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Seanad Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 29 Apr 2015

Vol. 239 No. 11

Order of Business

The Order of Business is No. 1, statements on ash dieback disease, to be taken at 12.45 p.m. and to conclude not later than 2.15 p.m., if not previously concluded, with the contributions from group spokespersons not to exceed eight minutes, those of all other Senators not to exceed five minutes, and the Minister to be called on to reply ten minutes from the end of the debate; No. 2, Sport Ireland Bill 2014 - Committee and Remaining Stages, to be taken at 2.30 p.m. and to conclude not later than 4 p.m., if not previously concluded; No. 3, statements on children's mental health services, to be taken at 4 p.m. and to conclude not later than 5.30 p.m., if not previously concluded, with the contributions from group spokespersons not to exceed eight minutes, those of all other Senators not to exceed five minutes, and the Minister to be called on to reply ten minutes from the end of the debate; and No. 65, motion 15, to be taken at 5.30 p.m., with the time allocated for this debate not to exceed two hours.

Will the Leader inquire of the Minister for Health, Deputy Varadkar, on the position of the home help gratuity payment? I have raised the matter with the Minister. In fairness, he came back to me and said these are payments to which thousands of home help workers have been deemed entitled in lieu of a pension benefit. This is a gratuity payment that they are due and that has been upheld by two Labour Court recommendations. The Minister said he would set up a working group - which I welcome - involving the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and his Department. The group indicated it would report back by the end of March. I wrote again to the Minister at the end of March and sought information on the matter but I have not heard anything back. The Seanad has played a leading role in highlighting this issue. Will the Leader inquire as to when that report will be concluded and when these workers, many of whom are low-paid, will get the money they are due?

Second, has the Leader received any update from the Minister of State, Deputy Coffey, on the debate I sought in respect of the progress, or lack thereof, of the pyrite remediation scheme? In the two years since its establishment the scheme has managed to fix five houses in the entire country. That is not a criticism of the staff who work in the Pyrite Remediation Board and who do a very good job. However, the legislation is far too restrictive and the scheme far too cumbersome. It is simply not working.

To be fair to the then Minister, Mr. Hogan, when he announced the scheme I debated it with him and tabled amendments. We said that we would review it. I do not think it is any harm to say that it is not working in the way we intended, that we need to change it and that we need to see how more people can access the scheme. Instead, the Minister of State, Deputy Coffey, sees fit to throw muck across the floor at me and blame me for the problem rather than trying to resolve the difficulty whereby thousands of people's homes are valueless and they want their homes fixed. In the interests of co-operation the Leader could put it to the Minister of State, Deputy Coffey, that I am trying to help him and then ask him to come to the House in order that we could have a reasoned debate with him. I am sure, or nearly sure, he would be able to manage that.

During the debate, we could determine how to improve this scheme for the good of the people we all represent.

I object to the Order of Business on the basis that Committee and Remaining Stages of the Sport Ireland Bill are being taken together. This Bill was introduced in the House only last week, on 22 April. We should split up the Stages. The Bill was introduced on Wednesday and we got an e-mail on Thursday stating amendments had to be submitted by Friday. This did not really give us sufficient time. I would prefer the splitting up of Committee and Remaining Stages, even if only some time were allowed between them today to enable an amendment to be tabled.

The Minister of State, Deputy Michael Ring, stated in 2014 that the appointment of the new chief executive of Sport Ireland would be done through public advertisement and interview. When the Minister of State introduced the Bill, he said he would not do this but instead appoint an interim chief executive and make that appointment himself. Therefore, the appointment is not by public advertisement or public interview. I refer to section 9 of the Bill, which needs to be changed. The Minister of State did not address those points last week and I will be putting them to him again today. If he cannot split up Committee and Remaining Stages, I will oppose the Bill in its entirety.

Yesterday many of us offered condolences to the families of the many thousands of people killed in the Nepali earthquake and to the injured. There are reports in today's newspapers that there are still a number of Irish citizens unaccounted for. Everyone will join me in supporting the efforts of the Irish consular service abroad in seeking to ensure the citizens' safety.

There is good news on the international front owing to the rescue by the Nigerian military of nearly 300 girls and women who have been held by Boko Haram. We have talked many times in this House about this situation in Nigeria and the terrible threat of Boko Haram. That is very welcome news.

I ask the Leader for a debate on euthanasia and assisted suicide in light of the verdict yesterday in the Gail O'Rourke trial. She was acquitted. This is an issue we need to examine as legislators. It is clear that a review of the 1993 legislation, under which the prosecution was taken, is timely. There have been some very public statements on this, in light of the trial and previously, by the husband of the later Marie Fleming who took the landmark Supreme Court case on this. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that there was nothing to prevent the Oireachtas legislating on this. It is a difficult and sensitive area and many ethical concerns arise, but it is clearly an issue the Legislature should tackle. The Seanad would be a good forum in which to have the sort of debate Mr. Tom Curran, the later Marie Fleming's husband, has spoken, and is speaking, about today in light of the verdict.

I ask the Leader for a debate on education and planning for demographic changes. The Minister for Education and Skills, Deputy Jan O'Sullivan, was in the House last night to take the Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill but I am thinking of a more wide-ranging debate that examines, in particular, the sorts of challenges facing the higher education system owing to the demographic changes outlined in yesterday's spring statement, about which I spoke briefly in the House yesterday. We see the need for thousands more teachers. Projected figures point to significant increases at third, second and primary levels over the coming years. It is really a good time for us to debate how the education system should be reformed in order to cope with this. It would be particularly good to have that debate soon because this week the Minister announced the reform of the CAO points system to make it more student-friendly and student-centred and particularly to simplify and clarify the grading structure for leaving certificate points. That is welcome. I ask the Leader to organise the debate in the coming weeks.

I would like to raise the issue of Fitzgibbon Street police station. I have raised this on a number of occasions and was told it was being closed for refurbishment and would be reopened. This is not true. It is closed for refurbishment in order to become a hostel for the homeless. The police station will be closed. The gardaí in the area are quite upset about this. In Dublin 1, there is a serious drugs problem and a problem with break-ins. To reduce the effect of policing in the area is completely insane. I already said when there were prospects of opening a place for drug addicts in Parnell Street, which already has one such facility, that our backyard in Dublin 1 was full up. We have done our duty. I am very sensitive to the plight of homeless people and have spoken on this subject on many occasions in the House but I am not sure that what is proposed represents an appropriate use of the facilities. I am concerned, in particular, about the reduction in policing. If what I describe is going ahead, can we have a clear, honest statement about it? Can we know what supervision and follow-up care will be in place for these people? They should not just be dumped there. Is the hostel to be wet or dry?

I wish to follow up on what Senator Darragh O'Brien said about pyrite. The Senator has very adequately represented the people with regard to this very difficult problem. I understand the builder responsible for a development in Lusk has denied responsibility and said it a problem for the quarry people. He has not done refurbishment work on many of the houses and has now applied for planning permission for another development. It is insane to let somebody who walks away from responsibilities to get planning permission for another development before looking after his duties towards the residents in the first development.

I support what my colleague Senator Bacik said on the subject of euthanasia. It was quite ridiculous that a woman should be prosecuted for making travel arrangements. This all looks back to the X case where a young girl was imprisoned. What are we at? The woman involved in this case paid tribute in a very dignified and balanced statement to the sympathetic way in which the Garda dealt with it. The Garda is not to blame. We, as legislators, are to blame. There should be provision for euthanasia. As a citizen, it is my right. If I am in intolerable pain or have absolutely no quality of life, I see no reason I should not be allowed to make the decision, which, as an able-bodied person, one is able to make. One can take one's own life in these circumstances. Just because somebody is disabled seems to be no reason to discriminate against him or her in allowing him or her to make this choice.

I welcome the decision by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Deputy Simon Coveney, to clarify the position on land eligible for payment. This posed a great problem. We have all been representing farmers who were disqualified or who lost a substantial part of their payment in the past year because their land was deemed ineligible. The problem was that the decision was up to the inspector, but two inspectors could have taken a different view. One might have said land was eligible while the other might have deemed it ineligible.

The booklet that is to be sent to all farmers will at least give a guideline and show exactly where farmers stand. If after looking at the book a farmer finds parcels of land are not eligible, he can red-line them and take them out. It is a move in the right direction. We had a great discussion on this yesterday at the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine. I hope this will clear up the matter for people in the future.

An Post wants to dump letters that do not have enough stamps. This was stated in a story by Aideen Sheehan in Monday’s Irish Independent. Under new terms and conditions, An Post wishes to impose this practice on customers. This was certainly never done when I was in the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. At that time, it was sacred that a letter should be delivered to a person and that if there was an inadequate number of postage stamps on it, the recipient had the option of paying what was owed. An Post is proposing change. ComReg is now considering this and has expressed deep concern about it. Its consultation is to conclude by 20 May. Could the Seanad have a say on the proposals An Post has laid before ComReg and have an input into the regulations before 20 May? It would be very influential and, in a sense, assist ComReg in deciding on such major issues, including the delivery of cash and the insuring of cash sent through the post, and other issues affecting the delivery of postal services.

It would be a useful exercise. A consultation process of the type proposed does not provide Members of this House with an opportunity to put forward their ideas. It would be worthwhile for the Seanad to express its views on issues such as this and for those views then to be conveyed to ComReg. It would be appalling if a letter sent without sufficient stamps was to be dumped without the person to whom the letter was addressed being given an opportunity to pay the additional cost required. I have always been of the view that there are too many stamps going through the system without proper checking. An Post, in not having in place an adequate system to ensure all envelopes are properly stamped, is losing a great deal of revenue. The company needs to undertake a review of its equipment, with a view to ensuring usage of the correct number of postage stamp to ensure it is being paid for its delivery service.

An earlier speaker called for the Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, Deputy Coffey, to come to the House. It is important that we have a debate on the moneys allocated to local authorities for the house building programme. For example, more than €204 million has been allocated for Cork, money which is to be spent over a three year timeframe. I would like to know if the rules around delivery of that programme provide for a review at the end of that three year timeframe or if reviews will be undertaken at six, 12, 18 and 24 month intervals to determine what action local authorities have taken and how far advanced they are in terms of delivery of the programme. I am deeply concerned about this issue. I have sought a meeting on it with the housing department of Cork City Council. Six weeks on, no meeting has yet been arranged. It concerns me that money is being allocated but we are not acting fast enough to respond to people's needs. The Minister and the Department need to clarify this issue.

I would like also to touch on the point made by Senator Norris in regard to developers being allowed to commence new developments without having completed previous developments. It is a valid issue, one of which we need to be mindful to ensure that the mistakes made five, six, seven or eight years ago are not repeated. Linked to this is the issue of whether local authorities are calling in bonds on time. I have come across a number of cases where the bonds had expired before the local authority called them in, resulting in taxpayers' money having to be used to complete estates. That is unsatisfactory. It is in that context that I believe the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government should come to the House to debate the allocation of moneys and the mechanisms put in place by the local authorities to ensure full delivery on the programme of residential accommodation.

Molaim an dream atá ag eagrú an Hands Up for Children campaign, feachtas atá á sheoladh maidin inniu. It would be useful if we could have a debate at some stage on the call by the Hands Up for Children campaign to realign child and family services so that the focus is on prevention rather than address of crises as they arise.

I note that the Minister for Finance, Deputy Noonan, has stated that his taxation measures will encourage emigrants to return home. This is very questionable given the number of new graduates emigrating is higher now than it was at any time in the previous six years. It is also worth noting that emigrants have identified four key barriers to their return, including poor infrastructure, precarious working conditions and low pay, lack of career opportunities and progression and a lack of affordable housing. I did not hear anything in yesterday's statement that addresses any of these barriers in a meaningful way. The Government's employment targets do not include any provision for returning emigrants and seem to assume that Ireland's labour force will not increase. Fine Gael and the Labour Party have since coming into government deepened economic and income inequality in Ireland and they are now creating a division in Irish society that will take decades to overcome.

In the context of the Government's spring statement, the Seanad should have a debate around encouraging emigrants to return home and what practical, economic, social and other measures and policies that need to be adopted by Government to make that a reality. I know from my recent engagement in Britain with organisations that work with people who want to return in their later years that those people are experiencing difficulty in their engagement with the Department of Social Protection in terms of having their years abroad recognised by the system here. A debate on issues such as employment, employability and emigrants wanting to return home and the real barriers in this regard is an important debate that we need to have. There is no point in setting out targets when there are barriers in place that prevent people from returning in the first instance.

I repeat the call made yesterday for an urgent debate on the Garda Síochána in Ireland in light, in particular, of issues raised yesterday during the annual Garda conference. Such a debate should not be about apportioning blame in this regard to the current Minister for Justice and Equality and Garda Commissioner or the former Minister for Justice and Equality. There is a societal problem with regard to respect for An Garda Síochána, something in which we all have a role to play. It is important we have a full debate on this issue. While it is important to discuss issues such as resources, the effectiveness of the PULSE system and so on, there is an obligation on us to address the lack of societal respect for law, order and authority in this country, which hits rank and file gardaí more than anybody else.

I support the Garda Síochána, 99% of whom are great people. It is a pity that gardaí trying to defend our communities and people are being spat at, bitten, kicked, knocked, abused and assaulted. Rather than an anti-Minister or anti-Government debate, we need a full debate on the future of An Garda Síochána. If current practice in this area continues, people will not look to join the Garda Síochána in the future. We have some excellent exponents of justice, who support our society and work with communities. If this rot is not addressed in the near future, the result will result be further erosion of confidence in An Garda Síochána. Morale among front-line members of An Garda Síochána is very low. However, I do not blame Government for this. We all have a role to play in it.

I welcome the spring statement as set out yesterday by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Howlin, and the Minister for Finance, Deputy Noonan. Despite the comments of the Opposition, which seek to down play that statement, as is the right of the Opposition, it sets out a path as regards strengthening of the recovery which is under way and the manner in which our public finances are being brought under control. It also restores our sense of national pride, improves our competitiveness and points the way to stability for the future. Despite what has been said about it, with Members on this side playing it up and Members opposite playing it down, it is a requirement. It ensures that come rainy days, which we hope never to see again, there will be something in the kitty, as is done by prudent households in terms of managing their own finances.

I believe it is a very good programme and I look forward to hearing more on it. I understand the Taoiseach will contribute to the debate on it today.

I can hardly contain my excitement.

As I often do in counselling caution to my respectful friends on the other side I say, "Hold your whisht another while".

They will get another day out of it.

As the Senator knows, it is very important for all of us-----

Does the Senator have a question for the Leader?

I am sure the Leader agrees with me.

I am sure he does agree with the Senator.

I will not go on about it. We will hear more about it.

All those in this House who respect human rights will be appalled at the execution of seven foreigners in Indonesia this morning. The Indonesian President said the state was merely applying the rule of law against narcotics traffickers. An Irish priest, whom I heard interviewed this morning on “Morning Ireland”, said he spent some time yesterday with the people who were executed and that one had a mental illness. It is appalling that, while we would all support a war on drugs, people’s lives would be taken rather than commit them to long terms of imprisonment for their crimes.

I am not soft on drugs and that is why I repeat my call to the Leader this morning for a debate as a matter of urgency with the Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality, Deputy Ó Ríordáin, who was recently given responsibility for this area, to see how we can start our war on drugs. I will not be advocating executing anybody but we need to review our sentences for serious drug trafficking crimes, which destroy the lives of so many young people throughout the country and decimate communities. We need to examine the resources available to the gardaí for the detection of drug trafficking and sale. I would also like to discuss how we can make further resources available for the rehabilitation of those unfortunate people whose lives are destroyed by the use of drugs and make more resources available so that many of those people can in the future make a meaningful contribution to our society. I strongly condemn what happened this morning in Indonesia.

Every country should protest against this and make its unease known to the authorities and the President of Indonesia.

I cannot contain my excitement as a result of the declaration by the Government Chief Whip that the Taoiseach is going to add to the Laurel and Hardyesque performance by the Ministers for Finance and for Public Expenditure and Reform that we were all subjected to yesterday in the Lower House.

This is in the national interest.

The Government may feel it is appropriate to spend a valuable week’s time regurgitating old news over and over again.

We had to get away from the fantasy economics on the other side of the House.

Even the most loyal commentators in some of the news and media outlets that support this Government-----

There are some loyal commentators.

-----said it was a farce and that both Ministers could have summed up all they had to say in four minutes, instead of the 57 minutes they spent delivering this so-called spring statement. I look forward to hearing what the Taoiseach has to add to this particular farce this afternoon.

They did not expect it to put a spring in Senator Wilson’s step but he does not have to hang on their every word.

I commend the Government Chief Whip here in the Seanad on his loyalty and dedication in repeating exactly what he said here yesterday in defence of that farce.

I thought I was speaking on a different subject yesterday.

I agree with what Senator O’Donovan said about An Garda Síochána. While I would like the Leader to invite the Minister for Justice and Equality to debate the resources available and reforms, etc., the most important thing to debate is that morale is at an all-time low within An Garda Síochána and that gardaí are being subjected not only to physical violence and intimidation, but also to daily intimidation on social media. That is not acceptable. While we should debate resources, it is more important to debate health and safety issues in the force and its low morale.

I apologise for missing the earlier part of this debate and yesterday’s Order of Business. Perhaps there has already been a request for a follow-up in this House to the spring statement in the Dáil. We could have a useful debate. The spring statement is a European concept and an obligation imposed on the Government by the EU. It is helpful.

It will allow Members from all parties and none to present their economic views and vision for the next few years. We can only ask that we have a full debate on the matter here with the Minister for Finance, as soon as possible.

I support what Senator Mullins said about the executions in Indonesia. Most if not all right-minded people would be deeply upset and outraged at them. We must also ask ourselves why Members of this House and the public are suddenly excited about executions in Indonesia. Every day around the globe, particularly in China and in our ally, the United States, executions take place. China and the US are the capital countries, excuse the pun, of the death penalty. We must revisit the concept from an international perspective and demand an end to the death penalty. We will soon see the American political circus in full swing as candidates seek nominations from the two main parties. These candidates will have to demonstrate how tough they are on law and order and how committed they are to retaining the death penalty across the US. I recall with horror the performance and behaviour of Bill Clinton, who is always lionised not only in this House, but throughout the country, when he was a presidential candidate in 1992 and Governor of Arkansas and he signed the papers to allow the execution of a person who was at the least mentally deficient. That was our great hero Bill Clinton being tough on crime. This does not happen just in Indonesia, but in China and particularly in the US. I concur with what has been said about those executed in Indonesia but we must consider other countries. The United Nations has led a campaign to bring about some degree of civilisation in the world and an end to the death penalty. We have a role to play in that. We can start much closer to home.

Will the Leader arrange for the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government to come to the House soon to deal with the cutbacks in funding for non-national and secondary roads in my county and I am sure in other counties? In Wexford, the allocation has been reduced by €279,000 which will have a detrimental effect on a county which has one of the highest levels of non-national roads in the country. Our secondary road allocation has, in effect, been cut by €300,000. It is a false economy because while it may look good as a saving for this year, if the roads are not maintained far greater resources will be spent on them in the future to bring them back to a safe condition. I would like that debate to take place soon.

I concur with all of those Senators who condemned the executions this morning in Indonesia. Capital punishment should be outlawed internationally as a crime. I agree fully with what Senator Bradford has said. This does not relate only to Indonesia; it is practised in many countries. Two of the largest countries who are members of the UN Security Council, the USA and China, systematically use it as part of their punishment regime for crimes.

It should be unacceptable and I join with those who condemn it. On a more positive note, I am a board member of the Parliamentarians for Global Action, an international body based in New York, and we are running a campaign to get countries to eradicate capital punishment from their statute books. Each month countries are removing capital punishment from their statute books and Ireland should lend its support this.

The right to life is a fundamental human right and that is why I am appalled to hear Senators talk about euthanasia as being a right. It is no such thing. It is a falsehood to put that forward. Unfortunately, there have been far too many suicides which have caused tremendous grief and trauma to relatives. We all know people to whom it has happened. We need to improve our mental health services and reach out to these distressed people to reduce the number of suicides. This should be the approach we take, rather than to legalise people assisting others to commit suicide.

Is the Senator suggesting we criminalise suicide?

When people are in a distressed state, they are in no position to make any major decision, let alone the decision to take their own lives, and it is irresponsible of Senators to propose it. This is the brave new world they are trying to usher in, and in many other ways also.

Senator Darragh O'Brien raised the home help gratuity payments and the review. I will ask the Minister about it. I have invited the Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, Deputy Coffey, to come to the House to discuss the pyrite issue. I hope we can schedule a debate in the coming weeks. Given that we had ample time for people to table amendments to the Sport Ireland Bill and no amendments were tabled, I do not propose to amend the Order of Business.

Although I normally would do so, there seems to be very little appetite for amendments to the Bill and that is why I ordered Committee and Remaining Stages for today. It is the Senator's prerogative to object to the Order of Business and to vote against the section in the Bill he mentioned. Senators Bacik, Walsh and Norris referred to euthanasia and the possibility of having a debate on it in the House. I will consider this and discuss it with the Minister to see if there are any plans in that regard. We may be able to debate it. Senator Bacik called for a debate on education and planning for the demographic changes. I am sure the Minister for Education and Skills, Deputy Jan O'Sullivan, would be willing to come to the House to discuss the matter.

Senator Norris raised the issue of a proposed hostel for homeless people, which he has previously raised. He suggested that Dublin 1 has more than its fair share of such facilities and that Dublin City Council and everybody involved should have a very transparent process, which he suggested is not the case. I agree with the Senator that if such a hostel is being planned, it should be open for everybody to see what the situation is. It is probably a matter for Dublin City Council. There should be transparency in such issues.

Senator Comiskey asked for clarification from the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Deputy Coveney, on land matters and the new booklet which has been issued. I am sure it will be welcomed by the farming community. Senator Leyden raised proposed changes by An Post. I agree with him that it is totally unacceptable that letters which have insufficient stamps could be dumped. It is a matter for the Oireachtas joint committee at which, I am sure, it will be debated at length. Senator Colm Burke raised the house building programme and mentioned that it has taken up to six weeks for him to get an appointment to meet a Cork City Council housing officer. It is appalling that local representatives, irrespective of their party, would be treated in such an unacceptable manner. The Senator should take it up with the Minister, if he has not already done so.

Senator Ó Clochartaigh raised the Hands Up for the Children campaign and I agree we should support it in every way possible. Regarding the barriers to emigrants returning home, for many people, the main problem is our high rate of tax.

And the universal social charge.

That is right.

The Government hopes to address this in the coming budgets. People returning from the UK should have no problems regarding social protection and the transfer of benefits. The Department of Social Protection is very helpful to people who wish to return home from the UK and transfer their benefits. There should not be a problem, and if there is, it should be taken up with the Department.

Senators O'Donovan and Wilson raised the difficulties facing gardaí, which was raised yesterday. I agree that everything possible should be done in order to address the concerns of gardaí. The violence and intimidation which Senator Wilson mentioned regarding social media, in particular, is despicable for people who put their lives on the line every time they go on duty to protect the public. I have invited the Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Fitzgerald, to the House and I hope that she will accede to my request that we have a debate on law and order and the Garda in early course.

Senator Paul Coghlan raised the spring statement, which we addressed yesterday. Senator Wilson mentioned Laurel and Hardy. Much Laurel and Hardy economics were discussed over the weekend on the television.

I am glad the Leader was watching.

The greatest risk to job creation and a brighter future is the risk from political parties, such as Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin, which are proposing populist and fanciful economics.

The Leader is beginning to sound like the Tories.

He is attacking republican parties.

However, we will address that matter. Senator Bradford mentioned he was not here yesterday but-----

That is because he set up a new party.

----next week, we will debate the spring statement. Senators Mullins, Bradford and Walsh addressed the execution of seven people in Indonesia and the question of the death penalty and capital punishment. Our country very strongly condemns capital punishment and the death penalty. People rightly pointed out that the major powers, China and the US, practise this very frequently. We should do everything possible to try to end the death penalty and support the campaign to eliminate it. Senator Walsh also raised funding for non-national and secondary roads. Whether it is the responsibility of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government or the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, we will try to arrange for the Minister to come to the House to address that issue and several other issues relating to local government and the environment during the coming weeks.

Question put: "That the Order of Business be agreed to."
The Seanad divided: Tá, 25; Níl, 10.

  • Bacik, Ivana.
  • Bradford, Paul.
  • Brennan, Terry.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Coghlan, Eamonn.
  • Coghlan, Paul.
  • Comiskey, Michael.
  • Conway, Martin.
  • Craughwell, Gerard P.
  • Cummins, Maurice.
  • Gilroy, John.
  • Henry, Imelda.
  • Higgins, Lorraine.
  • Keane, Cáit.
  • Kelly, John.
  • Landy, Denis.
  • Moran, Mary.
  • Mulcahy, Tony.
  • Mullins, Michael.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Noone, Catherine.
  • O'Neill, Pat.
  • Sheahan, Tom.
  • Whelan, John.
  • Zappone, Katherine.


  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Mark.
  • Leyden, Terry.
  • Mooney, Paschal.
  • Norris, David.
  • Ó Domhnaill, Brian.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Donovan, Denis.
  • Walsh, Jim.
  • Wilson, Diarmuid.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Ivana Bacik and Paul Coghlan; Níl, Senators Paschal Mooney and Diarmuid Wilson.
Question declared carried.
Sitting suspended at 12.31 p.m. and resumed at 12.45 p.m.