Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 26 Mar 1997

Vol. 477 No. 1

Request to move Adjournment of Dáil under Standing Order 31.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle

Before the Order of Business I propose to deal with notice of a motion under Standing Order 31 in the name of Deputy Cowen. I call on the Deputy to state the matter on which he has given notice.

I wish to seek the adjournment of the Dáil under Standing Order 31 to debate a matter of urgent public importance, namely, the revelation by Deputy Howlin on RTÉ's Liveline programme yesterday that, in relation to the inappropriate conduct of the State in the handling of the Brigid McCole case, the legal strategy was decided by the Government. It is imperative that the Taoiseach explains to the House why the Government authorised a legal strategy which was so insensitively pursued against a defenceless and dying woman.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle

Having considered the matter fully I do not consider it to be one contemplated by the Standing Order. Therefore, leave cannot be granted to move the motion.

I respect the decision but this House debated the tribunal report because that question was excluded from its terms of reference. Is the Taoiseach prepared to come into the House as a matter of public policy and explain why this legal strategy was pursued with the full knowledge of the Members of the Government? It is imperative that this question is answered.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle

We cannot debate the matter.

Will the Taoiseach come into the House in the interests of open and transparent Government?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle

The Deputy has heard my reply and we cannot pursue the matter now.

It is the least we owe the McCole family. The Government's silence is unbelievable.