Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2011: Report and Final Stages

I move amendment No. 1:

In page 3, line 10, after "1997;" to insert the following:

"TO MAKE PROVISION FOR COSTS OF CERTAIN PROCEEDINGS; TO GIVE EFFECT TO CERTAIN ARTICLES OF THE CONVENTION ON ACCESS TO INFORMATION, PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN DECISIONMAKING AND ACCESS TO JUSTICE IN ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS DONE AT AARHUS, DENMARK ON 25 JUNE 1998 AND FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE TO BE TAKEN OF THE CONVENTION; TO AMEND THE PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT ACT 2000; THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1998; THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 2001 AND THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT 2003;".

This is a technical amendment to incorporate the amendments being taken on Report Stage into the Title of the Bill.

Amendment agreed to.
Bill recommitted in respect of amendments Nos. 2 to 8, inclusive.

Amendments Nos. 2 and 16 to 43, inclusive, are related and may be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 2:

In page 3, between lines 22 and 23, to insert the following:

"(4) The Planning and Development Acts 2000 to 2010 andPart 4 may be cited together as the Planning and Development Acts 2000 to 2011 and shall be read together as one.”.

This is a technical amendment that inserts into the Bill a collective citation for the Planning and Development Acts which are being amended by the Bill.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments Nos. 3 to 8, inclusive, are related and may be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 3:

In page 4, between lines 1 and 2, to insert the following:

"PART 2

3.—(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other enactment or in—

(a) Order 99 of the Rules of the Superior Courts (S.I. No. 15 of 1986),

(b) Order 66 of the Circuit Court Rules (S.I. No. 510 of 2001), or

(c) Order 51 of the District Court Rules (S.I. No. 93 of 1997),

and subject tosubsections (2), (3) and (4), in proceedings to which this section applies, each party (including any notice party) shall bear its own costs.

(2) The costs of the proceedings, or a portion of such costs, as are appropriate, may be awarded to the applicant, or as the case may be, the plaintiff, to the extent that he or she succeeds in obtaining relief and any of those costs shall be borne by the respondent, or as the case may be, defendant or any notice party, to the extent that the acts or omissions of the respondent, or as the case may be, defendant or any notice party, contributed to the applicant, or as the case may be, plaintiff obtaining relief.

(3) A court may award costs against a party in proceedings to which this section applies if the court considers it appropriate to do so—

(a) where the court considers that a claim or counter-claim by the party is frivolous or vexatious,

(b) by reason of the manner in which the party has conducted the proceedings,

or

(c) where the party is in contempt of the court.

(4)Subsection (1) does not affect the court’s entitlement to award costs in favour of a party in a matter of exceptional public importance and where in the special circumstances of the case it is in the interests of justice to do so.

(5) In this section a reference to "court" shall be construed as, in relation to particular proceedings to which this section applies, a reference to the District Court, the Circuit Court, the High Court or the Supreme Court, as may be appropriate.".

Amendment No. 3 proposes to ensure that in court proceedings, which involve a breach of certain licences or other consents, each party to the proceedings shall only be required to meet their own costs. However, if an applicant is granted the relief sought or if the defendant or respondent, as the case may be, is found to have breached a provision of environmental law, the applicant may have all or some of his costs paid by the respondent or defendant as appropriate. If the case involves notice parties, they may also be required to contribute to the applicant's costs if the court considers it appropriate. The Judiciary will also retain the discretion to award costs against a party if the court considers the case to be frivolous or vexatious or in favour of a party in a matter of exceptional public importance.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 4:

In page 4, between lines 1 and 2, to insert the following:

4.—(1)Section 3 applies to civil proceedings, other than proceedings referred to in subsection (3), instituted by a person—

(a) for the purpose of ensuring compliance with, or the enforcement of, a statutory requirement or condition or other requirement attached to a licence, permit, permission, lease or consent specified in subsection (4),

or

(b) in respect of the contravention of, or the failure to comply with such licence, permit, permission, lease or consent,

and where the failure to ensure such compliance with, or enforcement of, such statutory requirement, condition or other requirement referred to inparagraph (a), or such contravention or failure to comply referred to in paragraph (b), has caused, is causing, or is likely to cause, damage to the environment.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality ofsubsection (1), damage to the environment includes damage to all or any of the following:

(a) air and the atmosphere;

(b) water, including coastal and marine areas;

(c) soil;

(d) land;

(e) landscapes and natural sites;

(f) biological diversity, including any component of such diversity, and genetically modified organisms;

(g) health and safety of persons and conditions of human life;

(h) cultural sites and built environment;

(i) the interaction between all or any of the matters specified in paragraphs

(a) to (h).

(3)Section 3 shall not apply—

(a) to proceedings, or any part of proceedings, referred to in subsection (1) for which damages, arising from damage to persons or property, are sought,

or

(b) to proceedings instituted by a statutory body or a Minister of the Government.

(4) For the purposes ofsubsection (1), this section applies to—

(a) a licence, or a revised licence, granted under section 83 of the Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992,

(b) a licence granted pursuant to section 32 of the Act of 1987,

(c) a licence granted under section 4 or 16 of the Local Government (Water Pollution) Act 1977,

(d) a licence granted under section 63, or a water services licence granted under section 81, of the Water Services Act 2007,

(e) a waste collection permit granted pursuant to section 34, or a waste licence granted pursuant to section 40, of the Act of 1996,

(f) a licence granted pursuant to section 23(6), 26 or 29 of the Wildlife Act 1976,

(g) a permit granted pursuant to section 5 of the Dumping at Sea Act 1996,

(h) a licence granted under section 40, or a general felling licence granted under section 49, of the Forestry Act 1946,

(i) a licence granted pursuant to section 30 of the Radiological Protection Act 1991,

(j) a lease made under section 2, or a licence granted under section 3 of the Foreshore Act 1933,

(k) a prospecting licence granted under section 8, a State acquired minerals licence granted under section 22 or an ancillary rights licence granted under section 40, of the Minerals Development Act 1940,

(l) an exploration licence granted under section 8, a petroleum prospecting licence granted under section 9, a reserved area licence granted under section 19, or a working facilities permit granted under section 26, of the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development Act 1960,

(m) a consent pursuant to section 40 of the Gas Act 1976,

(n) a permission or approval granted pursuant to the Planning and Development Act 2000.

(5) In this section—

"damage", in relation to the environment, includes any adverse effect on any matter specified inparagraphs (a) to (i) of subsection (2);

"statutory body" means any of the following:

(a) a body established by or under statute;

(b) a county council within the meaning of the Local Government Act 2001;

(c) a city council within the meaning of the Local Government Act 2001.

(6) In this section a reference to a licence, revised licence, permit, permission, approval, lease or consent is a reference to such licence, permit, lease or consent and any conditions or other requirements attached to it and to any renewal or revision of such licence, permit, permission, approval, lease or consent.".

This amendment sets out the types of civil proceedings to which the costs rule being proposed pursuant to amendment No. 3 would apply. It includes proceedings concerning breaches of certain environmental licences and other consents where the breach has caused, is causing or is likely to cause damage to the environment. Furthermore the amendment sets out the elements of the environment that would fall under its scope in terms of damage, including air, water, biodiversity, and human health and safety. The amendment also clarifies that the new costs rule does not extend to cases where personal damages are sought. The purpose of the amendment is to enhance environmental protection by improving access to justice in existing environmental cases by removing the risk for the applicant or plaintiff having to pay costs for all parties to the proceedings if they are unsuccessful.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 5:

In page 4, between lines 1 and 2, to insert the following:

5.—(1)Section 3 applies to civil proceedings, other than proceedings referred to in subsection (2), instituted by a person relating to a request referred to in Regulation 6 of the Information Regulations.

(2)Section 3 shall not apply to proceedings instituted by the Commissioner for Environmental Information or a public authority pursuant to the Information Regulations.

(3) In this section—

"Information Regulations" means the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 133 of 2007);

"public authority" has the meaning assigned to it by the Information Regulations.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 6:

In page 4, between lines 1 and 2, to insert the following:

6.—(1)Section 3 applies to—

(a) proceedings in the High Court by way of judicial review or of seeking leave to apply for judicial review, of proceedings referred to in section 4 or 5,

(b) an appeal (including an appeal by way of case stated) from the District Court, Circuit Court or High Court in any proceedings referred to in section 4 or 5 or paragraph (a), and

(c) proceedings for interim or interlocutory relief in relation to any proceedings referred to in section 4 or 5 or paragraph (a).

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 7:

In page 4, between lines 1 and 2, to insert the following:

7.—(1) A party to proceedings to whichsection 3 applies may at any time before, or during the course of, the proceedings apply to the court for a determination that section 3 applies to those proceedings.

(2) Where an application is made undersubsection (1), the court may make a determination that section 3 applies to those proceedings.

(3) Without prejudice tosubsection (1), the parties to proceedings referred to in subsection (1), may, at any time, agree that section 3 applies to those proceedings.

(4) Before proceedings referred to insection 3 are instituted, the persons who would be the parties to those proceedings if those proceedings were instituted, may, before the institution of those proceedings and without prejudice to subsection (1), agree that section 3 applies to those proceedings.

(5) An application undersubsection (1) shall be by motion on notice to the parties concerned.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 8:

In page 4, between lines 1 and 2, to insert the following:

8.—Judicial notice shall be taken of the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters done at Aarhus, Denmark on 25 June 1998.

Amendment agreed to.
Bill reported with amendments.

As amendment No. 11 is related to amendment No. 9, they will be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 9:

In page 4, between lines 3 and 4, to insert the following:

"3.—Section 12(1) of the Act of 1987 is amended--

(a) in paragraph (a) by substituting--

(i) "€8,000" for "£1,000" in both places where it occurs, and

(ii) "€800" for "£100",

and

(b) in paragraph (b) by substituting--

(i) "€800,000" for "£10,000", and

(ii) "€8,000" for "£1,000".

While we welcome the proposed changes to the fines, there must be a significant penalty for causing air pollution, particularly where companies are concerned. Part of the Golden Vale, the best land in the country, was polluted and an unfortunate farmer who had lost everything, perhaps even his health, spent many years seeking redress. Pollution is an important issue in the context of food production. Now that agriculture has again taken centre stage, we need strict and rigorous laws to deal with pollution. That is the reason we have tabled the amendment.

I thank the Deputy for his interest in this matter. The amendment proposes that the monetary amounts of fines or penalties under the Air Pollution Act be further increased beyond the significant amounts for which I am providing. Paragraph (a) refers to fines on summary conviction and proposes that a larger increase than that proposed by the Government be introduced. This is unnecessary, as I am proposing to align the amounts within the bands provided for by the Fines Act 2010, allowing them to be updated centrally to ensure they remain effective. The Fines Act introduced a new system of categorised bands of fines for minor offences, that is, on summary conviction. This system came into operation on 4 January this year. The maximum amounts are €5,000, €4,000, €2,500, €1,000 and €500 for class A, B, C, D and E offences, respectively. This system is more practical, as the amounts can be periodically changed by the Minister for Justice and Equality to ensure they retain their monetary value and consequent deterrent power. Any change made would apply to all relevant legislation without the necessity of amending individual pieces of legislation and instruments. Furthermore, categorising fines provides for a more consistent penalty system for all environmental law. It is best practice that all new legislation covering minor offences categorise fines in accordance with the bands set in the Fines Act. As I propose to update the fines for offences under the Air Pollution Act in line with the bands applying under the Fines Act, I cannot accept the amendment.

Paragraph (b) refers to fines on conviction on indictment and proposes that a larger increase than the one proposed by the Government be introduced, €800,000 rather than €500,000, with a proportionate increase in the daily fine for a continuing offence to €8,000 rather than €5,000. The proposed increase from £10,000 to €500,000 has been selected to ensure consistency with comparable amounts in other environmental legislative measures. This aims to provide a more consistent penalty system throughout our environmental legislation framework and the maximum fine permitted for a conviction on indictment in legislation transposing EU directives is €500,000, as provided under section 3 of the European Communities Act 1972. Introducing this level of fine to the Air Pollution Act will bring it into line with the monetary penalties in other key environmental legislative measures that originated as EU directives, for example, waste and groundwater regulations. The proposed increase is substantial to reflect the fact that the current fine amount of £10,000 was set in 1987 and has lost significant value and its deterrent effect. The proposed increase will be effective and proportionate and will have the necessary deterrent effect to support the enforcement of the Air Pollution Act. Therefore, the proposed amendment cannot be accepted.

On the basis of the Minister's statement that he will be able to increase the fines periodically, I will withdraw my amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment No. 10:

In page 4, between lines 3 and 4, to insert the following:

"3.--For the purposes of clarity, the offences regarding sealing and labelling of fuel bags as set out in the Air Pollution Act, 1987 (Marketing, Sale and Distribution of Fuels) Regulations 1998 (S.I. 118/1998), and Air Pollution Act, 1987 (Marketing, Sale and Distribution of Fuels) (Amendment) Regulations 2011(S.I. 270/2011) shall not include domestic sale of firewood, turf and peat.".

I highlighted a problem with the Bill on Second and Committee Stages. Like the Government parties, we want the labelling and sealing of bags of solid fuel to be regulated in order that smokeless fuels are used in smokeless zones. Customers should not be able erroneously to buy smoky fuel because it has been labelled "smokeless". There must be labelling of anthracite coal and fossil fuels of that type. The Minister will understand the problem, as I have explained it twice. Outside the Pale, in particular, it is and will remain common practice for firewood and peat to be sold in open, unlabelled 10:10:20 bags. The Minister will understand what the label means. It is like the 10:10:20 fertiliser bags.

Yes. It is not necessary to label or seal these bags because customers in the fuel depot can recognise whether the contents are firewood or ordinary peat or, as it is called down the country, turf. However, we support the labelling and sealing of bags of smokeless and other fuels such as ordinary and anthracite coal that might look like smokeless fuel. Will the Minister accept my amendment on this basis?

The amendment proposes to insert a new provision regarding the sealing and labelling requirements of fuel bags under the fuel regulations. The Air Pollution Act 1987 (Marketing, Sale and Distribution of Fuels) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 require that a person or body shall not place on the market, sell or distribute bituminous coal in a bag unless it is sealed. Bituminous coal is defined in the regulations as coal "falling within CN Code 2701 12 placed on the market for residential heating" and does not require further clarification. Accepting this amendment could create confusion where there is none. The sealing and labelling provisions relate to bituminous coal, not to timber or peat. However, I will seek clarification for the Deputy in that regard.

The smoky coal ban was introduced in Dublin in 1990 and has since been extended to other cities and large towns. It has proved effective in improving air quality in urban areas and I intend to undertake a public consultation process on the ban during the coming months to ensure its continued effectiveness. Issues such as bagging and labelling requirements will be explored as part of that consultation. If there is any doubt about the Deputy's suggestion, I will use the consultation process as an opportunity to ensure the sentiment of what he is seeking to do is expressed in the regulations. Therefore, I cannot accept the amendment.

The Minister has claimed my amendment would cause confusion, but he is not being clear. We all know that ordinary coal, including anthracite, can be substituted by someone selling bags off the back of a lorry to people who mistakenly believe it is smokeless fuel. If the Minister is proposing a change in this respect, that is fine, but he is not being clear on the question of whether this provision will exempt firewood and peat. If he obtains clarification and it does, I will happily withdraw the amendment.

The Minister mentioned that he might be able to make the necessary changes in subsequent regulations. If that is his legal advice, I am happy to accept it. However, we must not create a problem in the sale of domestic fuel in 23 or 24 counties, which is what this provision will do.

I admire the Deputy's detailed knowledge of these matters. Regulation 4 of Statutory Instrument 118 of 1998 requires bags of fuel to be sealed. There is no compulsion to only sell in bags; it is aimed at coal. Peat is usually sold in briquettes. Peat and wood have a lower sulphur content than coal so peat, which typically has a sulphur content of 0.4%, and based on the Air Pollution Acts and their sulphur content, wood and peat are exempt from these regulations but they are apply to coal.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendment No. 11 not moved.

I move amendment No. 12:

In page 5, after line 49, to insert the following:

5.—Section 14 of the Act of 1987 is amended—

(a) by inserting the following subsection after subsection (5):

"(5A) Where an authorised person has reasonable grounds for apprehending any serious obstruction in the performance of his or her functions or otherwise considers it necessary, he or she may be accompanied by a member of the Garda Síochána when performing any functions conferred on him or her under this Act or any regulations made under it.",

and

(b) in subsection (6) by inserting “under subsection (6A)” after “for a warrant”,

(c) by inserting the following subsection after subsection (6):

"(6A) Without prejudice to the powers conferred on an authorised person by or under any other provision of this section, if a judge of the District Court is satisfied by information on oath of an authorised person that there are reasonable grounds for believing that there is, or such entry is likely to disclose, evidence of a contravention of this Act, or regulations made under it, the judge may issue a warrant authorising an authorised person, accompanied by such other authorised persons or by a member or members of the Garda Síochána as may be necessary, at any time or times, within one month from the date of issue of the warrant, on production of the warrant if requested, to enter the place, if necessary by the use of reasonable force, and perform the functions conferred on an authorised person under this Act or any regulations made under it.".

This amendment supports the enforcement activities of a local authority appointed and authorised person when carrying out his functions under the Air Pollution Act 1997 or any regulations made under it. The amendment proposes that in cases where an authorised person is obstructed or reasonably expects to be met with obstruction, he or she may be accompanied by a member of the Garda Síochána.

I have no difficulty with people being accompanied by a garda; it might be necessary on occasion. My concern is that more and more responsibilities are being passed over to the local authorities while there is a staff embargo in place. I am concerned the resources are inadequate to meet those additional obligations. The idea is good but I am not sure it will be enforced.

The deployment of resources is a separate issue. There is a serious problem with the employment moratorium and I do not expect to see any change with that in the near future. I subscribe to the devolution of functions and I will keep an eye on the issue of resourcing functions that can be devolved to local authorities to ensure they are being enforced.

Amendment put and agreed to.

I move amendment No. 13:

In page 6, to delete lines 6 to 9 and substitute the following:

""(3) The amount of the levy shall be specified in the regulations under subsection (2) but shall not exceed an amount of 26 cent for each plastic bag supplied to a customer.".

The plastic bag levy was a great success. It is not long ago that every hedgerow in the country was decorated with plastic bags. We propose that the amount allowed for in the legislation be reduced. There will be a 70 cent charge on plastic bags. That is too high. At the moment the charge is 15 cent and it works reasonably well. We agree with the Minister that it should be increased. Perhaps it should be index linked because it has been 15 cent since its introduction a decade ago. We feel 26 cent for each bag would be sufficient but 70 cent is very high.

Amendment No. 13 proposes the ceiling on the plastic bag levy should be retained at 26 cent. The Bill gives me the opportunity over a long period of time to increase the plastic bag levy but I cannot do it by any more than 10% of the existing levy in any financial year plus the change in the consumer price index since the last change, up to a limit of 70 cent. It will take a considerable number of years if we increase it every year and it is not my intention to do that.

A ceiling of 26 cent would not give me the flexibility to replenish the environment fund or deal with environmental matters in a serious way when additional resources are needed to deal with problems such as remediation in landfill sites in Deputy Catherine Murphy's constituency and in other constituencies. I need the flexibility. I will not say by how much or how often I will need to increase the charge but I want to give myself up to a maximum levy of 70 cent in this case.

The Minister is moving slowly so I will withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment No. 14:

In page 8, between lines 15 and 16, to insert the following:

"7.—(1) The practice of incineration or thermal treatment of waste shall no longer be legal within this state.

(2) Sections 4 and 5 of the Waste Management (Amendment) Act 2001 are repealed.

(3) The making of a waste management plan shall be a reserved function of the local authority.".

This is an important issue. Our approach to waste management should be based on the community and on environmental sustainability. I fully acknowledge that Ireland faces a waste management crisis. This is a global problem, it is not unique to this State, but we have an opportunity to make the right decisions for Ireland by supporting the amendment.

When we tackle the waste crisis we must also tackle the causes of the problem. We cannot continue to produce waste, burn it and hope the problem will go away. Building mass burning incinerators similar to that proposed for the Poolbeg peninsula is far from the solution. A closer look at the incinerator will show that incinerators are part of the problem. The incinerator proposed for the Poolbeg peninsula has the capacity to burn more waste than the city of Dublin can produce. The choice for Covanta, the operator, is to import waste or to encourage Government policies that produce waste and, therefore, more rubbish to burn and more profit for the owners. The lack of waste is a huge concern. The volumes of waste being produced by industry and wholesalers will significantly reduce in coming years. Sinn Féin wants to set a target of zero waste and to work towards that.

The history of the contract is little short of a scandal. Dublin city councillors have not been party to decisions and have not seen important documentation. That leaves much to be desired. In another time there would have been a huge outcry and there is no reason that should not happen now.

The EU directives rightly restrict our landfill options. To turn to burning waste is not a solution. We need to adopt a zero waste strategy similar to some of the municipalities in New Zealand. We must drastically reduce the waste we produce by reducing packaging at source. We must reduce and reuse products and reintroduce glass recycling. That the State has no glass recycling facility is a damning indictment of our failed waste management policies. We must also invest in our fledging recycling industry. If the millions used to fund the huge PR operation to promote incineration were used to promote and invest in recycling, the industry would be much stronger today and we have more jobs from the recycling of waste.

We have set a target for Food Harvest 2020. Agriculture was not seen as important during the boom but we now understand its importance, the importance of food exports and the clean image of food from Ireland. Incineration can do real damage to the food chain and will cause damage to the perception of Irish food, which could have huge economic consequences.

The amendment would allow us to pursue a waste management strategy based on reducing, reusing and recycling. This is an opportunity to right the wrongs of failed government policies since 1999 when incineration was the cornerstone of waste management strategy. Communities can be assured that if this amendment fails to receive the required support, Sinn Féin will continue to work with campaigning groups to ensure that this State is incineration-free in future.

I do not intend to go over the arguments I made on Committee Stage. I still firmly believe that section 7 should have stayed in the Bill. It has now been removed but that will prove to be a mistake.

I welcome the amendments and the spirit in which they have been tabled. We need to shine a bright light on the contracts done between Dublin City Council and Covanta. It is unfortunate that the former Minister, Mr. Dick Roche, approved it and signed those documents. The matter has not been dealt with adequately until now.

My constituency has had one of the largest landfills in the city on Sandymount Strand. We went through that period, but the solution to our waste problems is not necessarily to be found through burning it or using landfill sites. The Minister should give a clear commitment to impose a levy on waste and excess packaging at source. He should seriously examine the possibility of introducing a Bill to achieve that as quickly as possible.

If there is no levy on incineration, we will shift the focus from landfill to incineration and will draw down other recyclable materials to incineration. I welcomed the Minister's remarks on Committee Stage when he said he would quickly introduce a consultative document to examine a mechanism to rebalance the issue and possibly bring levies to bear on incineration. I look forward to that consultation process and will contribute to it at that stage.

As other Deputies have said, one of the biggest problems with an incinerator on the Poolbeg peninsula is that it will be too big. It is also broadly accepted that it is the wrong location. We need to fundamentally reform local government, giving power to elected councillors rather than officials. The 52 councillors on Dublin City Council, of which I was one, always opposed the incinerator but we could never see the contract or the Hennessy report in full. We must examine mechanisms whereby public representatives can review such contracts properly and see completed reports. In his review, I ask the Minister to move that power back to local government.

I notice that Deputy Finian McGrath left the Chamber after making his contribution. He quoted many sources, but I would remind him that he kept the two previous governments in power. If it was such a big problem for him, he could have made it an issue at any stage. However, I note that Deputy Finian McGrath prefers to make his contributions and then run, so as not to hear a counter argument.

The Minister should re-examine imposing a levy on incineration, in addition to introducing a levy on excess packaging as quickly as possible. That is the way to reduce the volume that must go either to landfill or incineration.

I made some points earlier in the debate and made the same ones on Committee Stage, so I will not go over them again. I endorse Deputy Humphreys' point on the rebalancing and transfer of powers between reserve functions and the local government executive. Officials are not elected and will not be held to account, which is a major deficit in our democracy.

Kildare is not short of landfill sites, as the Minister is well aware. The Kill landfill site has taken most of Dublin's waste over the years. We now have Droighead, which is the biggest landfill site in the country, and is owned and controlled by Bord na Móna. We have a great deal of experience with landfill, but it is not something that people tend to want on their doorsteps. The way in which we deal with residual waste is incredibly important. We have seen what has happened in the private sector, as the Minister said, concerning Kerdiffstown. That was a failure of the private sector and of the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA. There is a deficiency concerning the EPA in that it did not have the legal power to close that site down. It will cost the State millions to remedy that. The EPA is doing a good remedial job there at the moment and let us hope that continues. It will require Exchequer resources to continue to do so, but we must also find the point where that failure occurred.

On Committee Stage, the Minister said that what was proposed by Covanta was in the recovery tier. We have all seen that people will go to the trouble of using the bottle bank as well as segregating their waste into various bins. We will take the advantage away from segregation, however, by having such a large facility. We will therefore kill off the recovery tier where we should segregate waste for reuse and recycling. I have a serious problem in this regard and I would oppose the Bill for this aspect alone. Section 7 would at least have provided some sort of counterbalance to a levying system. I have a serious problem with the fact that there is an economic mismatch there also.

I endorse much of what Deputy Kevin Humphreys has already said, particularly with regard to the levy on excess packaging which is important. We can be quite progressive in that regard if we so choose. I will confine my remarks to the possibility of a levy on incineration. I have spoken before, as many others did, about the importance of having that levy. If we want to avoid over-reliance on incineration and have a proper balance in the waste management matrix, there must be levies on incineration. I take the Minister's point that at the moment such levies may be premature because the market has not established itself. We may need to wait for that to happen before we can bring in levies, which are essential. I would welcome any commitment from the Minister to examine the possibility of introducing levies at a future date. The Minister should have such powers in his armoury as we consider how to improve waste management. The Minister must have the ability to impose a levy at some future date when he feels the market is established and it is then necessary to move waste management mechanisms further up the hierarchy.

I welcome the Bill and support the Minister in his endeavours.

I propose to deal with the three parts of amendment No. 14 in turn. The first part of this amendment proposes to make illegal within the State a form of waste management which is legal under EU law. Incineration, where it reaches the required threshold for energy recovery, is deemed to be on the recovery tier of the waste hierarchy — a priority order established by the Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC. I transposed this directive into national legislation on 31 March this year. Landfill, which is classed as disposal and below the recovery tier, would remain legal under this amendment. Therefore, this amendment would be contrary to the directive. We have an immediate challenge in moving away from over-dependence on landfill. We will need a range of alternative infrastructure and will need to put in place a number of measures, including waste prevention, to meet this challenge. To make one of those options illegal would result in increased costs to the public and business, and undermine our ability to provide alternatives to landfill.

The second part of this amendment proposes to repeal two sections of the Waste Management Acts dealing with waste management planning. Deputies will be aware that it was previously found necessary to provide for city and county managers to make waste management plans as an executive function. The reason for that was that councillors did not make the decision. I assure the House that I will examine the issue of waste management planning as part of the development of a new waste policy, which I intend to conclude by the end of this year. I will also examine the issue of devolution of functions back to the councillors in the context of a local government review.

The third part of the amendment proposes to restore responsibility for the making of waste management plans to the members of local authorities. As I indicated, I will examine this issue at the appropriate time as part of local government reform in respect of the role elected members will play in adopting waste management plans.

My primary aim in the development of a new waste policy is to ensure Ireland meets its obligations under EU law. If I am to be characterised as being in favour of anything in so far as waste policy is concerned, I am in favour of moving away from an over-reliance on the least desirable waste management option of landfill towards approaches higher up in the waste hierarchy. Whatever way we look at this, there is no escaping the stark reality that the most pressing challenge in waste management is to achieve compliance with the limits set in Directive 1999/31/EC in respect of the volumes of waste which can be sent to landfill. The next targets are to be achieved by 2013 and 2016. The EPA warned us in its 2009 national waste report that we did not have a hope of meeting these targets if we did not make quick decisions on our waste infrastructure. Therefore, we need to address the alternatives to landfill.

With the opening of Ireland's first municipal waste to energy project later this year, it is clear that incineration will play some part in diverting waste away from landfill. However, a range of other measures will be even more important in the development of a sustainable waste policy. The national waste prevention programme will continue to support businesses and the public in reducing the amount of waste produced, saving them money in the process. The further roll-out of segregated waste collection services will also help to ensure the diversion of waste from landfill to more productive uses such as composting and anaerobic digestion. Therefore, it is not a question of being in favour of incineration but of meeting our obligations.

There is nothing in the waste framework directive that precludes the introduction of a levy on incineration. However, it does preclude one such as that proposed in the original section 7 of the Bill. The reason I have had to take the route I have taken on section 7 is to ensure the section of the Bill developed by the previous Government will be based on an approach that levies should not be changed in a way to give incineration an economic advantage over landfill.

The programme for Government commits to the introduction of a sustainable waste policy which adheres to the waste hierarchy. In the coming weeks I will publish a discussion document for public consultation to inform the finalisation of a new waste policy. The appropriate use of economic instruments such as levies will be considered as part of that process. I am telling Deputies Humprhreys and Eoghan Murphy that I will be considering the introduction of waste levies in the future in the context of waste policy as they apply to incineration.

Both Deputies mentioned the possibility of having a levy on packaging. There is a consultation process under way and submissions must be received by 5 August. If they wish to raise this issue, it might be appropriate to make a submission and their views could be considered as part of that process before I come to conclusions. I encourage them to do so.

I have no role in the contract between Dublin City Council and Covanta on the project before us. All I can do is outline waste policy. This dates back to 2001 when the taxpayer provided €7.5 million for Dublin City Council for the appointment of its clients' representative in respect of the proposal at Poolbeg. An application for recoupment of funding for the project was made to the European Commission in 2000 as part of a group of projects entitled, Dublin Region Solid Waste Management Infrastructures — Stage 1. However, no assistance was sought or granted in respect of the actual construction or operation of the facility. The issue of potential liabilities is a matter for the parties to the contract and purely speculative at this point.

I have listened to Deputies talk about the huge exposure of the taxpayer arising from the fact that Dublin City Council and the waste authorities in the region will not be able to supply the necessary amount of waste to this facility, if constructed. That indicates to me that they have seen the contract. I have not seen it and I do not know who has, but Deputy Stanley seems to know much more than I do about the exposure of the taxpayer. Deputy Murphy seems to know more about it also. We have a sufficient amount of municipal waste that must be dealt with under the waste policy higher up in the waste hierarchy in order to divert it away from landfill. As there is more than an adequate amount of material available, I do not know what the scaremongering is about when the Deputies talk about the exposure of the taxpayer when the requirement to have in excess of 320,000 tonnes available for such a facility is capable of being met. Mr. John Hennessy, senior counsel, examined various scenarios and the taxpayer will be exposed to a figure of up to €357 million if we do not proceed with the project, or if the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government had anything to do with trying to stop it owing to the contracts signed by the US firm Covanta and Dublin City Council. I am not going to tamper with a contract and thus expose the taxpayer to that amount of money. If we want to stop the project through interfering with the contract, we will be exposing the taxpayer to a figure of €357 million. If we do not want to do anything about diverting waste away from landfill, we will face European Commission fines in 2013. Is that what we want? If it is, the Deputies should tell us how we would pay for this. I am not prepared to pursue a waste policy that will result in taxpayers paying more money in fines to the European Commission, or to break a contract and expose us to potential fines.

I am satisfied that the waste hierarchy on which I have signed off is sufficiently robust and that the new waste policy I will bring forward later this year will take account of the concerns of the Deputies in reducing, reusing and recycling waste material and minimising the exposure of the taxpayer. It will also be more environmentally friendly if we divert waste from landfill sites which nobody wants in his or her constituency.

The Minister is wrong to say landfill is the least desirable option. The least desirable option is burning waste because we have no control over where the ash goes. The toxic ash left over — 25% — is more poisonous and dangerous to the environment. The Minister also spoke about our obligations. Our first obligation is to the 6 million people who live on this island.

That is, the taxpayer.

The taxpayer is already carrying the cost.

Amendment put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 35; Níl, 82.

  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Colreavy, Michael.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Daly, Clare.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Flanagan, Luke ‘Ming’.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Fleming, Tom.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Higgins, Joe.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kirk, Seamus.
  • Kitt, Michael P.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • McLellan, Sandra.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Ó Fearghaíl, Seán.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • O’Brien, Jonathan.
  • O’Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Wallace, Mick.

Níl

  • Bannon, James.
  • Barry, Tom.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Butler, Ray.
  • Buttimer, Jerry.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Byrne, Eric.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Coffey, Paudie.
  • Conlan, Seán.
  • Connaughton, Paul J.
  • Coonan, Noel.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Costello, Joe.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deenihan, Jimmy.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Dowds, Robert.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frank.
  • Ferris, Anne.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Flanagan, Terence.
  • Gilmore, Eamon.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harrington, Noel.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Hogan, Phil.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Humphreys, Kevin.
  • Keating, Derek.
  • Keaveney, Colm.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kenny, Seán.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lawlor, Anthony.
  • Lynch, Kathleen.
  • Lyons, John.
  • McEntee, Shane.
  • McFadden, Nicky.
  • Maloney, Eamonn.
  • Mathews, Peter.
  • Mitchell O’Connor, Mary.
  • Mulherin, Michelle.
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Nash, Gerald.
  • Neville, Dan.
  • Nolan, Derek.
  • Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.
  • O’Donnell, Kieran.
  • O’Donovan, Patrick.
  • O’Dowd, Fergus.
  • O’Mahony, John.
  • O’Reilly, Joe.
  • O’Sullivan, Jan.
  • Phelan, Ann.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Quinn, Ruairí.
  • Rabbitte, Pat.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Shatter, Alan.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Spring, Arthur.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Timmins, Billy.
  • Tuffy, Joanna.
  • Twomey, Liam.
  • Varadkar, Leo.
  • Wall, Jack.
  • White, Alex.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Seán Ó Fearghaíl; Níl, Deputies John Lyons and Paul Kehoe.
Amendment declared lost.
Amendment No. 15 not moved.
Bill recommitted in respect of amendments Nos. 16 to 46, inclusive.

I move amendment No. 16:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

"PART 4 AMENDMENT OF PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT ACT 2000

8.- In this Part -

"Act of 2000" means the Planning and Development Act 2000;

"Act of 2006" means the Planning and Development (Strategic Infrastructure) Act 2006;

"Act of 2010" means the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010.".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 17:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

9.—Section 2(1) of the Act of 2000 is amended by inserting the following definitions:

"‘operator' in relation to a quarry means a person who at all material times is in charge of the carrying on of quarrying activities at a quarry or under whose direction such activities are carried out;

‘quarry' has the meaning assigned to it by section 3 of the Mines and Quarries Act 1965;".".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 18:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

10.—(1) Section 4 of the Act of 2000 is amended—

(a) in subsection (1)—

(i) by substituting the following paragraph for paragraph (i):

"(i) development consisting of the thinning, felling or replanting of trees, forests or woodlands or works ancillary to that development, but not including the replacement of broadleaf high forest by conifer species;”,

(ii) by inserting the following paragraph after paragraph (i):

"(ia) development (other than where the development consists of provision of access to a public road) consisting of the construction, maintenance or improvement of a road (other than a public road) or works ancillary to such road development, where the road serves forests and woodlands;”,

(iii) in paragraph (l), by inserting “or works consisting of land reclamation or reclamation of estuarine marsh land and of callows, referred to in section 2 of that Act” after “the works are commenced”,

and

(b) by substituting the following subsection for subsection (4):

"(4) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a), (i), (ia) and (l) of subsection (1) and any regulations under subsection (2), development shall not be exempted development if an environmental impact assessment or an appropriate assessment of the development is required.

(4A) Notwithstanding subsection (4), the Minister may make regulations prescribing development or any class of development that is—

(a) authorised, or required to be authorised by or under any statute (other than this Act) whether by means of a licence, consent, approval or otherwise, and

(b) as respects which an environmental impact assessment or an appropriate assessment is required,

to be exempted development.".

(2) The amendment to section 4 of the Act of 2000 effected bysubsection (1) shall not apply as respects development—

(a) begun prior to the commencement of this section, and

(b) completed not later than 12 months after such commencement,

unless, immediately before such commencement, the development was being carried on in contravention of the Act of 2000 or regulations under that Act.".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 19:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

11.—Section 13 of the Act of 2000 is amended—

(a) in subsection (2)(a) (amended by section 10(a) of the Act of 2010) by inserting “the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht,” after “the Minister,”, and

(b) in subsection (8)(c) (amended by section 10(e) of the Act of 2010) by inserting “the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht,” after the “Minister,”.”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 20:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

12.—Section 30 of the Act of 2000 is amended by the insertion of "save as provided for by sections 177X, 177Y, 177AB and 177AC" after "concerned".".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 21:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

13.—Section 50A of the Act of 2000 is amended—

(a) in subsection (3)(b)(i) by substituting “sufficient interest” for “substantial interest”, and

(b) in subsection (4) by substituting “sufficient interest” for “substantial interest”.”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 22:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

14.—Section 50B of the Act of 2000 is amended by—

(a) substituting the following subsection for subsection (2):

"(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in Order 99 of the Rules of the Superior Courts (S.I. No. 15 of 1986) and subject to subsections (2A), (3) and (4), in proceedings to which this section applies, each party to the proceedings (including any notice party) shall bear its own costs.",

and

(b) inserting the following subsection after subsection (2):

"(2A) The costs of proceedings, or a portion of such costs, as are appropriate, may be awarded to the applicant to the extent that the applicant succeeds in obtaining relief and any of those costs shall be borne by the respondent or notice party, or both of them, to the extent that the actions or omissions of the respondent or notice party, or both of them, contributed to the applicant obtaining relief.".".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 23:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

15.—(1) Subsection (1) of section 57 (amended by section 34 of the Act of 2010) of the Act of 2000 is amended by inserting "(ia)” between “(i)” and “(j)”.

(2) The amendment effected bysubsection (1) shall not apply to development begun prior to the commencement of this section and completed not later than 12 months after such commencement, unless, immediately before such commencement, the development was being carried on in contravention of the Act of 2000 or regulations made under that Act.”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 24:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

16.—(1) Subsection (1) of section 82 of the Act of 2000 is amended by substituting "Notwithstanding paragraph (a), (h), (i), (ia), (j), (k) or (l) of section 4(1), or any regulations made under section 4(2),” for “Notwithstanding section 4(1)(h),”.

(2) The amendment effected bysubsection (1) shall not apply to development begun prior to the commencement of this section and completed not later than 12 months after such commencement, unless, immediately before such commencement, the development was being carried on in contravention of the Act of 2000 or regulations made under that Act.”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 25:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

17.—(1) Subsection (1) of section 87 of the Act of 2000 is amended by substituting "Notwithstanding paragraph (a), (h), (i), (ia), (j), (k) or (l) of section 4(1), or any regulations made under section 4(2),” for “Notwithstanding section 4 and any regulations made thereunder,”.

(2) The amendment effected bysubsection (1) shall not apply to development begun prior to the commencement of this section and completed not later than 12 months after such commencement, unless, immediately before such commencement, the development was being carried on in contravention of the Act of 2000 or regulations made under it.”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 26:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

18.—Section 130 of the Act of 2000 is amended by substituting the following subsection for subsection (5) (amended by section 42 of the Act of 2010):

"(5) Subsections (1)(b) and (4) shall not apply to submissions or observations made by a Member State or another state which is a party to the Transboundary Convention, arising from consultation in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive or the Transboundary Convention, as the case may be, in relation to the effects on the environment of the development to which the appeal under section 37 relates.”.”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 27:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

19.—Section 135 (amended by section 23 of the Act of 2006) of the Act of 2000 is amended—

(a) in subsection (2) by substituting “given by the Board under subsection (2A) or (2AB))” for “given by the Board under subsection (2A))”,

(b) by inserting the following subsections after subsection (2A):

"(2AB) The Board may in its absolute discretion, following a recommendation in relation to the matter from a person assigned to make a written report under section 146, give a direction to a person assigned to conduct an oral hearing that he or she shall allow points or arguments in relation to specified matters only during the oral hearing.

(2AC) Where a direction is given by the Board under subsection (2AB) the person to whom it is given shall comply with the direction unless that person forms the opinion that it is necessary, in the interests of observing fair procedures, to allow a point or an argument to be made during the oral hearing in relation to matters not specified in the direction.

(2AD) The Board shall give a notice of its direction under subsection (2AB) to—

(a) each party, in the case of an appeal or referral,

(b) the applicant and planning authority in the case of an application—

(i) under this Act,

(ii) for a railway order under the Act of 2001, or

(iii) for approval under section 51 of the Roads Act 1993, and

(c) each person who has made objections, submissions or observations to the Board in the case of an appeal, referral or application.

(2AE) The points or summary of the arguments that a person intending to appear at the oral hearing shall submit to the person conducting the hearing, where a direction has been given under subsection (2A) or (2AB), shall be limited to points or arguments in relation to matters specified in the direction under subsection (2AB).",

(c) In subsection (2B) (inserted by section 23 of the Act of 2006), by inserting the following paragraph after paragraph (d):

"(dd) may refuse to allow the making of a point or an argument in relation to any matter where—

(i) a direction has been given under subsection (2AB) and the matter is not specified in the direction, and

(ii) he or she has not formed the opinion referred to in subsection (2AC).”.”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 28:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

20.—Section 153 (amended by section 45 of the Act of 2010) of the Act of 2000 is amended—

(a) by repealing subsection (6),

(b) by substituting the following subsections for subsection (7):

"(7) Where a planning authority establishes, following an investigation under this section that unauthorised development (other than development that is of a trivial or minor nature) has been or is being carried out and the person who has carried out or is carrying out the development has not proceeded to remedy the position, then the authority shall issue an enforcement notice under section 154 or make an application pursuant to section 160, or shall both issue such a notice and make such an application, unless there are compelling reasons for not doing so.

(8) Nothing in this section shall operate to prevent or shall be construed as preventing a planning authority, in relation to an unauthorised development which has been or is being carried out, from both issuing an enforcement notice under section 154 and making an application pursuant to section 160.".".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 29:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

21.—Subsection (4) of section 157 of the Act of 2000 is amended by inserting the following paragraphs after paragraph (a):

"(aa) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) a warning letter or enforcement notice may issue at any time or proceedings for an offence under this Part may commence at any time in respect of unauthorised quarry development or unauthorised peat extraction development in the following circumstances:

(i) where no permission for the development has been granted under Part III and the development commenced not more than 7 years prior to the date on which this paragraph comes into operation;

(ii) where permission for the development has been granted under Part III and, as respects the permission—

(I) the appropriate period (within the meaning of section 40), or

(II) the appropriate period as extended under section 42 or 42A,

expired not more than 7 years prior to the date on which this paragraph comes into operation.

(ab) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) or (aa) a warning letter or enforcement notice may issue at any time to require any unauthorised quarry development or unauthorised peat extraction development to cease and proceedings for an offence under section 154 may issue at any time in relation to an enforcement notice so issued.”.”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 30:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

22.—Subsection (6) of section 160 of the Act of 2000 is amended by inserting the following paragraphs after paragraph (a):

"(aa) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) an application to the High Court or Circuit Court for an order under this section may be made at any time in respect of unauthorised quarry development or unauthorised peat extraction development in the following circumstances:

(i) where no permission for the development has been granted under Part III and the development commenced not more than 7 years prior to the date on which this paragraph comes into operation;

(ii) where permission for the development has been granted under Part III and, as respects the permission—

(I) the appropriate period (within the meaning of section 40), or

(II) the appropriate period as extended under section 42 or 42A,

expired not more than 7 years prior to the date on which this paragraph comes into operation.

(ab) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) or (aa), an application to the High Court or Circuit Court may be made at any time for an order under this section to cease unauthorised quarry development or unauthorised peat extraction development.”.”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 31:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

23.—Subsection (2) of section 170 of the Act of 2000 is amended by substituting "Subject to the provisions of Part X or Part XAB, or both of those Parts as appropriate, a planning authority shall" for "A planning authority shall".".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 32:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

24.—Section 177R (inserted by section 57 of the Act of 2010) of the Act of 2000 is amended by the substitution of the following definition for the definition of "candidate special protection area":

"‘candidate special protection area' means a site in relation to which the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has given notice pursuant to regulations under the European Communities Act 1972 that he or she considers that the site may be eligible for classification as a special protection area pursuant to Article 4 of the Birds Directive but only until the public notification of the making of a decision by that Minister to classify or not to classify such a site as a special protection area;".".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 33:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

25.—The Act of 2000 is amended by substituting the following section for section 177X (inserted by section 57 of the Act of 2010):

"177X.—(1) Where the Minister receives a statement of case under section 177W(1) relating to a European site that does not host a priority habitat type or priority species, he or she shall as soon as possible—

(a) consider whether imperative reasons of overriding public interest exist,

(b) consult with such other Minister of the Government as the Ministerconsiders appropriate having regard to the functions of that other Minister, and

(c) consider any views of a Minister of the Government consulted pursuant to paragraph (b) and which are received by the Minister before he or she issues a notice under subsection (5) or (6).

(2) (a) Where the Minister considers that imperative reasons of overriding public interest may exist, he or she shall as soon as possible request the views of the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as to whether the compensatory measures specified in the statement of case are sufficient to ensure that the overall coherence of the Natura 2000 network is protected.

(b) Following receipt of the views of the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Minister may enter into consultations with the competent authority, who may submit a revised or modified plan or revised or modified compensatory measures.

(c) The Minister may enter into consultations with the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and further consultations with the competent authority in relation to the draft Land use plan, or revised or modified draft Land use plan or the compensatory measures or revised or modified compensatory measures.

(3) The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, as soon as possible after the request of the Minister for views under subsection (2)(a) or, as the case may be, the completion of consultations with the Minister under subsection (2)(c) shall furnish an opinion to the Minister as to whether the compensatory measures, or revised or modified compensatory measures, as the case may be, are sufficient to ensure that the overall coherence of the Natura 2000 network is protected.

(4) The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, when giving his or her opinion on the compensatory measures under subsection (3), may also give his or her views as to whether imperative reasons of overriding public interest exist, and any such views shall be considered by the Minister before he or she issues a notice under subsection (5) or (6).

(5) Where the Minister forms the opinion that imperative reasons of overriding public interest exist, and the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has furnished an opinion that the compensatory measures, or revised or modified compensatory measures, as the case may be, are sufficient to ensure that the overall coherence of the Natura 2000 network is protected, the Minister shall as soon as possible issue a notice to this effect to the competent authority and the competent authority may decide to make—

(a) the Land use plan, or

(b) that part of the Land use plan that would have an adverse effect on the integrity of a European site.

(6) Where the Minister forms the opinion that imperative reasons of overriding public interest do not exist, or the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has furnished an opinion that the compensatory measures or revised or modified compensatory measures, as the case may be, are not sufficient to ensure that the overall coherence of the Natura 2000 network is protected, the Minister shall as soon as possible issue a notice to this effect to the competent authority and the competent authority shall not make—

(a) the Land use plan, or

(b) that part of the Land use plan that would have an adverse effect on the integrity of a European site.

(7) Where the Minister issues a notice under subsection (5) he or she shall inform the Commission of the matter, including the compensatory measures proposed.

(8) The competent authority shall make available for inspection by members of the public during office hours at the office of the authority, and may also publish on the internet a notice issued to the authority under subsection (5) or (6).".".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 34:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

26.—The Act of 2000 is amended by substituting the following section for section 177Y (inserted by section 57 of the Act of 2010):

"177Y.—(1) Where the Minister receives a statement of case under section 177W(1) relating to a European site that hosts a priority habitat type or priority species, he or she shall as soon as possible—

(a) consider whether imperative reasons of overriding public interest exist,

(b) consult with such other Minister of the Government as the Minister considers appropriate having regard to the functions of that other Minister, and

(c) consider any views of a Minister of the Government consulted pursuant to paragraph (b) and which are received by the Minister before he or she issues a notice under subsection (6), (7) or (8).

(2) (a) Where the Minister considers that imperative reasons of overriding public interest may exist and may comprise or include a reason or reasons other than the reasons set out in section 177W(4)(a) to (c), the Minister shall consider whether the opinion of the Commission should be sought in relation to the matter.

(b) Where the Minister proposes not to seek the opinion of the Commission pursuant to paragraph (a) he or she shall, in addition to any consultation that may have taken place under subsection (1)(b), as soon as possible consult with such other Minister of the Government as the Minister considers appropriate having regard to the functions of that other Minister and request that the other Minister furnish his or her views as soon as possible.

(c) The Minister shall consider any views received from any other Minister of the Government consulted under paragraph (b) where those views are received by the Minister before he or she decides whether to seek the opinion of the Commission under paragraph (a).

(3) (a) Where the Minister considers that imperative reasons of overriding public interest may exist, he or she shall, as soon as possible, request the views of the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as to whether the compensatory measures specified in the statement of case are sufficient to ensure that the overall coherence of the Natura 2000 network is protected.

(b) Following receipt of the views of the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Minister may enter into consultations with the competent authority, who may submit a revised or modified plan or revised or modified compensatory measures.

(c) The Minister may enter into consultations with the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and further consultations with the competent authority in relation to the draft Land use plan, or revised or modified draft Land use plan or the compensatory measures or revised or modified compensatory measures.

(4) The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, as soon as possible after the request of the Minister for views under subsection (3)(a) or, as the case may be, the completion of consultations with the Minister under subsection (3)(c) shall furnish an opinion to the Minister as to whether the compensatory measures, or revised or modified compensatory measures, as the case may be, are sufficient to ensure that the overall coherence of the Natura 2000 network is protected.

(5) The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht when giving his or her opinion on the compensatory measures under subsection (4), may also give his or her views as to whether imperative reasons of overriding public interest exist and any such views shall be considered by the Minister before he or she issues a notice under subsection (6), (7) or (8).

(6) Where the Minister forms the opinion that imperative reasons of overriding public interest comprising only a reason or reasons set out in section 177W(4)(a) to (c) exist, and the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has furnished an opinion that the compensatory measures, or revised or modified compensatory measures as the case may be, are sufficient to ensure that the overall coherence of the Natura 2000 network is protected, the Minister shall issue a notice to this effect to the competent authority and the competent authority may decide to make—

(a) the Land use plan, or

(b) that part of the Land use plan that would have an adverse effect on the integrity of a European site.

(7) Where—

(a) the Minister forms the opinion that imperative reasons of overriding public interest, comprising or including a reason or reasons other than those in section 177W(4)(a) to (c) exist, and

(b) the Minister has obtained the opinion of the Commission in relation to the matter, and

(c) the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has furnished an opinion that the compensatory measures, or revised or modified compensatory measures as the case may be, are sufficient to ensure that the overall coherence of the Natura 2000 network is protected,

the Minister shall issue a notice to this effect to the competent authority, accompanied by a copy of the opinion of the Commission, and the competent authority, only after having considered the opinion of the Commission, may decide to make—

(i) the Land use plan, or

(ii) that part of the Land use plan that would have an adverse effect on the integrity of a European site.

(8) Where—

(a) the Minister forms the opinion that imperative reasons of overriding public interest do not exist, or

(b) the Minister forms the opinion that the imperative reasons of overriding public interest comprise or include a reason or reasons other than those in section 177W(4)(a) to (c) and the Minister has decided not to seek the opinion of the Commission in relation to the matter, or

(c) the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has furnished an opinion that the compensatory measures, or revised or modified compensatory measures as the case may be, are not sufficient to ensure that the overall coherence of the Natura 2000 network is protected,

the Minister shall issue a notice to this effect to the competent authority and the competent authority shall not make—

(i) the Land use plan, or

(ii) that part of the Land use plan that would have an adverse effect on the integrity of a European site.

(9) Where the Minister issues a notice under subsection (6) or (7) he or she shall inform the Commission of the matter, including the compensatory measures proposed.

(10) The competent authority shall make available for inspection by members of the public during office hours at the office of the authority, and may also publish on the internet a notice issued to the authority under subsection (6), (7) or (8).".".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 35:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

27.—Section 177Z (inserted by section 57 of the Act of 2010) of the Act of 2000 is amended by the substitution of the following subsection for subsection (1):

"(1) Where a competent authority has received a notice from the Minister under section 177X(6) or section 177Y(8) in relation to a draft Land use plan, and the authority is satisfied that the draft plan can be amended so that it no longer contains the parts or elements which were the subject of a determination under section 177V that the plan would adversely affect a European site, then the authority may make the plan having omitted those parts or elements therefrom.".".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 36:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

28.—The Act of 2000 is amended by substituting the following section for section 177AB (inserted by section 57 of the Act of 2010):

"177AB.—(1) (a) Where the Minister receives a statement of case under section 177AA(1) relating to a European site that does not host a priority habitat type or priority species, he or she shall as soon as possible request the views of the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as to whether the compensatory measures are sufficient to ensure that the overall coherence of the Natura 2000 network is protected.

(b) Following receipt of the views of the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Minister may enter into consultations with the competent authority, who having consulted with the applicant for consent for the proposed development, may submit to the Minister a modified proposal for the development, modified proposed conditions to be attached to the proposed development or modified or alternative proposed compensatory measures.

(c) The Minister may enter into consultations with the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and further consultations with the competent authority in relation to the proposal for the development or any modified proposal for the development, the proposed conditions or any modified proposed conditions to be attached to the proposed development and the compensatory measures or any alternative proposed compensatory measures.

(2) The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as soon as possible after the request of the Minister for views under subsection (1)(a) or, as the case may be, the completion of consultations with the Minister under subsection (1)(c), shall furnish an opinion to the Minister as to whether the compensatory measures or modified or alternative proposed compensatory measures, as the case may be, are sufficient to ensure that the overall coherence of the Natura 2000 network is protected.

(3) Where the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has furnished an opinion that the compensatory measures, or revised or modified compensatory measures, as the case may be, are sufficient to ensure that the overall coherence of the Natura 2000 network is protected, the Minister as soon as possible following the receipt of the opinion, shall issue a notice to this effect to the competent authority and the competent authority may decide to grant consent for the proposed development with or without conditions.

(4) Where the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has furnished an opinion that the compensatory measures, or revised or modified compensatory measures, as the case may be, are not sufficient to ensure that the overall coherence of the Natura 2000 network is protected, the Minister as soon as possible following the receipt of the opinion shall issue a notice to this effect to the competent authority and the competent authority shall not grant consent for the proposed development.

(5) Where the Minister issues a notice under subsection (3) he or she shall inform the Commission of the matter, including the compensatory measures proposed.

(6) The competent authority shall make available for inspection by members of the public during office hours at the office of the authority, and may also publish on the internet a notice issued to the authority under subsection (3) or (4).".".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 37:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

29.—The Act of 2000 is amended by substituting the following section for section 177AC (inserted by section 57 of the Act of 2010):

"177AC.—(1) (a) Where the Minister receives a statement of case under section 177AA(1) relating to a European site that hosts a priority habitat type or priority species he or she shall as soon as possible request the views of the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as to whether the compensatory measures are sufficient to ensure that the overall coherence of the Natura 2000 network is protected.

(b) Following receipt of the views of the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Minister may enter into consultations with the competent authority, who having consulted with the applicant for consent for the proposed development, may submit to the Minister a modified proposal for the development, modified proposed conditions to be attached to the proposed development, or modified or alternative proposed compensatory measures.

(c) The Minister may enter into consultations with the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and into further consultations with the competent authority in relation to the proposal for the development or any modified proposal for the development, the proposed conditions or any modified proposed conditions to be attached to the proposed development and the compensatory measures or any modified or alternative proposed compensatory measures.

(2) (a) Where the Minister considers that the imperative reasons of overriding public interest comprise or include a reason or reasons other than the reasons set out in section 177AA(4)(a) to (c), the Minister shall consider whether the opinion of the Commission should be sought in relation to the matter.

(b) Where the Minister proposes not to seek the opinion of the Commission he or she shall as soon as possible consult with such other Minister of the Government as the Minister considers appropriate having regard to the functions of that other Minister and request that other Minister to furnish his or her views as soon as possible.

(c) The Minister shall consider any views received from any other Minister of the Government consulted under paragraph (b) where those views are received by the Minister before he or she decides whether to seek the opinion of the Commission under paragraph (a).

(3) The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, as soon as possible after the request of the Minister for views under subsection (1)(a) or, as the case may be, the completion of consultations with the Minister under subsection (1)(c), shall furnish an opinion to the Minister as to whether the compensatory measures or modified or alternative proposed compensatory measures, as the case may be, are sufficient to ensure that the overall coherence of the Natura 2000 network is protected.

(4) Where the Minister forms the opinion that the imperative reasons of overriding public interest comprise only a reason or reasons set out in section 177AA(4)(a) to (c) and the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has furnished an opinion that the compensatory measures, or revised or modified compensatory measures as the case may be, are sufficient to ensure that the overall coherence of the Natura 2000 network is protected, the Minister shall issue a notice to this effect to the competent authority and the competent authority may decide to grant consent for the proposed development, with or without conditions.

(5) Where—

(a) the Minister forms the opinion that the imperative reasons of overriding public interest comprise or include a reason or reasons other than those in section 177AA(4)(a) to (c), and

(b) the Minister has obtained the opinion of the Commission in relation to the matter, and

(c) the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has given an opinion that the compensatory measures, or revised or modified compensatory measures as the case may be, are sufficient to ensure that the overall coherence of the Natura 2000 network is protected,

the Minister shall issue a notice to this effect to the competent authority, accompanied by a copy of the opinion of the Commission, and the competent authority, only after having considered the opinion of the Commission may decide to grant consent for the proposed development, with or without conditions.

(6) Where—

(a) the Minister forms the opinion that the imperative reasons of overriding public interest comprise or include a reason or reasons other than those in section 177AA(4)(a) to (c) and the Minister has decided not to seek the opinion of the Commission in relation to the matter, or

(b) the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has given as his or her opinion that the compensatory measures or modified or alternative proposed compensatory measures, as the case may be, are not sufficient to ensure the overall coherence of the Natura 2000 network is protected,

the Minister shall issue a notice to this effect to the competent authority and the competent authority shall not grant consent for the proposed development.

(7) Where the Minister issues a notice under subsection (4) or (5) he or she shall inform the Commission of the matter, including the compensatory measures proposed.

(8) The competent authority shall make available for inspection by members of the public during office hours at the offices of the authority and may also publish on the internet a notice issued to the authority under subsection (6), (7) or (8).".".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 38:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

30.—Section 181A (inserted by section 36 of the Act of 2006) of the Act of 2000 is amended as follows—

(a) by substituting “effects on the environment or adverse effects on the integrity of a European site, as the case may be,” for “effects on the environment” in each place (other than in subsections (3)(a)(i)(III) and (3)(c)) where it occurs,

(b) by substituting "environmental impact statement or Natura impact statement or both of those statements, as the case may be," for "environmental impact statement" in each place (other than in subsections (3)(c), (4)(b) and (7)(a)(ii)) where it occurs, and

(c) by substituting “revised environmental impact statement or revised Natura impact statement or both of those statements, as the case may be,” for “revised environmental impact statement” in both places where it occurs in subsections (4)(b) and (7)(a)(ii).”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 39:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

31.—Section 181B (inserted by section 36 of the Act of 2006) of the Act of 2000 is amended—

(a) by substituting “environmental impact statement or Natura impact statement or both of those statements, as the case may be,”, for “environmental impact statement” in each place where it occurs,

(b) in subsection (1), by substituting “effects on the environment or adverse effects on the integrity of a European site”, for “effects on the environment” in each place where it occurs, and

(c) in subsection (3) by substituting “the effects, if any of the proposed development on the environment or adverse effects, if any of the proposed development on the integrity of a European site” for “the effects, if any of the proposed development on the environment”.”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 40:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

32.—Section 182A (inserted by section 4 of the Act of 2006) of the Act of 2000 is amended—

(a) by substituting “effects on the environment or adverse effects on the integrity of a European site, as the case may be,” for “effects on the environment” in each place (other than in subsections (4)(a)(i)(III) and (4)(c)) where it occurs,

(b) by substituting “environmental impact statement or Natura impact statement or both of those statements, as the case may be,” for “environmental impact statement” in each place (other than in subsection (4)(c), (5)(b) and in both places in subsection (8)(a)) where it occurs,

(c) by substituting “revised environmental impact statement or revised Natura impact statement or both of those statements, as the case may be,” for “revised environmental impact statement” where it occurs in subsections (5)(b) and (8)(a)(ii), and

(d) by substituting “revised environmental impact statement or revised Natura impact statement or both of those statements, as the case may be,” for “environmental impact statement” where it occurs for the second time in subsection (8)(a).”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 41:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

33.—Section 182C (inserted by section 4 of the Act of 2006) of the Act of 2000 is amended—

(a) by substituting “effects on the environment or adverse effects on the integrity of a European site, as the case may be,” for “effects on the environment” in each place (other than in subsection (4)(a)(i)(III), and both places in subsection (4)(b)) where it occurs,

(b) by substituting “environmental impact statement or Natura impact statement or both of those statements, as the case may be,” for “environmental impact statement” in each place (other than in both places in subsection (8)) where it occurs, and,

(c) in subsection (8), by substituting—

(i) "a revised environmental impact statement or revised Natura impact statement or both of those statements, as the case may be," for "a revised environmental impact statement", and

(ii) "the revised environmental impact statement or revised Natura impact statement or both of those statements, as the case may be," for "the environmental impact statement".".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 42:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

34.—The Seventh Schedule to the Act of 2000 (inserted by section 5 of the Act of 2006) is amended by substituting the following paragraph for paragraph 4 (inserted by section 78 of the Act of 2010):

"Health Infrastructure

4. Development comprising the following:

A health care facility (other than a development which is predominantly for the purposes of providing care services (within the meaning of section 3 of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Act 2009)) which, whether or not the facility is intended to form part of another health care facility, shall provide in-patient services and shall have not fewer than 100 beds in order to so provide.".".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 43:

In page 8, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

35.—Sections 5, 35, 36, 43, 47, 48, 52, 60, 61, 63, paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of section 65 and section 69 of the Act of 2010 are repealed.”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 44:

In page 8, between lines 34 and 35, to insert the following:

9.—Section 6 of the Local Government Act of 1998 is amended—

(a) in subsection (2A) by substituting the following paragraph for paragraph (a):

"(a) public roads (within the meaning of the Act of 1993) and public transport infrastructure,”,

and

(b) by inserting the following subsection after subsection (8):

"(9) In this section—

‘Act of 1993' means the Roads Act 1993;

‘Act of 2001' means the Transport (Railway Infrastructure) Act 2001;

‘bus' means a mechanically propelled vehicle designed for travel by road having seating accommodation for more than 9 persons (including the driver);

‘busway' has the meaning assigned to it by section 44(1) of the Act of 1993;

‘cycleway' has the meaning assigned to it by section 68(1) of the Act of 1993;

‘interchange facilities' means infrastructure or premises which facilitate transport users using different modes of transport, including but not limited to park and ride facilities and facilities that allow for the stopping, parking or standing of taxis, cycles, motor cycles, buses, trains and cars in order to facilitate users of one mode of transport transferring to another mode;

‘light railway' means a railway designated as a light railway in a railway order made under the Act of 2001;

‘metro' means a railway designated as a metro in a railway order made under the Act of 2001;

‘public passenger transport services' means rail passenger service or public bus service;

‘public transport infrastructure' means infrastructure constructed or provided, or proposed to be constructed or provided in connection with the provision of public passenger transport services, for the use of and which includes but is not limited to railway infrastructure, metro railway infrastructure, light railway infrastructure, rolling stock, buses, busways, bus garages, cycleways, cycle and pedestrian facilities, or interchange facilities;

‘railway infrastructure' has the meaning assigned to it by the Act of 2001.".".

This amendment provides for payments from the local government fund to the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport to be expended on all public roads, whether national, regional or local, and on the provision of public transport infrastructure.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments Nos. 45 and 46 are related and may be taken together.

I move amendment No. 45:

In page 9, after line 27 to insert the following:

12.—The Local Government Act 2001 is amended by the substitution of the following Part for Part 18:

"PART 18

"PLACENAMES

188.—In this Part—

‘functional area' means as respects—

(a) a city council, the city,

(b) a county council, the county exclusive of any town to which paragraph (c) applies,

(c) a town council, the town;

‘locality' means a part (other than a town, townland, nonmunicipal town or street) of a county, city or town in respect of which a name (other than the name of the county, city or town concerned) is in common use;

‘non-municipal town' means a place (other than a city or town) that is designated a town in the most recent census report published by the Central Statistics Office setting out the final result of a census of population of the State (whether or not that is the most recent such census of population);

‘placename' includes the name of a county, city, town, nonmunicipal town, village, barony, parish, townland, street or locality, or of any feature (whether natural or artificial), district, region or place, as described in a map produced by Ordnance Survey Ireland;

‘qualified elector' means a person who, in relation to a place (including a street) to which a placename applies, is registered as a local government elector in the register of electors for the time being in force;

‘street' includes—

(a) part of a street, and

(b) a road, square, lane or any other public place or part thereof.

189.—(1) A local authority may, in relation to a place situated within its functional area, by resolution passed by not less than half of the members standing elected or coopted for the time being to that local authority adopt a proposal to substitute a new placename (in this section referred to as the ‘proposed new placename') for the then existing placename in respect of that place.

(2) The boundary of the place to which a proposal adopted under subsection (1) applies shall be described in that proposal whether by reference to a map or otherwise.

(3) A proposal adopted under subsection (1) shall specify the proposed new placename in the Irish language only or in both the Irish language and the English language.

(4) Where a local authority adopts a proposal under subsection (1) it shall—

(a) notify such persons, or persons belonging to such class of person, as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Minister of the adoption of the proposal, and

(b) publish a public notice of the proposal inviting submissions in writing from members of the public in relation thereto not later than 2 months from the date of the publication of the notice.

(5) A person who receives a notification under paragraph (a) of subsection (4) shall be entitled to make submissions in writing to the local authority that gave the notification in relation to the proposal concerned not later than 2 months from the date of the notification.

(6) A local authority shall consider any submissions received by it in accordance with a notification under paragraph (a) of subsection (4) or a notice under paragraph (b) of that subsection.

(7) After considering any submissions referred to in subsection (6), a local authority may, by resolution passed by not less than half of the members standing elected or coopted for the time being to that local authority decide—

(a) to hold a ballot of the qualified electors registered in the place to which the proposed new placename applies in respect of the proposed new placename or such alternative to the proposed new placename as it considers appropriate, or

(b) not to proceed with the proposal to change the placename of the place concerned.

(8) A ballot to which subsection (7) applies shall be in secret and shall be conducted in accordance with regulations made by the Minister.

(9) (a) Subject to subsection (3) of section 192, if a majority of the votes cast at a ballot held pursuant to a decision under subsection (7) is in favour of the proposed new placename concerned the Cathaoirleach of the local authority concerned shall make a declaration stating that, from such date (determined in accordance with paragraph (b)) as is specified in the declaration, that proposed new placename shall become and be the placename in respect of the place concerned.

(b) Where the Cathaoirleach of a local authority makes a declaration under this subsection, the placename specified in the declaration shall—

(i) if the declaration is made not less than 3 months before the 1st day of January next following the declaration, become and be the placename in respect of the place concerned from the said 1st day of January, or

(ii) in any other case, become and be the placename in respect of the place concerned from the first anniversary of the said 1st day of January.

(c) Every declaration under this subsection shall be published in such manner as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Minister and shall be notified in writing to such persons, or persons belonging to such class of person, as may be so prescribed.

(d) Every declaration under this subsection shall be published in Iris Oifigiúil, as soon as may be after its making.

(10) This section shall not apply to the townland, civil parish, non-municipal town or electoral division referred to in section 191.

190.—(1) (a) A local authority may, in relation to a place that is situated—

(i) in its functional area, and

(ii) in the functional area of another local authority or the functional areas of other local authorities, by resolution passed by not less than half of the members standing elected or coopted for the time being to the first-mentioned local authority, propose to substitute a new placename (in this section referred to as the ‘proposed new placename') for the then existing placename in respect of that place.

(b) A proposal referred to in paragraph (a) shall stand adopted by the local authority first-mentioned in that paragraph upon the passing, in accordance with paragraph (c), of a resolution by each other local authority within whose functional area part of the place concerned is also situated consenting to the adoption of the proposal.

(c) A resolution referred to in paragraph (b) shall be passed by not less than half of the members standing elected or coopted for the time being to the local authority concerned.

(2) The boundary of the place to which a proposal adopted under subsection (1) applies shall be described in that proposal whether by reference to a map or otherwise.

(3) A proposal adopted under subsection (1) shall specify the proposed new placename in the Irish language only or in both the Irish language and the English language.

(4) Where a proposal stands adopted under subsection (1), each local authority shall, in respect of that part of the place situated in its functional area—

(a) notify such persons, or persons belonging to such class of person, as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Minister of the adoption of the proposal, and

(b) publish a public notice of the proposal inviting submissions in writing from members of the public in relation thereto not later than 2 months from the date of the publication of the notice.

(5) A person who receives a notification under paragraph (a) of subsection (4) shall be entitled to make submissions in writing to the local authority that gave the notification in relation to the proposal concerned not later than 2 months from the date of the notification.

(6) A local authority shall consider any submissions received by it in accordance with a notification under paragraph (a) of subsection (4) or a notice under paragraph (b) of that subsection.

(7) After considering any submissions referred to in subsection (6), each local authority concerned may, by resolution passed by not less than half of the members standing elected or coopted for the time being to that local authority decide—

(a) to hold a ballot of the qualified electors registered in the place to which the proposed new placename applies in respect of the proposed new placename or such alternative to the proposed new placename as the local authorities concerned consider appropriate, or

(b) not to proceed with the proposal to change the placename of the place concerned.

(8) A ballot to which subsection (7) applies shall be in secret and shall be conducted in accordance with regulations made by the Minister.

(9) (a) Subject to subsection (3) of section 192, if a majority of the votes cast at a ballot held pursuant to a decision under subsection (7) is in favour of the proposed new placename concerned the Cathaoirligh of the local authorities concerned shall jointly declare that, from such date (determined in accordance with paragraph (b)) as is specified in the declaration, that proposed new placename shall become and be the placename in respect of the place concerned.

(b) Where the Cathaoirligh of the local authorities concerned make a declaration under this subsection, the placename specified in the declaration shall—

(i) if the declaration is made not less than 3 months before the 1st day of January next following the declaration, become and be the placename in respect of the place concerned from the said 1st day of January, or

(ii) in any other case, become and be the placename in respect of the place concerned from the first anniversary of the said 1st day of January.

(c) Every declaration under this subsection shall be published in such manner as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Minister and shall be notified in writing to such persons, or persons belonging to such class of person, as may be so prescribed.

(d) Every declaration under this subsection shall be published in Iris Oifigiúil, as soon as may be after its making.

191.—(1) The townland, civil parish, electoral division and nonmunicipal town that, immediately before the commencement of this section, was known (pursuant to the Order of 2004) as An Daingean shall, from such commencement, be known, in the Irish language, as Daingean Uí Chúis and, in the English language, as Dingle.

(2) The Order of 2004 is amended by the deletion—

(a) of the text in columns (1) and (2) of Caibidil 1 of Roinn A of Cuid 4 at reference number 171,

(b) of the text in columns (1) and (2) of Caibidil 2 of Roinn A of Cuid 4 at reference number 4, and

(c) of the text in columns (1) and (2) of Caibidil 4 of Roinn A of Cuid 4 at reference number 11.

(3) In this section ‘Order of 2004' means the An t-Ordú Logainmneacha (Ceantair Ghaeltachta) 2004 (S.I. No. 872 of 2004).

192.—(1) The consideration of submissions received under this Part shall be a reserved function.

(2) A local authority shall, in adopting a proposal under section 189 or 190 have regard to local traditions.

(3) (a) If a majority of the votes cast at a ballot held pursuant to a decision under subsection (7) of section 189 or subsection (7) of section 190 in relation to a place in a Gaeltacht area is in favour of the proposed new placename concerned, the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs shall make an order declaring that, from such date (determined in accordance with paragraph (b)) as is specified in the order, that proposed new placename shall become and be the placename in respect of the place concerned.

(b) Where the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs makes an order under this subsection, the placename to which the declaration in the order relates shall—

(i) if the order is made not less than 3 months before the 1st day of January next following the order, become and be the placename of the place concerned from the said 1st day of January, or

(ii) in any other case, become and be the placename of the place concerned from the first anniversary of the said 1st day of January.

(c) Every order under this subsection shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the order is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House sits after the order is laid before it, the order shall be annulled accordingly but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.

(4) Where the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs makes an order under subsection (3), any provision of an order made under section 32 of the Official Languages Act 2003 in force immediately before the making of the first-mentioned order shall stand revoked in so far only as it conflicts with the firstmentioned order.

(5) (a) The Minister may make regulations for the purposes of this Part.

(b) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (a), regulations under that paragraph may make provision in relation to the bearing of the costs incurred by local authorities in the performance of their functions under section 190 or as a consequence of the substitution of a placename under that section.

(6) In this section ‘Gaeltacht area' has the same meaning as it has in the Official Languages Act 2003.

193.—A local authority may cause the placename of a street or other place to be displayed on a conspicuous part of any building, structure or land located on that street or at that place.

194.—(1) Where a declaration under section 189 or 190 is made in respect of a place—

(a) references in any enactment, instrument or other document to the placename of that place applicable immediately before the date specified in the declaration in accordance with subsection (9) of section 189 or subsection (9) of section 190, as the case may be, shall, from that date, be construed as references to the placename specified in that declaration, and

(b) references in any proceedings (civil or criminal) pending immediately before that date to the placename firstmentioned in paragraph (a) shall, from that date, be construed as references to the placename secondmentioned in that paragraph.

(2) Where an order under section 192 is made in respect of a place—

(a) references in any enactment, instrument or other document to the placename of that place applicable immediately before the date specified in the order in accordance with subsection (3) of that section shall, from that date, be construed as references to the placename specified in that order, and

(b) references in any proceedings (civil or criminal) pending immediately before that date to the placename firstmentioned in paragraph (a) shall, from that date, be construed as references to the placename secondmentioned in that paragraph.

(3) (a) References in any enactment, instrument or other document to An Daingean shall, from the commencement of section 191, be construed as references to Daingean Uí Chúis.

(b) References in any proceedings (civil or criminal) pending immediately before the commencement of section 191 to An Daingean shall, from such commencement, be construed as references to Daingean Uí Chúis.”.”.

As I outlined in the debate on the instruction motion, amendment No. 45 substitutes a revised and updated Part 18 for the existing Part 18 of the Local Government Act 2001. The amendment also seeks to resolve the long-running controversy over the name of the town Dingle or An Daingean by providing that the name of the town in the Irish language shall be "Daingean Uí Chúis" and in the English language shall be "Dingle".

Amendment No. 46 is related to amendment No. 45. It updates the reference in section 32 of the Official Languages Act 2003 to the new Part 18 provisions as inserted by amendent No. 45. With regard to amendment No. 46, section 32 of the Official Languages Act 2003 provides that the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht may issue a placenames order declaring the Irish language version of a placename specified in the order. Section 32(2) provides that the Minister shall not make such a declaration for a place in the Gaeltacht in respect of which a declaration under Part 18 of the Local Government Act 2001 is in place. The amendment proposed to subsection (2) simply updates the reference to the new Part 18 provisions as inserted by the previous amendment.

I welcome amendments Nos. 45 and 46 which will, in effect, restore the bilingual placename of Dingle-Daingean Uí Chúis. This is a very long-running controversy in west Kerry and there was really no need for it. It has cost the Exchequer much money but the people of Kerry South, and particularly muintir Chorca Dhuibhne, are very grateful to the Minister, Deputy Hogan, for acting so swiftly on this matter to ensure these amendments would be brought before the House. I hope the bilingual name will be restored. This has been ongoing for many years and the people of Dingle voted democratically to have the bilingual name of their town back in 2006. Unfortunately, it has taken this long for it to happen but the people of Dingle are very grateful to the Minister. I was there on Saturday and met many people in the town. Most were asking about this issue and were glad to hear that it was progressing. I thank the people of the town for their persistence in the matter, particularly my colleague, councillor Seámus Cosaí Fitzgerald, who initiated the process of having the plebiscite in Dingle and who has driven this issue over recent years. He has given much time and effort to the matter.

It will have a practical effect. As a resident of the Dingle Peninsula I have met many tourists seeking directions to Dingle because the name has been removed from signposts in Kerry. At least the name of Dingle will return to signposts, which is a very welcome measure. The town is a world-renowned brand name, but unfortunately when tourists see "An Daingean" on a signpost, they do not know it refers to Dingle. The name will be on maps and signposts, which is very important for the local tourist industry which needs every bit of help now.

This is a victory for democracy and the people who spoke at the ballot box a number of years ago are finally having their wishes recognised and implemented by the Government. I welcome that.

I congratulate Deputy Griffin on his elegant contribution which makes so much sense.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 46:

In page 9, after line 27 to insert the following:

13.—Section 32 of the Official Languages Act 2003 is amended by the substitution of the following subsection for subsection (2):

"(2) The Minister shall not make an order under this section in respect of a place to which an order under subsection (3) of section 192 (inserted bysection 12* of the Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011) applies.”.”.

Amendment agreed to.
Bill reported with amendments.
Bill, as amended, received for final consideration.
Question put: "That the Bill do now pass."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 88; Níl, 18.

  • Breen, Pat.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Butler, Ray.
  • Buttimer, Jerry.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Byrne, Eric.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Coffey, Paudie.
  • Conlan, Seán.
  • Connaughton, Paul J.
  • Coonan, Noel.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Costello, Joe.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deenihan, Jimmy.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Dowds, Robert.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frank.
  • Ferris, Anne.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Flanagan, Terence.
  • Gilmore, Eamon.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harrington, Noel.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Hogan, Phil.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Humphreys, Kevin.
  • Keating, Derek.
  • Keaveney, Colm.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kenny, Seán.
  • Kirk, Seamus.
  • Kitt, Michael P.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lawlor, Anthony.
  • Lyons, John.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McEntee, Shane.
  • McFadden, Nicky.
  • Maloney, Eamonn.
  • Mathews, Peter.
  • Mitchell O’Connor, Mary.
  • Mulherin, Michelle.
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Nash, Gerald.
  • Neville, Dan.
  • Nolan, Derek.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Ó Fearghaíl, Seán.
  • Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.
  • O’Donnell, Kieran.
  • O’Donovan, Patrick.
  • O’Dowd, Fergus.
  • O’Mahony, John.
  • O’Reilly, Joe.
  • O’Sullivan, Jan.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Phelan, Ann.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Rabbitte, Pat.
  • Reilly, James.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Shatter, Alan.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Spring, Arthur.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Timmins, Billy.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Tuffy, Joanna.
  • Twomey, Liam.
  • Varadkar, Leo.
  • Wall, Jack.
  • White, Alex.

Níl

  • Colreavy, Michael.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Flanagan, Luke ‘Ming’.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Higgins, Joe.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McLellan, Sandra.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • O’Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Wallace, Mick.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies John Lyons and Paul Kehoe; Níl, Deputies Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Catherine Murphy.
Question declared carried.