Election of Chairman

Clerk to the Committee

The first item on the agenda is the election of the Chairman. I ask for nominations for the position of Chairman.

I propose Deputy Tom Sheahan.

I second that proposal.

Clerk to the Committee

Are there any other nominations? As there are no other nominations, I call on Deputy Tom Sheahan to take the Chair.

Deputy Tom Sheahan took the Chair.

First and foremost, I thank the committee for electing me as Chairman. It is an honour to hold the Chair of an Oireachtas committee and I look forward to working with you all in a positive and constructive manner.

I would also like to place on record my thanks to the outgoing Chairman, Deputy John Perry, for his contribution to the work of the committee during his chairmanship over the past three years. In particular, I would like to acknowledge his efforts in support of the Lisbon treaty and in exercising the additional responsibilities that treaty has given to the Oireachtas. I wish him well in his position as spokesperson on the small business sector.

I will endeavour to be as fair and impartial as I can to all members of the committee. I believe strongly that a united approach where all members contribute and feel their efforts are worthwhile will give the best results. I thank the committee again for electing me.

I congratulate Deputy Sheahan on his election to the position of Chairman of the Joint Committee on European Scrutiny. It is one of the most important committees of the Houses in terms of the work it does and will continue to do on behalf of the Irish people. As he will be aware, for many years there has been a requirement to examine in detail the various proposals on legislation that emanate from Europe and ultimately find their way, either through primary or secondary legislation, onto the Statute Book of this State. It is vital that the committee would continue in that role, as I know it will under the Deputy's chairmanship.

I pay tribute also to Deputy John Perry who was a forthright and co-operative Chairman of the committee and one who sought consensus across the divide. His efforts to ensure that the necessary level of scrutiny was applied to legislation that had the potential to impact on the citizens of Ireland were to the forefront in his work throughout. His desire to ensure that at all times the principle of subsidiarity was checked in regard to the legislation was one of his strongest contributing factors. I wish him well in his new role. I take the opportunity also to offer our condolences to him on the death of his father. Our thoughts and prayers are with him at this difficult time for him and his family.

I congratulate Deputy Sheahan on his election as Chairman of this important committee, which does great work. I congratulate Deputy Perry also who did a wonderful job of chairing this committee in the past number of years. I would like to be associated with a vote of sympathy proposed by Deputy Dooley to Deputy Perry on the death of his father.

I offer congratulations to Deputy Sheahan on his election as Chairman. I apologise for not being here to join in the unanimous vote but from the Labour Party perspective, it would have been supportive of his position. I wish him well in this Joint Committee on European Scrutiny, which I am new to also. It is an extremely important part of the process and part of our contract with the people in terms of recent referenda that we would give detailed scrutiny in this House to legislation emanating from the European Communities.

I wish to be associated with the vote of thanks to Deputy Perry for his contribution and with the vote of sympathy on his bereavement.

I congratulate Deputy Sheahan on his appointment as Chairman of this important committee. I join with members in thanking Deputy John Perry for his work in this important committee. I also join with members in offering our sympathies to him on the death of his father.

I congratulate Deputy Sheahan on his election as Chairman and wish him well. I pay tribute also to Deputy John Perry for the work he did as Chairman. He was particularly keen on the issue of subsidiarity and built up a great deal of goodwill among the chairmen of the other European scrutiny committees we met at various conferences. I recall in particular a trip I was on with him recently to Romania and Bulgaria where we managed to convince the Minister for Foreign Affairs to visit those countries, which he did and which was very successful. Everywhere Deputy Perry went he was keen to stress the key relations we in Ireland would like to have with other countries in Europe. I also sympathise with him and the Perry family on the death of their father.

I would like to be associated with my colleagues in congratulating Deputy Tom Sheahan on his elevation to the Chair of this important committee. I look forward to working with him in the remaining term of this committee, whatever that will be.

I congratulate Deputy Tom Sheahan on his election as Cathaoirleach of this important committee. As Deputy Howlin rightly said, European scrutiny is becoming part of our contract with the people and I hope the Chairman will advance the relationship between the Irish people and Europe through his chairmanship of this committee. I acknowledge the immense work Deputy Perry did in his capacity as Chairman of the committee and concur with the vote of sympathy to him on his bereavement.

Like others, I congratulate you, Deputy Tom Sheahan, on your election as Chairman and wish you well. As others have alluded to, you have a big pair of shoes to fill in following in the footsteps of Deputy Perry, because of his commitment, dedication and proven track record. I wish Deputy Perry well in his new appointment to the small business portfolio, an area in which he has a particular interest.

I join with members in offering my condolences and sympathies to Deputy Perry and the Perry family on the sad loss of his father.

I thank the Senator. We would all wish to be associated with the condolences to Deputy Perry on the death of his father. Hopefully, we will be able to attend the funeral this evening.

Apologies have been received from Deputy Lucinda Creighton.

The joint committee went into private session at 9.42 a.m. and resumed in public session at 10.25 a.m.