I remind members of the rules regarding the use of mobile phones. Apologies have been received from Deputy Helen McEntee. It is proposed that the first part of the meeting, session A, will be a meeting with the chairperson designate of the National Library of Ireland. The meeting should conclude at approximately 4.30 p.m. although it may be a little later. Session B is a discussion on Culture Ireland with the Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, which should commence immediately after session A. We will then deal with private business such as correspondence. Is that agreed? Agreed.
This session has been convened to enable the chairperson designate of the National Library of Ireland, Mr. H. Paul Shovlin, to address the committee on the role he will play as chairman and his views on the future contribution of the National Library of Ireland. Is that agreed? Agreed.
I draw the attention of witnesses to the fact that by virtue of section 17(2)(l) of the Defamation Act 2009, witnesses are protected by absolute privilege in respect of their evidence 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. They are directed that only evidence connected with the subject matter of these proceedings is to be given and they are asked to respect the parliamentary practice to the effect that, where possible, they should not criticise or make charges against any person, persons or entity by name or in such a way as to make him, her or it identifiable. It is proposed that all opening statements and any other documents the witnesses have submitted to the committee will be published on the committee website after the meeting has adjourned.
I congratulate Mr. Shovlin on his appointment to the post and invite him to make his opening statement.