Before coming to the Order of Business, I propose to deal with a number of notices under Standing Order 31 and I will call Members in the order in which they submitted their notices to my office.
Requests to move Adjournment of Dáil under Standing Order 31.
I seek the adjournment of the Dáil under Standing Order 31 on a matter of extreme national importance, namely, the abandonment of Shannon Airport by the Government following the recent announcement of 103 job losses in Aer Lingus, Shannon, and its failure to put forward a special case for Shannon to the US and the European Union authorities in the current bilateral negotiations.
I seek the adjournment of the Dáil under Standing Order 31 to discuss the following important matter of public interest, namely, the aggressive behaviour of heavily armed foreign troops in closing Irish roads near the village of Silverbridge, County Armagh, for the purpose of strengthening their colonial military fortresses and refusing to allow local people to travel the roads for several days, and the necessity for the Dublin and London Governments to honour the international agreement which was approved by the Irish people in 1998 and which provided for the removal of these foreign soldiers and their fortifications.
I seek the adjournment of the Dáil under Standing Order 31 to discuss a matter of urgent national importance and concern, namely, the recommendation of the medical adviser to the North Eastern Health Board that all major surgery at Cavan General Hospital should cease, the report that stated that a number of recent deaths which are under investigation at Cavan General Hospital were preventable and the ways and means of resolving the current impasse at the hospital.
I seek the suspension of the business of the House to raise, under Standing Order 31, an issue of major national importance, namely, the legality of the decision by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government to authorise expenditure of almost €50 million to replace the traditional voting system with electronic voting in the absence of the necessary legislation; why he approved expenditure of €4.5 million for a PR promotional exercise in anticipation of elections in which he will be the director of elections; to seek clarification regarding the manner in which contracts associated with the above were advertised and awarded and to inquire of the Minister how he supposes his recently announced independent commission will be in a position to guarantee security or accuracy in the recording of voter intentions.
I seek the suspension of the proceedings of the House under Standing Order 31 to debate the ongoing rush by the Government to introduce electronic voting without setting up a statutory electoral commission or providing a verifiable paper audit trail in the system, or providing information on the source code.
I seek the suspension of the Dáil under Standing Order 31 to discuss an urgent matter of local and public importance, namely, the job losses in Aer Lingus at Shannon Airport. I ask that the Minister explain why Aer Lingus is shedding those jobs. The Minister gave a guarantee a few months ago that there would be no job losses in Shannon and that Aer Lingus was the bedrock for future development. The loss of so many jobs will be devastating for the employees of the airline and the economy of Clare and the west. It will have major repercussions for tourism and related industries. Aer Lingus is making a huge profit in Shannon so I ask the Taoiseach to intervene.
I seek the adjournment of the Dáil to facilitate a debate on an issue of major national importance, namely, to ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government to state how he proposes to justify electronic voting in the local and European elections in light of the serious reservations expressed by independent and highly respected experts who say that electronic voting machines should have a voter verifiable audit trail, that is, a paper print-out that is verified by the voter on the spot, before being stored in the computer.
I seek the adjournment of the business of the House under Standing Order 31 to debate the continuing refusal of the Government to make public the source code to be used for electronic voting machines and the counting of votes from such machines.
I seek the adjournment of the Dáil to discuss a matter of urgent national interest, namely, the refusal of the Government to ensure that a proper paper record is kept to back up any new electronic voting system, which would allow a proper random audit check on any such electronic vote.
Having considered the matters raised, they are not in order under Standing Order 31. We will proceed to the Order of Business.
Is there any possibility of a situation arising where a request under Standing Order 31 might be accepted by the Chair?
Yes, Deputy. I consider all the matters seriously.
If the Mountains of Mourne fell on Monaghan.