Section 47 gives the Minister power to withdraw approval from a home if he considers that it is not being carried on properly or if the regulations are not being complied with. However, the Minister is not required to withdraw approval immediately in such circumstances, but is given some discretion in the matter which he must, of course, exercise in a reasonable and conscientious way. The proposed system of withdrawing approval is contained in section 47 (2) (a).
In response to Deputy Barnes and Deputy Higgins, in a matter of grave urgency we could invoke section 29 of the Bill and withdraw all the children in a centre. Alternatively we could use emergency care orders to place the children in alternative care and accommodation.
Deputy Fitzgerald made a good point regarding the lack of penalties. In view of the commitment I gave earlier to look at the question of a system of mandatory approval of homes, it may be necessary to re-examine the approach adopted in this section, particularly in view of the points that have been made. On these grounds, therefore, I would ask Deputy Yates to withdraw the amendment and I will look at this section again before Report Stage.