Order of Business

It is proposed to take No. c13, motion re modification of referral to select sub-committee of the proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the terms of the Statute of the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA; No. 13, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Companies Act 2014 (Section 1313) Regulations 2015, back from committee; No. a13, motion re approval by Dáil Éireann of general principles of disposal of shares in Aer Lingus Group plc (resumed); No. 39, Health (General Practitioner Service) Bill 2015 - Order for Report, Report and Final Stages; No. 5, Communications Regulation (Postal Services) (Amendment) Bill 2015 - Order for Second Stage and Second Stage; and No. 6, Industrial Relations (Amendment) Bill 2015 - Order for Second Stage and Second Stage.

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that Nos. c13 and 13 shall be decided without debate; the proceedings in relation to No. a13 shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 4.42 p.m. today; and the Dáil, on its rising today, shall adjourn until 2 p.m. on Tuesday, 9 June, 2015.

There are three proposals to be put to the House. Is the proposal for dealing with Nos. c13 and 13 agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. a13 agreed to?

We do not agree. Not all the facts about the proposed sale of Aer Lingus are available to Members of the House or to the Irish people. If we are to discharge our duties in line with our mandate, we need the information. I have additional sections of the Nyras report, if the Tánaiste wants it. I tried to give it to the Tánaiste earlier, but was prevented from doing so by the Clerk Assistant of the House, which I will deal with later.

That is disgraceful.

It would be appropriate-----

It is not an appropriate remark.

Yes, it is. It is truthful. I ask the Tánaiste to get the little chirpy man beside her to stop talking while I am addressing her. I ask the Tánaiste to delay the decision to have the vote cast later today to allow the transport committee an opportunity to peruse all the details, to sit next week to address the matter and to allow for a reasoned debate.

On a point of order, while I have the utmost respect for my colleague across the House, Deputy Timmy Dooley, in the heat of the moment said he would deal with the Clerk Assistant of the House later.

He let himself down.

It was a threat. I ask him to withdraw this remark against a civil servant.

For clarification purposes, I intend to address the matter with the clerk to understand how he was in a position to prevent me from passing information to the Tánaiste through an usher but he could allow another usher to enter the Chamber to provide other documentation for the Tánaiste. As a Member of the House, I have been disenfranchised and would like an explanation. To address Deputy Bernard J. Durkan's concerns, I have explained what I meant.

It is in the context of a threat. He should withdraw it.

On a point of order, Deputy Timmy Dooley should be asked to withdraw the remark that he would be dealing with the clerk.

Did the Minister of State ever withdraw allegations made by him?

In case there is any misunderstanding, does Deputy Timmy Dooley withdraw his first comment?

Clearly, the Chief Whip has a difficulty in understanding the basic elements of the English language. When I said I would deal with the matter later, as I outlined through the Chair, it pertained to my inability to pass documents to the Tánaiste through an usher because I was prevented from doing so by the clerk.

The Deputy said he would deal with the clerk.

Another set of documents was presented to the Tánaiste by a different usher without intervention by the clerk.

I did not have that information.

That is unacceptable. It is an infringement of my rights and I want an explanation from the clerk, either in writing or verbally.

The Deputy is trying to pull a political stunt.

I was alluding to that matter, but, unfortunately-----

The Deputy's point of order has been clarified.

-----there has been an attempt by elements in the Government to disenfranchise Members on this side of the House on an ongoing basis.

That is not the issue. I ask the Deputy to clarify-----

He should withdraw the remark.

Can I be any more clear?

The Deputy is not referring to anything other than raising the issue.

I am seeking an explanation for the way in which the clerk dealt with the matter.

That is fair enough.

On a point of order, the Deputy opposite made a threat that he would deal with the clerk.

I did not do that.

The Deputy should be asked to withdraw it.

The Whip makes threats every day.

Deputy Timmy Dooley threatened the clerk.

I did no such thing.

The Deputy should withdraw the remark.

I call on the Chief Whip to withdraw his remark.

He has had to withdraw stuff before.

On a point of order, Deputy Timmy Dooley made a serious threat-----

We now seem to have two threats. We cannot allow this to continue. Deputy Timmy Dooley is clarifying what he said. He is withdrawing any question of a threat.

There was never a question in that regard. I clarified that I intended to seek an explanation as to why I was unable to pass documents to the Tánaiste and others.

The Deputy has agreed to withdraw it.

(Interruptions).

On a point of order, I suggest there is too much testosterone in this Chamber.

I have never heard anything as ludicrous as the last exchange.

The Deputy should speak to No. 2 on the Order Paper.

On all bloody sides. I object to the motion and the manner in which it is being handled. We have been asked to deal with a very serious decision with long-term consequences for workers, pensioners and the State in a manner that is wholly unsatisfactory and without sight of relevant and necessary documentation. Whereas the Government might be happy to rely on the shifting and qualified assurances given by the current CEO of Aer Lingus, that attitude is not shared by Sinn Féin Members and, I suspect, other Opposition Members or the general public.

I call Deputy Ruth Coppinger on behalf of the Democratic Socialist Party.

I am speaking on behalf of the Socialist Party.

It was never democratic.

The Leas-Cheann Comhairle should withdraw that remark. The Socialist Party was never democratic.

I will ignore the hecklers, both politically and in every other way.

I object to the manner in which the motion is being steamrolled through the Dáil. We should not be holding a vote on the issue today because it has become abundantly clear that the debate in the past 24 hours is not supported by information, documents or the letters of comfort and assurance the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport tells us he possesses. Where else have we heard about letters of comfort and assurance? The motion is being rushed through to prevent the communities, workers and families of Aer Lingus staff from putting pressure on Labour Party Deputies, in particular. Those Deputies are breaking a promise they made nine years ago when their then leader, Deputy Pat Rabbitte, jumped up and down to object to the sale of 75% of Aer Lingus. They are now saying Fianna Fáil put two bullets into the horse and even though the Labour Party is going to shoot the final bullet, they will not be the murderers. I am sorry to tell them that they will. They are putting the final nail into the coffin of public control over Aer Lingus. Will they, please, not confuse the issue? They could have sought to increase Government ownership of Aer Lingus by buying shares in the company, as recommended by the economist Paul Sweeney. It is a very important company for the country and one of the top 20 indigenous companies. This is treachery on the part of the Labour Party and we should not vote on the issue until the communities of Dublin West, Dublin North, Cork and Shannon have had a chance to ask their Deputies about it.

The Deputy has proposed that the Government spend €1 billion, money which would be taken from health, education and the care services to which Deputy Sean Fleming referred earlier. That may be the policy of a democratic socialist party, but I do not think at a time of scarce resources when families need more investment in education services, particularly in Dublin West, we should divert €1 billion to buy Aer Lingus.

The question was about taking a vote today. Will the Tánaiste answer the question?

The Tánaiste has the floor.

Hold your horses.

We have protections for workers in Aer Lingus which they did not have for decades in regard to registered employment agreements.

Answer the question.

We have guarantees on connectivity and the Heathrow Airport slots which we did not previously have.

We have ambitious plans to expand employment.

The Tánaiste is misleading the House.

In the next few years, 635 jobs will be created in Aer Lingus, many of them high level jobs such as pilots, cabin crew and engineers.

We will see far more business as a result in terms of tourism and investment, but the employment will be more secure and there will be connectivity through the slots-----

The Tánaiste is misleading the House.

-----through the mechanism of the B share which offers a higher guarantee than what currently applies.

There is no such thing as a B share. There is no basis for it in law.

Question put: "That the proposal for dealing with No. a13 be agreed to."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 59; Níl, 47.

  • Bannon, James.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Butler, Ray.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Byrne, Eric.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Conaghan, Michael.
  • Connaughton, Paul J.
  • Conway, Ciara.
  • Coonan, Noel.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Dowds, Robert.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frank.
  • Ferris, Anne.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Gilmore, Eamon.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Hannigan, Dominic.
  • Harrington, Noel.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Humphreys, Kevin.
  • Keating, Derek.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lyons, John.
  • McFadden, Gabrielle.
  • McGinley, Dinny.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McNamara, Michael.
  • Maloney, Eamonn.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Mulherin, Michelle.
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Neville, Dan.
  • Nolan, Derek.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Reilly, Joe.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Perry, John.
  • Phelan, Ann.
  • Rabbitte, Pat.
  • Reilly, James.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Stagg, Emmet.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Varadkar, Leo.
  • Wall, Jack.
  • Walsh, Brian.
  • White, Alex.

Níl

  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Browne, John.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Colreavy, Michael.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Creighton, Lucinda.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Donnelly, Stephen S.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Flanagan, Terence.
  • Fleming, Tom.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Keaveney, Colm.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kirk, Seamus.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McLellan, Sandra.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • Mathews, Peter.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Fearghaíl, Seán.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Troy, Robert.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Emmet Stagg and Paul Kehoe; Níl, Deputies Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Seán Ó Fearghaíl.
Question declared carried.

Is the proposal that the Dáil, on its rising today, shall adjourn until 2 p.m. on Tuesday, 9 June 2015 agreed to?

It is not agreed. In light of the difficulties we have had in convincing the Government to have an appropriate debate on the Aer Lingus sale and its unwillingness to utilise the committee structure-----

Fianna Fáil had nobody in the Chamber yesterday evening.

-----we believe the House should sit next week-----

Be careful, James.

-----to continue that debate rather than having it guillotined at the end of today. It is worth noting that since before Easter, a period of 70 days, this House will have only sat for 18 days up to 9 June.

That is notwithstanding the commitments this Government made to longer sitter periods and greater numbers of sittings on Fridays.

Fianna Fáil was probably only here for nine of those days.

The Government is still trying to railroad through this House important decisions that need to be appropriately debated and addressed. We are seeing it again today and we saw it with the Irish Water and so many other Bills that were guillotined and forced through the House without appropriate debate.

It is on that basis that our party is opposing the notion of taking next week off.

It is absolute nonsense.

At the same time, the Government is ramming through a decision that will have long-term and profound effects, not just for the workers in the airline but for the island of Ireland.

We are sitting 20% more than when the Deputy's party was in government.

All I can say is that legislation has been truncated or collapsed on several occasions recently in the House because, in particular, nobody from the Deputy's party was around.

That is not true.

It had nobody here last night.

Yesterday evening-----

That is a big fat lie.

The list is there on the record-----

The Independents have many Bills ready.

-----of the Dáil. For example, I am not aware there were any Fianna Fáil people in the House yesterday evening for significant sections of the debate, not even a lonely spokesperson.

Question put: "That the proposal for the adjournment of the Dáil be agreed to."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 58; Níl, 46.

  • Bannon, James.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Butler, Ray.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Byrne, Eric.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Conaghan, Michael.
  • Connaughton, Paul J.
  • Conway, Ciara.
  • Coonan, Noel.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Dowds, Robert.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frank.
  • Ferris, Anne.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Gilmore, Eamon.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Hannigan, Dominic.
  • Harrington, Noel.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Humphreys, Kevin.
  • Keating, Derek.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lyons, John.
  • McFadden, Gabrielle.
  • McGinley, Dinny.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McNamara, Michael.
  • Maloney, Eamonn.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Mulherin, Michelle.
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Neville, Dan.
  • Nolan, Derek.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Reilly, Joe.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Perry, John.
  • Phelan, Ann.
  • Reilly, James.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Stagg, Emmet.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Varadkar, Leo.
  • Wall, Jack.
  • Walsh, Brian.
  • White, Alex.

Níl

  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Browne, John.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Colreavy, Michael.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Creighton, Lucinda.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Donnelly, Stephen S.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Flanagan, Terence.
  • Fleming, Tom.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Keaveney, Colm.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kirk, Seamus.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McLellan, Sandra.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • Mathews, Peter.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Fearghaíl, Seán.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Troy, Robert.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Emmet Stagg and Paul Kehoe; Níl, Deputies Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Seán Ó Fearghaíl.
Question declared carried.