Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) Bill 2013 [Seanad]: Report Stage

As amendments Nos 1 and 2 are related, they may be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 1:

In page 12, after line 33, to insert the following:

"(3) The Register, including details of the owners and mortgagees of all ships but excluding such Parts as the Minister may specify in regulations, shall be open to public inspection.".

I could argue about the extent to which amendments Nos. 1 and 2 are related. Many promises were made by Fine Gael and the Labour Party in advance of the last election. Some of those promises have not been realised because of ideological differences. I suppose that is reflective of the democratic mandate that was received by each party. Some of the promises have not been realised because of a lack of funds. There simply has not been enough money available to realise them. Other promises have not been realised because of sheer incompetence. One of the key promises made by both parties was to change how government is done in this country. We said we would increase openness and transparency in the operation of our government and legal systems so that people could see how laws are made in this Parliament. There was a great deal of talk about how governance structures would be changed. For example, it was suggested that backbenchers would be empowered to introduce legislation and make amendments, etc. It is in that context that I am proposing this amendment.

One of the key provisions of this Bill, the purpose of which is to consolidate our merchant shipping legislation, is the introduction of a register of ships. I support the purpose of the Bill and the introduction of the register.

However, it seems strange that the Minister is proposing the introduction of such a register – there is a public interest, given the fact that these ships carry an Irish flag no matter where they are in the world, claim Ireland as their base and submit to Irish law, including Irish employment law, the national minimum wage, etc. – without making it open to public access. The Minister’s amendment proposes that a person "shall have access to the Register in accordance with regulations made by the Minister", but he is free to make whatever regulations he wishes. For example, he could introduce restricted access to the register. Even if he introduced a statutory instrument allowing broad public access to the register, it would be left open to his successors to change that with the stroke of a pen.

There has been a worrying legislative trend in this and previous Dáileanna to limit the power of the Dáil and to hand more power to statutory instruments or secondary legislation, which is legislation by civil servants. One imagines that, in many instances, it is a case of asking a Minister whether he or she would like a biscuit with a coffee and, by the way, here is a statutory instrument for signing. In reality, this is the level of scrutiny that the State has of statutory instruments. During the Seanad referendum, there was a great deal of discussion about how the Seanad would analyse and possibly even debate statutory instruments in great detail, but none of that has come to pass.

If we are to establish a register of ships, a proposal that I support, we should be like practically every other country in the world and make it open to public inspection. What is the point in having a register if its purpose is not to be publicly accessible? That it is open to public inspection should be stated in the law establishing it.

The purpose of this Bill is to set up the register and consolidate Irish merchant shipping law. In 1995, the British Government introduced similar legislation, the Merchant Shipping Act 1995. Its section 8(7) does not state that a Minister, if he or she is benevolent, may make regulations to do this or, if malevolent, may not. Rather, it unambiguously reads: "The register shall be available for public inspection." I believe the Minister supports this concept. I have raised it on Second Stage and, although I am not a member of the transport committee, on Committee Stage. From what I understand, the Minister is in favour of some degree of public access to and inspection of the register. If that is the case, is there any reason not to insert that provision in the legislation? The Minister referred to data protection sensibilities and commercial sensitivities but this provision is good enough for the UK, which has a shipping industry that is vastly larger than ours and is one of the largest in the world. It does not seem to have the same concerns about commercial sensitivities or data protection sensibilities even though it is subject to the same EU data protection laws that we are. If the UK can leave its register open to public inspection, why can we not?

I mentioned that there was an important public aspect to this matter. If people have an accident with a boat, they will want to know who owns it and who is the mortgagee. If people are seeking employment, they may wish to find out who their employer will be. It is not the case that this provision will only apply to a select group of people. Most Deputies would find daft the prospect of setting up a land registry that the public could not inspect. If one visited King's Inns or the Land Registry, one would find members of the public there checking out who owned what, as is their entitlement.

There is a further important aspect. While there is a convention on maritime liens, neither Ireland nor the UK is a party to it. If mortgages registered in Ireland in accordance with the proposed register - the Bill refers explicitly to registering mortgages - are to be given effect in convention countries, whoever wishes to do so must be able to demonstrate that the register is public. I would be more concerned about the Bill's manifestations for employees and so on than I would for ships' mortgage holders, as the latter are usually under the remit of international commerce. However, it is a concern for those who own mortgages over ships registered in Ireland.

The Minister should move away from empowering legislation. He can introduce regulations. He already has that power under the Bill, and I do not propose to remove it, but he should state unambiguously that the register is open to the public in our model of open and transparent government.

I support Deputy McNamara in his amendment. It makes eminent sense that the register would be available for public inspection. Every other asset register is open to the public, for example, the property register. By all means, if the Minister needs to introduce statutory instruments to clarify how the information is to be presented and made available, he can do so. I hope that he will support the amendment. If he cannot for some reason, I suggest an amendment to his own proposal that would go some way towards meeting Deputy McNamara's. The statutory instrument that the Minister is proposing could require the formal approval of both Houses of the Oireachtas. This has been done a number of times previously. In this way, we would ensure that the detail of the statutory instrument on public availability was discussed and that a Minister seeking to amend the statutory instrument in future would have to justify the proposal before the Houses. However, the simplest and cleanest way of dealing with this issue is as has been set out by Deputy McNamara. Let the statutory instrument elaborate on how public access is to be provided. I hope that the Minister can accept the amendment.

I thank the Deputies for their contributions. Deputy McNamara has been present on all Stages of the Bill, including by attending a meeting of a committee of which he is not a member. He has put forward and cogently argued a detailed line of thinking on this matter. He and I have been in correspondence at different points concerning how to address this matter.

It is important to emphasise that there is already a register in place. We are integrating it into a new electronic and centrally held register so as to facilitate accuracy and the kind of ease of access that the Deputies mentioned. More broadly, having a single registry is also meant to ensure that the regulatory compliance of ships flagged in Ireland can be tracked more easily. We are seeking to make the existing register more integrated and efficient.

I am not proposing any change in the current level of public access. In response to Deputy McNamara's points, I have inserted "shall" in my amendment, which was not the case previously. Now, a person "shall have access". I am still being specific about what that access might be, how it might come about and why it might need a statutory instrument because we are trying to create a new IT system and we must determine how the project will be structured.

Until that is done, I cannot be more prescriptive in primary legislation as to what that access should be.

However, the key word I have included in the amendment is the word "shall", in that the register shall be open to the public. It seeks to maintain the access that currently is available and by including the word "shall", I am trying to address the point Deputy McNamara has raised a number of times. I intend to make it as open as possible, except where there is either a security or commercially sensitive concern, in line with many of the registries available to the citizens and other people. I am including the word "shall" in the amendment to try to address the points made by the Deputy. I have tabled this amendment because while I cannot accept the Deputy's amendment at this point, I am trying to address its objective in a different manner. I propose to change the Bill in response to the points the Deputy has made at different Stages. In addition, in the interim period before this Bill returns to the Seanad, I may continue to consider how it could be structured to ascertain whether there are further ways in which this area should be addressed. However, I will conclude by emphasising again the focus on the phrase, "shall have access", which is a strengthening beyond the present position.

I call on Deputy McNamara to make his second contribution for which he has up to two minutes.

I understand I will then have the further possibility to conclude at the end. I thank the Minister and do not disagree with the purpose of this Bill, which is to amalgamate previous registers. I support that initiative and have so done from the outset. However, if one shall have access to something in accordance with regulations but there are no regulations, then one does not have access. Moreover, if one shall have access to something in accordance with regulations that are very prescriptive and narrow to the point where they are almost meaningless, then that is what one has. Rather than stating that people will be allowed to have access to this register through regulations, as I have argued from the outset, I seek a statement of principle - by which the Minister and any future Ministers will be bound - that the public will have access to it but of course it may be necessary for it to be restricted.

The Minister also mentioned the difficulty he would have, in that he cannot give access immediately to a register that has not yet been collated and put together. I completely accept this and it is no different to any other regulatory initiative, such as, for example, the Legal Services Regulation Bill 2011. This is why commencement orders are available. The Minister can of course include a commencement order to satisfy that part of it. While I appreciate the inclusion of "A person shall have access", what if one was to appear before a foreign court and state there is a public registry in Ireland and therefore, the mortgage which is registered in Irish ships must be recognised by a Spanish court, for example? There is a considerable amount of shipping activity between Ireland and Spain in particular, because of fishing and so on. I am unsure whether one would be able to persuade a Spanish court that in effect, one had a publicly-accessible register as of right, because that is not what it is. It is stating there will be a register and that perhaps the Minister might make regulations and that, as it is put, "A person shall have access in accordance with regulations" to the register.

While I am conscious of the time, the Minister also stated he cannot be more prescriptive at this Stage. While I do not wish to be unkind, one might suggest the Minister should revert to this Legislature when he has more detail and is ready to tell Members what exactly he plans to do. Members have had experience of giving Ministers empowering legislation and to be told it would be all right on the day. This was done quite recently, approximately one year ago, with regard to Irish Water. I do not suggest this is a fiasco like Irish Water but Members have experiences of giving Ministers carte blanche to do something only for it to not work out well. It is important that when Members vote on something, they should vote on certain principles and policies and that the Minister does not have carte blanche to do whatever he or she wishes but is bound by certain principles and policies when making regulations. In this case, the principle and policy is the facilitation of public access.

I have listened to the Minister's remarks and propose a solution. The simple solution is for the Minister to return and get the approval of the House for the statutory instrument. It should be written into the legislation that it requires the approval of the House. I acknowledge the Minister's officials will advise him against so doing, as they do in every single Department. However, there is precedent for so doing and it has been done in the Minister's own Department a number of times. I recall the late Minister, Seamus Brennan, sitting in that very seat and accepting an amendment I had tabled on that basis, namely, that it would require the statutory instrument to come back before the House and receive its formal approval. Normally, such approval actually takes place in a committee discussion and it merely is approved formally here in the House. However, doing this allows for the detail of the Minister's statutory instrument to be discussed. It addresses the genuine concerns Deputy McNamara has raised in this regard and facilitates the Minister in having the flexibility he requires to provide the requisite detail in the statutory instrument with regard to the accessibility aspect.

I accept doing this can be difficult to construct in primary legislation but this would be a halfway house that meets the concerns expressed by Deputy McNamara, as well as those of the Minister. However, it would take a decision by the Minister to acknowledge this is a valid point and to accept the proposal to allow the statutory instrument to come back before the House to get its formal approval. Moreover, future alterations also would need to come before the House. The Minister need only include a simple amendment in this legislation to allow this happen.

I will respond to three points raised by Deputy McNamara, after which I will respond to Deputy Naughten's comments. Deputy McNamara made the point that if there is a degree of regulation in this regard, the net effect is to state this is a register to which the public does not have access. I respectfully take a different view, as the Government is maintaining the access that exists at present. However, by including the word "shall", it is being stated clearly that this is access I expect to be maintained in the future. On the Deputy's point on how it may be necessary to restrict it, I suggest in response this is the reason I am using this approach, because a change to the restriction at a point in the future would require further change to primary legislation. This would then necessitate a revision of this Bill again and the process in respect of a Bill would start again, whereas the use of a statutory instrument gives the opportunity to look at what that access could be and to change it if need be. However, I must note it all must take place in the spirit of having in place the word "shall". In respect of the recognition that a foreign court may have in this regard, I will check this because it is a point I have now heard from the Deputy but I am not informed at present that there has been any difficulty regarding the recognition of this register by foreign courts.

Mortgages on this register.

It is a good point that I will check and I will be clear on that point as I move through. However, as I speak to the Deputy now, I am not aware of such difficulty. Given that I am maintaining the access that exists at present and am including the word "shall", if that difficulty is not there at present and if the provisions are being strengthened by the inclusion of the word "shall", at the very least the position in respect of foreign courts is being maintained, if not improved.

As for the overall point regarding the legislative process, I can only say in response that I am changing the Bill in response to the arguments I have heard. The Deputy may well contend that I am not changing the Bill enough, as is his right as a legislator. However, I am changing the Bill. I am doing what I consider to be appropriate and correct to address the issue the Deputy has put to me.

I must ask the Minister to conclude.

Yes, but I wish to do justice to the points the Deputies have put to me because likewise, Deputy Naughten came into the Chamber to support another Deputy on a matter of principle. He could have been doing other things and I wish to respond to his point. This is something I will consider. As for what officials may or may not advise me, I am making this change here because Deputy McNamara convinced me that this is something that needed to be changed and it is an improvement in the legislation.

I am not committing to doing what has been suggested because I do not wish to mislead the Deputy. I am aware, however, that there is precedent in some areas and I will, therefore, reconsider the matter to see how the system operated in the past. I urge the Deputies to recognise that I tabled amendment No. 2 in response to the points raised by Deputy McNamara.

I recognise that the Minister is intent on changing the Bill. However, I am not necessarily convinced that the change involved is significant. I acknowledge that the Minister, on the advice of his officials, is seeking to amend the position. I appreciate that Ministers are obliged to act on the advice they receive in order to bring forward the best legislation possible. In that context, one of the avenues which tends to be taken - I stress that this is not a power grab on the part of the current Minister - is to give future Ministers as wide a latitude as possible to amend legislation without being obliged to return to the House to do so. This means that as few principles, policies and constraints as possible will apply.

The amendment in my name suggests that the bare bones of the information relating to the identities of those who own ships or who have mortgages on them should be accessible to the public. I am not stating that there should not be restrictions or that people should not be obliged to pay a fee in order to obtain certain information from the relevant documents. I understand that such restrictions and fees apply in respect of the UK register and in the context of the property register here. Amendment No. 2 in the Minister's name states that "A person shall have access to the Register in accordance with regulations made by the Minister and such regulations may include ... the nature and extent of such access". I accept that this is an advance on what is currently contained in the legislation and I commend the Minister on seeking to amend the position. Is there any reason we could not go a step further and state "the register shall be available for public inspection in accordance with regulations made by the Minister and such regulations may include ... the nature and extent of such access ... different categories of access ... and the amount of any fee to be charged for such access"? This would enshrine in the primary legislation the fact that the register shall be available for public inspection in accordance with regulations. Making information available for public inspection is a key aspect of open and transparent government. If this changes the meaning and the manner of what is involved and makes it unacceptable, perhaps the Minister might address why the section could not be changed to read "the register shall be available for public inspection in accordance with regulations made by the Minister" when we come to deal with amendment No. 2.

I thank the Minister for tabling amendment No. 2 in response to the amendment I put forward.

Amendment put and declared lost.

I move amendment No. 2:

In page 13, to delete lines 24 to 26 and substitute the following:

“(10) A person shall have access to the Register in accordance with regulations made by the Minister and such regulations may include—

(a) the nature and extent of such access,

(b) different categories of access, and

(c) the amount of any fee to be charged for such access.”.

Amendment No. 2 in the name of the Minister arises out of committee proceedings. It has already been discussed with amendment No. 1.

Does that mean we cannot discuss it further?

Yes. It has already been discussed.

I invited the Minister to explain why what I proposed could not be accepted.

Unfortunately, there is no room for debate as the amendment has already been discussed.

Amendment put and declared carried.

Amendment No. 3 in the name of Deputy Pringle arises out of committee proceedings.

I move amendment No. 3:

In page 52, to delete lines 4 and 5 and substitute the following:

“Arklow, Ballycotton, Baltimore, Castletownbere, Clogherhead, Cork, Dingle, Drogheda, Dublin, Dundalk, Dunmore East, Galway, Greencastle, Howth, Killybegs, Kilmore Quay, Kinsale, Limerick, Ros A Mhil, Skibbereen, Sligo, Tralee, Union Hall, Waterford, Westport and Wexford.”.

Section 30 makes provision for the list of ports of registration included in Schedule 3. The Bill also provides that the Minister can, by means of regulation, add ports to the list. Amendment No. 3 in my name proposes the addition of Ballycotton, Baltimore, Castletownbere, Clogherhead, Dingle, Dunmore East, Greencastle, Howth, Killybegs, Kilmore Quay, Kinsale, Ros a Mhíl and Union Hall to the list. The list contained in the Bill, as it stands, probably dates from a period when shipping was probably not as well developed. Some of the ports included on the list are traditional ports which have been in operation since the 19th century or the early 20th century and at which shipping business is carried out. I refer in this regard to Sligo and other ports. Included on the list proposed in the amendment are a number of fishery harbour centres at and out of which a great deal of fishing, boating and shipping activity takes place. Killybegs is the largest port, by volume, in the country. In fishing terms, Castletownbere is probably as busy - in value terms - as some of the shipping ports.

In the context of the ports I wish to have included in the list, I am of the view that it would be important for fishermen to be able to register their vessels in their ports of origin. The amendment seeks to ensure that the people who use the ports in question would be given registration numbers which apply to those ports. As I understand it, what I am suggesting would not place a huge additional administrative burden on the Department. Basically, all it would need to do would be to draw up new registration lettering codes for the relevant ports. The Bill also provides for the transfer of registrations from one port to another. All of the boats operating out of Killybegs are either registered in Dublin or Sligo. Many of our fishing vessels operate in international waters off Norway, Scotland, France, Spain and north and west Africa and it would be psychologically important for the owners and crews of these vessels if their home ports were recognised within their registration numbers. That is what I am hoping to achieve by means of the amendment.

In view of the fact that doing as I suggest would not give rise to a major administrative burden because the register is digital in nature and there would be no need to open additional registration offices, I hope the Minister will accept amendment No. 3 and allow the names of the ports to which I refer to be added to the list contained in the Bill. That would be better than what is going to happen when the Bill is passed whereby people will make representations to try to have ports added to the list when they become aware of the fact that this is a possibility. The latter will lead to a continual and piecemeal process of representations being made to have ports added. The Minister may also be pressured into adding certain ports but not others. I am of the view, therefore, that the amendment would be of assistance in streamlining the entire administrative process.

I support the amendment. The list of ports contained in the Bill, as put forward by the Government, has diluted the status of other ports which are not included on the list and which have traditional and strong connections to the fishing sector. I would welcome it if boats operating out of Dingle, for example, had the relevant letters included on their registration numbers in order to show that it is their home port. I would like the Minister to examine the possibility of including in Schedule 3 the ports to which Deputy Pringle refers. He should give favourable consideration to the Deputy's amendment because there is a need to confer on certain places throughout the State the status of being ports of registry.

I also support the amendment.

It is very much like registering a car in that it is registered by county. I do not see any reason any other port should be excluded, particularly any port with a long history. On that basis, I believe it is fair enough to say the ports should be recognised. There should be an ability to transfer from one to the other.

When I was responding to Deputy McNamara earlier, I made reference to the fact that this Bill would be in the Seanad. I wish to correct that because it was dealt with in the Seanad under my predecessor. I want to make that clear on the record of the Dáil because I would not want to mislead the Deputy unintentionally in any way. I take a considerable amount of legislation through the Seanad and some of my Bills originate there. I gave an incorrect impression to the Deputy earlier that I now want to correct.

With regard to the Deputies' points on the amendment, I am afraid I am not in a position to accept it now. I have examined this matter in respect of the point that Deputy Pringle put to me. Deputy Fleming also raised this with me on Committee Stage. I am not changing the existing ports of registry in the State through this Bill. I am not seeking to reduce or change the number, for some of the reasons Deputy Ellis touched on. Although we are getting to the point of having a centralised register, I accept that registry is recognised in 13 locations. I am not changing this arrangement or seeking to reduce the number. Schedule 3 of the Bill lists the 13 ports of registry, as Deputy Pringle acknowledged. I understand the registrar of ships operates in 11 locations at present. My concern is that if I were to make a change, there would be increase in magnitude. I would be doubling the number, from 13 to 26, at a time when my objective is to have a single register in place. It is for these reasons that I am not accepting the amendment. I emphasise again that I am not seeking to change or reduce the number of registers in place, and this is why the 13 ports are recognised in the Bill.

I thank the Minister for correcting the record because it was my understanding that the Bill had been dealt with in the Seanad. Nevertheless, the Minister, when on his feet, undertook to consider certain important aspects of the legislation before it is finalised. I urge him to examine these aspects, particularly the question of whether mortgages registered in Ireland could be recognised in convention countries. Ireland is not a convention country and does not plan to be. The United Kingdom is not a convention country either and, as the Minister stated during the previous Stage, many states are not. That is accurate but, nevertheless, it is important that mortgages registered in Ireland be given effect in convention countries, particularly because Spain and other such countries are convention countries. The Minister undertook to examine this and I thank him for it. I urge him to examine the matter. Obviously, the Bill will not now go to the Seanad so the only way he can proceed is to adjourn proceedings on the Bill. By doing so, he could look into this one matter and then resume and put the Bill to a final vote, if a vote is deemed necessary by the House. While we all have tabled amendments and wish to make relatively minor changes, I do not really believe there is any substantive opposition to what the Minister seeks to achieve, namely, the establishment of a central register. Generally, the objective is supported by everybody in the House, and it was probably supported in the Seanad. I urge the Minister to consider this matter before Fifth Stage and sending the legislation to the President to be signed.

With regard to the Minister's response to the amendment, I acknowledge he said he is not seeking to change the number of ports. I would probably add the word “yet” based on having heard what he said. However, even the Minister’s argument against accepting this amendment makes the case for me. There are 13 ports of registry listed in Schedule 3 to the Bill. The Minister is claiming he does not want to extend the number because there could be pressure to create additional offices of registry. There are 13 ports in the Schedule and only 11 offices of registry around the country. Therefore, there is not a requirement to have an office of registry for a port that has the right to register vessels.

There is no administrative burden associated with increasing the number of ports and facilitating fishing and shipping people to have their home ports recognised as ports of registry. My proposal is simple in terms of the single register providing a registration code or other arrangement for a particular port. There is no requirement on the Minister to have additional offices. What the Minister will do if he proceeds as intended is create an administrative burden in respect of dealing with representations from ports seeking to be added to the register. An issue will arise as to whether the Minister should draft regulations to increase the number at some point in the future. We could actually do this here today without placing any additional administrative burden on the Department or Minister.

No additional offices are required to increase the number on the list. At some point in the future, the Minister will probably seek to rationalise the number of offices, but this will not affect the registration of the ports. Therefore, the Minister can address this very easily today. Doing so would reduce the number of representations he will receive on this.

In response to Deputy McNamara's point on adjourning the debate, unfortunately that is not now possible because his amendment has already been dealt with. We are proceeding now to Fifth Stage.

Why is it not possible?

It is not possible because this is Report Stage of the Bill. The Deputy's amendment has already been dealt with and voted upon.

Proceedings on Bills are frequently adjourned on Report Stage. A couple of amendments to the legal services Bill were dealt with on Report Stage and then proceedings were adjourned.

I will be asking the Minister very shortly when he proposes to take Fifth Stage. It is at his discretion.

I wish to respond to what Deputy Pringle said on the administrative burden. My Department will undertake any administration that is necessary if a port needs to be recognised as a port of registry. I am sure the Deputy is already familiar with section 30 of the Bill, which lays out that ports may be added to or removed from the list in the Bill, by order, but that this must be based on certain principles. All the principles, which cover demand, the importance and location of a port and its level of maritime activity, are laid out. If we were to list all 26 and there were to be a change, it would require a change to the Bill itself. As matters stand, I am not seeking to change the number of ports that are recognised. The Bill recognises the 13 existing ports and lays out a process whereby the list may be changed or amended in future.

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 31; Níl, 63.

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Colreavy, Michael.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Daly, Clare.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Fleming, Tom.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McLellan, Sandra.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.

Níl

  • Bannon, James.
  • Barry, Tom.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Butler, Ray.
  • Buttimer, Jerry.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Coffey, Paudie.
  • Conway, Ciara.
  • Coonan, Noel.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Costello, Joe.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Creighton, Lucinda.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Dowds, Robert.
  • Doyle, Andrew.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frank.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Flanagan, Terence.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harrington, Noel.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Humphreys, Kevin.
  • Keating, Derek.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kenny, Seán.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lawlor, Anthony.
  • Lyons, John.
  • McCarthy, Michael.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McFadden, Gabrielle.
  • McGinley, Dinny.
  • McNamara, Michael.
  • Mulherin, Michelle.
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Neville, Dan.
  • Nolan, Derek.
  • Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.
  • O'Donnell, Kieran.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Mahony, John.
  • O'Reilly, Joe.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Quinn, Ruairí.
  • Rabbitte, Pat.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Stagg, Emmet.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Timmins, Billy.
  • Tuffy, Joanna.
  • Twomey, Liam.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Dessie Ellis and Thomas Pringle; Níl, Deputies Emmet Stagg and Paul Kehoe.
Amendment declared lost.
Bill, as amended, received for final consideration.

When is it proposed to take Fifth Stage?

On Tuesday, 9 December.

Is that agreed? Agreed.