Requests to move Adjournment of Dáil under Standing Order 32

Before coming to the Order of Business, I propose to deal with a number of notices under Standing Order 32. I will call on Deputies in the order in which they submitted notices to my office.

I seek the adjournment of the Dáil under Standing Order 32 to discuss the important matter of the proposed flood alleviation measures on the Dunkellin river in south Galway, which were promised by the Government some months ago. I specifically ask the Minister of State with special responsibility for the OPW if the promise he gave to local politicians, farm leaders and community groups that a remedial scheme to improve drainage on the Dunkellin river would be fulfilled this June, if such plans are ready for publication and if he will agree that great value can now be obtained from the relevant contractors who have so little work to carry out and the exceptional good weather which makes such jobs much easier to carry out.

I seek the adjournment of the Dail under Standing Order 32 to discuss an issue of national importance and concern, namely, the urgent need for the Government to build the new cystic fibrosis unit at St. Vincent's Hospital, the need to deplore the recent delays on this major project and the need to ensure that cystic fibrosis patients have en-suite rooms to deal with the cross-infection issue. I call on the Minister and the Government to ensure that 34 beds are allocated from the 120 bed unit for cystic fibrosis patients as a matter of urgency.

As this is a serious national issue, I ask the Ceann Comhairle to consider a request for this debate. I would like a two-hour debate any time in the next two or three days. We are having Friday sittings and debates about stags and I ask the Ceann Comhairle to facilitate a debate on what the hell is going on in the hospital for cystic fibrosis patients. In the past the Taoiseach has supported the project, along with Ministers.

The Deputy is going beyond the agreed formula.

People are going to St. Vincent's hospital today and sitting in accident and emergency departments while worried about cross-infection.

The Deputy is embellishing the story.

I am very serious and I ask the Ceann Comhairle to consider the position. We have Friday sittings and late sittings so surely we can agree to have a two-hour debate on what the hell is going on at St. Vincent's hospital to support these patients. It is a life and death matter for these people, who have received promises from successive taoisigh. It is a real issue for many people. I ask the Ceann Comhairle to consider my request. I will not sit down until I get a reasonable answer.

I will deal with it but there is another Deputy offering. Other Members must be considered.

I urge the Ceann Comhairle to consider my request.

I seek the adjournment of the Dáil under Standing Order 32 to discuss an issue of national importance and concern, namely, that figures published yesterday show suicides for 2009 increased by 24% over the previous year. The figures show an increase from 424 in 2008 to 527 deaths by suicide last year. The real figure is much higher; alarmingly, there were 195 deaths classified as "undetermined", with international research showing that a considerable number of these were suicide. The Minister for Health and Children must recognise that the psychological impact of economic recession on public health is very severe and should immediately allocate resources to respond to the crisis. I suggest that the issue is in the national public interest and is important.

Having considered the matters raised, they are not in order under Standing Order 32.

I wish to challenge that position.

I have made a decision.

The position of cystic fibrosis patients in St. Vincent's hospital is a very serious matter and it can be dealt with sensibly.

I do not disagree with the Deputy but he should submit the matter for consideration for the Adjournment.

It is a matter of national importance and people's lives are at risk.

The Deputy should submit a matter on the Adjournment.

This is a matter of national importance. There are people's lives at risk.

The Deputy should submit the matter for discussion on the Adjournment debate.

It is a project that is supported by many people in this House.

The Deputy is challenging a ruling of the Chair.

I will not sit down unless it is agreed to debate this issue.

I have advised the Deputy——

I will not sit down. This is a serious issue for people.

——to submit the matter for discussion on the Adjournment——

I will not sit down unless I get agreement for a debate on the issue.

——tonight or tomorrow night.

I will not accept debate on the issue on the Adjournment. I am asking that the House facilitate a two-hour debate on the issue anytime in the next 48 hours or even next week.

Deputy please.

I will even accept it being taken at 10 p.m. tonight.

On a point of order——

The Deputy is being disorderly.

I am not being disruptive.

We are moving on to the Order of Business.

On a point of order, a Cheann Comhairle——

The stag hunting issue was dealt with yesterday, which is fair enough. I urge the House to deal with the priority issue I have raised. I ask the Government to be sensible and deal with the particular issue.

I have advised the Deputy to submit a matter for consideration for the Adjournment debate.

On a point of order——

I will not submit the matter for discussion on the Adjournment debate. It is more important that the issue be debated on the floor of the House.

On a point of order, the matter raised by Deputy McGrath is an issue of national importance.

There are only a few sitting days remaining.

Can we have a debate on this issue?

Deputy, please.

We performed gymnastics to get the banks out of trouble. There is a political will to sort out nonsensical issues such as——

I have advised the Deputy to submit the matter for consideration for the Adjournment debate.

That is not any good to the people in this country who are dying ten years younger——

Five minutes of a joke.

——than their counterparts in the north of Ireland.

We cannot have a debate on the issue now.

The Ceann Comhairle lives in a Border area——

Deputy, please.

——and he knows full well what is going on.

We are moving on with the Order of Business.

Where is the political will to make this happen? Where is the political will that should be making this happen? We should be building this unit——

Resume your seat, Deputy.

——which should not be contingent on tendering——

The Deputy is out of order.

——that is obviously dysfunctional and we are going to lose another year.

The Deputy is spreading and encouraging disorder. I must ask the Deputy to resume his seat——

How many more people with cystic fibrosis——

——or I will have to ask him to leave the House.

A Cheann Comhairle——

I do not wish to have to ask the Deputy to leave the House but I will have to do so if he does not resume his seat.

I do not wish to be asked to leave the House but I do not want to see any more people with cystic fibrosis die unnecessarily in this country.

Deputy, please resume your seat.

I believe the House and the Taoiseach should give serious consideration to the matter raised.

The Ceann Comhairle is restricted in terms of how he can accommodate a request. I believe Deputy McGrath's request is valid and appropriate——

Anybody could have raised it.

——under Standing Order 32. The Government has the opportunity to respond favourably to the Deputy's request, which I believe reflects the views of all opinion in this House——

——regarding those who suffer from cystic fibrosis. This is not an issue of interest to only one Deputy.

Deputy, please. We cannot do this. We are on matters raised under Standing Order 32——

This is a hugely important issue. I appeal to the Taoiseach to avail of the opportunity——

——and it is not envisaged that other Members can join in and participate and make Second Stage contributions.

I am asking the Taoiseach whether he would——

I have advised the Deputy to submit the matter for the Adjournment debate.

To do so is only a waste of time.

I do not accept the Ceann Comhairle's suggestion.

On a point of order——

On a point of order, a Cheann Comhairle——

To be of assistance in the matter, rather than go down the road——

Deputy Stagg, I have called Deputy McGrath on a point of order.

Providing me and the Minister with five minutes to debate the issue of cystic fibrosis at St. Vincent's hospital is not adequate. I am asking that the House facilitate a two hour debate on this issue any time during the next four or five days. We have the option of debating this during Friday and late night sittings, which is the sensible solution. Families need support and we need to know exactly what is going on.

The Deputy has made his point.

Different stories are being told. Ministers are saying one thing and officials are saying another. The bottom line is that patients are suffering; that is the reality.

The Deputy has had a good innings on the issue this morning. I call Deputy Stagg on a point of order.

Rather than dealing with this matter under Standing Order 32, perhaps the Government will consider the possiblity of providing time for a two hour or hour and a half debate on the issue in the House. The Whips can consider how it will be fitted into the schedule.

On a point of order, the House is sitting tonight until 10 p.m. and could perhaps meet for an extra hour to hear statements on this issue. The House is sitting late and an extra hour will not make that much of a difference. Staff will be here late either way. The Minister for Health and Children should be asked to make a statement to the House at 10 p.m. tonight.

I ask that——

I must advise the Deputy that the Whips have spoken in the House already.

I am entitled to the same courtesy in this House.

It is a reasonable request.

The Deputy is being given the same courtesy.

The Taoiseach wants to speak.

The Ceann Comhairle is cutting across me.

I am not cutting across the Deputy.

The Ceann Comhairle is cutting across me.

I have allowed debate on the issue. I am advising the Deputy to raise the matter with the other Whips.

A Cheann Comhairle, the Taoiseach wants to answer.

A Cheann Comhairle, the Taoiseach wants to respond.

I have advised the Deputy to raise the matter at the Whips' meeting. I am sure——

(Interruptions).

I will try to be of assistance in this matter. I am aware of the attention given by Deputy McGrath and other Deputies to this matter. As Minister for Health and Children I was involved in ensuring the commencement of training for heart and lung transplants for cystic fibrosis sufferers. I am aware of the situation. I believe a great deal of work has been done in relation to this matter in recent times and that the Minister for Health and Children has been foremost in this regard. I believe also there are prospects in regard to this issue from which greater clarity will emerge. By way of assistance I, or the Tánaiste if I am not in the House, will try tomorrow to provide clarity in terms of where we are at on this issue.

The Tánaiste will come to the House tomorrow to explain on the Order of Business where things are at. This may be of some assistance.

That is fair enough.

We will move on now to the Order of Business.