Report of the Committee of Selection: Motion

I move: "That the report of the Committee of Selection that was held on 4 June be laid before the Seanad."

Before dealing with the motion, I want to have something clarified for the record of the House. I am deeply hurt, offended and shocked by what the Tánaiste has just said in the other House concerning No. 1. He made comments that have affected my credibility and status as Chairman of the committee. Furthermore, he has undermined the Committee of Selection. He said that "some slick parliamentary footwork had been performed", that "a parliamentary stroke" had been pulled and that the selection committee had played political games and that we should be ashamed of ourselves. That accusation was directed at the Fianna Fáil members and at the two other members, Senator Bradford and Senator Norris. It was an appalling statement.

The Tánaiste is not here.

I wish to put the record straight. On the week before we held the meeting of the Committee of Selection on 4 June----

I am giving some latitude to the Chairman of the selection committee in the circumstances.

It is a slur on my character and that of members of the selection committee. What happened was a comedy of errors and I have been careful not to point a finger at any person who was missing. In the week before 4 June, on both the Wednesday and the Thursday, I was contacted indirectly by the Leader with a request that a Committee of Selection be held as soon as possible so as not to hold up the banking inquiry. We agreed that would happen the following week. I rang the Leader on the morning of 4 June to ask whether it was in order to call a meeting. He told me to proceed as soon as possible and to have the meeting that evening rather than postpone it further. There was no political chicanery and no stroke was pulled. There was a comedy of errors. People turned up and voted in a particular way that I did not as Chairman anticipate. For the Tánaiste to place on the record of Dáil Éireann, of which I was a Member in the past, that a political stroke was pulled is unacceptable. I want that corrected. I hope the Leader will acknowledge---

I have no control over that. The Senator has clarified the position. Is the motion agreed?

I want clarification on that first.

What happens in the other House is a matter for the other House.

Except a banking inquiry.

Will the Senator have the decency to let me finish?

I am allowing latitude to the Leas-Chathaoirleach and the Leader.

The House intends to support the democratic decision of the Committee of Selection. That is our position.

I thank the Leader for clarifying that, because it obviously undermines the rash comments made by the Tánaiste in the other House, which were derogatory and defamatory and bring my reputation and character as a long-serving Member of this House and the other House into disrepute.

Having had that situation cleared up, I inform the House the Committee of Selection met on 4 June and has nominated the following Members to serve on a Select Committee of Inquiry into the Banking Crisis: Senator Sean D. Barrett and Senator Marc MacSharry. I move that the report of the Committee of Selection that was held on 4 June be laid before the Seanad.

Question put and agreed to.