Business of Joint Committee

Apologies have been received from Deputy Pringle, and Senator Gallagher has been in touch to say he has been delayed. Deputy Costello may be at his party's think-in so that may be a difficulty, and I have also had a communication from Deputy Niamh Smyth. Some or all of them may join at some stage but I understand they are having difficulties attending the start of the meeting.

I remind members, witnesses and the Minister of State to set their phones to flight mode to avoid interference, not only with our discussion but with the sound system. The proposal is that we conduct our public business with the Minister of State first and then go into private session for some housekeeping. Is that agreed? Agreed.

Before we do anything else I wish to welcome members back after the break. I hope they managed to get a break because if their constituency offices were anything like mine, it was not quite the usual break. There was a blur between holiday time and normal time and there were no particular boundaries this year. It all became one. There were a lot of queries about visas and passports and all sorts of the usual constituency business over the summer so it was a working summer but I hope members got an opportunity for some downtime. We have a busy time ahead and I am looking forward to it. I thank members on the call for their participation and collegiality over the last term and look forward to that again in the term ahead.