Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Vol. 968 No. 6

Radiological Protection (Amendment) Bill 2018: Report and Final Stages

Amendment No. 1 arises out of Committee Stage proceedings. Amendments Nos. 1 to 4, inclusive, are related and may be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 1:

In page 9, between lines 4 and 5, to insert the following:

"(iv) in paragraph (k), by the insertion of "including safety implications arising from neighbouring states nuclear programmes" after "fit",".

We are seeking to amend the principal Act. We need to have in place a reporting mechanism on the safety implications of neighbouring states' nuclear programmes, particularly that of Britain. In Britain, there are five new nuclear power plants on the west coast. That has serious implications for this country. Parts of Britain are only 17 or 20 miles from the coast of Ireland. The plants have the potential to have a devastating effect on the environment, human health, the quality of water in the Irish Sea, and a range of other things.

There has been consultation recently on the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant. It only materialised, however, because of the actions of NGOs, voluntary organisations and other states, not because of any action by the Irish or British Governments. That is disappointing. We must be very vigilant in protecting our environment and we must be very careful to ensure human health. Considerable issues arise over nuclear waste. If anything goes wrong on the other side of the Irish Sea, we will be left very vulnerable in this State.

I urge the Government and all parties to support the amendment, which seeks the insertion of "including safety implications arising from neighbouring states nuclear programmes" between lines 4 and 5, in page 9. It is a very small amendment but it would have a huge effect on monitoring.

We are talking about developing renewable energy. It is right to have interconnectors but we need to be real about our commitment to clean energy. Nuclear energy is not clean energy because there is waste. People do not see the fumes coming out of the big stacks or the huge amount of waste being dumped in landfill sites, but that does not mean the energy is clean because it is not. Anybody who has been in or around any of the nuclear reactors in England will tell one that. I have seen them. I saw the Torness one being built. There are considerable implications for our health and environment in Ireland, and also for fish life and everything else in the Irish Sea.

With regard to the importation of electricity, I am not arguing against having interconnectors, particularly the interconnector with the North, but we should not become over-reliant or any way reliant on imported electricity generated by nuclear power while at the same time claiming we are so great because we are nuclear free in this State. There is a bit of hypocrisy in that regard. We need to take our responsibility seriously in this matter in terms of reducing dependency on nuclear-generated power by developing our own sources. A wide range of sources must be developed. This is a matter that the Oireachtas and the Government must take on board. We must keep pushing on a weekly basis to ensure progress.

I urge the House to support the amendment. It is very important. It is important that we protect the environment, human health and human life.

We had a useful discussion on Committee Stage about this and a very useful meeting with the Minister's officials since then. I appreciate and welcome the attention paid by the Minister and others to radon and to implementing various measures in this regard. As the Minister said on Committee Stage, six people per week are contracting fatal cancers as a result of this issue going unchecked. We must all pay attention to it.

Since Committee Stage, there has been a very interesting and useful hearing by the Joint Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government at which representatives of various Irish NGOs made the case for a much more detailed submission under the Espoo Convention mechanisms allowing us to engage in public consultation on the British nuclear programme. The Government has been remiss in not taking the opportunity to track that work and in not taking responsibility in this regard.

The amendments would have the same effect in terms of seeking to compel the Minister and the Department to report annually to the Oireachtas on the national radon control strategy. Amendment No. 4, the third of my three amendments, seeks to ensure that the Government will be advised on the risk to Ireland from other nuclear programmes, be they military or nuclear energy programmes. I raise those two issues in order to highlight the need for us to put the focus on our national radon control strategy. I am aware of the activities of the bodies carrying out that work but the amendments seek to ensure that they will report on it to the Oireachtas. In my view, that would bestow greater import and attention on such work. The second issue is to compel the Government not to just ignore the issue of nuclear safety when it comes to neighbouring jurisdictions - be it in the context of military or nuclear energy programmes - but, rather, to assess that risk, engage in the consultation process, which we have not been doing, and to represent the Irish people in that way. That is the import of the three amendments I have presented.

I wish to speak on these amendments because some of them are very important. It is not every day that Deputy Eamon Ryan and I agree on something. However, we do agree on the national radon control strategy and any successor to it. During the years I have been involved in politics, I have come across issues relating to radon gas levels that have educated me a great deal. In terms of the difficulties that have arisen, people have died and it was determined that the radon gas levels in their homes contributed strongly to their deaths. When we are talking about issues of this nature, we must remember that. This is a serious problem. With proper building controls in place, we would hope that problem is being held at bay and that proper preventative measures are being put in place.

Speaking to these amendments, nationally and strategically, and in terms of the bigger picture, we must have policies in place to deal with the risk posed by radon gas, the problems to which it gives rise and the costs associated with it. Major costs have been incurred in controlling radon gas levels and in putting a strategy in place. However, we must get on with doing the necessary work. In that context, implementation of the strategy is very important.

In the context of surveying homes across the State that are at risk, I know that a number of what I would call black spots have been identified in the county in which I reside. No more than naming an individual in the Dáil, which the Ceann Comhairle always says we should not do, it is not appropriate for me to name specific townlands. Their names were in the public domain previously but I will not name them now because I do not want to be the cause of devaluing property in those areas. Suffice it to say that we do have a number of black spots. They are well known to us. I can only speak for my county. Other Deputies can speak about their areas. It is a concern and a problem. I mentioned property prices but the value of property is nothing compared to people's lives. I knew mothers who are no longer with us as a result of radon gas poisoning. I know those cases personally. The issue of safety is the most important consideration. That is the reason some of these amendments, which have been well thought out by the Deputies who brought them forward, very much deserve to be supported.

In terms of radioactive materials and what happens in neighbouring countries, when we cannot see something and it is not in front of our noses, we might not worry about it. However, I am sure many people who were near the Chernobyl plant at the time of the disaster there did not think that it had anything to do with them. Subsequently, they realised the awfulness that is continuing to this day and the horrendous consequences it had on people at that time. There are those who were not even born at the time of the disaster at Chernobyl who are now being affected. If we consider our close neighbours across the sea and how near we are in the context of any potential problems that might arise in the future, we, as legislators, would be very negligent if, when discussing this matter, we did not say that we must be extremely vigilant and proactive. We must have our say, plan ahead and be very vocal in protecting our people. If we consider the relevant distance in miles, then, potentially, we are very close to being in harm's way if things do not always run smoothly. When we are talking about nuclear energy, problems can occur at any time. While modern methods of dealing with the safety aspects of such energy are very much to the fore - this was not the case when the incident at the Chernobyl plant took place - accidents can happen at any time.

When discussing our future energy needs - that is probably not a debate to have in the context of this Bill - I know that we are looking at other sustainable methods of generating power into the future and of trying to ensure that we will be able to meet those needs.

To return to the amendments, Deputy's Stanley's amendments and those tabled by Deputy Eamon Ryan, amendments Nos. 1 to 5, inclusive, are very important and deserve the full consideration of the House.

On the radon gas aspect, I do not believe that either the Government or Minister could ever be accused of being overprotective of people's homes. In other words, the Minister should take any and every opportunity, whether through media campaigns or in other ways, to encourage people to get their homes tested. People spend a great deal of money on their homes. The Minister currently has in place a great scheme in respect of energy efficiency. What I would call substantial grants are being made available under that scheme. The Minister is a very imaginative person and I ask him to be proactive in helping the people of the country in respect of the issue to which the legislation relates. When it comes to drawing down grants, it might be no harm to subtly encourage people to get their homes tested for radon gas. If it saved one life, would that not be a big deal and a great achievement?

I thank the Deputy.

I would like to hear whether there is some way that the Minister can encourage people and make them realise that, even though it might involve a very small outlay, they should get their homes tested. The results relating to some of the houses of which I am aware and which were tested subsequent to people dying prematurely - their deaths having been attributed to radon gas - were frightening. The level of radon gas above the norm was frightening to the extent that, in many cases, people were unable to stay in their homes without substantial works being carried out. I would like to hear the Minister say whether he could tie that into one of his existing schemes. He could inform people that there is a minor qualifying criterion requiring them to get their homes tested.

The Deputy is way over time.

I apologise for that. I do not know the cost of testing for radon gas but what I have suggested would be a worthwhile measure.

The Government encourages people to be safe in every other way. Why not focus on the radon issue because everybody could sleep safer and happier in their homes knowing their homes were under the permitted radon levels?

I will speak briefly to the amendments and the Bill as a whole. Fianna Fáil continues to support the Bill. It is a sensible and much-needed Bill that makes a lot of sense. A risk-based approach and the mitigation of threats are essential to the Bill. The amendments appear quite sensible and to concern the risk mitigation of the radon threat. They appear to strengthen and enhance our precautions and measures against same. I will await the Minister's response and the Department's views but the amendments appear to make a lot of sense.

There is a reference to neighbouring states and risks to the Irish environment arising from other states with nuclear programmes, be they military or related to the production of energy. I am not sure whether it is a geographic risk or whether it concerns energy union, increasing interconnection and the importation of energy from any sources. Is there anything to consider in that regard? Is it geographic constraints or where the energy comes from that is pertinent?

I again voice broad support for the amendments but I await the official response. I acknowledge the Committee Stage debate where issues like the situation of chiropractors and medical physicists were discussed. I thank the Minister, the Department and officials for their very helpful advice on that point. They took on board the points that were raised. It has been an excellent debate to date and I am sure this evening will be the same as well.

This is very important legislation. I thank the committee and all involved in bringing it to this very crucial Stage. We have heard about five planned new nuclear power plants. Deputy Eamon Ryan is much more adept at talking about this area than I am but there is one significant issue in my region. It concerns overhead pylons and power lines to transmit power from Whitegate in Cork to Wexford. The communities there have huge issues with that. There has been a debate around underground versus overground for the interconnector and the fact that we never looked at the option of taking it from the sea. It might be strange in respect of the amendments but it comes back to nuclear power.

Amendment No. 1 in the name of Deputy Stanley addresses safety implications arising from neighbouring states' nuclear programmes. It is very important. Amendment No. 2 concerns an annual report to the Oireachtas on the implementation of the national radon control strategy or any successor strategy. It is vital. We do not know what we are doing. We are shooting in the dark as regards the nuclear industry. I certainly am, and I do not believe our regulatory industry is up to speed with what is going on. We all remember Chernobyl and its horrible implications. I wish to talk about a great cailín from Clonmel, Adi Roche, and the work her organisation has done. We welcomed na daoine óga that came to Clonmel. They have been coming to Tipperary and other areas all over the country for nigh on 30 years.

It is vital that we are cognisant of what happened and what can happen. Some of our very near neighbours are proposing to build new nuclear plants. It is vital that we have a recording mechanism and an input under EU regulations, that we are kept abreast of accidents in those plants and that safety standards are kept at an all-time high. It should be a belt-and-braces scenario whereby we are over-safe and over-zealous. I also salute the non-governmental organisations, NGOs, in our country and throughout the world for the work they have done and the information they have provided us with. They have left many State agencies in the hind tit position, in that they brought us up to speed. We ended up learning a lot about the inadequacies in those places due to pressure from them and through the media. It is incumbent on us to get this right. I fully support the amendments because we cannot have enough regulation, monitoring and insistence that these are run properly.

Amendment No. 4 concerns advising the Government, the Minister and other Ministers about the risks to the Irish environment, population, society and economy from ionising radiation and radiation sources in countries with military nuclear programmes or nuclear energy programmes or both, including the risks of accidental or unplanned releases of radioactive materials. The only issue I would have with this amendment is that I would put population before environment. Nobody ever released something deliberately. It is the accidents that are the problem. We have no access to see how well maintained these plants are; obviously, they were built to certain standards but that was fadó, fadó. Standards have changed and the request for standards has changed. Above all, we need to protect our people. The environment is very important but it is second to our people. I can remember clearly being in a certain place and a certain vehicle two mornings after Chernobyl and having to get out three times to use my jumper to wipe black dust off my windscreen over a two-hour period. I could not believe it. I did not know what it was. None of us knew. At that time, it was discovered that the sheep in the Knockmealdown Mountains, which is in the area I represent, were the most radioactive sheep in the country. Their eyes rotted out of their heads.

I hope the Deputy did not eat any of them.

We may have. We were not told. There were no warnings or checks. I like to think it was funny but I lost two first cousins who were herding those sheep. They had the most terrible deaths. We were all told about the Cooley Mountains at the time but in the fullness of time, we found out that the most highly radioactive sheep were in the Knockmealdown Mountains. The thing literally melted out of their eyes and people may have consumed the meat. People were using open water supplies but we were not told to be careful. People were not told not to drink it. We were behind the game. This is my point about this Bill, namely, we need to be ever vigilant. We cannot allow anything like that to ever happen again. Government agencies must up the ante both here and in our sister countries in Europe and insist that the most rigorous testing is used in these plants. We should make observations because it is in the interests of our people, animal life and environment. That happened. I lived through that time. Thankfully, I was in the car for most of the day when it happened so I might not have inhaled much of the ash but it was very serious. It was quarter or half an inch thick and we should consider what the results were in respect of sheep and beef cattle grazing the land. We had no idea the impact it had on the wildlife and never will.

I also have concerns about power lines being placed close to houses. A 30 kVA line was recently placed overhead in one particular valley. One person died from cancer in at least six households in this one parish.

That is appalling by any standards, but that issue is not relevant to the four amendments we are discussing. We cannot get into a debate on that particular point. We must focus on the four amendments in the names of Deputies Stanley and Eamon Ryan which are before us. Irrespective of the importance of the matters the Deputy is raising, we cannot discuss them now. We need to stick to the amendments.

Can I not raise the issue of these masts being placed close to schools?

No. The Deputy may only raise the subject matter of the amendments. We are on Report Stage of the Bill. We have had the Second Stage debate where the broad aspects were considered. We have had Committee Stage and we are now on Report Stage. The debate is now condensed down to the subject matter of the amendments.

The fact that radiation is coming from these things is not to be discussed.

It is a different type of radiation; we are focusing on radon.

Castleisland in County Kerry has very high levels of radon. Sadly, I believe one family lost three members. Since then, the local authority has been more proactive in insisting that radon barriers are put in place to diminish any further effects when building a new house. In three cases people wanted to knock down their old house and build a new house in order to install all these radon barriers, only to be told that the heritage section of the local authority wanted to leave the houses standing. It took a fair amount of persuasion to ensure that these people were allowed to do what they intended to do initially, which was to demolish the old house and to build a new house with all the protection they could have from radon gas.

I wanted to get in those important points. We seem to be talking a lot in this Chamber, and rightfully so, about protecting life. People can also lose their lives from these and have done in the two matters I raised.

At the outset, I congratulate Deputy Eamon Ryan on his three new colleagues. He will have a network across the country.

I thank the three colleagues for raising the very important issue of radon. Deputies Eamon Ryan, Stanley and Lawless raised the issue early on in the passage of this legislation. On foot of that, we will introduce a pilot scheme specifically looking at testing. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked me about the cost. The cost of testing it will be between €40 and €50. Where it is identified, we will need to carry out works and we are putting a pilot scheme in place on foot of which we intend to roll out a grant scheme across the country. However, I need to get this legislation enacted if we are to proceed with that plan. I hope Deputies will facilitate me in doing so.

The Government opposes amendments Nos. 1 and 4 as both the principle and detail behind them are already set out in section 7 of the principal Act. Paragraph 1(d) assigns the general function to the Environmental Protection Agency to "advise the Government, the Minister and other Ministers of the Government on radiological safety matters relating to the transport, use storage, maintenance and disposal of radiation sources wheresoever located". Paragraph 1(c) further assigns the general function to the Environmental Protection Agency to "advise the Government, the Minister and other Ministers of the Government and the public, on measures for the protection of individuals in the State from radiological hazards". Paragraph (1)(k) assigns the function to the agency to provide information to the public on any matters relating to radiological safety which the agency deems fit.

The function of the Environmental Protection Agency to advise the Government, the Minister and other Ministers of the Government and the public on radiological safety matters is comprehensive and is not restricted by the geographic location, type or purpose of the radiation source. The amendments as drafted would bring no additional clarity to the functions of the agency as an advisory body. They include a number of undefined and unclear terms which may be open to legal interpretation and could impede the agency in delivering on its mandate. It would undermine the stated purpose of the amendments. While I support the principles of those amendments, they are already provided for in the legislation.

A number of other questions were raised on the UK's nuclear build programme. The UK Government has identified up to eight locations for the construction of new nuclear plants by 2025. Five of these locations are on the Irish Sea coast at Moorside, Heysham, Wylfa, Oldbury and Hinckley Point. The remaining three locations, Hartlepool, Sizewell and Bradwell, are on Britain's east coast.

Ireland's published position is that, while not a nuclear energy-producing country, we acknowledge the right of states to determine their own energy mix. However, we expect that where a state chooses to develop a nuclear power industry, this is done in line with the highest international standards with respect to safety and environmental protection. Since 2009, the Irish Government has been aware of the UK's plan to build nuclear power stations at sites judged as potentially suitable. There is regular contact at official level on a range of nuclear matters between Ireland and the UK. The contact is formalised in the biannual meetings of the UK-Ireland contact group on radiological matters. This group includes departmental officials and representatives of the regulatory bodies, the United Kingdom's Office for Nuclear Regulation and our Environmental Protection Agency office of radiological protection.

Ireland has been actively involved in the consultation process on the proposed new building programme including Hinckley Point C, which is a standing agenda item on meetings of the UK-Ireland contact group on radiological matters. Comments on the Moorside plant were also submitted and a meeting subsequently held with the developers of that project. The Government asked the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland, now merged with the EPA, to prepare a report on the potential radiological implications for Ireland from the proposed nuclear power plants in the United Kingdom. A principal finding of the report published in May 2013 is that the routine operation of the proposed nuclear power plants will have no measurable radiological impact on Ireland or the Irish marine environment. This report continues to inform Irish engagement on new UK nuclear build programme.

To take it that there will be no environmental implications from the development of the five nuclear plants is a big leap of faith. There is waste from these plants. They will be close to the seafront. There is huge potential for damage to the Irish Sea.

The Minister quoted the principal Act. We have looked at the principal Act and believe the amendment should stand. I had tabled amendments on radon which were ruled out of order. I will be supporting the Green Party's amendment No. 2 on the matter. Radon gas in people's homes is a huge issue. I note from the Minister's reply that there is to be a pilot scheme. I note that it is only in County Roscommon.

It is in County Galway as well.

It is in east Galway, which is the same constituency.

No. It is in the constituency of Galway East, which is not my constituency.

I ask the Minister to extend that scheme in fairness to other parts of the country. There are high-risk areas in north County Offaly, Laois and many other counties.

I ask the Minister for a sample of the homes in those areas to be taken in order to inform the situation. He and I know that anything built before 2005 was built without a radon barrier. As a result, the people in such homes are at risk. We cannot ignore the fact radon is the second biggest cause of lung cancer, as the Minister stated in the Chamber a month ago. While I do not want to take a political swipe at him, it is important that the test is made more representative and that it is not just carried out in County Roscommon and part of east Galway. It would be beneficial to take samples throughout the State. I encourage the Minister to have samples taken in north Offaly and Laois.

I am disappointed with the Minister's response to amendment No. 1. I thought the Government would have given more consideration to this because, as far as I can see, it is very well thought out and I would have thought that the Government would be in a position to support it. Ultimately, what neighbouring states do with their nuclear programmes is as important to us as it is to their own people. If our own Government was engaged in a programme of nuclear energy, it would be incumbent on every one of us to have a say on it and, as legislators, we would be entitled to be involved in the formation of a plan relating to it. We do not, however, have such a programme and we are not, therefore, the masters of our own destiny because we are relying on the safety measures and precautions that other countries put in place and we are completely beholden to them. I would have thought Deputy Stanley's amendment would have been one the Department could look at more closely.

I would like to say more on the issue of radon but I will wait until the debate on amendments Nos. 6 and 7, which, I presume, we will go through in detail due to their importance. Discussing radon in the context of those amendments would be more appropriate.

In the context of the Minister's reply, I am very unhappy with this being completely dismissed in the way it has been. I would like the Minister and his officials to reconsider the position on it.

Does the Minister wish to add anything?

I have said what I have said.

I, too, am surprised at the outright admonishment of this amendment. In our own lives, we all have to be cognisant of our neighbours, who are better than family to many of us. Amendment No. 1 proposes the insertion of "including safety implications arising from neighbouring states nuclear programmes” after the word “fit”. We have to do this. What is the point of having agencies if we do not insist, as we are entitled to do, that we have proper input into what goes on? We are not discussing some industrial building; it is a nuclear plant. We have a desperate and tragic history in this regard and we do not want it repeated. I do not see how any neighbouring state would not welcome an input from us.

In fairness, any planning application for a major industry must have an environmental impact statement and outside evaluation. While we have changed this in order that projects go directly to An Bord Pleanála, all the experts are wheeled in nonetheless. I do not pretend to be an expert but I know that we learned a costly lesson. We must ensure we do not have any more costly lessons. We must ensure that our voice is heard, that our agencies are fit for purpose and that we are not depending on our non-governmental organisations to go out in ships and flotillas to bring this matter to media attention. We need to be awake, to have our antennae up, to be cognisant of what is going on around us and, above all, to have an input in order that there would be safeguards in place for our people if anything were to go wrong.

I feel very strongly about this. Places like Louth and Wexford, and all the coastline in between, are very close to Britain. It could be much more troublesome if England finally leaves the European market because we will have less of a say. The west coast of England is almost as near to the east coast of Ireland as Dublin is to Galway if one looks at it in that way. It is very important that we would monitor this and have a say, which is what I am demanding. We need to protect Irish people who are living on this island. As a Government and as a Parliament, we cannot dismiss the threat of a nuclear station being built in close proximity to our country and the adverse effect it might have on people living here or trying to do so.

Everyone is aware of the danger of high levels of radon. The Minister mentioned a pilot scheme. Perhaps every politician representing a constituency could speak on high levels of cancer in their own communities. I have always felt there is a high level of cancer, particularly lung cancer, in west Cork. The fact radon gas is thought to be the second most prevalent cause of lung cancer after smoking must direct us towards what the Minister has called a pilot scheme. I would appreciate it if that pilot scheme could be brought to areas of west Cork in order that we might discover what levels of radon are there.

To go back many years, I remember getting a little package with a little unit inside. I was fairly young at the time but I am 99% sure it was in regard to radon. I would like to know what results that exercise revealed in respect of each county. If radon is prevalent in a community, can the level be lowered and, if so, how? Overall, if there is a pilot scheme in other areas, regardless of where they are, it is important that the scheme be brought to all the different parts of the country, especially south-west Cork, particularly in view of the fact that I have very serious concerns that further research is needed in the context of tackling the unfortunate incidence of cancer in my area which has given rise to upset and hardship in many communities. I would appreciate it if the Minister would consider that. Where the funding will come from, I cannot say, and that is something the Minister will have to find out for us. When it comes to public health, however, it is important that the pilot scheme is brought to many other counties.

Amendment put and declared lost.

I move amendment No. 2:

In page 9, between lines 4 and 5, to insert the following:

“(iv) by the insertion of the following paragraph after paragraph (k):

“(l) to report annually to the Oireachtas on the implementation of the National Radon Control Strategy or any successor strategy.”,”.

Amendment put and declared lost.

I move amendment No. 3:

In page 9, between lines 37 and 38, to insert the following:

“(c) in paragraph (h), by the insertion of “and the Oireachtas” after “as appropriate”,”.

Amendment put and declared lost.

I move amendment No. 4:

In page 10, between lines 7 and 8, to insert the following:

“(g) by the insertion of the following paragraph after paragraph (m):

“(n) to advise the Government, the Minister and other Ministers regarding the risks to the Irish environment, population, society and economy from ionising radiation and radiation sources in countries with military nuclear programmes and/or nuclear energy programmes, including the risks of accidental or unplanned releases of radioactive materials;”.”.

Amendment put and declared lost.

Amendments Nos. 5 to 10, inclusive, have been ruled out of order so we must proceed to the order for Fifth Stage.

For clarification, on what grounds have the amendments been ruled out of order?

It is on the grounds of imposing a potential charge on the Revenue.

The Minister was asked by Deputy Stanley to establish a scheme for remediation of homes across the State.

The Minister may propose a scheme.

He said he is going to bring in a scheme but a Deputy has tabled an amendment looking for a scheme. Can we not discuss with the Minister what he is proposing in response?

A Deputy who is not a member of the Government cannot, on foot of a constitutional provision, bring forward a proposal or an amendment that imposes a charge on the Revenue.

The Minister has said he is going to bring in such a scheme.

We are not dealing with what the Minister said. We are dealing with a series of amendments in the names of Deputies Stanley and Eamon Ryan. The amendments are out of order and we cannot have any further discussion on them.

Deputy Stanley's proposal has been announced by the Minister tonight.

No. It was on Second Stage.

The Minister may, in his concluding remarks, clarify the situation for Deputy Healy-Rae but we must now proceed to the order for Fifth Stage.

Amendments Nos. 5 to 10, inclusive, not moved.
Bill received for final consideration.

When is it proposed to take Fifth Stage?

Is that agreed? Agreed.

Question proposed: "That the Bill do now pass."



Will the Deputies claiming a division please rise?

Deputies Michael Collins, Danny Healy-Rae, Michael-Healy Rae and Mattie McGrath rose.

As fewer than ten Members have risen, I declare the question carried. In accordance with Standing Order 72, the names of the Deputies dissenting will be recorded in the Journal of the Proceedings of the Dáil.

Question declared carried.