Local Government Reform Bill 2013: Report Stage

Before we commence, I remind Senators that a Senator may speak only once on Report Stage, except the proposer of an amendment who may reply to the discussion on the amendment. Also, on Report Stage each amendment must be seconded. Amendments Nos. 1 to 3, inclusive, and 82 to 89, inclusive, are related and may be discussed together.

Government amendment No. 1:
In page 12, between lines 37 and 38, to insert the following:
“(12) This subsection, the amendments to the Education and Training Boards Act 2013 provided for in section 5(6) and Part 6 of Schedule 2 and that Act may be cited together as the Education and Training Boards Acts 2013 and 2014.”.

This is a set of largely technical amendments to take account of the provisions of the Local Government Reform Bill on other legislation. Part 6 of Schedule 2 deals with minor consequential amendments to Acts other than those already dealt with in Schedule 1 and in Parts 1 to 5 of Schedule 2, as a result of the reform programme. Extensive additions to Part 6 were made on Committee Stage in the Dáil and the Seanad. I am taking the opportunity on Report Stage to add further to the listing by including amendments to a number of other areas where necessary changes have been identified. Amendments Nos. 82 to 89, iniclusive, provide for those additions.

Amendment No. 1 is a related technical amendment to amendment No. 83 and provides for the insertion of the necessary collective citation in section 1 in respect of the Education and Training Boards Acts. Amendments Nos. 2 and 3 correct an existing collective citation contained in section 1(13) to the Health Acts which needs to be updated to include reference to the Health Acts 1947 to 2013 with the collective citation.

I should have extended the compliments of the season and a happy new year to the Minister.

Amendment agreed to.
Government amendment No. 2:
In page 12, line 41, to delete “This subsection and” and substitute “This subsection,”.
Amendment agreed to.
Government amendment No. 3:
In page 12, line 42, after “Schedule 2” to insert “and the Health Acts 1947 to 2013”.
Amendment agreed to.

Amendments Nos. 4 to 6, inclusive, are related and may be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 4:

In page 14, line 8, to delete “difficulty” and substitute “insuperable problem or problems”.

I must make a confession that it has been -----

On a point of order, can I receive clarification on which amendments have been grouped? Has amendment No. 8 been included?

Amendments Nos. 4 to 6, inclusive, are related and being discussed together.

I understood this amendment had been ruled out of order because it dealt with the Title, but it is concerned with tidying up the language used.

Amendment No. 7 has been ruled out of order.

I was told amendment No. 4 had been ruled out of order. Amendment No. 7 is not out of order, but I shall argue the point when the time comes.

The word "difficulty" could mean anything and gives the Minister latitude that is too wide. The Minister might be blunt, but he is trustworthy and I doubt I would have huge difficulties with him in this area. However, one never knows what or who is coming down the line. Therefore, substituting "insuperable problem or problems" for "difficulty" would provide a higher and better provision. If the word "difficulty" remains, difficulties are there to be confronted, not to be swept under the carpet, as Lord Denning liked to do. The word "difficulty" gives the Minister a large sweeping or yard brush, but I would prefer to see him with a little dustpan and brush. Perhaps that should be the other way round and I am mixing my metaphor. It would be useful to say there was this provision if there was an insuperable problem or problems, rather than just a difficulty, because a difficulty could mean anything. This change would not affect the Bill in any way, but it would mean that there could be no tricking around with the issue for no reason.

During the Committee Stage debate on section 2 of the Bill I undertook to examine the wording in subsection (2) and, in particular, the use of the term "expedient". This was in response to an amendment tabled by the Senator and I am grateful for the opportunity to address the issue again in response to further amendments before the House today tabled by Senators David Norris and Sean D. Barrett. Following Committee Stage on 19 December 2013, my officials and I examined the matter carefully. Having regard to this examination and the legal advice received on the matter, I am satisfied that the provisions, as drafted, should stand and I will explain why.

I think the Minister is addressing a different amendment.

We are dealing with amendments Nos. 4 to 6, inclusive, together.

I did not realise that.

It is important to restate what we intend to achieve with this provision. The Local Government Reform Bill, when enacted, will give effect to a comprehensive reform of local government structures, functions and governance. It involves significant amendments of and additions to the existing local government code and it is possible that unanticipated issues may emerge post-enactment. This section has been designed to provide a mechanism for dealing with such difficulties should they arise and similar provisions are found in other Acts within the local government code. I do not envisage that such issues will arise and if I did, a specific provision would be included in the Bill to address them. However, it is only prudent, in the context of such a wide-ranging reform programme, to provide a mechanism to deal with any unforeseen problem that may arise.

I emphasise to the House that the use of this provision is subject to a number of restrictions. In the first instance, it is time bound and may only be used within a period of three years following the coming into operation of the section. Second, regulations made under the provision will require a positive resolution of both Houses of the Oireachtas. Furthermore, the making of regulations under this provision will be subject to rigorous oversight by the Office of the Attorney General. In addition to this triple lock, against any Minister who might try to engage in some nefarious practice in the future, the Supreme Court will act as a further bulwark against a Minister who might seek to interpret and use this provision in a way that was unconstitutional. These are fundamental principles attaching to the operation of this provision.

In addition, it is important to point out that the term "necessary or expedient" is referred to almost 900 times in the electronic Irish Statute Book. The earliest reference is in section 36 of the Public Works (Ireland) Act 1831. There are 834 uses of the phrase in primary legislation since 1922 and 284 uses in respect of delegated legislation. The phrase was also used in the District, Circuit and Supreme Court rules. Given the extensive history and continuing usage as outlined, it is unsurprising that the phrase is well known to the courts in its various uses.

I am advised, therefore, that to use a different formula of words would be open to interpretation by the courts that the Oireachtas intended a different meaning or result to that which would have obtained by using the long-established phraseology of "necessary or expedient". Equally, a seemingly straightforward substitution of words as suggested in amendment No. 4 or a deletion of the term "or expedient" as suggested in amendments Nos. 5 and 6 could result in the threshold for coming within the ambit of the provision being set so high as to make it virtually unusable. At a minimum it would significantly reduce the scope of the circumstances in which the regulation-making power under section 22 could be used.

I understood the arguments that were made by Senator David Norris on Committee Stage and was certainly very open to amending this particular section. However, I have since received extensive legal advice on foot of further legal examination of the Bill, including by the Attorney General's office and based on the precedent that was established back in 1831, I am strongly advised that any other interpretation could have implications for other legislation. Regrettably, but in good faith, I cannot accept the amendment which was tabled by Senators David Norris and Sean D. Barrett in good faith.

Is the amendment being seconded?

I second the amendment.

I thank the Minister for the trouble that he has gone to. He has obviously consulted widely on this issue but I suggest that perhaps he has consulted people who have a commitment to tradition, precedent and so forth. The fact that the use of the phrase goes back to 1831 does not mean anything as far as I am concerned because there was an awful lot of trouble in this country at the time. As a lot of very bad legislation and very bad phraseology was introduced then, the argument with regard to precedent is not convincing. In fact, one of the reasons I tabled this amendment is that I thought it would be a good idea to get rid of the phrase. Whatever about the interpretation of the courts, there is a difference between necessary and expedient. Necessary covers every single aspect. If something is necessary, then it is necessary. Not even the maddest court in the land would find it any other way. I defy anybody, including the Attorney General, who is a very charming person, to prove that this would affect a judgment. I do not believe that for one second because if a thing is necessary, it is required to be done for the good of the people and the good of the legislation. Expedient means something very different. It is close to what, in theological terms, we call situational ethics. In other words, one does what is easiest and most advantageous from a partisan point of view. I believe it is very bad to continue to use this term in legislation. If the effect of this was to remove or to cause to be reconsidered 834 uses of the word, which is one which brings politics into disrepute, I would be absolutely delighted. I am afraid, despite the Minister's relatively emollient tone as compared to his very vigorous broadcast, I will be pushing this to a vote because I believe it is very important. I do not think we should be hidebound.

People do not like change, by and large. If one is part of a large operation in bureaucracy, there is a tendency to resist change, particularly if there is a long tradition behind something. However, that is no reason. No reason has been given to me by the Minister that convinces me, even though I do accept his goodwill. He has taken advice, but I believe he has swallowed that advice a little too hastily. I maintain that the term "necessary" covers any appropriate situation whereas expediency leaves the Bill tainted. It emerges from a time when politics was unrepresentative and undemocratic when we had no parliament in this country.

The Minister said up to 1922 there were 834 uses of the phrase. That was when we were ruled from Westminster. On numerous occasions they refused to consider the Irish question, including famine, in the Queen's speech. I have just been reading a superb book about Parnell by Mr. Brian Cregan, a member of the Law Library. It is a wonderful book. The obstructionism of the British Parliament at that point is made absolutely clear. I would not be terribly concerned about upsetting a precedent that comes from that time, which had no respect for democracy, when women were not allowed the vote and Ireland was, not always but generally, walked on by an imperial parliament that produced this noxious phrase, "good republicans". I am not a republican really at all. I would love to have the O'Conor Don back. I suppose we could not push the President, Michael D. Higgins, out of Áras an Uachtaráin but we could get him somewhere nice and have him as a king. That would be wonderful. That is light-hearted, but I will press the amendment to a vote.

Question put: "That the words proposed to be deleted stand."
The Seanad divided: Tá, 27; Níl, 15.

  • Bacik, Ivana.
  • Brennan, Terry.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Clune, Deirdre.
  • Coghlan, Eamonn.
  • Coghlan, Paul.
  • Comiskey, Michael.
  • Conway, Martin.
  • Cummins, Maurice.
  • D'Arcy, Jim.
  • Gilroy, John.
  • Hayden, Aideen.
  • Higgins, Lorraine.
  • Keane, Cáit.
  • Kelly, John.
  • Landy, Denis.
  • Moloney, Marie.
  • Moran, Mary.
  • Mulcahy, Tony.
  • Mullins, Michael.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Noone, Catherine.
  • O'Donnell, Marie-Louise.
  • O'Keeffe, Susan.
  • O'Neill, Pat.
  • Sheahan, Tom.
  • Whelan, John.

Níl

  • Barrett, Sean D.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Crown, John.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Mac Conghail, Fiach.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Mooney, Paschal.
  • Mullen, Rónán.
  • Norris, David.
  • Ó Domhnaill, Brian.
  • O'Donovan, Denis.
  • Power, Averil.
  • Reilly, Kathryn.
  • van Turnhout, Jillian.
  • Wilson, Diarmuid.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Paul Coghlan and Aideen Hayden; Níl, Senators Sean D. Barrett and David Norris.
Question declared carried.
Amendment declared lost.
Amendment No. 5 not moved.

I move amendment No. 6:

In page 14, line 13, to delete “or expedient”.

I second the amendment.

Question put: "That the words proposed to be deleted stand."
The Seanad divided: Tá, 26; Níl, 19.

  • Bacik, Ivana.
  • Brennan, Terry.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Clune, Deirdre.
  • Coghlan, Eamonn.
  • Coghlan, Paul.
  • Comiskey, Michael.
  • Conway, Martin.
  • Cummins, Maurice.
  • D'Arcy, Jim.
  • Gilroy, John.
  • Hayden, Aideen.
  • Higgins, Lorraine.
  • Keane, Cáit.
  • Kelly, John.
  • Landy, Denis.
  • Moloney, Marie.
  • Moran, Mary.
  • Mulcahy, Tony.
  • Mullins, Michael.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Noone, Catherine.
  • O'Donnell, Marie-Louise.
  • O'Keeffe, Susan.
  • O'Neill, Pat.
  • Sheahan, Tom.

Níl

  • Barrett, Sean D.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Crown, John.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Mark.
  • Mac Conghail, Fiach.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Mooney, Paschal.
  • Mullen, Rónán.
  • Norris, David.
  • Ó Clochartaigh, Trevor.
  • Ó Domhnaill, Brian.
  • Ó Murchú, Labhrás.
  • O'Donovan, Denis.
  • Power, Averil.
  • Reilly, Kathryn.
  • van Turnhout, Jillian.
  • Walsh, Jim.
  • Wilson, Diarmuid.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Paul Coghlan and Aideen Hayden; Níl, Senators Sean D. Barrett and David Norris.
Question declared carried.
Amendment declared lost.

Amendment No. 7 is out of order.

On a point of order, I challenge the Chair's ruling and ask him to reconsider it. It was one of the most fatuous rulings I have come across in more than a quarter of a century as a Member of the House. It makes no sense whatever. There have been dozens of nonsensical rulings.

As the Senator will be well aware, we decide on the Order of Business what will be discussed for the day. The Senator's amendment relates to regulations. If they are laid before the Houses and if they are to be discussed, the time to raise that is on the Order of Business.

I do not agree with that because I have three amendments relating to regulations that are proposed to be made under the section. The draft regulations must be laid before each of the Houses of the Oireachtas but the regulations cannot be made until a resolution approving the draft has been passed by each House.

That is outside of the scope of the Bill.

It is clearly within the scope of the Bill. There is no doubt whatever about it.

It is outside the scope of the Bill. The Senator should resume his seat.

This is the kind of rubbish that goes on.

On a point of order-----

I have not finished my point of order yet, although I welcome Senator Thomas Byrne's point of order. I well remember raising a matter in the interest of the country relating to copyright in the House. The then Minister, who is a Minister in the current Government, said he would make a note of it and make sure it was addressed. The provision went through on the nod without discussion and he forgot to address it. Had we been allowed to have a debate on that, we would have saved ourselves a hell of a lot of time and money.

That is a matter for the House.

I am challenging the ruling and I am asking the Cathaoirleach to reconsider it in the light of my argument because it brings the House into discredit when we have nonsensical, fatuous rulings that mean nothing and contradict what is provided for in legislation.

The Senator should resume his seat. Regulations are laid before the House and it is a matter for the House to discuss whether they are discussed. It is not a matter for legislation. It is outside the scope of the Bill.

Exactly. It is a matter for the House, as the Cathaoirleach said.

Of course it is.

Why can we not decide now-----

It is outside the scope of this Bill.

It is not; it is plainly within it.

I call Senator Thomas Byrne on a point of order.

I do not expect to persuade the Cathaoirleach, but I agree with Senator David Norris.

The decision taken by the Cathaoirleach and his office on this amendment is utterly crazy. Senator David Norris makes a very good point on this type of provision. I cannot see why there is any provision against that. It is unconstitutional for the Cathaoirleach to say we cannot put this into legislation. I cannot see what the problem is and Senator David Norris is dead right. I call for a review at the Committee on Procedure and Privileges of what is and is not within the scope of the Bill.

When regulations are laid before the House, it is a matter for the House to then decide whether to discuss them.

It is a matter for us to discuss them today.

We are not doing that today. The Leader of the House said on the Order of Business the whole purpose of the Seanad was for discussion and open debate.

I have made my ruling on this matter.

We are closing it down in circumstances which have been to the detriment of this country’s interests in the past.

I have made my ruling on this matter. Amendments Nos. 7 to 29, inclusive, are out of order.

Why? Can we have the reasons they are out of order?

On a point of order, amendment No. 29 is the Minister’s amendment.

Yes, amendment No. 29 is a Government amendment and not out of order.

What are the reasons for these amendments to be ruled out of order?

There are various reasons.

We should all be apprised of these reasons. It is not good enough for democratic debate. This is a further perversion of democracy. We have only been told about this five minutes before the debate. It is rubbish. Every single Member should be advised as to why their amendments are not allowed.

Some of them are a potential charge on the Exchequer. Will the Senator, please, resume his seat?

On a point of order, I have serious reservations about the Cathaoirleach's ruling but, having said that, he is entitled to make a ruling. Will he go through each of these amendments and give us a reason they have been ruled out of order? With respect to the House, he should explain precisely why each amendment has been ruled out of order.

Amendments Nos. 7 to 28, inclusive, have been ruled out of order. I have ruled them out of order for various reasons.

Please, hear my point of order. It is terrible that the House would be going through this process. I would have thought that we would have learned from past controversies that have arisen from failure to monitor and scrutinise legislation. I am not challenging the rulings but will the Cathaoirleach tell us the reason for each amendment? I suspect that, in the absence of him not doing so, it was someone else who made the ruling. That really worries me.

The rulings have been made.

On a point of order-----

Will the Senator, please, resume his seat?

I have a point of order.

Amendment No. 7-----

I believe the Cathaoirleach did not make the rulings because he does not know the reasons.

I have been asked to outline to the House my decision for ruling out amendments Nos. 7 to 28, inclusive. Amendment No. 7 proposes that regulations made by the Minister under the Act and laid before the Houses shall also include provision for debate of the draft regulations. The amendment is outside the scope of the Bill. The scheduling of parliamentary business in the Dáil is the prerogative of the Taoiseach. In the Seanad, it is the decision of the House. Amendments No. 8 and 11 are related. They propose the holding of a plebiscite on the merging of the six city and county councils proposed under the Bill. Amendments Nos. 9-----

On a point of order, I have to challenge that ruling.

The Senator cannot challenge my ruling at this point.

I can and I am going to take the opportunity to do so.

The Senator cannot challenge my ruling at this point. Will he, please, resume his seat?

With respect, I have tabled 50 amendments, the majority of which have been ruled out of order. We have not been given the opportunity to properly scrutinise this Bill. We are having the same experience we had with the water services Bill. All of the problems that resulted with the passing of that Bill-----

Will the Senator, please, resume his seat?

Due to all of the consequences of that Bill and the moneys squandered on consultants for Irish Water, the Minister should resign.

Will the Senator, please, resume his seat?

Here we are again, guillotining the debate on a Bill and ruling out amendments for frivolous reasons while not giving the Opposition proper explanations.

Will the Senator, please, resume his seat?

I cannot accept that we cannot have a debate on the holding of plebiscites because it might incur a charge on the Exchequer.

Will the Senator, please, address his comments through the Chair?

It is ridiculous. We are sick and tired of having our amendments ruled out of order, Bills rushed through and we cannot scrutinise legislation properly.

The Senator is completely out of order.

It is not fair on the Minister, any Senator or the Cathaoirleach. It is completely unacceptable.

We rushed the property tax and water services legislation. It is always legislation from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.

Will the Senator, please, resume his seat?

The suspicion is that certain people want to go home early.

I was asked to outline my rulings. Amendments Nos. 9 and 12 to 15, inclusive, and 28 propose to delete the proposal to dissolve the city and county councils in Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford and the establishment of new amalgamated authorities as their successors and other related matters, thereby preserving the existing local government areas. Amendment No. 10 proposes the establishment of a new local authority for the local government area of Connemara. Amendments Nos. 19 and 20 propose to delete the proposal on the determination by the Minister of local electoral areas and municipal districts, including the application of new governance arrangements. Amendments Nos. 21 to 23, inclusive, propose to delete the proposal concerning the dissolution of town councils. These amendments are in conflict with the principle of the Bill and also involve a charge on the Exchequer as the cost-efficiencies proposed to be gained from mergers and reductions in local authority members would not be achieved. Amendment No. 24 proposes that each municipal district council may, in respect of that district, vary the commercial rate and the local property tax within the district. Amendment No. 25 provides that each municipal district may vary the commercial rate of tax for the district. These amendments involve a potential charge on Revenue.

On a point of order-----

I have made my ruling on this matter.

Perhaps some of the rulings are justified. I certainly do not blame the Cathaoirleach for whom I have the greatest respect. It is time, however, we looked at these rulings. Some of them are complete nonsense. For example, where it says it is in conflict with the principle of the Bill-----

The Senator is a member of the Committee on Procedure and Privileges and knows this is a matter for it.

I will not resume my seat until I finish my point. The principle of the Bill does not apply until it is passed into law. It can and should be changed by Parliament. Otherwise, there is no reason for Parliament.

I thank the Cathaoirleach for giving us an outline of the reasons he has ruled these amendments out of order. Amendment No. 8 seeks to maintain the status quo. As of now, there is no imposition on the Exchequer. The Minister is instead abolishing the councils. On amendments Nos. 21 to 23, inclusive, if we cannot challenge specific aspects of the Bill’s principle, it neuters the House in dealing with legislation.

I understand that. Amendment No. 8 involves a potential charge on the Exchequer.

The Cathaoirleach should think about this. As of today, we are looking for the retention of certain councils which the Minister is proposing to abolish. There is no imposition on the Exchequer, accordingly, as the cost is built into the current structure.

I have given the Senator a lot of latitude in his points of order.

I have made the ruling that it involves a potential charge on the Exchequer.

It is arguable that the Minister is going to create more costs than is currently the case.

A Chathaoirligh, the defect in your ruling is in the wording. It is not your fault, because it clearly states "creates a charge on the Exchequer". Nothing is created.

It is a potential charge.

But it does not create anything. It could not create anything. It is there already, as the point has been argued by my colleague.

My ruling is that it creates a potential charge on the Exchequer.

One cannot create a potential anything. That is a hypothetical use of the non-existent and it is forbidden------

Amendments Nos. 7 to 28, inclusive, not moved.

Amendment No. 29 is a Government amendment and involves recommittal. Amendments Nos. 29 to 32, inclusive, and amendment No. 34 are related and may be discussed together. Is that agreed?

(Interruptions).

I ask Senator Cáit Keane to move the motion for recommittal.

I move:

That Seanad Éireann, pursuant to Standing Order 130 of the Standing Orders Relative to Public Business, directs that the Local Government Bill 2013 be recommitted to Committee Stage in respect of amendments Nos. 29 to 32, inclusive, and amendment No. 34.

Can we have a reason for this? There may be something in it. If it is being recommitted to Committee Stage in order that the committee can examine in a positive or even in a neutral light, I have no difficulty with what the Senator is proposing.

When the amendments are recommitted, the Minister will provide the reasons for the recommittal.

Question put:
The Seanad divided: Tá, 29; Níl, 15.

  • Bacik, Ivana.
  • Brennan, Terry.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Clune, Deirdre.
  • Coghlan, Eamonn.
  • Coghlan, Paul.
  • Comiskey, Michael.
  • Conway, Martin.
  • Cummins, Maurice.
  • D'Arcy, Jim.
  • Gilroy, John.
  • Hayden, Aideen.
  • Higgins, Lorraine.
  • Keane, Cáit.
  • Kelly, John.
  • Landy, Denis.
  • Mac Conghail, Fiach.
  • Moloney, Marie.
  • Moran, Mary.
  • Mulcahy, Tony.
  • Mullins, Michael.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Noone, Catherine.
  • O'Donnell, Marie-Louise.
  • O'Keeffe, Susan.
  • O'Neill, Pat.
  • Sheahan, Tom.
  • van Turnhout, Jillian.
  • Whelan, John.

Níl

  • Barrett, Sean D.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Crown, John.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Mooney, Paschal.
  • Mullen, Rónán.
  • Norris, David.
  • Ó Clochartaigh, Trevor.
  • Ó Domhnaill, Brian.
  • O'Donovan, Denis.
  • Power, Averil.
  • Reilly, Kathryn.
  • Walsh, Jim.
  • Wilson, Diarmuid.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Paul Coghlan and Aideen Hayden; Níl, Senators David Cullinane and Diarmuid Wilson.
Question declared carried.
Bill recommitted in respect of amendments Nos. 29 to 32, inclusive.

Amendments Nos. 29 to 32, inclusive, and amendment No. 34 are related and will be discussed together, by agreement. Is that agreed?

We will take them separately.

Government amendment No. 29:
In page 45, line 1, to delete “relates.”.” and substitute the following:
“relates.
(8) Section 45 shall not apply to meetings of the Committee.”.”.

Amendment No. 29 addresses an omission in the published Bill. It proposes that section 45 of the Local Government Act 2001, relating to the attendance of the media and the public at local authority meetings, shall not apply in the case of the local community development committees. Although local community development committees will be local authority committees, their role and function will differ considerably from those of other local authority committees. A significant element of the local community development committees' work will be the consideration of funding applications. This work will involve confidential and commercially sensitive matters, which would not be appropriate in the presence of the media and the public.

Amendment put:
The Committee divided: Tá, 29; Níl, 14.

  • Bacik, Ivana.
  • Brennan, Terry.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Clune, Deirdre.
  • Coghlan, Eamonn.
  • Coghlan, Paul.
  • Comiskey, Michael.
  • Conway, Martin.
  • Cummins, Maurice.
  • D'Arcy, Jim.
  • Gilroy, John.
  • Hayden, Aideen.
  • Higgins, Lorraine.
  • Keane, Cáit.
  • Kelly, John.
  • Landy, Denis.
  • Mac Conghail, Fiach.
  • Moloney, Marie.
  • Moran, Mary.
  • Mulcahy, Tony.
  • Mullins, Michael.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Noone, Catherine.
  • O'Donnell, Marie-Louise.
  • O'Keeffe, Susan.
  • O'Neill, Pat.
  • Sheahan, Tom.
  • van Turnhout, Jillian.
  • Whelan, John.

Níl

  • Barrett, Sean D.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Crown, John.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Mooney, Paschal.
  • Mullen, Rónán.
  • Norris, David.
  • Ó Clochartaigh, Trevor.
  • Ó Domhnaill, Brian.
  • O'Donovan, Denis.
  • Power, Averil.
  • Walsh, Jim.
  • Wilson, Diarmuid.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Paul Coghlan and Aideen Hayden; Níl, Senators David Cullinane and Diarmuid Wilson.
Amendment declared carried.
Government amendment No. 30:
In page 45, between lines 12 and 13, to insert the following:
" 'community elements of the Plan’ means those parts of a local economic and community plan relating to the local and community development of the functional area of the Committee pursuant to section 66B;
‘economic elements of the Plan’ means those parts of a local economic and community plan relating to the promotion of economic development of the administrative area of the local authority pursuant to section 66B;".

I am including an amendment for definitions of both community elements and economic elements of the integrated plan to be added to section 128A.

I wish to speak to the amendment because I support the thrust of what is proposed. The Minister has outlined what he means by community elements and economic elements of the plan. I understand it is part of the local community development committees which are being established. If we are to develop community and economic elements of a plan, that will give rise to a number of issues relating to the amendments we tabled that we have not had an opportunity to discuss as they have been ruled out of order.

One of the aspects of the Bill to which I am opposed is the merger of a number of local authorities, including in Waterford, but also in other areas without giving people the opportunity to have their say. One of the reasons I am opposed to that is, on balance, there are different economic and community needs in the city and county of Waterford and I am concerned that if the Bill is passed and if the authorities formally amalgamate after the next local elections, in some circumstances it would be difficult to come up with community and economic plans that could cut across an entire local authority area. Perhaps what the Minister is suggesting is that each local electoral area will have its own plan. He could indicate whether that is the case. I do not wish to rehearse the previous arguments, but I am genuinely concerned at the manner in which we are pushing forward with the Bill and ruling amendments out of order.

I did not do that.

I do not say it was the Minister’s doing, but it has happened. The vast majority of the amendments Sinn Féin has tabled have been ruled out of order, which is unacceptable. It is not good practice that we are not prepared to have a debate on a Bill such as the one before the House. I wanted to have a discussion with the Minister with responsibility for local government on many issues, including the merger of local authorities. We were prevented from doing so on Report Stage because we were told the amendments we tabled would incur a cost on the Exchequer.

That is a matter for the Chair.

It is outrageous that we have to use the opportunity of a Government amendment to try to squeeze some latitude from a Chairman to raise legitimate concerns about the Bill. It flies in the face of what the Minister and his party promised about a different type of governance when they were in opposition and following the election. We made exactly the same arguments when the Minister railroaded through the Water Services Bill. We were not allowed to raise the questions we wanted to ask. Amendments were ruled out of order. Questions were not answered and we see what happened since and the debacle that has taken place.

The Senator is questioning the Chair.

I am. I have no difficulty in doing so. I am not just questioning the Chair, I am questioning the Leader of the House, the Minister and the Cathaoirleach of the Seanad.

If the Senator knew his Standing Orders, he would know that the Leader of the House and the Minister have no say in such matters.

I am questioning the entire process because it is not fair on anybody. What I see happening is that the permanent government is preventing us as legislators from having a debate on amendments. It is telling us which amendments are in order or out of order. We are putting ourselves in a straitjacket and preventing ourselves from having a proper debate and scrutinising Bills. The debacle with Irish Water is an example of what happens when we do not have proper scrutiny. The Minister has failed to answer even simple questions about the issue. He is dodging questions. It is simply not good politics. This is the only opportunity I have to do so and I strongly express my opposition to again railroading through an important Bill, ruling out of order amendments which are in order and should be debated and discussed. It is a sad day for the Oireachtas and the Seanad that this has happened again. It has happened to so many Bills and here we are again carrying on with the same sort of nonsense.

In the context of the Minister telling us that this Bill is about improving democracy and adding value to existing democracy, we have the charade of not being able to debate many of the provisions in the Bill or not being able to amend them. Even if the Government disagreed with them the Minister could at least listen to us and have the courtesy to allow us to table an amendment and have a debate on the issues. The Government is not even prepared to allow that to happen.

The Senator is inaccurate in saying the Government has ruled amendments out of order. It is not the Government’s decision to rule amendments out of order.

Senator David Cullinane should know all about that in Northern Ireland where there is a permanent government to which Sinn Féin is subservient.

We are not subservient at all; far from it.

I wish to clarify that under the new section 66 provisions, local authorities and local community development committees are tasked with preparing integrated local economic and community plans. I would have thought Senator David Cullinane would welcome that the community plans would be part of the economic and community planning that would take place in each local authority area. This is the first time for that to happen. It is the first time for the community and voluntary sector to have a statutory remit to align itself with local government in order to have its voice heard. The Senator does not want to acknowledge anything we are doing.

The Minister has cut the legs from the local community development sector.

Control has been given to apparatchiks.

I am surprised the Senator does not acknowledge what is being done.

The people who work in the sector know it.

I know the Senator does not like freedom of speech but I am surprised that he does not acknowledge that the work we are doing in the Bill has already resulted in a 20% reduction in the cost of employing people in Waterford city. Savings have been made on the merger which Senator opposed, including in Sinn Féin’s recent budget. It is a clear indication that the Senator is not in favour of employment or competitiveness.

The Minister should get his facts right. I did not oppose anything.

I am sorry, I should have said the Senator’s party. These plans will have economic and community elements which will be prepared separately but in parallel. Consequently, the provisions in the Bill relating to the development of a local and community plan are to be replaced by the new provisions.

Amendment put and declared carried.
Government amendment No. 31:
In page 46, line 23, to delete “the Plan” and substitute “the community elements of the Plan”.

Amendments Nos. 31, 32 and 34 provide for specific references to the plan we just spoke about in section 128B to be replaced by reference to "the community elements of the plan" or those elements of the plan as the case may be.

I wish to respond to something the Minister said about the community element of a plan. I do not have a difficulty with that in principle but I object to the way the community development sector has been treated not just by the Government but by the previous Government.

That has nothing to do with the amendment.

That point related to amendment No. 31.

With respect, I am speaking on amendment No. 31.

Amendment No. 32 refers to substituting "those elements of the plan".

Okay, but I am responding to something the Minister said which is relevant to the amendment.

The Senator could have come back in to speak on the matter at the time.

It does the same thing. I just make the point that the community development sector has had the legs cut from under it, as have many other sectors, first, because of cuts in funding and, second, because the voluntary boards of management were dissolved.

There are no cuts in funding.

Senator David Cullinane said all that before in response to amendment No. 30.

I did not make those points. The Government is giving local government responsibility for community development when it should be coming from the bottom up.

Local government is at the bottom.

No. The people who work in the community development sector want autonomy from local government. They would work in partnership with local government.

What about the elected representatives?

They would work in partnership with local government but would not be dictated to by local government. What the Minister is doing is taking power away from local communities and giving it to officials in local authorities. The previous Government started the process and the Government is continuing with the same logic - surprise, surprise. The vast majority of people whom I meet who work in the community development sector agree with what I say because they have suffered as a consequence of it. Volunteers on the ground are no longer available because they are not valued by the Government. That is the reality. They always feared that would happen; that they would be pushed under the control of some arm of Government and their autonomy would be removed from them. While it might be a good thing in some respects that there is a community element to the plan the Minister completely ignores the reality on the ground for the vast majority of community development projects and the people who work in them.

The Senator should acknowledge that locally-elected representatives with a democratic mandate from the people are the most important people on the ground with whom one should consult. We are valuing them by giving them more responsibility. They are the people whom I support. The community sector will have to go to local authorities and work with them.

To use the Minister’s term, they will have to be subservient to them.

No. The Senator might be well used to being subservient in the manner in which his party deals with opposition in the community, in particular in Northern Ireland but we do not subscribe to that view.

We are aligning the community sector with local government to ensure that the elected person who has a mandate from the people is centre stage and has the more powerful voice.

As there has been no cut in the local community development programme in 2014 over and above 2013, there is no difficulty with the funding. What we are trying to do is to ensure the community sector and the local government can pool their resources in difficult financial situations and times to be able to get the maximum benefit for the people they and we represent.

Amendment put and declared carried.
Government amendment No. 32:
In page 46, line 25, to delete “the Plan” and substitute “those elements of the Plan”.
Amendment put and declared carried.
Bill reported with amendments.

Amendment No. 33 has been ruled out of order.

Amendment No. 33 not moved.
Bill recommitted in respect of amendment No. 34.
Government amendment No. 34:
In page 46, line 35, to delete “the Plan” and substitute “the community elements of the Plan”.
Amendment put and declared carried.
Bill reported with amendment.

Amendments Nos. 35 to 39, inclusive, have been ruled out of order.

Amendments Nos. 35 to 39, inclusive, not moved.

Amendments Nos. 40, 42, 43, 45 to 47, inclusive, 49, 50, 56 and 57 are related and will be discussed together. Is that agreed? Agreed.

I move amendment No. 40:

In page 49, line 23, before “members” to insert “at least 3”.

This amendment is self-explanatory. We discussed the issue at some length on Committee Stage and I would like to hear the Minister's response on it.

I do not support amendment No. 40, but we will discuss the issue with amendment No. 47, when we come to it. Amendments Nos. 42 and 43 propose additional categories to be covered in regard to the membership of committees. I do not agree that a reference, as proposed, to drawing members from communities of interest is required, because section 128D (2)(d) already provides for members to be drawn from representatives of local community interests and this includes communities of interest. A key aim is to ensure a tight focused membership of the committees. The proposed amendments to provide, for example, for guaranteed membership for representatives of all social partnerships would inevitably result in a larger than intended membership. It is well known to all present that we have had a plethora of large committees and boards, where frequently their effectiveness suffers due to the size of the membership. The recommendation made to me by the expert group that studied local development alignment was to keep the committees as small and as focused as possible. Accordingly, I do not support these amendments.

Similarly, I do not support amendment No. 45, concerning the nomination of elected members to local community development committees. When the chief officer is seeking nominees for the local community development committee, he or she shall do so in consultation with the corporate policy group, CPG, as a result of an amendment that was accepted on Committee Stage. Given that the process for selecting nominees will now be carried out in consultation with the CPG, I oppose amendment No. 45.

This argument also applies to amendment No. 46, which proposes that the elected members to be nominated to the committee shall have been elected by the local authority. I will, in due course, bring forward regulations to cover the detailed arrangements for the nomination by various stakeholder bodies to the local community development committees and in doing so, I will consult with the representatives of elected members to ensure a fair and reasonable process is followed in the nomination of elected members to the committee.

I do not support amendment No. 47, relating to local authority membership and the chairmanship of local community development committees. The legislation, as drafted, reflects the balance between the status of the committee as a committee of the local authority on the one hand and the independence of the committee in the performance of its functions on the other, for example, for the purposes of drawing down EU local development funds. A guarantee that the chairperson should be drawn from a specific sectoral interest or that a specific sectoral interest should have a minimum number of members would undermine the independence of the committee and impact on its eligibility as an implementer of key EU local development programmes. Given this requirement, I am not in a position to support the amendments as proposed. However, I should point out that elected members may very well be the chair of these committees. This has already happened in the case of County Cork.

Amendments Nos. 49 and 50 relate to the making of regulations regarding local development community development committees. As proposed, amendment No. 49 would require the Minister to consult with non-governmental organisations, community groups and communities of interest when making ministerial regulations. I do not believe it would represent an effective process to consult with stakeholders in the very wide manner envisaged by the proposed amendments on each occasion that regulations are to be made or amended. However, I believe that consultation with citizens and communities is very important in the workings of the committees and in that regard the Bill provides significant avenues of consultation for citizens and communities in regard to the work of the LCDCs. For example, committees will be required to consult members of the public in the preparation of the local economic and community plans. Moreover, I will provide for participation by the local community in local government in a more general way through the implementation of the recommendations of the working group on citizen engagement.

Amendment No. 50 proposes to remove the provisions that the Minister may consult with public authorities, as he or she considers appropriate, in the making of regulations. There is a range of public authorities with whom it would not be appropriate to consult, such as those with no involvement or interest in local development or community development. Therefore, I do not support the deletion of the text as proposed as this would require the Minister to consult with all public authorities.

I do not support amendment No. 56 as proposed. The amendment seeks to insert a provision in section 128, which deals with local community development committees, regarding what the amendment calls a working group on active citizenship. Section 44, relating to consultation with local communities, was accepted already on Committee Stage in the Seanad. This provides the framework for a range of measures which will flow from the recommendations of the working group on citizen engagement, which I am currently considering. Therefore, the amendment that has been proposed to section 128 is not necessary.

Amendment No. 57 seeks to add to the bodies designated as relevant bodies in section 128F. Section 128F(1) and Schedule 16 prescribe those bodies that shall be considered to be relevant bodies for the purposes of ensuring co-operation with the work of the local community development committees. It is envisaged that the programmes managed and delivered by the bodies listed as relevant bodies in the Bill will be the first to come within the provisions of section 128F. However, new bodies will be added to the list of relevant bodies by ministerial order as new arrangements are agreed with the LCDCs for the implementation of programmes by bodies other than those listed. Similarly, when more programmes come within the remit of the local community development committees, the list of bodies coming within the scope of section 128G and therefore deemed to be the relevant bodies will be expanded. The fact that the groups mentioned in the amendment are not designated as relevant bodies in 128F does not indicate a lack of recognition of the role of these groups in local and community development.

I second the amendment. I am rather intrigued by the Minister's explanation in regard to all of the amendments submitted on membership of the local community development committees. On one hand, he has robustly defended what he sees as the prior role of elected members over those who are not elected. He has talked about the fact that community groups will come to the council but that this will be in consultation. He disabused us of the notion that they would be in any way subservient, but at the same time, he made it clear that he was here defending the elected members. This is all fine and dandy. It is right and I agree with him. However, why is it the Minister is leaving the provision so loose in regard to the membership of local development committees. In general, he refers to the committee including members, representatives, individuals and other such persons or bodies as may be provided for. I get the impression - correct me if I am wrong - that the Minister will issue, by regulation, the number of people who will serve on the committees, in other words, the total membership of the committees. As there is nothing in the Bill to indicate whether there will be five, ten, 15 or 20 members on a committee, I assume the Minister will make that decision by regulation. If so, I assume he will also, by regulation, define the number of members in each of the various categories. In other words, he will say there will be three or four members of the local authority, X number of representatives of public authorities and X number of representatives. Otherwise, the system cannot work. There must be a starting point and we must know how many members the committee will have and this membership must then be divided out on a proportionate basis. That is the nub of the question. Who will be in the ascendancy? Will it be the non-elected members or the elected members?

The reason I raise this issue is that when the local development companies first started in the late 1990s, one of the major bugbears elected members had was that they found themselves in a situation where they sat on local development partnerships.

There would have been four representatives in the local partnerships. They found that because the funding was bypassing the local authority and going directly from the European Union or, in some cases, Dublin, an individual who had contested the previous local elections and had lost out to one or other of these four members was, as chairman of the committee or partnership, in a much more powerful and influential position because he or she had money to dish out. It was a great source of annoyance and frustration to elected members who found themselves competing, as it were, with non-elected members. I raise this matter because I wonder if the balance will now tilt towards the elected members.

I am not in any way trying to take away from the enormously important work done by community groups. It is vitally important that the membership of local community development committees be as widely representative as possible of the communities in which they operate, even if that means that there is a substantial and significant number of non-elected members. The question is whether the Minister will try to achieve a balance or will there just be token representation by local authorities, with the overwhelming majority of those on the committees being non-elected members. That may lead back to the difficult situation in which the partnerships found themselves at the beginning. I am not expressing any criticism of the work the partnerships have done as they have evolved since 1997. They have done extraordinary work and continue to do so. I hope the Minister will ensure those who are now working with the local development companies will still have an important role to play.

A number of my amendments were ruled out of order. I will speak to amendments Nos. 42 and 43 which were deemed to be in order.

Amendment No. 42 seeks to include representatives of the social partners as members of local community development committees and also communities of interest. The Minister has gone some way towards answering the second issue regarding communities of interest, but I am sure he will agree that the social partners have played a very important part in the development of the State. The city and county development boards will be dissolved once the new arrangements come into being, but representatives of the social partners, including the trade union movement, business groups, farming organisations and so forth, sat on these boards. While there may have been some difficulty with the operation of the boards in overall terms, the social partners added some value. I accept that when one is trying to put together the membership of any committee, one does not want it to become cumbersome or unwieldy. One wants the committee to be able to function and work effectively. However, at the same time, one also wants the membership to be as wide-ranging as possible.

We also sought in an amendment that was ruled out of order to have the specific needs of minority groups represented. I ask the Minister to respond on that issue. It might be wise to have representatives of some specific statutory agencies on the committees, but our amendment to that effect was also ruled out of order. We asked that the issue of social inclusion be prominent in the development of the plans. Our amendments were seeking to improve the operation of the committees which would come into being in order to ensure they would be as representative and wide-ranging as possible and add value for all of the people we represent. It is important that the plans do exactly what is needed and if that is to be the case, they must have the support of as many groups and organisations as possible. If statutory agencies, social partners and certain community interest groups, particularly those representing minorities, are outside the door, that will not be good in the longer term. That is why we are seeking to improve this section by tabling a group of amendments, some of which, unfortunately, were ruled out of order.

I agree with the Senator's sentiments. What we are trying to do is rebalance the powers in favour of the elected members who were frustrated in recent times when the finances of local authorities were in difficulty and they saw an enormous amount of activity in their communities in the form of EU programmes into which they had little or no input. What we are doing is aligning the community with local government. We are not excluding anybody but including everybody and getting people to work more closely together at a time of finite resources to ensure we get the best possible results for the community without the enormous administrative costs that were a feature of various programmes in the past. I am showing some flexibility in terms of the numbers in bands and guidelines that I will lay down. In many of the Border counties, for example, peace programmes are operating in addition to the usual statutory programmes being implemented by the Government in the Republic. Therefore, there is a good reason for representation on local community development committees to take account of some of the existing programmes that will continue into the future, particularly in the context of the European Union's bottom-up approach to certain funds. My Department is consulting on a regular basis about the next round of EU funds and programmes to determine the most appropriate structure in order to get the best value for money and maximise the amount of money that goes to projects.

The elected members and the statutory bodies will not be allowed to dominate the local community development committees. If, for example, a committee has 15 members, eight must be non-statutory, non-elected and non-local authority representatives. The 15 members can decide who will chair the committee. In most cases, there will be three representatives of the local authority system, two of whom will be elected members, while the other will be an official. It will be up to the 15 members to decide who will chair the committee. As I said, in one of the pilot programmes we run in Cork a local community development committee has already been established and an elected member has become the chairperson. It depends on the relationship people have with their community. Elected members must foster that relationship and if they wish to become chairpersons of their local community development committees, there is nothing to stop them from doing so.

If all of the social partners want to be represented, as Senator David Cullinane has suggested, something will have to give. That something would probably be the local development companies, the partnership companies or the community sector. We should not have an unwieldy number of members of any group, but at the same time, we should have everybody, in so far as it is possible to do so, represented. It is very important that the representatives in the local community development structures - whoever they may be - are able to feed back the necessary information to their communities in a much more structured way than we have seen in the past. We do not want a repeat of the situation where people - often from the community sector - sat on committees but did not engage with those who had put them there. We need a more structured approach in that regard and that is what I am seeking to in the Bill. That is also why I asked Fr. Seán Healy and his committee to come up with proposals to improve matters further in order that everybody would know what was going on and everybody would have an input. The final decisions, however, will be made by the local community development committees. They will have the money and receive the applications for funding, while the funds will be dispersed through the existing financial structures of the local authorities. That will save money because we are using a structure that is already in place. It also bolsters the local government system, but it does not in any way denigrate the community projects that will come through the community sector and the elected members to the local community development committees.

I welcome what the Minister has just said. In the context of minority groups, I am sure that the vast majority of Members of this House received correspondence from various Traveller groups which had some concerns about the Bill. I am sure the Minister also received that correspondence and hope the rights of minorities will be considered and not diminished as a result of the Bill. In that regard, the assurances the Minister has given are welcome and will copperfasten this. If he has not received the correspondence to which I refer, including suggested amendments, I will gladly forward it to him. I hope the points raised therein will be considered when the Bill is brought back to the other House if they are not dealt with in this House.

I assure Senator Maurice Cummins that in so far as is possible there will be structures in place that will ensure we will have the greatest level of participation and input from the community sector irrespective of whether they are a majority or a minority.

Amendment put and declared lost.

Amendment No. 41, in the names of Senators David Cullinane and Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, has been ruled out of order.

Amendment No. 41 not moved.

I move amendment No. 42:

In page 49, between lines 35 and 36, to insert the following:

“(f) representatives of social partners,”.

I second the amendment.

Amendment put:
The Seanad divided: Tá, 16; Níl, 24.

  • Barrett, Sean D.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Crown, John.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Mark.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Mooney, Paschal.
  • Norris, David.
  • Ó Clochartaigh, Trevor.
  • Ó Domhnaill, Brian.
  • Ó Murchú, Labhrás.
  • O'Donovan, Denis.
  • Power, Averil.
  • van Turnhout, Jillian.
  • Walsh, Jim.
  • Wilson, Diarmuid.

Níl

  • Brennan, Terry.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Clune, Deirdre.
  • Coghlan, Eamonn.
  • Coghlan, Paul.
  • Comiskey, Michael.
  • Conway, Martin.
  • Cummins, Maurice.
  • D'Arcy, Jim.
  • Hayden, Aideen.
  • Higgins, Lorraine.
  • Keane, Cáit.
  • Kelly, John.
  • Landy, Denis.
  • Moloney, Marie.
  • Moran, Mary.
  • Mulcahy, Tony.
  • Mullins, Michael.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Noone, Catherine.
  • O'Donnell, Marie-Louise.
  • O'Neill, Pat.
  • Sheahan, Tom.
  • Whelan, John.
Tellers: Tá, Senators David Cullinane and Diarmuid Wilson; Níl, Senators Paul Coghlan and Aideen Hayden.
Amendment declared lost.

I move amendment No. 43:

In page 49, between lines 35 and 36, to insert the following:

"(f) communities of interest,".

I second the amendment.

Amendment put and declared lost.

Amendment No. 44 has been ruled out of order.

Amendment No. 44 not moved.

I move amendment No. 45:

In page 49, line 42, after "nominees" to insert ", excepting the elected members of the local authority,".

I second the amendment.

Amendment put and declared lost.

I move amendment No. 46:

In page 50, between lines 5 and 6, to insert the following:

"(b) The elected members nominated to the Committee shall have been elected by the local authority.".

I second the amendment.

Amendment put and declared lost.

I move amendment No. 47:

In page 50, line 19, after "chairperson" to insert "who should be a member of the local authority".

I second the amendment.

Amendment put:
The Seanad divided: Tá, 14; Níl, 27.

  • Barrett, Sean D.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Crown, John.
  • Daly, Mark.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Mooney, Paschal.
  • Norris, David.
  • Ó Clochartaigh, Trevor.
  • Ó Domhnaill, Brian.
  • Ó Murchú, Labhrás.
  • O'Donovan, Denis.
  • Power, Averil.
  • Walsh, Jim.
  • Wilson, Diarmuid.

Níl

  • Bacik, Ivana.
  • Brennan, Terry.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Clune, Deirdre.
  • Coghlan, Eamonn.
  • Coghlan, Paul.
  • Comiskey, Michael.
  • Conway, Martin.
  • Cummins, Maurice.
  • D'Arcy, Jim.
  • Hayden, Aideen.
  • Higgins, Lorraine.
  • Keane, Cáit.
  • Kelly, John.
  • Landy, Denis.
  • Mac Conghail, Fiach.
  • Moloney, Marie.
  • Moran, Mary.
  • Mulcahy, Tony.
  • Mullins, Michael.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Noone, Catherine.
  • O'Donnell, Marie-Louise.
  • O'Neill, Pat.
  • Sheahan, Tom.
  • van Turnhout, Jillian.
  • Whelan, John.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Paschal Mooney and Diarmuid Wilson; Níl, Senators Paul Coghlan and Aideen Hayden.
Amendment declared lost.

Amendment No. 48 has been ruled out of order.

Amendment No. 48 not moved.

I move amendment No. 49:

In page 50, line 37, after “authorities” to insert “and NGOs, community groups and communities of interest”.

I second the amendment.

Amendment put and declared lost.

I move amendment No. 50:

In page 50, line 38, to delete “as he or she considers appropriate”.

I second the amendment.

Question, "That the words proposed to be deleted stand," put and declared carried.
Amendment declared lost.

Amendment No. 51 has been ruled out of order. Amendments Nos. 52 and 53 cannot be moved as they propose to amend text that was deleted on Committee Stage. Amendments Nos. 54 and 55 have been ruled out of order.

Amendments Nos. 51 to 55, inclusive, not moved.

I move amendment No. 56:

In page 52, between lines 26 and 27, to insert the following:

“(5) The Minister may not include any recommendations or proposals from the report of the Working Group on Active Citizenship without—

(a) prior scrutiny and debate in both the Dáil and the Seanad;

(b) prior consultation with community groups, NGOs, and Communities of Interest.”.

I second the amendment.

Amendment put:
The Seanad divided: Tá, 17; Níl, 23.

  • Barrett, Sean D.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Crown, John.
  • Daly, Mark.
  • Mac Conghail, Fiach.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Mooney, Paschal.
  • Norris, David.
  • Ó Clochartaigh, Trevor.
  • Ó Domhnaill, Brian.
  • Ó Murchú, Labhrás.
  • O'Donovan, Denis.
  • Power, Averil.
  • Reilly, Kathryn.
  • van Turnhout, Jillian.
  • Walsh, Jim.
  • Wilson, Diarmuid.

Níl

  • Bacik, Ivana.
  • Brennan, Terry.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Clune, Deirdre.
  • Coghlan, Eamonn.
  • Coghlan, Paul.
  • Comiskey, Michael.
  • Conway, Martin.
  • Cummins, Maurice.
  • D'Arcy, Jim.
  • Hayden, Aideen.
  • Higgins, Lorraine.
  • Keane, Cáit.
  • Kelly, John.
  • Moloney, Marie.
  • Moran, Mary.
  • Mulcahy, Tony.
  • Mullins, Michael.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Noone, Catherine.
  • O'Donnell, Marie-Louise.
  • O'Neill, Pat.
  • Sheahan, Tom.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Trevor Ó Clochartaigh and Jillian van Turnhout; Níl, Senators Paul Coghlan and Aideen Hayden.
Amendment declared lost.

I move amendment No. 57:

In page 52, line 34, after "Schedule 16" to insert the following:

"and the National Traveller Partnership, the National Collective of Community-based Women's Networks, the National Women's Council, The Community Workers Co-operative, Pavee Point, and the National Traveller Women's Forum".

I second the amendment.

Amendment put:
The Seanad divided: Tá, 13; Níl, 22.

  • Barrett, Sean D.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Crown, John.
  • Mac Conghail, Fiach.
  • Mooney, Paschal.
  • Ó Clochartaigh, Trevor.
  • Ó Domhnaill, Brian.
  • Ó Murchú, Labhrás.
  • O'Donovan, Denis.
  • Power, Averil.
  • Reilly, Kathryn.
  • van Turnhout, Jillian.
  • Wilson, Diarmuid.

Níl

  • Bacik, Ivana.
  • Brennan, Terry.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Clune, Deirdre.
  • Coghlan, Eamonn.
  • Coghlan, Paul.
  • Conway, Martin.
  • Cummins, Maurice.
  • D'Arcy, Jim.
  • Gilroy, John.
  • Hayden, Aideen.
  • Higgins, Lorraine.
  • Keane, Cáit.
  • Moloney, Marie.
  • Moran, Mary.
  • Mulcahy, Tony.
  • Mullins, Michael.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Noone, Catherine.
  • O'Donnell, Marie-Louise.
  • O'Neill, Pat.
  • Sheahan, Tom.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Trevor Ó Clochartaigh and Kathryn Reilly; Níl, Senators Paul Coghlan and Aideen Hayden.
Amendment declared lost.

Amendment No. 58 is out of order; it has been negatived in committee by the House.

Amendment No. 58 not moved.
Debate adjourned.