Minister to assure us that this term is not as broad as it seems.

Section 3(1) of the Offences against the State (Amendment) Act provides that any conduct by an accused person implying or leading to a reasonable inference that he was at a particular time a member of an unlawful organisation shall in proceedings under section 21 of the Act of 1939 be evidence that he was then such a member.

Section 4 of this Bill defines conduct as including movements, actions, activities or associations on the part of the accused person. The purpose of the amendment is to exclude the reference to associations. In as much as what the Bill proposes reminds people of the phrase "guilty by association"——

People might find it instinctively unpalatable but we have to deal with the reality of membership of an unlawful organisation or organisations. That reality encompasses the fact that the associations of a person can be relevant to the question of membership of such an organisation. In those circumstances it would be unwise to delete the word "associations". This provision is included in the Bill for the avoidance of any doubt because a strong case can be made that conduct, as it already stands in the 1972 Act, would already include the concept of associations.

I appreciate the thinking behind the amendment. However, it is important to emphasise that the associations the court can take into account are only those implying or leading to a reasonable inference that a person is a member of an unlawful organisation. There is no question of a court being in a position to say that because an individual associated with a number of people, he or she is a member of an unlawful organisation.

Whether it is a question of an individual's associations or movements or his or her actions or activities, the law will be that the court may draw an inference from that fact. The court may also decide it will not draw an inference from that fact. It will only decide to draw an inference from the fact concerned if it deems it to be proper to do so. That could not, of itself, convict an individual because it is an inference which would go on from there to constitute corroborative evidence. This is an important point.

It is also important to point out yet again that the court must be satisfied of an individual's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The changes which this legislation makes to the Offences Against the State Acts, when one excludes the creation of the new offences, are for the most part evidential. It is important that people do not get carried away with the notion that because one associates with people who are members of an illegal organisation it automatically means one would be found guilty of being a member of an illegal organisation. That is not the position. I do not believe the fears expressed about the Bill's proposals are justified. I cannot support the amendment.

We have seen the Elaine Moore case in Britain. In this instance, how would that scenario be played out? How would Ms Moore fare under this legislation? Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act in Britain, do republican prisoners get very few visits because people are afraid they will be seen as their associates?

The Minister has rewritten section 3(b) of the Offences against the State (Amendment) Act, 1972, and reiterated the part dealing with the omission by an accused person to deny published reports that he or she is a member of an unlawful organisation. Does the Minister have any evidence of how often section 3 (b) of the Act was used in our courts? If it was not used, why is it being reiterated, as if it was a new section? That section has existed since 1972 and I have no recollection of anyone being accused of not denying a report in a newspaper.

Its use would be unusual. If it was used, it was an isolated incident. As a matter of course, if people are accused of being members of an unlawful organisation in a newspaper, they deny it. We are making a substantial amendment in relation to inferences.

In reply to Deputy Gormley, I cannot comment on what is happening in the British courts in relation to any person who is charged, no more than I can comment on what the position would be in the British jurisdiction with regard to hypotheses.

It is now 11.30 p.m. and I am obliged to put the following question in accordance with an order of the Dáil of this day: "That the amendments set down by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform and not disposed of are hereby made to the Bill; Fourth Stage is hereby completed and the Bill is hereby passed."

I still do not know what the amendment means with regard to sexual offences.

Question put.



Will the Deputies who are claiming a division please rise?.

Deputies Gormley, Gregory, Higgins (Dublin West), Ó Caoláin and Sargent rose.

As fewer than ten Members have risen I declare the question carried. The names of the Deputies dissenting will be recorded in the Journal of the proceedings of the Dáil.

Question declared carried.
The Dáil adjourned at 11.40 p.m. until 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 30 September 1998.