Tuairisc Oifigiúil Dháil Éireann - Official Report of Dáil Éireann

I have something to draw to the House's attention. It is a special day. There have been 101 years and 1,000 bound volumes of the Official Report of Dáil Éireann, sin Tuairisc Oifigiúil Dháil Éireann - 1,000 imleabhar. I have received correspondence from the Editor of Debates informing me that today's sitting marks a particular milestone in the history of this House as it will commence the 1,000th bound volume of Tuairisc Oifigiúil Dháil Éireann, the Official Report of debates of Dáil Éireann.

Ón tús, mheas Teachtaí go raibh sé tábhachtach imeachtaí na Dála a thaifead agus a fhoilsiú go comhuaineach. Under Standing Orders, all debates in this House are published in the Official Report which is produced by the staff of the Debates Office. Is í teanga na Dála, bíodh sí i nGaeilge nó i mBéarla, an teanga a tuairiscítear. Dar ndóigh, bhí an Ghaeilge i gcroílár na Tuairisce Oifigiúla le haghaidh an 21 Eanáir 1919.

These practices date back to the first sitting of the First Dáil on 21 January 1919, which we commemorated last year. For more than 70 years the Official Report was published in hard copy format as daily books for each sitting day, which were then compiled into bound volumes. The numbering system of these daily books and bound volumes was the basis of the reference classification of debates. Since the 1990s, the Official Report is now almost exclusively accessed via the Oireachtas website. However, under copyright legislation, bound volumes of the debates are still printed and deposited with the copyright libraries and, indeed, can still be purchased from the Government Publications Office. The reference classification of each sitting day by volume number and book number continues into the electronic era, and so today’s sitting will be referenced as Tuairisc Oifigiúil Dháil Éireann, Imleabhar 1,000, Leabhar Uimh. 1 - Volume 1,000, Book No. 1. Is ceart dúinn an ócáid a cheiliúradh agus a chomóradh. It is only right that we celebrate and remember.

Ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh le gach éinne a ghlac páirt in eagrú an 1,000ú imleabhar agus leis na scríbhneoirí go léir a chuir tuairiscí na Dála le chéile ar feadh na nglúnta. Is cuimhin liom, fadó, nuair a bhí mé i mo mhac léinn, rinne mé roinnt taighde agus bhain mé an-tairbhe agus an-taitneamh as a bheith ag léamh an méid atá sna himleabhair seo.

I thank all involved. Sometimes, perhaps, generations of people do not realise that the cornerstone of our democracy is the written record of the Dáil. It is fantastic that we have such a lengthy record in bound volumes of what has been said in Dáil Éireann ó thosach. It is something we should celebrate. The concept of something said on the record has been important, almost sacrosanct. It is an essential ingredient of a parliamentary democracy, and our parliamentary democracy is one of the oldest in the world. We should celebrate that fact, given the growing authoritarianism all over the world. I salute all involved in putting the Official Report together over the years. I availed of it as a young student many years ago and got great joy from reading it. When one reads the Official Report of the Dáil, sometimes one wanders and one reads stuff that one is not meant to be reading or that is not pertinent to one's research, but it is highly entertaining. I put that on the record and note the significance of what you have articulated, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle.

Tá sé tábhachtach é sin a rá.