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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 23 Oct 2002

Vol. 556 No. 1

Allocation of Time: Motion.

I move:

That, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders or the order of the Dáil of this day, the proceedings on No. 15a– Motion re: Lindsay Tribunal Report shall, if not previously concluded, adjourn at 7 p.m. tonight.

I would like clarification of this.

The original order was that we would conclude at 7 p.m. I propose that we adjourn and return to this matter the week after next.

I appreciate that, but when the Chief Whip says that we will adjourn, is it to make up the time that was lost as a result of the private notice question or is it to adjourn—

Will there be opportunities for others to speak?

This arises from our discussion this morning on the Order of Business. The Taoiseach agreed that we would give more time to the discussion and the Whips will discuss exactly how much time we will give when we return.

I welcome the proposal to extend the time to address this very important and pressing matter. My concern is not about whether it is open-ended, because that is positive – more people should be accommodated and allowed the opportunity of discussing this very important matter – but about how long the Chief Whip intends to defer returning to the discussion. I hoped time would be allowed tomorrow for the debate to continue. I am afraid that if it is left until after the recess of the coming week it may be deferred for some considerable time and that would be absolutely inappropriate.

I have a personal comment, as someone who is making a contribution to this debate. Deputy McManus correctly asked this morning if we could adjourn this and give more time later on and the Taoiseach agreed. We came in today thinking we had three hours, only to find that an hour and a half had been taken up with a private notice question, which people on the other side of the House are entitled to table, but which ate into the time for this debate. I find that unsatisfactory. I thought I had a three-hour slot to deal with this. It is not my fault.

Could we sit late tomorrow?

We should get on with it.

In tonight's debate the main spokespersons have the opportunity of making their opening statements. We are to have a meeting of the Whips now at which we will discuss the time to be allowed to this debate. It is our intention to return to this important debate during the next sitting week.

This will not eat into the time for the debate.

Question put and agreed to.