Protected Disclosures Bill 2013 [Seanad]: Fifth Stage

Question proposed: "That the Bill do now pass."

I thank the Deputies opposite. By and large we had a very constructive debate. I said on Committee Stage that it is unusual for a Bill to make such substantial progress between Second Stage and Committee and Report Stages. The amendments accepted on Committee Stage have resulted in a much better Bill, particularly as it relates to An Garda Síochána. I reaffirm my commitment to seek an early date in the Seanad for this Bill. I hope to have all the legislative work done in this session and then to bring it in as soon as possible.

I meant to say earlier in regard to the amendment we have now adopted into the Bill to have guidelines and procedures that if it is of use, I would be happy to bring those to the Oireachtas committee once they are drafted.

That would be extremely useful. Sinn Féin is very pleased that this legislative work is almost complete. I thank the Minister for taking on board some of the suggestions and congratulate him and the Government - to break new ground - on introducing this legislation. All of us understand it is critically important. It is important that those who can avail of its protections understand it fully and therefore it would be very welcome to see the guidelines before the committee.

Question put and agreed to.

The Bill, which is considered to be a Bill initiated in Dáil Éireann in accordance with Article 20.2.2° of the Constitution, will be sent to the Seanad.