Order of Business

The Order of Business is No. 1, Social Welfare and Pensions Bill 2015 - Committee Stage, to be taken at 12.45 p.m. and adjourned at 2.55 p.m.; No. 2, Legal Services Regulation Bill - Report Stage (Resumed), to be taken at 3 p.m., adjourned not later than 4.30 p.m. and resumed and followed by Fifth Stage at the conclusion of No. 6, if not previously concluded; No. 3, Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill 2015 - Order for Second Stage and Second Stage, to be taken at 4.30 p.m. and conclude not later than 6 p.m., with the contributions of group spokespersons not to exceed eight minutes and those of all other speakers not to exceed five minutes and the Minister to be called on to reply to the debate not later than 5.55 p.m.; No. 4, Residential Tenancies (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2015 - motion for earlier signature, to be taken without debate at 6 p.m.; No. 5, National Cultural Institutions (National Concert Hall) Bill 2015 - Report and Final Stages, to be taken at 6 p.m.; and No. 6, International Protection Bill 2015 - Order for Second Stage and Second Stage, to be taken at the conclusion of No. 5 and conclude not later than 8 p.m., with the contributions of group spokespersons not to exceed ten minutes and those of all other Senators not to exceed seven minutes and the Minister to be called on to reply to the debate not later than 7.55 p.m.

It is welcome that Committee Stage of the Social Welfare and Pensions Bill 2015 will be adjourned at 3 p.m., if not previously concluded. I put Members on notice that I have tabled a number of significant amendments regarding pensions. These amendments would ensure that what happened in the case of the Irish airlines superannuation scheme, whereby a Government cut promised benefits by up to 60%, would not be allowed to happen to any other worker in the State. I ask Members on the Government side and the Opposition to have a look at those amendments in advance of the debate. I welcome their support because I believe the Seanad can do a job here today by passing at least one of these amendments, which would give protection to pension scheme members and their benefits.

To deal with Second Stage of the International Protection Bill 2015 this evening and Committee Stage tomorrow would require that amendments be tabled pretty much one hour after the conclusion of Second Stage. This would not give Members sufficient time to reflect on the Minister's presentation or other Second Stage contributions before tabling amendments to this important legislation. I suggest Second Stage of the Bill be moved to tomorrow, Thursday, 3 December, and that Committee Stage be taken on Monday, 7 December. That would allow Members sufficient time to table amendments on Friday. I propose, by way of a formal amendment to the Order of Business, that No. 6 not be taken today and that it be listed for tomorrow.

In advance of the passage of the Finance (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2015 through the House, I ask Members to note that earlier this year I presented the Local Property Tax (Management Fees) Relief Bill 2015. Because it is a money Bill it could not be moved in this House and was moved in the Dáil. That Bill would have given some relief to people who are paying management fees. There are 200,000 households - apartments and houses - paying both full local property tax and management fees. Many of the people concerned are paying the local property tax for services they do not receive from the local authority. The report of the expert group chaired by Dr. Don Thornhill recognised this issue. I proposed a modest change that would give up to €300 relief, or a third of the local property tax, whichever was lower, to take into account the fact that these 200,000 households are effectively paying on the double - full local property tax and full management fees. This measure would only be for principal private residences and only for those whose management fees were paid fully to date. The full cost of the measure would be €15 million. The Bill was moved in the Dáil by Deputy Sean Fleming, but, unfortunately, it was defeated by the Government. In advance of the Finance Bill Members can only table recommendations and I will be putting forward a recommendation. I ask the Leader, in advance of Second Stage tomorrow, to inform the Minister for Finance, Deputy Michael Noonan, that we intend to move this recommendation again. This is in the interests of fairness and I believe most would agree that people should not have to pay for services they do not receive. An element of common services can be paid for, but this is an issue of fairness in regard to how the local property tax is actually levied on properties. I intend to table a recommendation on this matter on Committee Stage of the Finance Bill. In advance of that I ask the good office of the Leader to raise the matter with the Minister for Finance. I am formally proposing the amendment that No. 6 not be taken today.

I am sure the Leader will respond to Senator Darragh O'Brien's comments about the International Protection Bill 2015, but I remind colleagues that Members received an e-mail from the Bills Office on 27 November informing us that the deadline for submitting amendments to the International Protection Bill 2015 was one hour after the conclusion of Second Stage.

With respect to Senator Ivana Bacik, that means they must be prepared in advance of the Second Stage speeches.

That was in anticipation of the conclusion of the Bill last night; therefore, we will wait. I presume it will be same when the Bill concludes tonight. What I mean is that there is no change. I agree with Senator Darragh O'Brien - those of us who were here until midnight last night have made this point many times - that this is an unfortunate feature of every year. In December Members are faced with a huge glut of legislation coming through the House that has to be rushed through, while earlier in the year we have to search high and low for legislation. It is bad practice. It seems to be a perennial issue and is not confined to this term. I recall it from previous sessions also. I know colleagues will agree that we need to be conscious of this.

I am holding a briefing at 12.30 p.m. today with members of the "RTE Investigates" team which produced the powerful documentary on prostitution and sex trafficking in Ireland. It contained some shocking findings which should feed into our debate on the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015, which is due to resume in this House next week on Committee Stage. The Bill will make significant changes to the law on prostitution and I have invited all colleagues to the briefing about the Bill and the change in prostitution laws.

I support those colleagues who called for a debate on school admission policies, especially the need to end the practice of allowing schools to discriminate on the basis of religion. I have worked on this issue for many years with the multi-denominational schools patronage group and Educate Together. I am glad to speak at the Education Equality launch at the end of next week. Education Equality is a new organisation set up by a group of parents who are concerned about this issue. I know that the Tánaiste, Deputy Joan Burton, has made a welcome commitment on behalf of the Labour Party that we will seek to end the baptism barrier for school entry and to double the number of multi-denominational schools. Some of the ground work has been done by the current Minister for Education and Skills, Deputy Jan O'Sullivan, and the former Minister, Deputy Ruairí Quinn, in establishing the national Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector. However, it has been very slow and I hope we will see a change in that regard. I support colleagues who call for that debate, although I am conscious that it will not happen until 2016.

I concur with Senator Ivana Bacik on the timing of legislation and giving considered process. I thank the Leader for moving Report Stage of the International Protection Bill 2015 in the revised agenda. I see that it will be taken next week or later.

It is sad to see a series of reports about the Bessborough mother and baby homes by the journalist Conall Ó Fátharta in the Irish Examiner. In the initial articles, Mr. Ó Fátharta wrote of his concerns about the number of reported deaths. His articles cover the over-reporting of deaths and we can only conclude that some of those children who were reported as having died in the homes were most likely adopted in the United States and their records were falsified. It is the only conclusion to which one can come.

I was particularly startled by today's article about child rape victims between the years of 1954 and 1987 who, as young pregnant girls, were brought to the Bessborough institution. Two cases stood out. One was in 1968, the year I was born. A child aged 12 years who was a rape victim had a child in the home. That woman would now be 57 years old. In 1982 there was a birth mother who was 14 years of age. I was 14 years old in 1982. She would now be 47 years old. Her record states, "Premature, 33 weeks, gasped and died". I want to know if these cases were reported to the Garda. Did the home, or the predecessor of Tusla, report these cases? The Irish Examiner put a series of questions to the Sisters of the Sacred Heart and to Tusla regarding the reporting of these cases and they declined to answer. They said they would deal directly with the commission of investigation into mother and baby homes. The reality, as we know, is that the commission cannot use any of the documentation or information in relation to criminal proceedings. Rape is a crime. I want to know whether these cases have been reported and what is actually happening. These women are still alive today and I do not trust what has happened in these homes. The reports and figures uncovered by Mr. Conall Ó Fátharta show us why it is vital to have an audit. The State has a responsibility. These were children who were raped. What are we doing for them now? We can talk about times being different then, but one of the cases I mentioned was in 1982, which was not such a different time. What are we doing now with the full knowledge that we have? Are we ensuring they will at last get justice? These women who very likely are still alive today were mistreated horrendously by the State. By our actions now we can show we have learned the lessons of the past.

I propose an amendment to the Order of Business, that No. 16 be taken before No. 1.

I regret that I must oppose taking the Legal Services Regulation Bill today. We were here until well after midnight last night. I have no problem with that, but the Bill is a shambles. Page 41 of the Minister's own Bill was amended by her 105 times. That must be a candidate for the Guinness Book of Records. The page has 38 lines. Frequently, she sought to delete amendments on Report Stage that she had tabled on Committee Stage.

There is no definition of "mentor" in the Bill, even though the Minister apparently believes it to be an important position. The conveyancing monopoly is not addressed despite the recommendations of the then Competition Authority ten years ago. The right to see a barrister without having a solicitor present is not addressed. All of the implementers of these restrictive practices are being moved across to work for the new authority, which we are led to believe is supposed to be pro-consumer. This is appalling legislation and how it is being put through the House is appalling. We need a properly printed version of the Bill before we take it any further. For instance, we voted - no doubt due to fatigue on the Government side - to remove the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Brendan Howlin, from his role in examining remuneration, expenses and superannuation. These are the people in the Law Society of Ireland and the Bar Council who refused to disclose their incomes as part of the IFA scandal. We are telling them that they do not need to tell us their incomes and inviting them to work for the State and get State pensions also.

We must stop this Bill. I oppose the order that it be taken today. As legislation, it is appalling and a shambles. We all know that. It involves amendments on amendments on amendments, including what must be a Guinness Book of Records entry. The Oireachtas should not submit to this type of treatment. The barristers and solicitors controlling the Bill have shunted out the Minister, Deputy Brendan Howlin, who has a job in every Department to ensure that we get value for money. He was removed under section 80. The Government side should reflect on why this happened. It happened because these people do not want to answer for their costs. They do not want him there, but society as a whole needs him there. The Government side should not have voted no confidence in its own Minister, which is what we drew to the Senators' attention. The Bill should not be allowed to proceed today.

At some stage, we should have a debate on State bodies and the like. I was amazed, shocked and somewhat amused when, while listening to RTE's "Drivetime" on Monday evening and "Morning Ireland" yesterday, I heard the leader of the Green Party and someone from An Taisce giving their opinions on the climate change conference in Paris. There is a great responsibility on the Taoiseach and the Government officials attending the conference, but what I heard on radio was amazing. The leader of the Green Party proposed that we should not expand our dairy or beef herd due to carbon footprints. I would remind him that we have the lowest carbon footprint of any food producer, as we have a grass-based system. He stated that we should concentrate on increasing prices and quality, but this country has the highest quality food and price is dictated by the world markets. We only have 4.5 million people and 80% of our food is exported. We cannot eat it all ourselves. The contribution from the person from An Taisce yesterday morning was laughable. He proposed that not only should Ireland not increase its herds, but we should get rid of all of our animals and plant forests over the entire country. He wants to revert to a pre-Ice Age state. What will he do with the 275,000 people who are employed in agriculture, be it as farmers or direct employees? That represents 10% of total employment. Some 12.3% of total exports, amounting to €10 billion, come from the agricultural trade. Is An Taisce proposing that farmers and employees should be given chainsaws and pruners and told to look after all of the trees that we will sow? That is ludicrous. Anyone in receipt of State funding should be responsible in what he or she says on the nation's airwaves. All of the media has a responsibility to ensure both sides of an argument are put forward. Planting the entire country under trees was a crazy suggestion.

I second the amendment proposed by my colleague, Senator Darragh O'Brien, as well as the amendment proposed by Senator Sean D. Barrett, if I am permitted.

Senator Sean D. Barrett's amendment is the main topic that I wish to discuss. He touched on my concern, in that the legislation is one of the most convoluted and difficult Bills that I have ever seen. When I spoke on Second Stage some time ago, on principle I addressed what the Bill tried to achieve and so on, but the Minister, for whom I have great respect at a personal level, has tabled five amendments to the same part of the Bill. As originally drafted by Deputy Alan Shatter, the Bill was to be a lion in tackling the difficulties with the legal profession, dragging it kicking and screaming from the pre-Victorian era of the 19th century into the 21st century through reforms, but we have ended up with a little lamb. The lion is gone, leaving a convoluted Bill.

Two weeks ago on Committee Stage, the Seanad agreed a raft of amendments - no one called a vote - tabled by the Government to its own Bill. Last night, I called votes because we were asked several times to agree to amend or delete the amendments that the Minister introduced two weeks ago. How can we have faith and trust in this legislation? It is supposed to be one of the most reforming Bills that has ever been laid before the House. As spokesman on justice, I rarely make such a strong point, but before we make a major blunder with this legislation, I ask in support of Senator Sean D. Barrett that the Minister withdraw and reconstitute it in order that we might know which amendments we are debating. Last night, we had a large list of amendments that was a book in itself, but we also had a supplementary list of amendments to those amendments. Once the Bill is amended, it must be returned to the Dáil. Last night was like a maze, with people wondering what page to read and to what amendments or deletions the Minister was referring, yet reasonable amendments from Senator Sean D. Barrett, Sinn Féin and others were brushed aside as irrelevant.

The legislation is intricate and difficult, but before we make a major mistake in rushing it through, the Minister should stand back and get her act together on Report Stage. One day would suffice to get everything ready. There would be more co-operation from this side. As matters stand, I find it difficult to support amendments on Report Stage that delete amendments to which I agreed two weeks ago. It is like the three-hand trick - is it this, that or the other? I am confused about where we are going and I believe the Minister is also.

The drafting of the Bill leaves a lot to be desired. It has been four years in the ether. This is an important issue even though I know that the Cathaoirleach is anxious for me to sit down. This Bill commenced four years ago and everything is being rushed through now because we are coming closer to the recess and the Government wants it enacted before the next election. If it is enacted in a rushed fashion, it will do major damage to the Seanad. I have respect for this House, but what happened last night and is about to happen today is not good for legislation or democracy.

On a point of clarification, my understanding is Senator Sean D. Barrett proposed an amendment to the Order of Business, that No. 16 be taken before No. 1, and that he is opposing the Order of Business because it includes No. 2.

He can propose an amendment also.

If there is any confusion, I propose a separate amendment that we-----

May we get clarification from Senator Sean D. Barrett, please?

I am opposed to taking No. 2 today.

He is opposed and proposing an amendment.

Senator Sean D. Barrett has already proposed an amendment, that No. 16 be taken before No. 1.

He is also opposing the Order of Business.

In which case, Senator Denis O'Donovan must propose an amendment.

I thank Senators.

I propose an amendment to the effect that the Legal Services Regulation Bill be withdrawn and resubmitted in a more acceptable fashion.

That No. 2 be deleted from the Order of Business.

Separate from the Order of Business.

I welcome yesterday's announcement that we will have new bankruptcy legislation enacted before Christmas. It will reduce the period of bankruptcy from three years to one for new applicants, and to 18 months for those who are already in the system. There are good reasons for the introduction of this legislation. For starters, it will provide equality between the North and South of Ireland. It will end the bankruptcy tourism that we have seen whereby some people who have the means to declare themselves bankrupt in Northern Ireland or Britain did so to avail of the shorter period of bankruptcy there. I also think, however, that people who are forced into bankruptcy have suffered enough. A one-year period is more than enough. More importantly, it will encourage lenders to behave more reasonably when they are being offered settlements by people who find themselves in difficulties. It is also welcome that there will be bona fide requirements in the legislation - in other words, a carrot and stick approach - in order that people who hide their assets from the official assignee will have their period of bankruptcy increased to 15 years from eight.

The mortgage arrears crisis is far from over, as we all know. This legislation will improve the situation for those who suffer, as well as forcing banks to come to the table, which will bring this dreadful period of our history to a faster conclusion. I ask the Leader to arrange for a debate, whenever possible, on the continuing mortgage arrears situation in this country and the various facets relating to it, such as the mortgage-to-rent scheme which has not been embraced by the financial institutions and a number of other measures such as debt to shared equity. We need to have a wider discussion on such matters. I congratulate my colleague Deputy Willie Penrose who initiated this legislation by way of a Private Members' Bill last March. The Labour Party has played a role in bringing this to a successful conclusion.

I was a trifle surprised that there was no media coverage whatsoever of the debate on the Legal Services Regulation Bill last night. I think they missed the real story. We spent six hours here dealing with 25 pages of amendments. We went from 6 p.m. until midnight. I commend the Leader of the House, Senator Maurice Cummins, because he stood up for parliamentary discipline. Despite the intentions and wishes of the Minister which were made very clear, either to guillotine the debate or to continue on until 4 a.m. or 5 a.m., Senator Maurice Cummins remanded the Seanad at midnight, quite right, too. I say, "Well done," to the Leader. We had 23 pages of amendments to one page of the Bill. We had amendments to amendments that were made last week. It was bizarre. I have never, in my entire time in the House - nearly 30 years - seen anything remotely comparable. I suggested that because of this concentration of amendments on page 41, the logical thing would have been to reprint page 41 in full. I also suggested we reprint the Bill with the Committee Stage amendments. The Bill had already been amended, but we were not given an amended Bill to work off. We were therefore working off five documents at the same time, including lists of grouped amendments, Committee Stage amendments, Report Stage amendments and the Bill itself. It was an absolute nightmare and there was great dissatisfaction on all sides of the House.

Serious issues were raised. I raised the question of the total absence of a definition of "monitor", which was a significant issue. The Bill defines what a CEO is. Everybody knows what a CEO is, but nobody defined the responsibilities, duties and functions of the monitor. It was just left there as a new word. I second both Senator Denis O'Donovan's amendment that the Bill be withdrawn and Senator Sean D. Barrett's amendment that we take No. 16 first.

Senator Sean D. Barrett's amendment has already been seconded.

Okay. That is fine.

But mine was not.

We are coming up to an amendment very soon - it is about the third or fourth one - which says a member of the public may discuss with a barrister non-controversial or non-contentious items. How bizarre can one get? One talks to a lawyer because one wants him or her to do something about a controversy that is raging and one is involved in legal proceedings. One does not go to a senior counsel and say: "Isn't it a nice day? Look at the clouds in the sky and the little patches of blue. But I don't want to talk to you about the action that I'm involved in, in which you're representing me." It is like saying Seanad Éireann can discuss anything it likes of a non-political nature.

The Senator can make those points during the debate.

The Senator is way over time.

I have been instructed by my ventriloquist, Senator John Crown, to propose that we take No. 52 before No. 1. I am happy to do so. It looks as though we will have a fair amount of amendments to the Order of Business today, but there we are. I compliment the Leader of the House, Senator Maurice Cummins, who has handled the matter with adroitness and skill. Despite the fact that he was on the Government side, he defended the integrity and rights of Seanad Éireann.

It could be a crowded stage today, a Chathaoirligh. I briefly congratulate the Haven in Killarney which won the best commercial building award for 2015 at the Brick Awards in London, which recognise achievements in design and construction. The Haven is a beautiful place, as is Killarney. It is a truly disciplined building that works at all levels and it won the award on that basis.

Coming back to the Legal Services Regulation Bill, I accept the good faith of everybody concerned. There is no doubt that it is complex and intricate. As Senators have acknowledged, the Leader has done his very best and will continue to provide ample time. Let us all calm down and get through it. We need and urgently want the regulation that it provides for; therefore, let us not unduly force it.

If we were any calmer, we would be ineffective.

No, we are not being ineffective. We were here last night until midnight and, if necessary, we can be here until midnight and beyond again tonight. Let us do our business properly. Senators were very good they way they got into it last night. I listened to much of it.

Does the Senator have a question for the Leader?

No. I just want to join Senator David Norris. I cannot enter the stage as he is capable of doing, but I do want to compliment the House. We all have respect for the House. The Leader is doing his damnedest and I agree with Senator David Norris's remarks concerning the Leader.

When I made my acceptance speech in Seanad Éireann in 2011, I stated I would never again run for the Seanad under the existing electoral system, which I described as an affront to democracy. It was, is and remains an affront to democracy. It is unacceptable that we still have not had Seanad reform. We recently had a statement from the Taoiseach, two years after the referendum campaign, saying we would not have Seanad reform. There is something seriously wrong here and I do not believe it is ever going to happen unless people push to make it happen. With others, I have proposed Seanad reform Bills which were well thought out and argued. Some would agree with some of them, while others would disagree. The reality is, however, that they were an attempt to do what we promised, which was to try to reform the Seanad.

I am not trying to be disruptive - I have done the arithmetic and know that another vote is coming through today - but I am probably adding an extra four minutes to the business of a busy day by calling for a second vote. I second the proposal made by my colleague Senator David Norris to amend the Order of Business that No. 52 be taken before No. 1.

It is wrong that Bills get through two Stages and are then allowed to die. It is a pyrrhic victory. If the Government wishes to oppose my Bill, which I know it does, I would ask as a courtesy that it give us 30 minutes for a Committee Stage debate. There are no amendments tabled for Committee Stage of the Bill, which has been on the books for two years. It is quite clear that nobody is ever going to introduce amendments. That is because the way business gets done around here is based on "Ah sure, that fellow will be happy that it got through two Stages, even though it died on the Order Paper of the Oireachtas." However, that is dishonest and it is not why I proposed the Bill. I proposed that it either be passed or defeated. I would like to see it passed or defeated.

For that reason, I will persist in asking that we try to get it on the Order Paper either by seeking an amendment to the Order of Business on a daily basis or by having the Government agree to allowing Committee Stage to proceed at a mutually suitable time. In truth, the least we owe to democracy is that we actually try to stand by our principles.

Senator Darragh O'Brien referred to the International Protection Bill. As he knows, the Bill was to be taken last night or this morning. It could have been taken at approximately 4 a.m. or 5 a.m., which would have been ridiculous. That is why it was rescheduled for today. Committee Stage was always to be taken tomorrow. Therefore, I have no problem in taking Second Stage today. The schedule has not changed very much from the one communicated to Senators last week. I am certainly going ahead with the legislation as per the Order of Business I announced.

Senator Darragh O'Brien also referred to mortgage changes and property tax. He said the relevant legislation had been ruled out of order in this House. I do not propose to comment further on that remark, but I am sure the Senator will make the point to the Minister when the Finance Bill is brought before the House.

Senator Ivana Bacik raised a number of matters to which she had referred yesterday in the context of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill. She also referred to school admission policies. I responded on these issues yesterday.

Senator Jillian van Turnhout referred to the appalling findings made in the report on rape victims in the Bessborough institutions. The Government has had to face many legacy issues. Obviously, this is another that will have to be dealt with. I agree with the Senator that this is an appalling set of circumstances that will have to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Senator Sean D. Barrett proposed an amendment to the Order of Business, that No. 16 be taken before No. 1. Is this to enable him to publish the Bill or in order that the Bill may be taken now?

It is to enable us to publish it.

I have no problem with that proposal and will accept that amendment to the Order of Business.

I thank the Leader.

Many Members referred to the Legal Services Regulation Bill. I appreciate the problems Members on all sides have had in that regard. In my time in the House I have never seen 300 amendments being introduced on Report Stage. Many of them amend amendments made on Committee Stage. My job is to facilitate the passage of Government legislation through the House and we do this as best we can. I did not believe it was in the interests of the legislative process, Members or staff to sit until 3 a.m., 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. in order to complete the Bill. However, we will complete it today, as intended, and will allow the time necessary to do this. Therefore, I cannot accept the proposal that we remove the Bill from the agenda outlined in the Order of Business.

Senator Pat O'Neill referred to the Green Party and the position of An Taisce on climate change. He made very strong, cogent points in this regard. The Taoiseach has said we are to have more legislation on climate change as a result of the Paris talks and I am sure the Senator will have the opportunity to make his points when it is introduced.

Senator Aideen Hayden welcomed the new bankruptcy legislation, a Private Members' Bill originally introduced by Deputy Willie Penrose. In the five years in which the Government has been in office the bankruptcy term has been decreased from seven years to three and is now to be one year. We have made significant progress in dealing with this matter, which is to be welcomed.

Senator Aideen Hayden also called for a debate on the ongoing issue of mortgage arrears. We will try to facilitate that debate, but I cannot see it happening before Christmas.

I note Senator David Norris's point about the number of amendments to the Legal Services Regulation Bill. I agree with him in that regard. He proposed that No. 52, Senator John Crown's Bill, be taken before No. 1. The Senator is seeking half an hour before Christmas to debate the Bill. I will certainly try to facilitate him.

There are two or three seconds remaining on Second Stage of a number of other Bills. If I could be notified that Senators want to finish them, I will facilitate them. Let us vote down or retain the relevant Bills, which is what Senator John Crown wants. We should do the same with all Bills in this category. I will facilitate debates in the next couple of weeks if Members want to get them off the Order Paper.

Unfortunately, as I said, I cannot accept the amendment proposed to the Order of Business regarding the Legal Services Regulation Bill. I appreciate the difficulties Members have had about the number of amendments involved, but I must facilitate the passage of Government legislation through the House.

Senator Darragh O'Brien has proposed an amendment to the Order of Business, "That No. 6 be deleted from today's Order of Business." Is the amendment being pressed?

Amendment put:
The Seanad divided: Tá, 16; Níl, 21.

  • Barrett, Sean D.
  • Crown, John.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Heffernan, James.
  • Leyden, Terry.
  • Mooney, Paschal.
  • Mullen, Rónán.
  • Norris, David.
  • Ó Clochartaigh, Trevor.
  • Ó Murchú, Labhrás.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Donovan, Denis.
  • O'Sullivan, Ned.
  • Reilly, Kathryn.
  • White, Mary M.
  • Wilson, Diarmuid.

Níl

  • Bacik, Ivana.
  • Brennan, Terry.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Cahill, Máiría.
  • Coghlan, Eamonn.
  • Coghlan, Paul.
  • Comiskey, Michael.
  • Cummins, Maurice.
  • Hayden, Aideen.
  • Henry, Imelda.
  • Keane, Cáit.
  • Kelly, John.
  • Moran, Mary.
  • Mulcahy, Tony.
  • Mullins, Michael.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Noone, Catherine.
  • O'Neill, Pat.
  • Sheahan, Tom.
  • van Turnhout, Jillian.
  • Zappone, Katherine.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Ned O'Sullivan and Diarmuid Wilson; Níl, Senators Paul Coghlan and Aideen Hayden.
Amendment declared lost.

Senator Sean D. Barrett has proposed an amendment to the Order of Business, "That No. 16 be taken before No. 1." The Leader has indicated that he is prepared to accept the amendment. Is it agreed to? Agreed.

I thank the Leader.

Senator Denis O'Donovan has proposed an amendment to the Order of Business, "That No. 2 be deleted from today's Order of Business." Is the amendment being pressed?

Amendment put:
The Seanad divided: Tá, 19; Níl, 22.

  • Barrett, Sean D.
  • Crown, John.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Mark.
  • Healy Eames, Fidelma.
  • Heffernan, James.
  • Leyden, Terry.
  • Mooney, Paschal.
  • Mullen, Rónán.
  • Norris, David.
  • Ó Clochartaigh, Trevor.
  • Ó Murchú, Labhrás.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Donovan, Denis.
  • O'Sullivan, Ned.
  • Reilly, Kathryn.
  • White, Mary M.
  • Wilson, Diarmuid.
  • Zappone, Katherine.

Níl

  • Bacik, Ivana.
  • Brennan, Terry.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Cahill, Máiría.
  • Coghlan, Eamonn.
  • Coghlan, Paul.
  • Comiskey, Michael.
  • Cummins, Maurice.
  • Hayden, Aideen.
  • Henry, Imelda.
  • Higgins, Lorraine.
  • Keane, Cáit.
  • Kelly, John.
  • Moloney, Marie.
  • Moran, Mary.
  • Mulcahy, Tony.
  • Mullins, Michael.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Noone, Catherine.
  • O'Neill, Pat.
  • Sheahan, Tom.
  • van Turnhout, Jillian.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Ned O'Sullivan and Diarmuid Wilson; Níl, Senators Paul Coghlan and Aideen Hayden.
Amendment declared lost.

Senator David Norris has proposed an amendment to the Order of Business, "That No. 52 be taken before No. 1." Is the amendment being pressed?

In the light of-----

No, the Senator cannot; he can speak after me.

Is the amendment being pressed?

In the light of the Leader's gracious acceptance of what is basically Senator John Crown's amendment, I will not press the amendment, but I will leave it to my learned colleague to decide whether he will press it.

We are not pressing the amendment, but I acknowledge that the Leader has undertaken to do his best. I understand, with the vicissitudes of the scheduling between now and the Christmas recess, he will give us time, I hope the week after next, to debate the Bill.

Question, "That the Order of Business, as amended, be agreed to," put and declared carried.