I support what Senator Manning said about the release of the 14 year old boy concerned, who, despite his youth, seems to be a very dangerous person who has caused considerable damage. I do not think this is a matter affecting the Government alone. It has been a long time in gestation and I am not sure that prison is the answer. It requires considerable investment of time and resources in the most deprived communities. It is a pity that with the Celtic tiger we have significantly failed to do this. People from various communities afflicted by joyriding were interviewed on television last night. The neigh bours, colleagues and, sometimes, friends of the young people concerned said they should be detained and kept out of circulation. That is the view of those living in the communities from which the young people concerned come.
As a politician, I am interested in high standards of ethics and behaviour. I am also a journalist and, as such, I am a member of another profession which should also have ethics and behaviour. For this reason I again call for a debate on the press, to be particularly geared toward the creation of a press council. Two stories about Bishop Comiskey appeared in the newspapers yesterday, one of which incorrectly stated he was in America, but the other was more worrying. Apparently, a journalist posing as a businessman and friend telephoned and was put through to the bishop by his secretary. He never revealed the fact that he was a reporter and told the bishop that he understood some of the reports of child sex abuse in the diocese were fraudulent, which is very dangerous. Bishop Comiskey correctly terminated the telephone call. Had he said, "I am interested in that, could it be true?" or "How shocking", one can imagine the headline, "Comiskey calls fraudulent sex abuse cases shocking". Cases of this kind should be examined. We really need a press council with teeth which is needed to ensure those journalists and sections of the media who consistently lecture politicians about their standards look into their own hearts and remove the beam from their own eyes.
After I spoke yesterday there were calls for a debate on the Middle East which I strongly support. It is a tragic state of affairs. Although I am a friend of Israel, I would certainly be prepared to be critical. I noted yesterday that Gerald Kaufman, a senior British politician, who is Jewish and a friend of Israel, used the phrase "war crimes". We have a seat on the Security Council and must assist in whatever way we can while bearing in mind that we must also give the Israelis an opportunity to produce the evidence they say they have that Mr. Arafat is directly and personally involved in organising the suicide bombers.