Gnó an tSeanaid - Business of Seanad

As the time by which the Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2016 was ordered to adjourn has now been reached, or just about, the debate on that Bill will not now proceed and we will move directly to the Second Stage of the Free Education (Prohibition of Fees and Charges) Bill 2018.

That is not scheduled until 6 p.m. There are three minutes available.

Does the Leader wish to bring the Minister to the House now?

I do not but I want to make an announcement that will have an impact on the next item of business.

That is why I was calling the Leader. Is he satisfied that we cannot now proceed, given the time?

To be fair, Senator Ó Ríordáin is not in the House.

The Minister has been outside as well.

The Minister of State, Deputy Kyne, has also been waiting in the anteroom to speak on the Wildlife (Amendment) Bill. I want to apologise to him for that.

He is a busy man.

Does the Leader wish to bring him in?

I do not want to bring him in for one minute. I want to inform the House that-----

We could be in conflict with the Order of Business for the day.

The impact of what we did was that we are in conflict with what we should have been doing in any event.

The House made a decision.

I accept that. I was not going to propose anything -----

(Interruptions).

I am starting to learn from Senator Mullen that the power of rhetoric is very important.

The Senator should speak through the Chair.

As I outlined on the Order of Business, the Minister for Education and Skills is in the Dáil answering parliamentary questions and will not be available until at least 7 p.m. I am open to clarification on the time. That has implications for the Seanad's Private Members' business because there is no Minister of Minister of State available to take it.

We could proceed without the Minister.

I would not like to do that. I propose that we suspend until the Minister is available.

Until what time does the Leader propose to suspend proceedings?

I understand that there will be a Minister available very shortly to take the Private Members' business.

I received an email on my mobile phone as I was speaking. As I outlined earlier, the Minister for Education and Skills is not available. There is no Minister of State in the Department available now to take the Private Members' business.

The Minister of State, Deputy Canney, is available to take the Private Members' business. When I was making my point earlier, he had not indicated his availability but he is available now.

In that case, we can proceed with the Private Members' business. Is that agreed? Agreed.