Cuirim fáilte roimh an Aire Stáit, An Teachta Browne, go dtí an Teach.
Garda Síochána (Compensation) Bill 2021: Committee and Remaining Stages
As Senators will be aware, this is a major overhaul of the system for Garda compensation claims. On Second Stage, a number of issues were raised. I want to make Senators aware of work that has been done on foot of that debate. Several Senators questioned why civilian staff of An Garda Síochána are not included in the new scheme for Garda compensation in view of the increase in civilianisation of the organisation. The Minister, Deputy McEntee, and I have looked again at this issue and are currently engaging with stakeholders with a view to bringing proposals to Government for approval to amend the Bill to include civilian staff. It is unfortunate that we have not been in a position to finalise these proposals in advance of Committee Stage. However, if the proposal is agreed by Cabinet, it is the intention of the Minister to introduce amendments to the Bill in Dáil Éireann. Those amendments will subsequently come back to this House for approval. Some further minor amendments will also be introduced in the Lower House. As I indicated on Second Stage, these are to sections 11 and 16 and relate to the requirement for the application forms to be prescribed by way of regulation.
When is it proposed to take Report Stage?
Is that agreed? Agreed.
When is it proposed to take Fifth Stage?
Is that agreed? Agreed.
I thank the Minister of State for his engagement on the Bill. We had a good debate on Second Stage. Based on the number of people who spoke then, it is clear that they are very happy with the Bill. The facts that no amendments have been tabled and that not too many Opposition Senators are present suggest that the Bill has the unanimous support of the House.
I agree with the Senator's comments. We had a very good discussion on Second Stage, and the Bill was supported throughout. The fact that there are no amendments underlines that assertion. I thank the Minister of State for his time.
As the two previous speakers said, we had a very good debate on Second Stage. It is great to see the Bill passing. I wish it well. I thank Minister and Minister of State for giving of their time to come to the House.
I thank the Senators for their contributions. This is an important Bill. It will contribute to the significant amount of law reform that is taking place. I was glad the Bill started its journey in the Seanad. As stated on numerous occasions, we need to exercise the opportunity to commence Bills in the Seanad in order that we can keep legislation moving through the Houses as quickly as possible and to get the insight of Senators on that legislation.