I welcome members and the viewers who may be watching our proceedings on Oireachtas TV to the eighth public session of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Climate Action. Before I introduce our witnesses today, at the request of the broadcasting and recording services, visitors in the Public Gallery and members are requested to ensure that for the duration of the meeting their mobile phones are turned off completely or switched to flight mode.
On behalf of the committee I extend a very warm welcome to Dr. Orlaigh Quinn, Secretary General, and Mr. David Hegarty, Ms Marie Bourke and Ms Claire Pyke from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. I also welcome Professor Mark Ferguson from Science Foundation Ireland, Mr. Kieran Donoghue from IDA Ireland and Ms Rowena Dwyer from Enterprise Ireland.
Before we commence I advise the witnesses that by virtue by virtue of section 17(2)(l) of the Defamation Act 2009, witnesses are protected by absolute privilege in respect of the evidence they give to the committee. However, if they are directed by the committee to cease giving evidence on a particular matter and they continue to so do, they are entitled thereafter only to a qualified privilege in respect of their evidence. Witnesses are directed that only evidence connected with the subject matter of these proceedings is to be given. Witnesses are asked to respect the parliamentary practice to the effect that they should not comment on, criticise or make charges against a person outside the Houses or an official by name or in such a way as to make him or her or it identifiable. Members are reminded of the long-standing ruling of the Chair that they should not comment on, criticise or make charges against a person outside the Houses or an official by name or in such a way as to make him or her identifiable.
Due to our time constraints I ask that Dr. Quinn would give the committee a synopsis of her opening statement because the members have already read the opening statement. I shall give Dr. Quinn three minutes and if she feels there is anything else to add throughout the questioning Dr. Quinn can come back in at any time.