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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 29 Jun 2021

Vol. 1009 No. 4

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions

Dublin City Council's strategic development zone, SDZ, master plan for the Poolbeg lands was approved in 2019. The SDZ will provide a much-needed 3,500 new homes on the site, as well as economic opportunity and social amenities. Thanks to a very determined campaign by the Irish Glass Bottle Housing Action Group, the SDZ plan includes a commitment to deliver 15% of these homes at affordable prices. As I am sure the Minister, Deputy Eamon Ryan, knows, that is in addition to the 10% social housing required under Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended.

It is absolutely vital that these affordable homes are delivered if the working people of Ringsend, Irishtown and the wider surrounding area are to have any hope of remaining living in their community. Property prices in this part of Dublin city have spiralled well beyond the reach of even well-paid local people. In fact, a quick scan of for new and second-hand homes in Ringsend and Irishtown will reveal prices from €500,000 to €1 million. In order to ensure the homes built on this portion of the SDZ land are genuinely affordable, Dublin City Council wanted to buy the Irish Glass Bottle site from the National Asset Management Agency, NAMA, at a discount. In 2019, NAMA agreed and, in turn, Dublin City Council officials approached the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage to approve the finance. NAMA offered land at a discount of between 40% and 60% of the full market value. This would have allowed the council to dramatically reduce the development cost and, in turn, the price for the affordable purchaser.

After a month of talks between Dublin City Council and the Department and a number of very detailed submissions from the council to it, the Department rejected the proposal and refused to fund the land purchase. In fact, I understand a last-minute intervention by a member of the NAMA board to the then Minister, Eoghan Murphy, failed to break the deadlock. Unfortunately, due to inaction by the then Minister, the Irish Glass Bottle site was rolled up with the larger Poolbeg lands and put on the open market. Ronan Group Real Estate, along with its financial backers, bought an 80% stake in those lands in 2020, at a significant increase on the guide price. Now Dublin City Council has to negotiate a deal with Ronan Group Real Estate for the delivery of the hundreds of homes the SDZ plan says must be affordable.

Dublin City Council's director of housing, Mr. Brendan Kenny, last week publically expressed concern at the prices Ronan Group Real Estate is likely to charge for those properties. There is now a genuine fear, not only in the city council and among councillors from all parties who supported the SDZ, but also in the wider community in Ringsend and Irishtown, that these affordable homes could well be lost.

Was the Minister aware that NAMA offered these lands at a discount to Dublin City Council? Does he agree it was a huge mistake for the then Minister with responsibility for housing and Deputy for the constituency, Eoghan Murphy, not to sanction the purchase of the Irish Glass Bottle site by Dublin City Council? Will he now support the local community which is urging his Government to ensure NAMA transfers its 20% land holdings in the Poolbeg SDZ to Dublin City Council to ensure the 600 to 650 affordable homes earmarked for the site will be delivered and sold at prices working people can genuinely afford?

I was made aware by both the city council and NAMA of the history, as the Deputy outlined, of the development of the affordable element of housing on that site. To my mind, it was not the correct decision. I would have made a different one but the decision is made. The critical issue now is that we deliver the affordable housing and the social housing which will be delivered under Part V. I absolutely agree with the Deputy that in this area of the city in particular local communities face the real risk of being excluded from being able to have their children or relatives live in the community they grew up in because it happens to be an area of such rapid development. With the very welcome arrival of large companies in the docklands and their workers being in the same market and area, there is a real risk local communities will be frozen out. We must do everything to avoid that possibility. This includes using the serviced sites fund, which is provided for situations just like this. It will be able to help to reduce costs, although perhaps not as much as we would have liked or as much as might have been possible had a different land deal arrangement been done. However, that should not stop us doing it.

We should not stop there. There are other lands and approaches we can take involving the Land Development Agency, the State and a variety of State bodies. Dublin Port is adjacent to this land and has a very large land bank. I will be talking to the Dublin Port Company to see what it could possibly do to help us in this regard. This applies to other sites as well. Across my constituency, this problem of house price and rental cost inflation is most acute. Consequently, we must do our utmost to reverse this or provide alternatives, and we will do that.

What we cannot and do not want to do is delay is the delivery of the houses on the Irish Glass Bottle site. It has full planning permission and will be able to get serviced sites funding. We will be able to get that social housing as part of the Part V procedure. We have been waiting too long for this to be built. It is now ready to go, subject, as the Deputy said, to agreement between the developer and the council. The State will do whatever we can to help deliver the housing but we must deliver it quickly because we have a housing crisis in that part of the city that we must address. We can and will address it.

Both Dublin City Council and the local community need the Government to get more directly involved to resolve this dispute. There is approximately €80 million of public funds earmarked for infrastructure in the strategic development zone. Of that, €15 million is from the Minister's own Department, which is co-funding the bridge to complete the south docks. There is up to €20 million in funding from the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund, URDF, allocated to the Seán Moore bridge and roundabout. The Minster is absolutely right that we could use the serviced sites fund. We recently had news that the unit cost of that could be increased so that could be €30 to €60 million. That gives the Minister's Government a lot of leverage to sit down with Dublin City Council and the local community to ensure the offer made by Ronan Group Real Estate is a genuine one. That is a significant discount that could be got on those homes. Equally, NAMA's 20% land holdings could be transferred to Dublin City Council as, for example, an advance payment on the dividend it will eventually provide for the State, cutting out the land cost completely.

If the Minister, along with his ministerial colleagues, Deputies Paschal Donohoe and Darragh O'Brien, put their shoulders to the wheel alongside Dublin City Council officials, councillors and the local community, we could ensure that not only would those homes be delivered speedily but we would also have affordable homes at prices local people can afford.

The Deputy is right to focus on the fact that transport and housing solutions go together and this is a really good example. We now have plans for this new bridge across the Dodder. It will not be a bridge for cars but for public transport and active mobility. It is critical not just for the development for the Irish Glass Bottle site but the wider area. It is due to go for planning permission as part of the BusConnects project, which I hope will go to An Bord Pleanála this autumn. Subject to that being agreed, it does not have to wait for a decision from An Bord Pleanála and we should not tie it up with a decision around the land in Poolbeg because we need it anyway for the local community.

It is the same with the development of the upgrade of the Seán Moore Road. In a wider context - I know it is a contentious issue and I have to be careful because it will be before the courts this week - there is the question of the development on the Strand Road and elsewhere of bay and coastal infrastructure. This includes walking and cycling routes and it could bring profound improvement to the area. It is a very special place because it is on the Dublin Bay biosphere. It is an amazing location with beautiful beaches beside the wildlife reserve. We need transport infrastructure not just for the Irish Glass Bottle Site but the other sites developed in the area and the existing community. I do not want to make that contingent on what any developer does.

The Taoiseach should be here today instead of at a press conference, given the decisions being made and the impact on our country. The Cabinet decision announced earlier on reopening businesses is absolutely bananas. It is discriminatory and it is unenforceable. It is shocking stuff. It is amateur hour. When did Government discrimination become the norm in Ireland? I would like the Minister to answer that.

The Government is saying to young people today that we are all in this together except when it gets to a stage where those of us who have been vaccinated want to get out and enjoy ourselves this summer. That is what we are really saying and that, by the way, we also want younger people to continue working to serve us in bars, restaurants, pubs and everywhere else because we need them to do so even though they are not vaccinated, and that public health covers this. It is shocking stuff.

The Government is saying I can get a meal down the street in a restaurant or go for a pint but my colleague, Deputy Duncan Smith, cannot do it. I would have to leave him outside the door. That is discrimination and it is wrong. In Ireland we do not practice discrimination and the Government should certainly not push it. That is effectively what it is doing. The Government will learn a big political lesson over the coming days and weeks. I will rephrase that: it will be over the coming seconds, minutes and hours regarding this decision. It will have to be rescinded because it is not practical, it is unenforceable and it is discriminatory.

The Government's plans will break social cohesion and divide the people of this country, including communities, families, employees and employers. It will put them into positions we never wanted. The Government will really have to look at this again. It is saying to young people it would be illegal for them to go down the road for a pint if they are not vaccinated and they cannot go for a meal in a restaurant. However, it is not illegal because of European law to go to Northern Ireland or get a flight to Spain and have as many meals or drinks as they want. Again, it is not practical but most of all, it is discriminatory.

The Government will have to look at this again immediately. Another Cabinet meeting should be called and it should consider another proposal. What is being proposed now is the following. The Government is saying to young people that we will go out and enjoy ourselves if we are vaccinated but we will not allow them to. We are essentially saying to the young people of Ireland that their summer will consist of sitting at home and watching "Love Island" because that is what we think of them.

We are no longer in this together.

I am sure that I do not need to tell the House that the only reason an Taoiseach is not here is because he is addressing the UN Security Council. It was a prearranged appointment on the issue of cybersecurity, which is of absolute critical importance to our health system and the hundreds of thousands of health workers who have been through a crisis they have had to manage. This is why the Taoiseach is not here.

He is accountable to this Dáil first and foremost, according to the Constitution.

He is, and we as a Government will be fully accountable to this Dáil. Included in that, we will make sure there is full access to NPHET, not just to the analysis but also to the individuals behind the analysis that was presented to us last night, so that Members can have an opportunity to ask the questions or test out what is a very worrying development and situation around this new Delta variant.

Let us be very clear. Let us not pre-empt the approach that is going to be taken. The Government is not responding to the modelling information presented last night by immediately jumping to a particular solution. We are saying that we want sit down with our stakeholders, with the unions and with the industry to look at options to provide better protection and to reopen the hospitality sector and other sectors that may be affected.

For young people, the decisions yesterday in terms of changing the vaccination rules was an important element in the mix. It was not all negative in terms of what was presented and what it may provide, subject to international vaccine supply coming in.

The Deputy depicts it all as having been decided. This latest modelling information was presented to us only last night. The appropriate approach was not to jump to a conclusion or to offer a solution immediately. It was to say that we now need to establish a plan that gives us a further, certain path to a reopening that will not see reopening and then closing again. This is what we as a people have done successfully in recent months: we have managed to reopen sections of our society, stage by stage, in a way that did not have to be reversed. That is the first thing our young people want, whether they are working in an establishment, are patrons of an establishment, are part of a family business, or are part of cultural, sporting or other events that could also be affected.

There is no discrimination behind the Government's intent, but we did have to listen to the analysis presented by the health officials. I could go back a number of months right through this crisis where Deputy Kelly's party was saying, in the most categoric terms, that we had to heed the public information advice. In Government, one does have to heed this. A range of modelling scenarios was presented to us. It is not all potentially unmanageable. It will be manageable. As a country we are good at managing this and we will do this. The way to do it is not to close your eyes, block your ears and say that none of the modelling exists. The way to do it is to consider the options, which we will do in the coming days.

That is not what the Taoiseach said in his press conference. I live in Portroe, where there is a little village called Garrykennedy. Roy Breen and Maura Boyle run the two hospitality establishments there. If the Minister thinks that what the Government is putting forward is enforceable in any of these types of hospitality premises, it is not. It is just not enforceable. It is discrimination. It is complete discrimination. I am telling the Minister right now that the reaction from people who are under the age of 30 is something I have never seen before. They are shocked that the Government has now decided to just jettison them while telling them they must continue working, even if they are not vaccinated.

The Government often challenges the Opposition to have other solutions. I am asking that this is revisited, to reverse that part of the decision. We have the Janssen vaccine that can be administered by pharmacists tomorrow morning. We have AstraZeneca vaccine that can go into the various centres around the State. In two weeks' time 50% of the population will have had the double vaccination and 70% will have had at least one shot. If we also use those other vaccines immediately we can get those figures to above 55% and above 75%. In two weeks' time, before 19 July, the Government could then look at the modelling again to reassess. That is what I believe is a compromise and what we should do, while also bearing in mind the public health advice.

What the Government is proposing is not possible. It is unenforceable, it is discriminatory and it is breaking social cohesion.

I wish for such certainty. I wish for it in the first instance in terms of vaccine supply. We are following the advice from NIAC and we have changed the rules to allow our young people get access to vaccines much more quickly.

I am not making these figures up.

It is not certain yet. We will have to test in the coming days in the context of how we seek to set out the solutions and involve the industry and the unions. Deputy Kelly says that this will not work when the plan itself is what we have to devise and develop. We have to do that in a way that recognises our young people have suffered most during this crisis and are in need of greater support. The most urgent issue is getting them vaccinated and giving them a social life and opportunities to get back to normal, get back to work and get back to college. What we do not want are false promises whereby we say everything is fine and that the Delta variant does not exist, that is not a problem-----

I did not say that.

-----that we can ignore what NPHET says and that we are not worried about the modelling. If we did that, we would find ourselves in greater difficulties later in the summer.

I did not say that.

That is one of the possibilities if we were to ignore the advice that has been given. This is not what we are going to do.

I am also of the view that the Taoiseach should be here. He gave a press conference less than an hour ago. What is going on? Last summer we were able to have indoor dining without major incident and without vaccines. Now, 12 or 13 months later, and we are in a situation where more than 4 million vaccines have been administered and, despite already being an outlier in the context of Europe and the rest of the world, the Government is going to delay the reopening of the hospitality industry. That is pure madness. The Government is also planning a system of apartheid whereby it will introduce a two-tier society and create a situation in which families will be able to dine together indoors while young people are left outside. We expect those young people to serve in restaurants - and we know why - and work in other parts of the hospitality sector, in tourism outlets, in coach hire businesses and as tour guides.

NPHET advice is completely bonkers. It lacks both balance and an understanding of reality. Delaying the reopening of indoor entertainment, pubs and restaurants is like taking another wrecking ball to the economy. The lives of tens of thousands of individuals and families will be destroyed. People are holding on by their fingernails. A total of 200,000 jobs are on the line as the Government delays the return of indoor dining. There is a chance that the jobs in question could be lost permanently. It is not only indoor dining that will be affected but all indoor activities that we know of and the hospitality sector in general, including buses, taxis, you name it.

The discrepancy in the NPHET advice is so disproportionate it reminds me of the figures that were tossed around on the night before the bank guarantee was put in place. Its advice to the Government last evening was that the worst-case scenario would potentially see 700,000 cases of the virus in July, August and September, with as many as 2,170 deaths - God help us, that is a frightening figure - if the variant becomes dominant. The most optimistic projection is for 81,000 cases and 161 deaths. Which is it? The discrepancy between the two is a multiple of ten. This group of experts is advising the Government there might be 7,600 cases a day or there might be 800. Which is it? I ask the Minister to bring in an outside, independent - and probably from abroad - panel of experts. We have many scientists and doctors but they have all been silenced and banished. I also call out the media, which has run with this as if it were gospel. What is happening is outrageous.

We need an independent analysis of the NPHET advice. We have none. Has the Government sought independent advice? It was told this last night at a pre-Cabinet meeting. Did Ministers ask the questions? They are the people responsible to the House and, by extension, to the people. Will they send in Dr. Holohan to answer questions? He will not answer them and does not even meet us any more. Opposition leaders have not been briefed. This is outrageous. It is nonsense that is being dressed up as modelling. It is outrageous and is aimed at dividing our country and ruining it. It is dividing people. It is not going to run and it will not be accepted. I tell the Minister that.

NPHET modelling over the past 12 months has been wrong on almost every occasion. It has been wrong, wrong, wrong. It has been stupid and illogical. This is the most illogical idea I have ever seen. For the Taoiseach to wait until last night and earlier today to tell those people who have been expecting and anticipating for months that they would be reopening their businesses next Monday is shocking and disgraceful. They have spent money on stock, deep cleaning their premises and retraining staff. They have made all these efforts and they have been thrown under the bus again. It is outrageous.

Throughout this crisis - I said this in opposition and I say it now as a member of the Government - we have done it correctly in the context of sharing information.

The letter from NPHET, modelling information and access to public health officials to be able to answer whatever questions on modelling or any other aspect of its advice are critical and will happen. That is needed.

It is complex. Modelling is based on assumptions. It is not a certain science. As the Deputy said, the modelling possibilities range from there being no Delta variant by the end of September resulting in 55 possible cases ICU to the most pessimistic scenario. In that instance, the modelling is pessimistic in terms of the transmissibility of the Delta virus. It examines how similar we would be to last summer in terms of modelling what happened when we reopened hospitality and taking the most negative prognosis on that. As the Deputy said, the analysis in that most pessimistic scenario foresees 1,685 people in ICU.

The approach on this is not, on this occasion, to look at the case numbers. The circumstances have changed between this year and last. The number of people who will get into severe health difficulties or, God help us, die because of Covid will be a tiny fraction of what it would have been previously because most of our older people have been vaccinated. NPHET said - it could be right but it is not certain - that if we had the sort of case numbers its modelling tells it is possible, we would have those sorts of numbers in ICU. In those circumstances, our hospital system would be in trouble again. That is what we need to prevent. I believe we can prevent it.

The key way of preventing that is to get the 370,000 AstraZeneca vaccines which are arriving today to people aged in their 60s and those who have acute medical or other conditions who received a first AstraZeneca dose and are waiting for a second. We will have all of them done by 19 July, and that is of critical importance. Not only that, the rules will be changed to allow younger people to use the 100,000 surplus AstraZeneca vaccines that will be available after those aged 60 years and older have been vaccinated. We will also shorten the gap to four weeks between the first and second such AstraZeneca dose.

There were not just decisions around hospitality made yesterday. A number of decisions were made and advice was given which allows us to address the health crisis aspect of this. I believe we will not see another wave. Rather, we will have learned from last summer and will have more of an outer summer and open hospitality and other sectors this summer. I fully understand the critical importance of that for our communities and small family businesses and social life. We will do it in a safe way, which is thought through. We are thinking today about health advice so that we put a proper plan in place to be able to do that without creating a health risk.

I have heard it all now from a Cabinet Minister: NPHET could be right and might be right. The Minister went on to say that he personally does not believe there will be 7,600 cases and there might be instead 800 cases. What is going on in the Cabinet room? Are the ears completely dúnta? Is the Cabinet going to consult industry 15 months on, having demoralised and destroyed it? Will the Government dispense with the services of Dr. Holohan and NPHET? A cabal, I call them. Will it dispense with NIAC? We have all these unelected experts.

The Taoiseach is accountable to the House and so is the Minister. The Green Party has ten Deputies in this coalition Government and has major sway when it wants to. If the Minister believes NPHET is wrong in its advice, act on that and protect our families and support our people. Ní neart go cur le chéile. Give the young a chance. We have all made sacrifices, including many with their lives and many who became sick. People have put their shoulders to the wheel. We are all in this together. My God, the Government left that a long time ago.

The Government cannot have it both ways. The Minister has said he does not believe it will be as bad as NPHET said. It is playing scaring games. RTÉ and all the media have been paid off handsomely to sell the message of fear to our people. The Government should have respect for our people and not dose them with fear, threats and everything else. Old people are afraid to come out of their houses and go back to mass or shopping. All of the rest of the world has opened up for indoor dining except for us in Ireland. No one believes the Government. It has lost the public, and it has lost them badly.

I believe we will be able to follow the less pessimistic and more optimistic modelling scenarios because I believe in the capabilities, strength, solidarity and good common sense of the Irish people to steer a safer course.

Will it be Christmas?

That will also see us open up our country - every aspect of life. I also believe in our public service. We all make mistakes, the political system, the public service system and others, but-----

Fifteen months of mistakes.

The Government is making them.

-----we will not say that we should get rid of all our advisers and our health system. Our health system-----

We should get rid of the Government, too.

-----has stood up and shown real capability, including our advisers, in this crisis. It is right that we in the political system question them-----

They are not accountable to the Dáil.

-----and we do not just accept the advice and immediately adopt whatever solution is suggested.

No, we did not.

Last night you did.

What we decided was to hear the evidence. We listened to it, we realised it was serious-----

A fait accompli.

Rather than making an immediate decision late at night, we decided to take our time to talk to the various Departments involved, the industry and-----

They will not talk to the Government.

-----the unions and come up with an approach that gives us health protection while keeping us on a path towards reopening that will not close again. Not going backwards is the key and what the Irish people want.


That is what we are committing to trying to provide.

On a point of order, please.

There can be no points of order on Leaders' Questions.

Can I ask the Minister-----

No, you cannot.

What has his Government got against publicans in rural Ireland?

Deputy, please respect-----

What have you got against them? Come out and tell us. What has Dr. Holohan got against them? Come out and tell us, please. They have been blackguarded right, left and centre.

Deputy, you are out of order. Please, resume your seat.

Ba mhaith liom aird an Aire a dhíriú ar fhoréigean baile agus inscne, agus ar an easpa gnímh go dtí seo ó thaobh na ngealltanas a thug an Rialtas dúinne maidir le tuarascálacha éagsúla. I dtús báire, aontaím go hiomlán leis an Teachta Alan Kelly maidir leis an méid atá ráite aige. Tá na pleananna atá foilsithe ag an Rialtas maidir leis na mbialanna seafóideach. Rud atá i bhfad níos tromchúisí ná go mbeidh siad deighilteach agus go gcothóidh siad scrios i measc an phobail. Tá sé i bhfad siar an bóthar anois ón teachtaireacht go bhfuilimid go léir le chéile.

I will zone in on the absence of action on domestic violence. I will use my time to agree with Deputy Kelly. The Government's plans are not only seafóideach, but they have serious implications by creating a division among our people, who have helped us to cope with Covid-19 and helped each Government as it learned from its mistakes. Proceeding down this divisive road is unacceptable.

The Government promised two reports on domestic violence. One was on the segmentation of services across Departments and was undertaken by two independent external consultants. It is sitting on a desk somewhere in the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth or the Department of Justice. There was also a basic report from Tusla examining emergency accommodation on the ground, but it has not been published. Where does it stand? According to the Council of Europe and depending on the measurement used, we are short between 45 and 350 refuges.

We have worked with this Government and the previous Government. I am sick and tired of making statements on domestic violence. I imagine my colleagues are as well. I believed we had moved on through the promise of two reports, but they have never appeared. The background to this has been the increase in the number of phone calls relating to the horrific rise in domestic violence and the cancellation of phone calls to the Garda's 999 line. The Garda failed to alert the Policing Authority to that until last December and then told the authority that it was only a technical breach. Nine months later, we are now awaiting the results of an internal audit of that.

When will the two reports be published? I do not want any waffle or to be told the background. I am more than familiar with the background. I have read all the reports. When will the two specific reports I mentioned be published and why have they been delayed?

I can commit to Deputy Connolly that the programme for Government and the Government fully recognises the need for additional refuge spaces and the Government has committed to an action plan on this issue. As the Deputy said, Tusla has responsibility for care and protection of victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence. Tusla's accommodation review, which currently is being finalised, has examined the current level of refuge provision, the evidence of demand for services and unmet need and has undertaken an analysis of proximity to refuge by local communities. The review will present recommendations on future configuration of accommodation and services which may be required to holistically meet the needs of victims of such domestic violence.

The third national strategy on domestic violence is to be published by the end of this year and will include actions around future investment in refuges. Tusla has been allocated €28 million in funding for domestic violence services this year, which is an increase of €2.7 million on the last year, along with an additional €2 million to specifically address challenges arriving during the pandemic. It is a real concern. The ongoing continuation of this pandemic and the effect it has on mental health, domestic situations and people who are vulnerable to abuse is a chronic concern and a real issue.

There will be no delay within the Government on the part of either the Minister for Justice or the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth in publishing the findings of those reports and then acting on it. It has to be part of that wider approach to this health crisis, as we come out of it, to learn lessons and make sure we provide the refuges.

I appreciate the Minister might not know what I was raising today but he has read from a very good briefing document. I asked the Minister not to do that. I asked him not to give me the background. I asked him when the two specific reports would be published. What is the delay with them? I am very familiar with the strategy that is to be published. We have an internal Garda review into the cancellation of phone calls from distressed women, children and men. Is the Minister satisfied with an internal report six months after the Policing Authority was told and longer in terms of when it was discovered?

Can the Minister please tune in to the cost of domestic violence on every level? Perhaps for the men and that mentality about driving the economy, the cost to the economy alone is €2.2 billion at a conservative estimate. The cost psychologically and intergenerationally is far beyond that. The reason I am standing here, as previous colleagues have done, is to get away from the word "chronic", as used by the Minister.

The only time I would use the word "chronic" is in respect of the lack of action. There is a chronic lack of action by this Government and previous Governments with regard to domestic and gender-based violence. I do not want any more words. I want action. The most basic action concerns the two reports that were commissioned. When will they be published?

I wanted to give Deputy Connolly, with respect, the Government position. I wanted to get that accurate because it is a hugely important issue. My understanding is the two reports the Deputy refers to will come to Government within a short number of weeks, that is, within the next two to three weeks. If and when they are agreed by the Government, they will be published and acted upon.

I am glad the Garda Commissioner has apologised for what happened with regard to the cancelled calls. That was not up to the standards we expect from An Garda Síochána. My understanding is the new system for cancelling calls has shown a huge reduction in the number of calls being cancelled. However, that does not excuse or allow us forget what had happened in the analysis which was shown.

I mean no disrespect by not having a specific answer on having the report but I can commit to the Deputy it will be before Government in the next couple of weeks and will then be published and shared with Deputies here and will be acted upon.