Order of Business.

It is proposed to take No. 10, motion re proposed approval for council framework decision on the organisation and content of the exchange of information extracted from criminal records between member states; and No. 3, Defamation Bill 2006 [Seanad] — Second Stage.

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that No. 10 shall be decided without debate and shall be taken before Private Members' business. Private Members' business shall be No. 33, motion re management companies (housing developments).

There is one proposal to put to the House. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 10, motion re proposed approval for council framework decision on the organisation and content of the exchange of information extracted from criminal records between member states, without debate, agreed? Agreed.

The previous Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, now the Minister for Finance — good luck to him — received the Morris tribunal report on 24 April. It was published yesterday, which was statutorily the last day to do so. Was there a reason that it was not published before the statutory deadline was about to be reached? In view of the importance of this element of the Morris tribunal now being available and given that the Tánaiste is a Member from the county involved, can I take it we will have an opportunity to discuss this report in the House? Will she give consent to the new Whip to approve that debate? It is a matter of very serious import for the conduct of the Garda, for those involved and for ordinary citizens. I hope the Tánaiste will give consent to an early discussion in the House on this first element of the Morris tribunal.

The National Property Services Regulatory Authority was established in 2005 and was allocated a budget of €700,000 in 2007 and €930,000 in 2008. However, it cannot operate as legislation to give it power has not been brought before the House. When is it proposed to introduce the legislation giving statutory effect to the National Property Services Regulatory Authority?

What is the Tánaiste's view in respect of the siting of the Central Mental Hospital at Thornton Hall? Evidence is now very clear that this is the wrong thing to do. Is there a change of Government policy in this regard?

Now that we have a reformed or recycled Government, as somebody said yesterday, what is the position on the reintroduction of the long-term residential care services Bill? This was to be rammed through before Christmas by the Minister for Health and Children, who is not present. We were given consistent responses from the previous Taoiseach that this was on its way very shortly. However, there now appear to be some constitutional difficulties with it. It is a matter of very considerable import to thousands of people, as the Tánaiste well knows. Can I take it that we will have an accurate report as to when it will be introduced in the House?

Three matters are in order.

As Deputy Kenny is aware, the Morris tribunal is a matter of utmost gravity. It deserves due consideration. There was a statutory framework within which the former Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform worked as he indicated publicly today. It was a very short timeframe. On the basis of that short timeframe, the Garda Commissioner wished to prepare his response. It was on that basis that it was statute-bound and published yesterday. We are not averse to the Deputy's request for a debate on the matter and I am sure it can be raised with the Whips in due course when time allows for that discussion.

It should happen quickly rather than in due course, which could be years.

That all depends on what time we finish here today and then we can order our business.

On the other matters, we hope to have both Bills available this session. We are aware of the health Bill on long-term care which is very important. It is the Minister's anxiety that this is introduced as quickly as possible this session.

The previous Taoiseach used to say that the session continued until the commencement of the next Dáil session. Can I take it that the long-stay residential institutions Bill will be dealt with here before the House rises at the end of June?

Yes, it will be before the summer recess.

Does that mean before 3 July?

We will also need to decide the recess.

I understand the date for the rising of the House is 3 July.

I also wish to raise the issue of the Morris tribunal report. Publication of that report yesterday on the day when the Government was being formed was an act of political cynicism. It reminded me of the press officer in the UK who circulated a memorandum on 11 September 2001 suggesting to Ministers if they had any bad news to release, it would be a good day to do so. I heard the explanation of the Minister for Finance this morning. While I accept yesterday was the final day, there was nothing to prevent the publication of that report earlier than yesterday. The publication at lunchtime on the day the Government was being formed was clearly a well news-managed event. It does not behove any new practices on the part of the Government.

I ask about the arrangements for a debate on it. This is a report with very serious conclusions. I ask the Tánaiste whether that debate will take place next week. I understand a Whips' meeting is to take place immediately after the Order of Business, so I presume the Government has already decided the business the House will deal with next week. Will the debate on the Morris tribunal report take place next week?

As I am on the subject of news management, I did not want to raise this matter in this forum yesterday because it was a feel-good day around here. However, I want to protest very strongly at the disrespect the Government showed for this House yesterday. The Taoiseach was asked to extend the time for the debate on the formation of Government merely by an hour. In a very arrogant way he refused to do so. It was clear what was going on.

A Deputy


It was clear that the timing of events yesterday was meant to coincide with main news bulletins. That is very admirable news management and I congratulate the people who organised it.

I am afraid that matter is not in order on the Order of Business.

There is no legislation promised.

A Leas-Cheann Comhairle, I am trying to save some time in the future. If that practice continues into the future, then the Members of this House, including the members of the Government, will be going through those lobbies considerably more often than they might expect.

Emmet will be back again.

On the issue of the Morris tribunal, I believe all in this House agree this is a matter of grave concern. Once they receive a report people must be afforded an opportunity to analyse it and revert to it. It was on this basis that the former Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform indicated publicly the Garda Commissioner wished that opportunity to be afforded to him. Two further reports are imminent. To be helpful, it might be best to discuss all of them in their entirety.

About Christmas Eve.

Both these reports are being made available in a matter of weeks. If the Deputies opposite do not wish to agree, that will be a matter for consideration with the Whips. It would give a wrong signal that anyone on this side of the House or indeed anyone within the House would not take on board the severity and outcomes of this report. These are now public documents that are laid before the Oireachtas. I have the same regard as all of us for the Houses of the Oireachtas and the publication in no way marries the way in which this matter has been dealt with. It is statute bound. It is publicly available. As I have indicated, we will be forthcoming in organising a debate to discuss it. To be prudent in the better use of time and time management, it may be better to afford the opportunity for the other two reports to be discussed. However, that will be a matter for the Whips to determine.

On the final item, I listened to what the Deputy said. Luckily, as a woman of compassion, I do not take threats.

I was not threatening. I was promising.

The Taoiseach and I, along with all members of the Government, have the highest regard for this House and the discussions that take place. The Taoiseach indicated yesterday afternoon, when it came to the timing of the debate, that it was to be between 6 p.m. and 8.15 p.m. and that was to be the order of the House. He indicated that the 15 minutes lost was provided, giving due regard to the Members of the House who wished to discuss the matter.

Many Deputies have indicated a desire to contribute and I am anxious to facilitate everyone if I can. Did Deputy Gilmore wish to add a brief supplementary question?

I wish to reassure the Tánaiste that I do not make threats. However, I promise that if what happened yesterday is repeated there will be consequences.

A Deputy

We will not be electing another Taoiseach soon.

What information does the Tánaiste have on when the other Morris reports will be published? She clearly expects that they will be published in a matter of weeks.

I am advised that it will be a matter of a number of weeks and we will communicate with Deputy Gilmore personally on the issue.

With reference to the Nuclear Test Ban Bill, it has come to my attention that there is no explanatory memorandum. As the House is aware, the purpose of an explanatory memorandum is to inform of a Bill's rationale and what it is intended to achieve. Given there is no explanatory memorandum for the Nuclear Test Ban Bill, is the House indicating that we will take the Joe Jacob approach of putting our heads between our legs? Will we get an explanatory memorandum for the Bill?

We will check that out and the Minister may facilitate the Deputy with a one-to-one, if necessary.

I wish to raise a matter of justice legislation and, in doing so, I wish to congratulate the former Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform on his elevation to the position of Minister for Finance and thank him for his courtesy in the past 11 months.

On 29 November I published a Garda Síochána (Powers of Surveillance) Bill that would permit evidence gathered by surveillance in certain circumstances to be admissible against crime bosses. The Minister opposed the Bill at the time and said "it would alert the criminals". However, on the radio this morning I heard him claim it as one of his great achievements.

Another exclusive for RTE.

He told the Garda Representative Association that he would publish such a Bill. Given his closeness to the Tánaiste, I wonder if the Tánaiste can tell me when we will see it.

To be honest, it is not on any list but the former Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform did indicate that he was taking on board the issues Deputy Rabbitte raised. There are complex issues and legislation is forthcoming.

With respect, the Minister announced outside the House that he would bring forward a Garda Síochána (Powers of Surveillance) Bill. It is not a question of what I told him; I published the Bill and it is there to be seen.

It was not a bad idea.

I am glad the Deputy stayed where he is. When will the Bill be published?

The heads of the Bill are being prepared at the moment.

I wish to speak on the same matter, a covert surveillance Bill.

The Deputy wishes to speak of covert surveillance. That is a good one.

Can Deputy Ó Snodaigh give some advice?

This Bill seeks to place the existing practice by the security forces on a statutory basis in line with the European Convention on Human Rights, ECHR. I did not know we had security forces. Will the Bill take account of the Morris report?

It is not appropriate to raise the contents of the Bill.

Until now it was intended for court purposes, not to regularise the——

The heads of the Bill are being prepared at the moment. The Bill is forthcoming and the Deputies will have ample time to put forward their views and discuss it in due course.

I call on Deputy Joanna Tuffy. I beg Deputy Durkan's pardon and will return to him shortly.

I congratulate the Tánaiste on her appointment and it is good to see a woman in the post.

Senior Government spokespersons have been quoted in newspapers recently as saying the fair deal Bill relating to long-term residential care services is looking less and less likely. It is time the Government was up front about this because it keeps missing deadlines. It is clear to me, as a solicitor who worked in property, that there is a problem. A clause in the Constitution says the State cannot pass a law to abolish people's rights to leave or inherit property and I see difficulties in this regard.

I think, in general terms, the question relates to the timing of the Bill. I understand it will be during this session.

If the Bill is unconstitutional and will not proceed the Government should be up front about it.

On another piece of legislation, a report this Sunday on the designated land (housing development) Bill suggested the Government will pass a law allowing it to acquire land for critical public projects at below market value. Is this just kite-flying to keep the Green Party's publicity machine going? Will this go ahead because the Government has not used compulsory purchase orders, CPOs?

I indicated to Deputy Kenny that the first piece of legislation will be discussed during this session and we are anxious to bring it forward as quickly as possible. The designated land (housing development) Bill will be dealt with this year.

Like everyone else, I extend my good wishes to the Tánaiste and the newly appointed Ministers and wish them well in the future.

On promised legislation, I wish to raise an issue that has, no doubt, already been brought to the Tánaiste's attention, the ongoing dispute with pharmacists. Can she take the initiative and intervene with a view to bringing meaningful negotiations to a head?

That is not in order, as the Deputy knows.

Alternatively, will she withdraw or bring before the House the proposed pharmacy (No. 2) Bill.

The extradition Bill has been hanging around, like a great deal of other legislation from the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, for some time. It has been promised and threatened but nothing has happened. As the Minister sitting beside the Tánaiste is more familiar with this area, can I ask whether it is intended to place any importance on the issues referred to in the Bill and bring it before the House as a matter of urgency?

Unfortunately, I am not in a position to say when those pieces of legislation will be debated in the House.

That is unfortunate.

I congratulate my fellow Ulster person on her appointment and my colleague from Cavan-Monaghan on his. It is good to see two Ulster people in important places.

The first issue, the health (long-term residential care services) Bill, has already been raised but I wish to emphasise it because there is a crisis in this regard.

Questions on that have been answered twice. Has the Deputy another piece of legislation that is relevant?

In light of the statement made by the Taoiseach yesterday on county hospitals, when will the eligibility for health and personal social services Bill be introduced? This will let us know the services people are entitled to.

Will there be an opportunity to discuss the mental health (amendment) Bill here, in light of the crisis in mental health services that is dragging on and the current level of suicide?

Both pieces of legislation will be available next year.

I wish the Tánaiste well on her first full day in office.

A serious situation is developing between the Health Service Executive, HSE, and the psychiatric services. What steps will the Government take in this regard and will the Minister come before the House to address the issue? Care services are now being withdrawn and patients are being directly affected. Regarding specific legislation, what can be done to bring forward the nurses and midwives Bill? I ask that the Tánaiste also address the earlier part of my question.

My final point is relevant in the context of a new Taoiseach and Tánaiste and a shuffled Cabinet and should get the attention of the Minister for Transport, Deputy Noel Dempsey. I tabled a series of nine parliamentary questions to the Minister for Transport, Deputy Dempsey. Four of these have been refused on the basis that they concern the Road Safety Authority. However unsatisfactory it has proved when the Minister for Health and Children kicks into touch a parliamentary question to the HSE's parliamentary affairs division and the long delay that ensues, there is no such——

Sorry, a Theachta, this does not arise on the Order of Business.

I will be on Question Time later this afternoon. The Deputy can ask me then.

May I suggest in good faith and in a spirit of co-operation that parliamentary questions that are——

The Tánaiste on the legislation in question.

If I could finish the damn question for one moment. It is bad enough the Leas-Cheann Comhairle's office dumping these parliamentary questions back at Members. I am asking a simple question. Can a facilitation be put in place so a parliamentary question can be channelled directly to the Road Safety Authority and we can have some practical co-operation in the House?

I will send the Deputy the address and he can write to the Road Safety Authority directly.

Deputy Ó Caoláin, this is not Question Time. If there are issues about parliamentary questions, you may raise them with the Ceann Comhairle's office.

It is all about the ordering of business and all we have is disorder. It is a waste of time.

In support of Deputy Ó Caoláin——

We cannot have a debate on what is and is not in order.

Like the Deputy, I have a sheaf of questions for the National Roads Authority .

That might be worthy but we cannot have a debate on the issue on the Order of Business.

The reality is that the Minister for Transport is not reporting on behalf of the National Roads Authority to the House. That is a serious gap in the work of this House. The Ceann Comhairle——

That is a matter of legislation.

No, it is your business, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle.

The Chair does not interpret law. It complies with Standing Orders.

The Ceann Comhairle undertook to reform the system so that the Minister for Transport would be able to report on all aspects of transport policy to the House. I commiserate with the Minister, Deputy Noel Dempsey, having to remain in the Department of Transport.

The only commiseration is I still have to face Deputy Broughan.

Reporting on policy is what happens in every other parliament. Deputy Ó Caoláin has a valid point. It is your responsibility, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle, to move this forward.

On a point of order——

Deputy, the Chair is responding to the last issue. The House established the National Roads Authority .

The House set the legal framework within which it operates. It is in the hands of the House to change the law. In the interim——

On a point of order——

Will the Deputy please allow the Chair to speak? In the interim, the Chair, as well as every Member, is bound by the law. Deputy Durkan, do you have a genuine point of order?

I support Deputies Ó Caoláin and Broughan on this issue. There is increasing evidence in the past six weeks of the——

That is not a point of order. I call Deputy Michael D. Higgins.

——refusal of Ministers to answer parliamentary questions on the basis that they concern matters which are not their responsibility.

I call Deputy Higgins.

On a point of order——

Will the Deputy please take his seat? You have made the point that you are concerned about the way parliamentary questions are answered. That is not a point of order.

If there has been a change in the House's procedure, then it is a point of order. Previous speakers have set out what is happening. We as Members of Parliament object strongly to that trend.


Hear, hear.

It is in the hands of the House to change Standing Orders or the law.

How can we when the Government has a majority?

It is not about changing the law at all.

A response is due to this Deputy.

I call on the Tánaiste to respond to Deputy Ó Caoláin's question on legislation.

The nurses and midwives Bill will be available in 2009. The other issue is not in order but the Labour Relations Commission has been most anxious to facilitate discussions.

I wish the former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Deputy Dermot Ahern, every good wish in his new appointment and welcome the new Minister.

Will the Government make time available next week to discuss the refusal by the Burmese authorities to allow UN planes and other international aid agencies entry into Burma to address the huge catastrophe that has happened there? I do not suggest we have a set of statements because every Member is in agreement on the tragedy that has occurred. We should seek to have an all-party agreed motion on the significance of the refusal of the Burmese authorities to allow access to international aid agencies and the breach of international law this involves. Will the Tánaiste provide a substantial time slot to address these issues?

The Government facilitated, and to some extent legitimised, the Burmese junta by allowing it access to ASEAN. It is important we acknowledge that was a mistake.

I wish the former Minister well in his new appointment and wish the new Minister well.

The Tánaiste will be aware her new boss had a hand in discussions with the Burmese junta when Ireland held the EU Presidency. Will the Taoiseach use the contacts he has to ensure the Irish aid agencies trying to get into Burma get visa waivers?

Is there to be a debate on this important issue, Tánaiste?

The Government is concerned about the issue. I am sure after a discussion with the Whips a motion can be agreed upon and debated.

I congratulate the Tánaiste on her new appointment.

Last night, the new Cabinet met for the first time in Áras an Uachtaráin. Was a decision made to permanently defer the outrageous pay increases which the former Cabinet agreed to award itself?

That is not in order on the Order of Business.

It is a Government policy. When will we hear about the decision on the pay awards? Is the Government hanging on to the increases which, in the Taoiseach's case of €38,000, is more than what the average industrial worker earns?

Last night, a late announcement from the Department of Education and Science was sneaked out by the Government as the previous Minister left office. Scoil Oisín in the Phoenix Park which only attracted an enrolment of nine children——

This is not in order on the Order of Business.

It is in order.

Yes, it is. Against all the advice to the former Minister for Education and Science, Deputy Hanafin, she persisted in recognising the school. There was a U-turn when ministerial appointments were made. Legislation was promised in this area. She refused to recognise the Educate Together school in Carpenterstown which had an enrolment of 60 children.

Tánaiste, is legislation promised in this area?

The new Minister for Finance, Deputy Brian Lenihan, can shake his head all he likes.

Thank you, Deputy, but I am trying to facilitate a number of other Deputies.

Where is the legislation dealing with the creation of primary schools in new areas?

There is no promised legislation in this area.

Yes, there is.

Will the Government recognise the wishes of parents for primary schooling for their children in an Educate Together format?

Will Deputy Burton allow the Tánaiste to respond?

It is important. The decision was sneaked in last night.

On the same matter, Deputy Burton has raised a crucial point. The Government promised three new schools under the patronage of County Dublin VEC but it is now two new schools. It relates to promised legislation.

I am delighted to hear that.

It relates to the education patronage Bill. It is yet to be published and will not be enacted before the summer. What will be the legal standing of the two schools that will open their gates on 1 September when the Bill has yet to be introduced to the House?

The legal standing of the schools is not in order on the Order of Business.

The education patronage Bill——

What is also an issue——

Deputy Burton, please allow the Tánaiste to answer the question.

It has to do with the recognition of an Educate Together school with 60 children.

Deputy Burton, you cannot put a question and then not allow the Tánaiste to answer it.

It also has to do with parents being allowed to send their children to the school they wish.

Deputy, allow the Tánaiste to answer the question that was put.

Preparatory work on the heads of the education patronage Bill is proceeding. On the other issues raised, the Minister for Education and Science can deal with the matters if they are raised through parliamentary questions or on the Adjournment.

We do not share the Tánaiste's confidence.

The legislation will not be published before September.

The Tánaiste has not responded to parliamentary questions in a long time.

I was not bad at answering them.


I congratulate the Tánaiste. Speaking as a female Deputy, to see her walking behind the Taoiseach yesterday was the only cheerful aspect from the point of view of this side of the House. Unfortunately, I am not in the same position as others in that I cannot congratulate a new Minister in the Department I shadow. We are stuck with "Blame everyone but me" Mary in the Department of Health and Children.

The Deputy should stop. Her comment was not nice and was uncalled for.

I am sorry, but that is how it is.

The Deputy is out of order.

The Minister, Deputy Cullen, stands by the Minister, Deputy Harney.

In the context of severe cutbacks——

Is there a question relevant to the Order of Business?

Yes, it is in the context of a €95 million overrun in the HSE's budget for this year and inevitable cuts across the board. Will the Tánaiste stand over the cuts or will a Supplementary Estimate be introduced by the Minister for Health and Children? It must be one or the other.

No legislation is promised. The matter is not in order.

In real terms, the budget has reverted to the position of the late 1980s. Is the Tánaiste standing over the cutbacks?

The Deputy should allow Deputy Sheehan to put his question.

No legislation has been promised.

Deputy Sheehan will definitely be in order.

As the Tánaiste has discarded her wellington boots in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food——

Her designer wellington boots.

——and put on her new boardroom shoes in the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, when will the company law consolidation and reform Bill be introduced?

That is all they are discussing in Cork.

I thank Deputy Sheehan for his kind remarks. I have moved from designer wellingtons, but I will loan them to him if he is stuck for a pair. The Bill is substantial and we are not in a position to indicate when it will be before the House.

I wish to be associated with the words of congratulation to the Tánaiste. She leaves the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the agricultural community at a time of concern due to the Mandelson proposals in respect of the World Trade Organisation talks. When she met Commissioner Mandelson in her previous capacity recently, did she convey the Government's willingness to invoke the veto to defend a vital national interest?


Hear, hear.

The Cawley report is the Government's blueprint for revitalising the fisheries sector. In the context of the Commission's rejection of the operational programme for fisheries, where does the report stand?

This matter is not in order on the Order of Business.

It is relevant.

I am sure it is important.

The operational programme for fisheries has been rejected by the European Commission. There are three Departments involved, including the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, and the issue arises due to Ireland's failure to implement relevant EU legislation.

That matter seems suitable for a parliamentary question.

Will the Tánaiste convene a meeting of the three Departments involved? This also has implications for rural development.

It is not in order on the Order of Business.

Will she ensure that the programme is finalised as quickly as possible so that investment in the sector, as envisaged in the Cawley report, can proceed?

It is suitable for a parliamentary question.

Will the Tánaiste respond to the question on the WTO talks and her meeting with Commissioner Mandelson?

It is not in order.

In the Tánaiste's previous incarnation, she spoke often about a balanced deal.

I am trying to accommodate a number of Deputies who have indicated.

Now that the Tánaiste is the trade Minister, perhaps she will give the House more information about her definition of a balanced deal.

Obviously, she has taken off the wellingtons.

And put on the steel-capped boots.

While I congratulate the Tánaiste on her elevation, her passion for fashion in recent days will cost the women of the country a fortune.

This is not relevant to the Order of Business.

Regarding the merchant shipping miscellaneous provisions Bill——

It was a good opener.

Yes. I had hoped that we would get there.

——which proposes to provide enabling powers for maritime safety, I urge the Tánaiste to use her good offices to have a word in the Minister for Transport's ear to maintain services and jobs in her and my corners of the country, namely, at the Malin Head and Valentia Island Coast Guard stations.


Hear, hear.

Legislation is promised for later this year.

While I congratulate the Tánaiste and the Minister for Finance, Deputy Brian Lenihan, I particularly congratulate the Chief Whip, Deputy Pat Carey, a northsider who has been elevated. For a while, we believed that we would be wiped out, but it is good to see that——

No, that was the southsiders.

Poor old Dublin is on the rack. While I will not ask anything relating to the Department of Finance on the Minister's first day, I will ask a question about the road traffic Bill. This week, I was appalled to read that 33,000 speeding drivers got off scot free because they claimed that they did not receive notices. There is a question of responsibility because legislation passed by the House is not being enforced properly.

Does the Deputy have a question?

The road traffic Bill has been promised and Deputy Broughan and others have commented on a lack of accountability in the House. Who will take responsibility for the fact that enforcement——

That is a parliamentary question for the Minister for Transport.

——in respect of speeding, one of the key killers on our roads, is collapsing? A promised Bill will add further to the legislative burden whereas the current legislation is not being enforced. There is an issue of responsibility and the Cabinet should be accountable.


Hear, hear.

The road traffic Bill will be available at the end of the year.

What will be done about the 33,000 speeding fines?

They will be addressed once the Bill is enacted.

I want to be associated with the warm words of congratulations to my county colleague, the Tánaiste, whom I wish well. It is a testament to her ability to represent County Donegal, which I hope continues, and the tradition within the Coughlan family. I hope to see bonfires in Mount Charles tonight.

If the Deputy goes home that way, he will be in the wrong constituency.

I look forward to her referring to Milford, Inishowen and Letterkenny when making large job announcements.

I am sure the Deputy will be in order any minute now.

Will the Tánaiste exert pressure on the new Minister for Foreign Affairs relating to next week's Champions League final?

It is not in order.

There is a waiver on visas for British supporters. I do not know whether there are many Chelsea supporters in Ireland, but there are many Manchester United supporters.

Will the Tánaiste discuss with the Minister for Foreign Affairs the question of a waiver for Irish supporters?


Hear, hear.

It would be an excellent parliamentary question, but it is not in order on the Order of Business.

It would not be answered in time for next Wednesday's final.

The Deputy can communicate directly with the Minister.

As a Liverpool supporter, I will not be in attendance.

I am a Liverpool supporter speaking on behalf of Manchester United supporters.

If the former Taoiseach was still in charge, he would be in attendance.

Ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas ó chroí a dhéanamh le mo chomhghleacaí ón dáilcheantar, an Tánaiste, ar a ceapachán. Is onóir mhór di agus do Dhún na nGall go bhfuil post chomh sinsearach sin insan contae againn. Guím gach rath uirthi. Anois, an féidir leí insint dúinn cén uair a bheidh Bille Údarás na Gaeltachta á phlé sa Dáil?

An féidir libh fanacht ar feadh bomaite?

Beidh sí ann le píosa fada.

Gabhaim buíochas le mo chomhghleacaithe as ucht an méid a bhí le rá acu agus as chomh cairdíúil agus atá siad. Is pribhléid mór dom í go bhfuil mé ag obair le comhghleacaithe mar an Teachta McGinley agus an Teachta McHugh. Bhí an Teachta McHugh ag iarraidh rud éigin uaim ach níl a fhios agam faoi sin ach bhí an Teachta McGinley lán dáiríre. Níl a fhios againn ag an am seo cén uair a bheidh an Bille sin réidh, ach beidh mé ag caint leis an fhoras mar gheall air.