We were delighted to be here last week to support the Minister's Bill. She might recall that I sought clarification in respect of the IDA Ireland park in Mullingar. I raise that matter again now in case it might be forgotten in light of the upcoming recess and so on. She has had a lot of help all day here so I would appreciate it if she made the matter in question a priority.
Industrial Development (Amendment) Bill 2018: Committee and Remaining Stages
I have asked my officials to provide a direct update to the Senator on that.
I thank the Minister.
Is there an opportunity to speak?
I will allow Senator Boyhan to contribute.
I want to be helpful and positive, particularly in the case of this Minister, a person for whom I have very high regard. The reality is, however, that this Government Bill was scheduled to be guillotined on Committee Stage and move to Report and Final Stages. The Bill was initiated on 8 January last and passed by the Dáil on 10 July. I do not want to dwell on this because I support the Bill. It is the right thing to do. I am conscious that it is the end of term but, when he was in the House, the Taoiseach referred to how we can polish up legislation. He expects that of us. He challenged us and said that the main function of the Seanad is to enhance legislation and examine it critically on Committee Stage. I want to acknowledge that.
I am particularly supportive of the Bill before us, which seeks to address each of the issues for which it makes provision. The Bill is important in terms of An Bord Pleanála's role in compulsory purchase and acquisition in order that IDA Ireland can get on with its primary function, namely, industrial development. I will not dwell on that matter. I simply want to put down a marker because it is important to do so.
We have had a good deal of legislation before the Seanad today. It should not become the norm - I am not suggesting it will become the norm - that we do not have Committee Stage debates. We should go through the process of Committee Stage. We should not guillotine the debate on legislation. There were weeks and months during which we had very little debate on legislation. However, this is important legislation and I particularly want to support the Minister on it.
I welcome the Bill but I would also like to make a clarification. There is no guillotine on this Bill. There are no amendments to it. That is the reason it has been passed by the House so smoothly. It was debated in detail and approved in the Dáil. We had a full Second Stage debate in this House and there were no dissenting voices. It is an excellent Bill. It balances the need for IDA Ireland to be able to strategically plan and bring foreign direct investment into this country and at the same time protects Irish citizens and property holders from excessive use of compulsory purchase orders, CPOs, sometimes in over enthusiastic circumstances. The Bill is excellent. It fulfils the court's order in respect of the landmark case in Kildare. I welcome it, thank the Minister for it and commend the Bill to the House.
I concur with Senator Boyhan, who has been positive in his remarks about the Bill. We discussed the Bill at length last week, at which point there was a good deal of toing and froing on it. I appreciate the Bill. It is good legislation. We need it because IDA Ireland development has been stymied in certain parts of the country. It is a well thought out Bill. As I stated last week, and my position has not changed, the Minister has our full support in respect of the Bill.
I thank the Acting Chairman and Senators for their positive engagement on and support for the Bill. As stated previously, the intention behind the Bill is to aid our efforts to create and sustain employment opportunities throughout the country. That important objective is something we can all support. I thank the Senators for their co-operation and for the courtesy they have shown me.
On Senator Davitt's query, I have a letter ready to go to him with all the details about the IDA Ireland park in Mullingar.