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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 30 Sep 2010

Vol. 717 No. 1

Business of Dáil: Motion

I move:

That, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders of the Order of the Dáil of this day, the Dáil shall sit later than 4.45 p.m. today and business shall be interrupted not later than 7 p.m., and the proceedings in regard to No. a22, statements re Minister for Finance’s announcement on banking of 30 September 2010, shall, if not previously concluded, adjourn at 7 p.m. tonight and the following arrangements shall apply: (i) the statement of a Minister or Minister of State and of the main spokespersons for Fine Gael, the Labour Party and Sinn Féin, who shall be called upon in that order, shall not exceed 20 minutes in each case; (ii) the statement of each other Member called upon shall not exceed 20 minutes in each case; (iii) Members may share time; and (iv) a Minister or Minister of State shall be called upon to make a statement in reply which shall not exceed 15 minutes.

What about questions?

I do not want to be obstructive and I am sure I will have the support of the Minister for Finance or the Office of the Ceann Comhairle for what I propose. I made the point this morning that the subject of the statements is part of the national crisis in which we are now caught, and that it is important that Members of every party and none will have the opportunity to have their say during the contribution period. That may well mean the debate may have to drift on until Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

Deputy English made a point on the Order of Business that is relevant and which the Minister understands. The Minister answered many questions or tried to do so as best he could at the press conference this morning in Government Buildings. Before the weekend, it is important that the Minister for Finance be able to answer questions Deputies have on today's events to this point. The tradition in the House has always been to wait until the conclusion of a debate and that the Minister responsible would then answers questions. That is what is envisaged in the announcement of the Whip. That could be Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

Would it be possible for the Ceann Comhairle, during the taking of ordinary questions by the Minister today, to allow Members some flexibility to drift into the events of today rather than waiting until the conclusion of the debate next Tuesday or Wednesday? If the Ceann Comhairle could allow this, with the consent of the Minister — he appears to be willing — Deputies who may have questions to ask today will be able to ask them, thus allowing us to surmount this little problem.

If they can be construed as arising under the question.

Yes, with the consent of the Ceann Comhairle. Could we agree on that?

If it can be accommodated——

It has to be somewhere within the question.

Yes. I know the questions tabled for the Minister have been submitted last week and that the answers are pre-prepared but surely they can be made relevant to today's events.

It could be said that Questions Nos. 1 and 3 on the Order Paper today give sufficient latitude to allow what is proposed.

If it is appropriate, the Ceann Comhairle may allow some flexibility to Members who wish to ask questions today. That would settle this little problem.

They are priority questions so ordinary Members will not have a chance to ask questions.

While that is the case, the Ceann Comhairle can allow a little flexibility such that any Member may ask a question.

I will allow a little latitude.

That will deal with the matter.

Question put and agreed to.