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Seanad Éireann debate -
Saturday, 25 Apr 1987

Vol. 116 No. 1

Business of Seanad.

Lest I interrupt you again, Senator Manning, I will give a decision on the notices for motions on the Adjournment of the House. I have notice from Senator Brendan Ryan that he proposes to move the following motion on the Adjournment of the House:

The failure of the Minister for Social Welfare to publish the detailed guidelines issued on the operation of the Jobsearch scheme.

I also received notice from Senator Norris of the following matter:

The Governments response to the question of public education with regard to AIDS and funding thereof at the earliest possible date.

I also received notice from Senator Connor of the following matter:

If the Government will consider giving financial assistance to Roscommon Historical and Archaeological Society and Roscommon County Council in their efforts to make a suitable commemoration of Dr. Douglas Hyde to mark the 50th Anniversary of his inauguration as President in the Summer of 1988.

I also received notice from Senator O'Shea of the following matter:

The crisis which has arisen in the County and City Infirmary, Waterford, because of the proposed cutbacks in the 1987 allocation to the hospital.

I also received notice from Senator John Robb of the following matter:

That Seanad Eireann—

—taking account of the continuing obscenity of killings in Northern Ireland

—conscious of the unsatisfactory process of law and oppressive means being used to promote order through emergency powers in Northern Ireland and

—wishing to acknowledge the role of the Royal Ulster Constabulary in preventing a slide towards Lebanonisation, urges the Government, in expressing revulsion at the latest spate of killings, to indicate appreciation of the difficult and dangerous task presently being undertaken by the RUC operating as they do in an most undemocratic society.

There are five notices and I have decided to take Senator Brendan Ryan's at the conclusion of business, that is, the failure of the Minister for Social Welfare to publish the detailed guidelines issued on the operation of the Jobsearch scheme. I regard Senator Brendan Ryan's and Senator O'Shea's as suitable for discussion on the Adjournment and I have, therefore, selected Senator Ryan's and we will take Senator O'Shea's if he gives notice on another day. The matter raised by Senator Norris is too wide to be dealt with under the half hour Adjournment procedure. I regret, therefore, I will have to rule it out of order at the moment. I also regret to have to rule out of order Senator Connor's motion as it is not suitable for discussion on the Adjournment on the grounds of lack of ministerial responsibility.

Of course I accept your ruling and will look for your guidance. I would also like to inform the House that it is now my intention to put down a substantive motion on this matter and I am glad to be able to tell the House that it will be seconded by Senator Mary Robinson, my distinguished colleague, and that I will also have the support of Senator Shane Ross in this matter.

Thank you for reading out my motion. I am sorry you had difficulty in reading it but I think you received the penultimate copy because I did, in fact, correct it in such a way that it could have been easily read. Nevertheless, I would like to say that if you find that it is unsuitable for discussion I will certainly adhere to your judgment but I do feel we should discuss the appalling situation in which the Royal Ulster Constabulary find themselves at present. They have lost nine members since the beginning of this year, in a society where democracy does not really exist either at local or regional level and in a very unsatisfactory climate of law processing——

Senator Robb, I have made a ruling and we will talk about it when I leave the Chair later on. I cannot allow you to now go on to make half a contribution on a motion I have ruled out.

Thank you very much, a Chathaoirligh, I will defer to your earlier judgment.

I am glad that at least you read out my motion but I must protest at your decision to rule it out of order. I submit to you, a Chathaoirligh, and to the House that there are ample precedents by which various Government Ministers can get involved.

I have ruled as Cathaoirleach. I will talk to the Senator privately, but I would prefer if we could get back to the legislation before us. I do not want a discussion on this matter. I have ruled on the Adjournment items.

I fully respect the ruling of the Cathaoirleach, but I would like to take the matter as being deferred rather than ruled out.