Criminal Law Amendment Bill, 1972: First Stage.

I move:

That leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to amend section 17 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1935, and consequentially to repeal section 16 and amend section 17 of the Censorship of Publications Act, 1929, and to amend section 7 and section 9 of the Censorship of Publications Act, 1946.

Is the Bill opposed?

Under Standing Order 89 (2) the debate is adjourned until the next day on which Private Members' Business is taken.

May I remind the Taoiseach that this is one of the civil rights to which I referred in my opening question?

There can be no debate today. It is adjourned until Private Members' Time.

There is a High Court case going on about these matters and it is better to wait until that is decided.

There can be no debate.

I beg the Minister's pardon?

There is a High Court case on at the moment about these matters. It is better to wait until that is finished, when we can know where we stand.

There can be no debate.

In reply——

I have told the Minister and the Deputy that there can be no debate.

The Leader of the Seanad, on behalf of the Fianna Fáil Party, said that the fact that this wassub judice had nothing to do with their opposition.

There can be no debate today. This is disorderly. The Deputy is being disorderly. The Deputy knows that.

An all-party committee of this House recommended that this should be introduced. Representatives of the minority religion in this country asked that this law be introduced. This is a typical example of the denial of civil rights to a minority and completely justifies Mr. Faulkner, Mr. Paisley, the Unionists and the Orange Order in refusing to have anything to do with a united Ireland.

There can be no debate today. I am calling No. 24. Deputy Keating reported progress on amendment 2 (a).

This and various other matters have been denied to the minority religious groups since the State was formed and since you enacted the pernicious sectarian 1937 Constitution. Now you have the nerve to go to the North and ask them to restore civil rights for Catholics in the North of Ireland. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Still afraid of the belt of a crozier, Deputy O'Malley?

The Deputy was a Minister for long enough. His Government did not do much to change it.

I tried to amend the law. Home Rule is Rome Rule. Mr. Paisley is right; Mr. Faulkner is right; the Orange Order is right; the Unionists are right, and the Minister knows it.

What did the Deputy do about it when he was in government? When did he get converted?

The Minister knows quite well what I did. I stood up to the Catholic Church and to the bishop and to the hierarchy.

Very ineffectively.

You are on your own.

This is a theocratic State, and you know it.

What did the Deputy do about it?

That is the most shameful commentary on this House. I probably am on my own and I am not ashamed to be on my own because I am trying to defend basic democratic rights. The minority have rights. It is for the minority that you are pretending you are fighting in the North. It is in respect of the minority that you are accusing Mr. Faulkner of denying rights in the North.

Will Deputies cease interrupting?

I am not ashamed of being in a minority on that score.

Agreed and ordered accordingly.