Apologies have been received from Senator Ned O'Sullivan and Deputy Joe Carey.
The purpose of our session is to examine the national development plan, NDP, with a view to making a submissions to Review to Renew, the public consultation element of the plan.
On behalf of the committee, I welcome Mr. Peter Walsh, chief executive officer; Mr. Nigel O'Neill, director of capital programme; Mr. Pat Maher, director of network management; and Mr. Sean O'Neill, director of corporate communications, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, TII. I also welcome Ms Anne Graham, chief executive officer, and Mr. Hugh Creegan, director of transport planning and investment and deputy chief executive officer, National Transport Authority, NTA. Notice of this meeting was given at short notice partially due to the Covid restrictions that are in place at the moment but nevertheless I thank them all for attending.
All witnesses are reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice to the effect that they should not criticise or make charges against any person or entity by name or in such a way as to make him, her or it identifiable or otherwise engage in speech that might be regarded as damaging to the good name of the person or entity. Therefore, if their statements are potentially defamatory in respect of an identified person or entity, they will be directed to discontinue their remarks. It is imperative that they comply with any such direction. For witnesses attending remotely, outside of the Leinster House campus, there are some limitations to parliamentary privilege. As such, they may not benefit from the same level of immunity from legal proceedings as a witness physically present does. Witnesses participating in this committee session from a jurisdiction outside the State are advised that they should also be mindful of their domestic law and how it may apply to the evidence they give.
Members are reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice to the effect that they should not comment on, criticise or make charges against a person outside the Houses or an official either by name or in such a way as to make him or her identifiable.
I remind members that they are allowed to participate in this meeting only if they are physically located in the Leinster House complex. In this regard I also ask all members, prior to making their contributions to the meeting, to confirm that they are on the grounds of the Leinster House campus. For the information of anyone watching this meeting online, Oireachtas Members and witnesses are accessing the meeting remotely. Only I, as Chairman, and the staff essential to the running to the meeting are physically present in the committee room. Due to the unprecedented circumstances of Covid and the large number of people attending the meeting remotely, I ask everyone to bear with us should any technical issues arise.
I call Mr. Walsh, TII, to make his opening statement and he has five minutes.