Business of Joint Committee (Resumed)

Is it too late to raise a matter?

I will allow the Senator.

This relates to inviting representatives of the Football Association of Ireland, FAI, before the committee, and I understand they will come before us in the next couple of weeks. I would like us to request the FAI to send a progress update on the corporate governance evidence given by Mr. Aidan Horan from the Institute of Public Administration, IPA, to this committee approximately four months ago. We should have that in advance of any meeting, and it would help us in seeing if progress has been made by the FAI on corporate governance. Ideally, I would like for the author of the document, a director of the IPA, to produce that document for us if that is agreeable.

Who owns the document?

He created it independently of the IPA. It would help us.

I am agreeable to the suggestion but the matter is just whether we can get it.

Would it come under Sport Ireland? Who commissioned Mr. Horan to do the work?

As far as I remember, Sport Ireland did so. He gave evidence and we discussed his findings on corporate governance. There were a significant number of recommendations. That was approximately four or five months ago. It might be helpful to the committee if we could see what has been achieved since with the document that the chief executive of the IPA produced. He gave direct evidence to the committee on it and I assume we can ask him for an independent update on progress, if there has been any.

I understand what the Senator is saying but was he employed by the FAI?

I cannot remember who employed him.

Could we ask to see if there is an impediment or whether such evidence would be forthcoming?

Shall I propose that we write to the FAI and ask for an update?

We can do that. Personally, I would prefer the person who authored the report, who is not a member of the FAI or anything like that. The IPA does corporate governance training and so on for State bodies, semi-State bodies and non-State organisations. If the author could give an update on the current position, it would be better than the FAI telling us what it has done. I am happy with either option but my preference is to ask Mr. Horan.

Should the committee contact Mr. Horan? I am sure he would clarify the matter very quickly.

We can write to Mr. Horan.

The minutes of the meeting of 2 October 2019 have been circulated. If no matters arise from those minutes, are they agreed? Agreed. We can deal with correspondence. No. 2019/537 is an email issued to Mr. John Treacy by the clerk to the Joint Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport.

Should we be in public session if we are dealing with correspondence?

We are in public session. We are on the monitors.

That is grand. I was looking at the wrong screen.

Mr. John Treacy is the chief executive officer of Sport Ireland and the correspondence, dated 7 October 2019, requests certain information concerning the Football Association of Ireland. It is proposed to note the correspondence and a substantive reply is awaited from Sport Ireland? Is that agreed? Agreed.

An email has been received from Ms Rea Walshe, chief operations officer of the Football Association of Ireland, dated 4 October 2019, attaching a letter regarding an invitation to appear before the joint committee and requesting a postponement. Is it agreed to note that correspondence?

Agreed. Correspondence has been received from the Office of the Clerk of Dáil Éireann, Mr. Peter Finnegan, dated 4 October, notifying the joint committee that a Private Members' Bill, the Merchant Shipping (Investigation of Marine Casualties) (Amendment) Bill 2019 has been read a Second Time. This relates to email correspondence from Deputy Mattie McGrath, dated 9 October, requesting a scrutiny waiver of his Private Members' Bill and an email received from the Business Committee, dated 17 October, regarding the waiver request received from Deputy McGrath concerning the Bill.

Does any member have a comment on this matter? Is it agreed to waive the pre-legislative scrutiny on this Bill as it appears to be a short technical amendment? Agreed.

Actually, there is an issue with regard to the independence. I know the Bill involves a short technical amendment but there is a wider issue about the independence of marine accident investigations. It may well be that we might seek to expand the Bill. There may be some merit in pre-legislative scrutiny to widen it. It is very important when a report is written by a marine accident investigator that it is not subject to amendment and that it is independent. There is a valid concern. I am supportive of the Bill but it could be wider. Whether the committee wants to go wider than the Bill, if it can do so, is another matter.

Can we go wider?

If we are doing pre-legislative scrutiny I would have thought it gives us scope.

Right. I will leave it up to the members. When it goes back to the House, Deputy Catherine Murphy can table amendments.

If that is what the committee agrees. Will we do Committee Stage here?

When it comes back to us again. Will it come back to us a second time?

If we will not do pre-legislative scrutiny I presume it will come here on Committee Stage and we will have the scope to amend it.

Yes, on Committee Stage.

The value of pre-legislative scrutiny is that we can bring in outside actors and have a wider understanding of what is required. Having gone through it as a member of a previous committee I found it very valuable. It may not add considerably to this because we may not be able to amend it.

Will we let it go back to the House so it will come back to us on Committee Stage?

Is that what the Vice Chairman proposes?

It would progress quicker.

Quicker is better, is it?

Sorry? We had better be careful here. I will leave it to the members to make a call.

I have no view on it, to be honest. I do not believe the Senators have an involvement in it.

It was in the Dáil two weeks ago.

Yes, in actual fact it was the afternoon of the forecast for bad weather-----

That is right.

-----and it did not get the attention it might have otherwise.

It stems from an incident off the coast of Waterford.

I will do my best to try to get some information in the event of it coming back here on Committee Stage, to be helpful to the committee.

I thank the Deputy.

An email has been received from Ms Caradh O'Donovan of Team Ireland Karate, dated 7 October 2019, regarding the recent joint committee meeting that examined the challenges facing minority sports in Ireland. She is wondering whether the topic can be revisited to include the viewpoints of Karate Ireland. I want to make a note of congratulations to Karate Ireland, which recently brought back a haul of medals. There were presentations in Passage West in County Cork for the achievements. It brought back an enormous number of medals in underage categories. This just shows that the committee is being watched and that is why Karate Ireland wants to be invited before us. We should invite it, along with representatives of other minority sports. Is that agreed? Agreed.

Correspondence No. 2019/528 is an email received from Mr. Michael Nolan, the chief executive officer of Transport Infrastructure Ireland, dated 7 October 2019, acknowledging receipt of an email sent by the clerk to the joint committee regarding the N52 Ardee bypass. He states that a response will be issued accordingly. It is proposed to note the correspondence and that a response is still awaited.

Correspondence has been received from Mr. Colm Ryder, the chairperson of, dated 8 October 2019, comprising a cover letter and some issues for consideration by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport on behalf of - The Irish Cycling Advocacy Network. We also received correspondence dated 18 October from Deputy Catherine Murphy requesting the joint committee to schedule a meeting on 4 December on the topic of cycling. Public policy on cycling is a key priority in the joint committee's work programme for 2019 and it is proposed to schedule a meeting as soon as the committee's timetable permits. Is that agreed?

We had an indicative date. It is a very impressive submission. We already have an indicative date.

The Deputy mentioned 4 December. Is there an update on that? We will try to make it as early as possible. We will work on that. Where did the Deputy get the date of 4 December?

At previous meetings, I thought we had had an outline of-----

A provisional programme?

Yes. I thought it was in that.

We will come back to the Deputy.

I think there has been support throughout the committee for this.

Yes, there is.

It will be a very useful meeting. We should have it as soon as we can, as it would be beneficial.

That is agreed and we will come back to the Deputy.

An email has been received from the Chairman, Deputy O'Dowd, dated 10 October, forwarding an email from Senator O'Mahony concerning the Dare to Believe programme being rolled out by the Olympic Federation of Ireland, requesting that the Olympic Federation of Ireland come before the committee at an early date to outline the benefits of the programme. It is proposed to note the correspondence and schedule a meeting when time permits. Is that agreed?

I thank the Vice Chairman for reading that out. Under this programme, the Olympic Federation of Ireland visits transition year pupils in schools. Olympic athletes are involved in rolling it out. The aim of the programme is to inspire and increase youth participation in sports through using Olympic athletes. There is a figure that one child in four in Ireland is unfit, overweight or obese and this is an excellent programme. It would be of benefit if it were rolled out in all schools. Next year is an Olympic year and it would be good to highlight the benefits of the programme. Perhaps the committee can combine it with other presentations. It would be important to highlight it here because this is an issue. We have talked a lot about elite athletes but this cuts across health and education.

We will try to fast-track it. As the Senator has said, next year is an Olympic year.

It would be important to fast-track it, even if it were dealt with along with another group. I would appreciate if it could be fast-tracked.

Is that agreed? Agreed.

An email has been forwarded by the Chairman regarding a request from His Excellency Mr. Paolo Serpi, the Italian ambassador, who would very much like a courtesy call. He would be pleased to talk about Irish-Italian relations in respect of transport, tourism and sport with particular regard to transport infrastructure.

Are we going to Rome for this one?

Is the Senator proposing that?

We should go for the rugby match.

That would be a working holiday then. We will note the correspondence. Is it agreed to organise a date going forward? Agreed.

No. 2019/532a is an email from Michelle Grant, dated 10 October 2019, for information purposes, forwarding a request from B. Hickey to Deputy Hildegarde Naughton, Chairperson of the Working Group of Committee Chairmen, seeking approval for joint committee travel while No. 2019/532b is a request letter from B. Hickey to Deputy Hildegarde Naughton, Chairperson of the Working Group of Committee Chairmen, seeking approval for joint committee travel and approval of said request. I am sorry to say that the trip in question has been cancelled. It is proposed to note the correspondence. Is that agreed? Agreed.

No. 2019/533 is an email from John Treacy, chief executive officer of Sport Ireland, dated 9 October 2019, replying to correspondence, No. JCTTS/i/537, issued 7 October 2019. It is proposed to note the correspondence as a substantive reply is awaited. Is that agreed? Agreed.

No. 2019/534 are emails dated 9 October 2019, received from George Mongey, re national car test, NCT, tests and complaints procedures. Is it agreed to note the correspondence? Agreed.

No. 2019/536 is correspondence received from the Central Statistics Office, dated 10 October 2019, regarding its statement of service for 2020 to 2023. It is proposed to note the correspondence. Is that agreed? Agreed.

No. 2019/537 is a press release from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, dated 10 October 2019, regarding the budget 2020 allocation. It is proposed to note the correspondence. Is that agreed? Agreed.

No. 2019/540 is an email received from the office of Dalton Philips, chief executive officer, Dublin Airport Authority, dated 21 October 2019, regarding the scheduled joint committee meeting today. It is proposed to note the correspondence. Is that agreed? Agreed.

Can I just go back to the budget? I presume the Minister will come before us on the element of the budget that deals with transport.

I hope he will. We will send him a reminder.

It is one thing to send correspondence and another to deal with the approach to transport spending.

We can send him a reminder and he can come forward with a date.

No. 2019/541 is an email from the office of Deputy Eamon Ryan, dated 22 October 2019, requesting that the issue of air quality as it relates to the M50 be discussed at committee level and inviting other organisations, plus a named individual, to attend as part of any discussion. It is proposed to note the correspondence. Is that agreed? Agreed.