Business of Joint Committee

Attendees are all very welcome to our virtual public meeting today. Apologies have been received from Deputy Bríd Smith and Senator Ned O'Sullivan.

Before we hear from our witnesses, we have to attend to some committee business. I would like to clarify privilege and remind members that they must be in the Leinster House complex or in the Convention Centre Dublin to attend this meeting. If any member attempts to participate from outside of Leinster House, I will ask them to leave the meeting. I remind witnesses that because they are giving evidence from outside of Leinster House, they may not have the same privilege as if they were in Leinster House. They may think it is appropriate to take legal advice on this matter. They are again reminded that they should not criticise or make charges against any person or damage the good name of any person. They must stop if I say that I think they are breaking the rules.

We have already agreed the minutes from 1 July in our private session. For practical reasons, can we approve the minutes of the committee meeting held on 1 July? Is that agreed? Agreed.

Before we hear from our witnesses, I propose we publish their opening statements on the committee website. The opening statements are from the Free Legal Advice Centres, FLAC, and the Irish Human Rights Equality Commission, IHREC. Is that agreed? Agreed.