Allocation of Time: Motion.

I move:

That, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders:

(1) The Dáil shall adjourn not later than 11.30 p.m. and the sitting shall be suspended at 5.30 p.m. until 6.30 p.m. today;

(2) Statements on the Omagh Tragedy shall be taken today and shall be brought to a conclusion within 85 minutes, and the following arrangements shall apply:

(i) the statement of the Taoiseach, the Leader of the Fine Gael Party, and the Leader of the Labour Party shall not exceed 15 minutes in each case;

(ii) the statement of the Leader of the Progressive Democrats Party, the Leader of the Democratic Left Party, a representative of the Green Party and a representative of the Independent Deputies shall not exceed 10 minutes in each case;

(iii) members may share time; and

(3) The Second and Remaining Stages of the Offences against the State (Amendment) Bill, 1998, shall be taken today and the following arrangements shall apply:

(i) the proceedings on the Second Stage, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion at 5.30 p.m. and the contributions shall be as follows:

(a) the speech of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform and the main spokespersons for the Fine Gael Party and the Labour Party shall not exceed 30 minutes in each case;

(b) the speech of each other member called upon shall not exceed 15 minutes in each case;

(c) members may share time; and

(d) the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform shall be called upon to make a speech in reply which shall not exceed 15 minutes:

(ii) The proceedings on the Committee and Remaining Stages, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion at 11.30 p.m. by one Question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, in relation to amendments, include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform.

What are the intentions of the Department of Justice and the Minister with regard to circulation of amendments? I understand that 12 amendments have been circulated to individual spokespersons on the Opposition but not to the House as a whole. This is a Bill, all stages of which it is proposed to pass today. Will there be more amendments? Is the Government satisfied with the time available for considering new drafts submitted at this late stage?

Before the Taoiseach responds, there is concern about this legislation and the speed with which it is being dealt with. At the same time there is widespread demand for action in this area. Because of the way we are dealing with this legislation, notwithstanding the fact that it will be operative for only two and a half years, will the Taoiseach outline what the procedure will be for tabling amendments throughout the course of the day and for the circulation of those amendments?

The Minister has already circulated amendments. I am not aware that there are any further amendments. If there are they will be circulated in the normal way as soon as possible. The Opposition will be able to table amendments under the normal arrangements.

Question put and agreed to.