Adjournment Matters

Services for People with Disabilities

I thank the Minister of State for attending to take this Adjournment matter which is about a young girl who has a profound intellectual disability and intractable epilepsy. Her family's health has completely broken down. She is 5 ft. 7 in. and weighs 65 kg. After a desperate appeal by her family in 2013 for their daughter to be cared for by the State, assessed and taken into respite care, they were very grateful to get a place for her in a residential care unit in Nurney, County Kildare, which involves a 120 km round trip for the family. This young girl has daily seizures which are life threatening because they lower her blood pressure and oxygen levels. Her parents have fought long and hard to get their little girl back to school. She spends up to three hours in a car every day, depending on traffic, to attend school in Cheeverstown. All the family want is for their little girl to be taken into care in Dublin, somewhere near home. They are spending over €4,500 on petrol and driving every day to see their child.

HIQA, an arm of government, has set out in the national standards for residential services for children and adults with disabilities some features of care settings, including that the positive attachments children make before admission are promoted and maintained and that children are encouraged to develop relationships with their peers and keep their relationships with their families and friends. This child cannot speak; all she has is the visual love of and communication with her family. Her only quality of life is when she sees her father, mother and siblings who drive to Nurney every day to see her. Given that she is with adults in the house there, the family would accept residential care in Dublin with adults as long as it was close to home, within a few miles of Cheeverstown.

This little girl has sustained injuries since she has been taken into care. I visited her last night. While I do not blame anybody, she has broken her toe, has ligament damage in her ankle and can no longer walk. She has hurt her neck and split her lip. She had to go to hospital and her lip will never be the same again because she did not have plastic surgery. Given her seizures, she needs to be cared for near a hospital. From Nurney, it takes at least one hour to bring her to hospital when she has a seizure, which is unsuitable. On 8 July the HSE officer who is head of disability services in the Leinster region had a meeting with the family following a meeting they had had with the girl's new consultant in St James’s Hospital, a public consultant who happens to be an expert in her rare condition, severe epilepsy. The consultant said:

In my opinion, Clíona's current living situation needs to be reviewed from a safety perspective. She is living with a very serious medical condition in a social model of care without nursing care. She needs to be in nursing care.

The consultant believes she is not safe. I refer again to her four injuries since she has been in care. At the meeting on 8 July the person in charge of disability services said she would urgently seek a meeting with the consultant. It is nearly Christmas and there has been not a dicky bird since. This is unacceptable. I need to meet the Minister for Health, Deputy Leo Varadkar, or the Minister of State, Deputy Kathleen Lynch, to dicuss this. I am going to get a result for this little girl and her family by Christmas and I am not asking much. There must be a place for her in Dublin.

I thank the Senator for raising this issue and apologise on behalf of the Minister of State, Deputy Kathleen Lynch, who is in the other Chamber. It is on that basis that I am taking this Adjournment debate. When the Senator replies, she might clarify whether it is the family's wish to have the person cared for in their home or a residential setting. According to the Minister of State's reply, she has been advised by the HSE that it is very aware of the family's wishes to care for the young person in question in their own home. We might obtain some clarification, not necessarily in the Senator's reply today. I acknowledge her points on the potential to seek residential care.

For obvious reasons, we all want to protect the identity of the person concerned and I will not give the official answer, except to say the HSE's disability service in the local area has arranged a case review meeting in early December with her family and the relevant service provider.

I understand a previous meeting with the family was postponed as the HSE disability services manager had not had an opportunity to discuss her circumstances with the consultant neurologist. Every effort is being made in the girl's best interests to meet the complex needs articulated by her advocate, the Senator. I hope the meeting which will take place in early December will provide clarity.

I thank the Minister of State for his reply, but I wished I shared his hope there would be clarity. Last Friday the family heard from the residential care facility in Nurney that a meeting had been granted. They did not hear from the HSE and the person concerned has not contacted them yet. I am very glad that the HSE manager of disability services in area four, the Leinster region, is not working for me in Lily O'Brien's because we would have gone out of business long ago. It was on 9 July that the family met the expert consultant who said that, in his opinion, the safety of the child was a problem. Now, golly gosh, it is proposed to hold a meeting on 4 December. Please, do not get my hopes up.

Let me clarify the family's wishes. They wish to save the State some money; they seek shared care in order that the little girl can live in residential accommodation somewhere in Dublin and they do not have a round trip of 120 km. They propose to take her on a Saturday and that she stay with them overnight and return on a Sunday. It is important that this little girl who has life threatening seizures be in a caring environment with a nurse and located near a hospital. This is urgent. I ask the Minister of State to convey my wish to the Minister of State, Deputy Kathleen Lynch, that I meet her in person to discuss the case.

Absolutely. The Senator can be assured that I will be talking to the Minister of State, Deputy Kathleen Lynch, this evening. I will ensure the concerns raised by the Senator are transferred directly to the persons in question in order that they can pick up on the points made. Please be assured that I will meet the Minister of State and convey to her the request made by the Senator, as the advocate for the girl in question, to meet her to discuss the case.

It is not just the little girl but also the entire family. Her mother, father and four siblings are distraught; their lives have been destroyed.

I acknowledge the point. That is a given.

Medical Card Reviews

I thank the Minister of State, Deputy Sean Sherlock, for taking this Adjournment debate. The individual concerned resides in a HSE funded residential St. John of God service that cares for people with an intellectual disability. The person has a physical and intellectual disability with associated high care needs. For as long as the family can remember, the person has had a medical card. The person entered the care of St. John of God services 12 years ago in 2002. A review letter was issued on 10 February 2012 to inform the individual concerned that the medical card was up for review on 31 May that year. The letter advised that the person would need to complete a review form for the PCRS by 1 May 2012 to ensure the application would be processed before eligibility expired. However, the PCRS has no record of a review form being returned to the office prior to 2012. A further letter was issued to the individual on 9 May 2012, advising that if the person wished to have eligibility for a medical card extended, they would need to complete the review form. The letter stated clearly that failure to return the review form would result in the person's medical card being cancelled, which is what subsequently happened. The medical card was cancelled in 2012.

This individual's family came to see me in 2014, saying the person's medical card had been removed. I began to make inquiries to discover the reason the medical card had been reviewed. The family are the next of kin of the individual, but they had never heard about this letter and were not aware a letter had been sent in 2012. They were not aware of any of the facts; all they knew was that the individual's medical card had been removed. I have the dates of all the letters sent in respect of the medical card review, but it was a member of staff in the St. John of God service that informed the family that the individual did not have a medical card.

I find it very troubling that a HSE funded residential service can unilaterally decide to allow a medical card to expire without notifying the family in the first instance or seeking their consent. What if they had decided to remove the person from the service and the individual no longer had a medical card? What if the individual needed to be sent to a hospital and no longer had a medical card?

On behalf of the family, I queried the matter locally, as well as questioning the medical card section. I was informed by letter that until mid-2014, no resident living in the service had an individual medical card, which is extremely strange. It was further clarified when family members and I met the head of the service - although this person had taken up the position in recent months - that an individual did not need a medical card because the service employed a GP. If somebody is entitled to a medical card, why does he or she not have one? The individual is living in a congregated setting, but as we all know, this will be a thing of the past in a few years. Therefore, why do all of the current residents not have medical cards? Why would a service volunteer to pay for a GP service when an individual was entitled to a free service? Who is paying for the services of the GP? As I have stated, the individual has high medical needs. I question who has paid for their medication? Why would a service funded by the HSE do this if a resident is entitled to a medical card? There are many families involved in providing day-to-day care, as well as making decisions for an individual family member living in a residential service. At the very least, they deserve to be informed about the position on medical cards and the care provided for their family members. I find this issue very troubling and believe there is a serious lack of transparency in this case.

I acknowledge the issue raised by the Senator. I am taking this matter on the Adjournment on behalf of the Minister of State at the Department of Health, Deputy Kathleen Lynch, who is in the Dáil Chamber. I will not deliver the script provided.

The issue raised by the Senator arises from an exceptional set of circumstances. I do not wish to say it is a complete outlier in cases presented to the HSE. I think anybody with a degree of fairness would acknowledge the individual in this case was not dealt with properly. It is obvious that there was a systems breakdown. I have been given a script, but I do not wish to state there is no role for the Minister for Health in this case, about which I will speak from the script that I have been given.

I acknowledge the points made by the Senator about the fact that in the period from 2012 to date, the individual in question was locked out of the medical card system through no fault of their own. The question is why that happened. I am aware that the HSE has a protocol in place for a review process and that every effort is made to provide for ongoing engagement with clients during this process. That obviously did not happen in this case. Each month the HSE analyses the medical card register to identify those medical cards and GP visit cards scheduled for review within three months. That obviously did not happen in this instance.

Now all customers scheduled for review are notified and a balance of either full reviews or self-assessments is conducted. That did not happen either in this instance. In this case, the HSE has confirmed that the medical card lapsed. However, the person's medical needs were provided for by a resident doctor, which the Senator has stated and expenses arising from medical appointments or drugs were funded by the service provider. I understand from the HSE that an application has been made, as the Senator has stated, to reinstate the person's medical card in 2014. The Minister of State at the Department of Health, Deputy Kathleen Lynch, has asked the HSE to remind service providers of their responsibility to ensure such matters are attended to promptly in respect of residents in their care. I do not have an answer for the Senator on what happened in this case, but I fully support her plea on behalf of the client that there be a review of the structures that led to a situation where that person was not in receipt of a medical card if that person was entitled to one for a particular period.

If I understand the Senator correctly, the medical card was cancelled but the family was not informed or was not in receipt of any documentation to that effect. To be frank, I think the very least the person is entitled to in this instance is some acknowledgement of that fact, but as Oireachtas Members we all, including me, have experience of circumstances where documentation has slipped through the cracks. I do not want to lay the blame on any particular entity, but a number of Oireachtas Members have sent in documentation to the service on behalf of various clients or constituents and it has got lost somewhere in the ether. I know from my own experience that service has been cleaned up considerably to be fair to the HSE and I am confident that this will continue, given today's announcement, for instance, but the case the Senator raises is worthy of further examination. I hope the most positive outcome would be an assurance that the person's medical card would be restored if that person is so entitled, as seems to be the case, but also that medical needs, most importantly, are taken care of.

I have no problem with the HSE in this instance. It has provided me with every date and piece of correspondence sent. My argument is that the service, which is funded by the HSE, did not inform the family. There was no communication at all with them that the medical card was up for review. The service providers let it lapse, but what they said to me when I met them was "They didn't need the medical card. We're providing the GP in our service." My question is why one would do that when everyone is strapped for cash and they are all looking for funding. Why would one volunteer to pay out of one's own pocket for medication when that person is entitled to it for free on a medical card? I have since been told that they had applied for a medical card. I checked with the medical cards office last week and it has no record of anything being applied for in the past year. There is a huge lack of transparency in this matter. Money is being provided to this service and the providers should be accountable for this. There are 123 people living in this residential service. Does that mean that 123 people had no medical cards and had doctor's services paid for when they were all entitled to free treatment?

I beg the Chair's and the Senator's indulgence to acknowledge that point.

Do not mind the Chair.

It is very important and I-----

I acknowledge the distinction the Senator has made. At the same time, historically there is a situation where the client - I know it is an awful word-----

It is an awful word.

I apologise if I am using inappropriate terminology, but I do not mean to offend anybody. A system or a protocol must be put in place. That is the essential point that is being made by the Senator.

Absolutely, where family members are informed.

Where family members are informed. That is the key. From a HSE perspective, it generates a great deal of correspondence, but in this instance there is a certain responsibility on the HSE. That is my view. I will relay this matter to the Minister of State, Deputy Kathleen Lynch, on behalf of the Senator.

Firearms Licences

My quip was exactly that. I have the height of respect for the Chair, particularly for the current incumbent.

I welcome the Minister of State, but I am disappointed that the Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Frances Fitzgerald, is not present to take this particular motion on the Adjournment. Earlier today many Members of both Houses visited a lobby organised by the sports coalition in Buswell's Hotel, across the road from the House. In the course of the presentations made by various individuals, led by the very able CEO of the National Association of Regional Game Councils, Des Crofton, it became apparent that this is a serious issue.

The wording of the motion is slightly incorrect in that "Garda inspectors" should actually read "Garda superintendents" and the reference to section F of the Garda Commissioner's guidelines should refer to Annex F of the Garda Commissioner's guidelines. These are my errors, not those of the Seanad office.

I also wish to declare an interest in that I am a nominee of the National Association of Regional Game Councils; therefore, I have more than a passing interest in its activities.

Other colleagues and I at this meeting listened to words like "offensive to sports enthusiasts across the country," to "lack of confidence in the Garda Síochána" and "using the argument of defending the country against criminal elements," which made that comment even more deeply offensive to sports enthusiasts. Anybody would have to respond to it and find out exactly what is going on.

At the core of this is a strong sentiment among the sports coalition that the Garda is out to get it. It has no confidence in the Garda because of ongoing and recurrent court cases and appeals against gun licence applications through the years, which are still before the High Court, and because the Garda has initiated this review of the firearms Acts, with the acquiescence of a pliant Department of Justice and Equality, to target sports enthusiasts by using the cover of criminal elements. It referred, for example, to the 1,000 plus guns that have been recovered by An Garda Síochána, implying that these had come from the sports community when, in fact, it was pointed out to us that most of these guns had been stolen from gun dealers and in other cases they were discarded guns, and also that every licensed gun owner in this country is legally obliged to report stolen guns. The point was also made that the Criminal Justice Act 2006 covered many of the instances that are now being raised again by the Garda in terms of protection of the general public and laid out the criteria which must be complied with by licensed gun owners which gun owners are doing and have been doing at considerable cost to themselves.

The most insidious part of this has been the allegation that Garda superintendents in some parts of the country are denying licence applications under Annex F of the Garda Commissioner's guidelines. This means, in effect, that they have evidence - they have named the individuals concerned in correspondence to the Minister for Justice and Equality - that applications for 0.22 small-bore gun licences have been turned down by Garda superintendents in certain parts of the country, using the excuse that a change in the law is imminent when there is no evidence to indicate that this is the case.

The review has not even got to that point. The line I emphasise strongly is that despite continuous engagement between Mr. Des Crofton, representing the sports coalition, and the Department of Justice and Equality, until very recently the latter was paying lip service to the concept of consultation. It has now agreed that there will be further consultation but this must be real and not just submissions. It must be face-to-face meetings across the table with the people who are most relevant in the argument and who will be impacted to a larger extent than the general public if the review recommendations are to be implemented.

The bottom line is that there is no need for the review to take place in the context of attempting to protect the general community from criminal elements. It is a spurious argument and the sports coalition, if given the opportunity to have face-to-face engagement with the Minister, would be more than happy to point out the reasons that is. It is being used by gardaí who the sports coalition believes are trying to get their own back on sports enthusiasts across the country for taking the Garda Síochána to court in various instances. The Garda continues to have to face court action over gardaí going into the witness box to give evidence that, within the context of Seanad privilege, I note is questionable.

On behalf of the Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Frances Fitzgerald, who sends her apologies, I thank the Senator for raising the issue today. As he may be aware, in the light of public safety concerns highlighted by An Garda Síochána and difficulties in the interpretation of the legislation expressed by members of the Judiciary, a joint working group of the Department of Justice and Equality and the Garda was established to review the firearms licensing process. I appreciate that states the obvious, but it is important to record it in the House. The report of the working group was published on 13 November and submissions on the report have been sought from stakeholders and the public. The deadline for the receipt of submissions is 31 January 2015. The consultation process provides individuals and groups with the opportunity to contribute to the development of firearms policy and legislation and will enable consideration to be given to the future direction of such legislation. The Minister has already given a commitment not to make any decision until she has had the opportunity to consider all the submissions which are made and met the key stakeholders, including the organisations who represent those who use firearms for sporting purposes. The Minister urges all concerned to engage with this process so that their views can be considered before final decisions are made in relation to this matter.

In so far as the issue of the Garda Commissioner's guidelines is concerned, I understand the Senator is referring to Annex F of same on the practical application and operation of the Firearms Acts. The Garda Commissioner has made a decision with ministerial consent to issue new Garda guidelines on the Firearms Acts which exclude the former Annex F. The interpretation of the previous Annex F had caused difficulties and confusion in regard to applications for firearm certificates for .22 calibre handguns and has resulted in more than 30 judicial review applications to date. The Senator has made reference to this state of affairs. There have been no changes to either primary or secondary legislation as a result of amending the guidelines.

Deciding officers in An Garda Síochána have been formally notified this month that all applications for licences for non-restricted handguns shall be considered under the current legislation which is SI 21 of 2008, as amended by SI 337 of 2009. Interest groups, including representatives of the sports coalition, were notified earlier this month of both the new Garda guidelines without Annex F and the current position that, in effect, a negative decision for a licence for .22 calibre handgun is a refusal of the application which allows for an appeal of that decision to the District Court.

To summarise a key point on behalf of the Minister, I note that no decision will be made on the matter until such time as she has had an opportunity to consider the submissions and has met the key stakeholders.

I thank the Minister of State who is representing the Minister for Justice and Equality and acknowledge that this is not an area within his brief. Having said that, I am reassured to some extent that at least it is on the record now that the Minister will meet the key stakeholders, including the organisations I mentioned, which is a significant step forward. Correspondence with the Minister as recently as August was not replied to other than by way of an acknowledgement of receipt. It was not until phone calls were made in the last week to ten days that the Minister has conceded on this point. At least it has now been recorded.

My understanding is that the deletion of Annex F means the entire guidelines are not being activated, which could have a serious impact in terms of firearms activity. The formal notification of An Garda Síochána this month that all applications shall be considered under the current legislation is a vital and important step forward, given the allegations I raised in my earlier submission whereby they were being turned down on the basis that legislation was imminent. That was plainly an untruth. The Minister of State made the point that negative decisions on a licence application constitute a refusal which may be appealed to the District Court. It will be interesting to see the reasons for refusals of handgun licences.

We are talking about sporting enthusiasts not criminal elements and that is the difficulty the sporting organisations are feeling and why they consider certain terminology offensive. They are the most compliant people in our society and they are acutely aware of their responsibilities given that they have to handle a wide variety of potentially lethal weapons. The suggestion the review is being introduced on foot of criminal reasons is considered by the sporting organisations as an attack on them. I hope the Minister will have the opportunity to dissuade them from that point of view when she meets them.

I concur with the points being made by the Senator. I represent an urban-rural constituency and have held a shotgun in my time for the same purposes as many people who live in rural Ireland in respect of countryside pursuits. While I concur with the view that the perception within the lobby that there has been a heavy-handed approach must be addressed, I take in good faith the words of the Minister when she says she will sit down with the stakeholders. It is something everyone on the Government side of the House has advocated.

In fairness, the Senator has mentioned Mr. Des Crofton. Mr. Crofton's organisation is prodigious and consists of upstanding citizens. I know these people and have engaged and interacted with them. The Senator mentioned the 2006 Act and if one looks at the way in which Mr. Crofton and company have interacted with the 2009 Act, there is no doubt but that they have acted absolutely in good faith and continue to do so. It is in all of our interests to chart a course that will ensure there is a successful outcome and that we recognise the value of these lobbies within Irish society.

Compulsory Purchase Orders

I thank the Minister of State for taking this matter on the Adjournment. As this is my first opportunity to formally do so, I congratulate her on being appointed as a Minister of State and wish her the best of luck in her portfolio. I know she will do a great job, as she has been doing since her appointment.

I have been contacted by a number of farmers in Galway East who are concerned about the status of their land in light of the announcement of the Dublin to Galway greenway. There is no doubt that this greenway will be a welcome addition to east Galway and its landscape but when completed it will bring a large number of tourists to the area as greenways have done across the country. It will help to revive the towns along this route, which is very important to the businesses and the communities in Galway East. It will create many jobs in local economies around Loughrea and adjoining areas. However, there is a genuine fear of the compulsory purchase order, CPO, process and its potential to impact detrimentally on the constitution of farmers' lands. The powers associated with CPOs have always been used with regard to the construction of public utilities including canals and railways in the past and while the use of compulsory purchase orders is a wide-ranging process, they are often seen as draconian in nature. However, it would be very difficult to progress any national infrastructural projects without them. The Minister of State might clarify the position with County Galway and inform me if it is expected that CPOs will be required to progress a greenway.

I thank the Senator for raising this extremely important issue and allowing me the opportunity to discuss the important Dublin to Galway greenway.

The economic and social benefits to local communities from the delivery of greenways in their locality is fully recognised by my Department. The issue of greenways is of particular interest to me as it crosses all three areas of responsibility in the Department, namely, transport, tourism and sport, as well as other areas of rural development.

One has only to look at the success of the Great Western Greenway in County Mayo to see how facilities such as these can revitalise our rural areas by bringing new visitors from both home and abroad to areas of the countryside and towns that may not have previously attracted visitors in great numbers. People using these greenways will need somewhere to stay, to eat and to socialise, and this will have a positive ripple effect on local businesses supplying their needs.

In recent days I had the privilege of attending a presentation on what greenways can do for the local economy. A bicycle hire business is now employing 26 people in a very rural part of Ireland. Some 26 people in any employment is a significant number. The Senator would be delighted if we were able to bring small factories employing 26 people to a rural area and this is how we can do it. Apart from the multiplier effect, the creation of 26 jobs in a rural area is very welcome.

The provision of incentives or compensation to landowners affected by the construction of a greenway through their lands is a matter for the local authority in charge of delivering the specific project, given that the consideration of any such payments can substantially increase the cost of project delivery.

It is important for local landowners to note the positive impact the greenways will have on their locality when negotiating on price with the developers of such greenways and to remember that there are other route options available to progress the project. It is important to note also that the development of greenways needs to meet the requirements of cyclists and walkers and that the straightest or easiest route is not necessarily the best route to attract users.

There is no point in building greenways if not enough people use them. We must route greenways to ensure they provide connections to sites that attract tourists, have reasonable gradients for all users, connections to towns and villages with public transport, and a good experience with nice views for users along the route. That is the logic that has been followed by the National Roads Authority and Westmeath County Council, which is leading the project, in identifying the preferred route options from Athlone to Galway. These preferred routes were the subject of public consultation recently in County Galway. I understand useful discussions were held at the public meetings and this will be reflected on in the coming months.

I also understand a second round of public consultation days will be held early in 2015 when the preferred route will be displayed for information and further public comment. Following the second public consultation, the comments received will be used to evaluate and refine the preferred route. A detailed design of the greenway will then be progressed, which will define the extent of the lands required. An environmental impact statement and compulsory purchase orders, if required, will be prepared and subject to funding will be submitted to An Bord Pleanála for approval by the end of 2015.

In general terms, the following sets out the Department's views with regard to the various options that can be considered in delivering greenways. The permissive access model which has been used for the Great Western Greenway is a worthy mechanism for certain cycling and walking projects, particularly on a local level. It is a low cost community-based model that provides access to the natural environment without interfering with the property rights of the landowners concerned. In many cases, the landowners become champions of the project, supporting the role of the local authorities and the work of agencies such as Fáilte Ireland.

In terms of the best land access models for greenway delivery, the use of publicly-owned land is advantageous from the perspective of reducing costs. Negotiated permissive access, from the perspective of cost and public ownership, continues to have value but for the projects of national scale, consideration must be given to land purchase by agreement or, if necessary, by CPO.

The process of obtaining permissive access is resource intensive and I would have my doubts that such a process could be deployed on projects of national scale such as the Dublin to Galway greenway where agreement would need to be secured with hundreds or more landowners.

Greater investment of tens of millions of euro in the case of the Dublin to Galway greenway is now being provided and it would be precarious to rely on permissive access where the associated agreements may be withdrawn at any time without recourse to the State. As I stated, it will be a matter for all developers of cycling infrastructure to consider access to land on a case by case basis and to take a multi-criteria approach in the route selection process. The key consideration should always be to select an approach that will maximise the future use of the amenity concerned.

In the context of developing major cycling infrastructure projects that traverse long sections of privately owned land, such as the Dublin to Galway greenway, I fully support the need to consider negotiated financial agreements or, if required, CPO. However, I recommend that all other options be considered before land purchase is decided on.

I thank the Minister of State for the response. As an avid cyclist, I am delighted that there will be a greenway in Galway, given that I spend much of my weekends on a bike trying to work off the calories I put on during my week here. I acknowledge the benefits to the local economy, as the Minister of State said. All that is left to be said is to encourage the farming community to engage in the consultation process under way.

It is prudent that the community is involved in the negotiations and whatever consultation process is taking place, it is very important that the community is aware of it. I understand the concerns of landowners about CPO. It causes consternation in communities when we do very large infrastructural projects. However, having listened to all the considered opinions of the locals on the greenway, it is in the main a positive and much-desired tourist project which will be a win-win for everybody in the community. I encourage the Senator to talk to the landowners and try to get them on board because it will be a positive development.

The Seanad adjourned at 7.20 p.m. until 10.30 a.m. on Wednesday, 26 November 2014.