I suggest it would be convenient for the Seanad in dealing with this Bill that we should take up the matters on which there has been either amendment or disallowance in the other House. We should take them in two compartments—that is to say, we should first of all deal with those amendments in this House which were agreed to or altered by the Dáil, and when we have disposed of those we should then take up those with which they have disagreed altogether. Dealing then with the amendments of the Seanad that have been accepted in an altered form in the Dáil we will take up Amendment 15.

Amendment 15:—In Section 19, page 10, after sub-section (3) a new sub-section inserted as follows:—

Provided that nothing in this Act shall prejudicially affect the right of any local authority to whom additional duties have been transferred under this Act from obtaining such recoupment from the Local Taxation Account or other source for salaries and other expenditure as was hitherto payable in connection with such duties.


That new sub-section was inserted in this House, and it has been agreed to in the Dáil subject to the striking out of the first two words "Provided that." It is practically a clerical amendment.

I formally move:—"That the Seanad do agree with the Dáil in their amendment to the Seanad amendment." Have you any information, sir, as to whether the Minister for Local Government is present?


I will try to find that out.

It seems to me this is a case where it would be extremely inconvenient for the Seanad to consider these amendments unless the Minister is present. This is a Bill which is under the care of an External Minister. A considerable difference of opinion arose in the Dáil on this Bill, and I think it is of the greatest possible importance that we should know the views of the Minister so as to be able to decide whether or not we should insist upon our amendments.

then arrived, and An Cathaoirleach explained the procedure he proposed adopting regarding the Dáil amendments.

I beg to second the motion proposed by Senator Douglas.

Question put and agreed to.
Amendment 40:—In Section 28 (4), page 14, line 54, the words "such amount" deleted and the following words substituted therefor: "in appropriate cases the amount of any loss or expense occasioned by disturbance of the occupier by such removal, and such amounts."


An amendment was inserted in this House to delete the words "such amount" and to substitute therefor the words "in appropriate cases the amount of any loss or expense occasioned by disturbance of the occupier by such removal, and such amounts." That was accepted in the Dáil subject to this amendment, that after the word "cases" the words "to the occupier" be inserted. That has not altered in any sense the amendment passed in this House. It merely makes the meaning clearer.

I move:—"That the Seanad do agree with the Dáil in their amendment to the Seanad amendment."

I second.

Question put and agreed to.
Amendment 78.—In Section 51, page 25, line 37, a new sub-section added as follows:—
"No person shall be eligible to be nominated for election to a county council or to serve as a member of such body who is not a local government elector or ratepayer in the county electoral area for which he seeks nomination."


In the other House that has practically been struck out, and a new clause inserted for the purpose of giving effect in a more direct and plain way to what has been provided in this House. The proposal as adopted by the Dáil reads as follows:—

"No person shall be qualified to be elected a member of a county council for a county electoral area unless he is either—

(a) registered as a Local Government elector in so much of the register of Local Government electors as relates to such county electoral area, or

(b) the owner of property held by freehold, leasehold or other tenure within such county electoral area."

That is the Dáil amendment to the amendment of this House.

I move:—"That the Seanad do agree with the Dáil amendment to the Seanad amendment."

I second.

Question put and agreed to.
Amendment 90.—Before Section 61 a new section inserted as follows:—
(1) In this section the expression "new building" means either—
(a) a building, the erection of which was or shall have been begun and completed during the period from the 1st day of April, 1920, to the 1st day of April, 1927, or
(b) a building, the structure of which has been substantially enlarged or improved and such enlargement or improvement was or shall have been begun and completed during the period aforesaid:
The expression "exemption year" means—
(i) in relation to any new building which is exempt from revaluation under the provisions of section 7 of the Dublin Reconstruction (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1916 —any of the local financial years between the 1st day of April, 1929, and the 31st day of March, 1933;
(ii) in relation to any new building which is exempt from revaluation under the provisions of section 8 of the Dublin Reconstruction (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1924—any of the local financial years between the 1st day of April, 1930, and the 31st day of March, 1933.
(iii) in relation to any other new building—any of the local financial years between the 1st day of April, 1926, and the 31st day of March, 1933.
(2) For the purposes of the assessment and levying of any rate raised by a local authority for the service of any exemption year, and subject to the provisions of sub-section (3) of this section, the valuation of every new building under the Valuation Acts shall be deemed to have been reduced by two-thirds.
(3) The preceding sub-section shall not have effect in the case of any house erected under the Housing of the Working Classes (Ireland) Acts, 1890 to 1921, the Labourers (Ireland) Acts, 1883 to 1919, or the Housing (Building Facilities) Act, 1924, the rates leviable in respect of which have been remitted in part under the provisions of section 7 of that Act.
(4) If any doubt, dispute or question shall arise as to whether a building is a new building within the meaning of this section, such doubt, dispute or question shall be determined by the Minister, whose decision shall be final."


The other House adopted this amendment subject to the insertion of a new sub-section immediately before Section 4. The new sub-section reads as follows:—

Amendment 90.—Before sub-section (4) the following new sub-section inserted:—

"The rateable valuation of any building for the purpose of ascertaining the limit imposed by any statute on the amount of borrowing by a local authority shall not be deemed to be reduced by virtue of this section."

Subject to the insertion of that new sub-section the Dáil has adopted the section in toto as inserted in this House.

I move:—"That the Seanad agree with the Dáil in the amendment to the Seanad amendment."

I second.

Question put and agreed to.
Amendment 100.—Before Section 70 a new section inserted as follows:—
"The Local Elections Postponement (Amendment) Act, 1924 (No. 39 of 1924), is hereby repealed and in lieu thereof it is hereby enacted that the Local Elections Postponement Act, 1922 (No. 4 of 1922), shall be construed and have effect as if the expiration of two months from the passing of this Act was substituted therein for the first day of January, 1924, where that date is mentioned in sub-section (1) of Section 1 and sub-section (1) of Section 2 of that Act."


In this House that new section was inserted, and it was adopted and accepted in the Dáil, subject to changing "two months" into "three months."

I move:—"That the Seanad do agree with the Dáil in their amendment to the Seanad amendment."

Question put and agreed to.


That disposes of the clauses in which the Dáil agreed with the Seanad amendments. I now propose to take up the amendments inserted in this House which have been rejected by the other House. In this House, before Section 17 there was a new section inserted making it obligatory on the coroner to hold inquests in certain cases. The amendment reads as follows:—

Before Section 17 a new section inserted as follows:—

"It shall be the duty of a coroner to hold an inquest in respect of every death occurring or dead body lying in his district in respect of which there is any reasonable cause to believe that the death may have been due to some cause other than common illness."

This amendment has been rejected by the other House.

As far as I can find out, this amendment, which I endeavoured to insert, is simply the law as it stands in England, and to my mind and to the minds of most people with whom I have discussed it, it should be the law here. The duty should be imposed on the coroner to hold inquests in any case in which death is the result of anything but ordinary illness.


Are you moving that we disagree with the Dáil's disagreement to our amendment?

I would like to hear from the Minister whether there is any prospect of having this provision carried into effect some other way. There was a suggestion thrown out that it might be inserted in some Bill coming from the Minister for Justice or in some other way like that.


We must be regular. The proper way for you to proceed is formally to move that this House do not agree with the Dail's disagreement to our amendment. It is purely a formal matter.

For the purpose of having it discussed, I move that the Seanad disagrees with the Dáil's disagreement with our amendment.

I beg to second.

When this amendment was mooted in the Seanad, we had a considerable difference of opinion as to whether this was the place to insert such an amendment or not. I had no opinion as to whether it was a good amendment or not on its merits, but I considered that the Local Government Bill was not the proper place in which to insert it. Of course, we all agree that it is within the scope of the Bill, but it is really a matter for the Minister of Justice, because the Minister for Justice has control over the duties of these particular officers. My duty in respect of these officers, or the duty of local authorities with respect to them, begins and ends with their appointment. We have no control over their duties whatever, and accordingly we consider that this is not the proper place to give effect to this particular amendment. I have been speaking to the Minister for Justice, and he says that as the law stands the coroner is responsible. There is no way of relieving him from that responsibility if a death occurs, if he does not hold an inquest and if that death had arisen from causes that might have been criminal or otherwise not justifiable. The responsibility is on the coroner of the time to hold an inquest. Accordingly there is no necessity to insert such a provision. If there is any occasion for inserting such a provision it should be put into some Bill brought forward by the Minister for Justice. It is not a matter that concerns me in my capacity as Minister for Local Government, and it does not properly fit into a Local Government Bill. That is the only objection we have to inserting it.

I would like to say that under the law as it stands at present, the coroner is not bound to hold an inquest in all cases. It is only in cases where there is a suspicion of foul play that the coroner may get into trouble if he does not hold an inquest. I think it is generally recognised that it is necessary to hold inquests not alone where there is any question of foul play, but where there might be a question affecting the public interests—where in the public interests there would have to be precautions taken against a recurrence of such a death. I believe that it is necessary that it should be laid down emphatically and distinctly that it is the coroner's duty to hold an inquest in cases where there is no foul play at all, but where the death is the result of anything other than ordinary common illness. I would impress upon the House that there has been gross negligence on the part of coroners in some cases. Instances of that kind of gross neglect have come under my own notice, cases where there was death as the result of accidents or otherwise and which people generally held should have been inquired into by a coroner's inquest. These inquests were not held, and I do not know why. The coroner seemed to have more or less a free hand and I do not think that should be so.


I am not quite sure if my recollection is right— I am speaking solely from memory which is getting rusty now—but it is always open to anyone to call the attention of the Minister, who would be the Minister for Justice now, to any death which has occurred under suspicious circumstances and, if he is satisfied, he is entitled to have the body exhumed and have an inquest held on it. I think that power exists to-day.

That may be; I am not quite so interested in that. What I pointed out was that there are any amount of cases where there is no question of foul play. A person might be killed by a motor lorry and an inquest, if held, would probably bring out details which would minimise or prevent the chance of a recurrence. There are any amount of other cases, such as for instance, where death is the result of an outbreak of fire. Although there may be no question of foul play it may be absolutely necessary in the public interest to have an inquest or to have the circumstances inquired into. Cases of foul play are covered already, I assume, but I would like to impress upon the Seanad the necessity of laying it down that it is the coroner's duty to hold an inquest in any case where death is not the result of ordinary illness apart altogether from the question of foul play. I think there is no intention of introducing any other Bill to deal with it and I think this is the proper way.

It would seem to me to carry out Senator De Loughry's amendment, it would be necessary to hold an inquest on everybody who dies as the result of a surgical operation.

This is not a case where it would be wise to insist on this amendment. When amendments come back from the other House we have to consider, not merely whether in the abstract we are in agreement with them, but whether our insistence on them will achieve the purpose we have in mind. Personally I am in entire agreement with Senator De Loughry in what he desires to achieve but I am not in agreement that this amendment which was somewhat hastily passed in this House will achieve what he desires. It seems to me that it leaves it still very largely in the discretion of the coroner and that consequently it creates a new disease called "common illness," which no coroner could decide. Senator Dowdall has questioned whether a surgical operation is a "common illness." I think it is, but I have no idea that it would be so held in law. I did hope when the amendment was passed that the Minister, if he could not find himself in agreement with it, would have come back with it in some new form with which we could agree. However, as the Dáil has taken the view that this is not the place for an amendment of this kind, I do not think we should now disagree with them. I hope, neveretheless, that Senator De Loughry or someone in this or the other House will find some opportunity in the future of making the position of the coroner more clear in these cases than it is at present.

I strongly suggest that we should not insist on this amendment. Apart from the intrinsic merits of the case—I do not think they are very strong—we passed over one hundred amendments, and of these only six have been disagreed with. That is a considerable achievement, and unless these six, or any of them, are of great importance, I think it would be madness on our part to hold up the whole Bill for the sake of an infinitesimal portion of the amendments we have made. It would involve another postponement of the elections, and we have had these elections postponed often enough. If we postpone them for a further nine months I think we will be doing a very foolish thing.

My experience is that there is a great disinclination on the part of some coroners to take the trouble to hold inquests. In the old days they held inquests on the slightest pretext because it meant money in their pockets. But since they have been given inclusive salaries they have not been so keen, and I think what Senator De Loughry wishes to get at is that even if foul play is not suspected and deaths arise from other causes, such as motor collisions, inquests should be held. There may be nothing in a motor collision or there may be a great deal. I can quite understand a driver in certain cases deliberately colliding with another vehicle. That may be only one in a thousand cases, but, at any rate, there is this to be said for a coroner's inquest, where death arises other than from natural causes, that you have all the evidence fresh at the time and all the circumstances strongly outlined. You can occasionally, and possibly frequently, get evidence at such an inquest that may have a very considerable bearing on future actions or proceedings that may be taken as a result of the death. Of course, that is outside the coroner's duty. His duty is to see that there is no foul play. Generally what Senator De Loughry is aiming at is very much to be desired, but, under the circumstances, I agree that this is not the time nor the place to press this amendment, and I would ask Senator De Loughry, now that the principle has been pretty well recognised, to withdraw his amendment.

I seconded the motion because I thought that this was a matter of great importance. As the law stands at present a very wide and wrongful discretion is given to the coroner. You may have very good coroners and you may have very indifferent coroners. A disinclination to take trouble, to go to some distant place and hold an inquest, may appeal to the coroner more than perhaps the aspect of the case that it is one that should be investigated. The matter of "common illness" could be very easily dealt with by altering the amendment. I am sure that it was not intended that the amendment should deal with surgical cases where patients had been receiving proper skilled treatment, but there is a very grave risk in out of the way places of people losing their lives not in a quite regular manner, and I would hope that the Minister would give some assurance that some other Bill will be brought forward that would include what this amendment seeks to do. I have no intention of obstructing this very important Bill which has been hanging on for so long, but I think that this is a very important matter, and that it should not be lost sight of.

It seems to me that the amendment fails in its object if it is to make it mandatory upon the coroner to hold an inquest in any case of sudden death, or death in any circumstances which he may think give him reasonable cause for holding an inquest. Therefore, it is optional with him in any case. A man might die from an accidental gunshot wound, perhaps from a weapon that he was carrying himself. That is not common illness. There are many other cases where a man might lose his life, none of which could be described as a common illness. I do not know whether these words "common illness" are defined by law. If not, I think the amendment would fail in its object, both in removing it from the discretion of the coroner and defining what may be called a "common illness."

I suggest that the best way to ensure this being considered would be for Senator De Loughry and Senator Jackson to introduce a one-clause Bill in this House.

I want to assure Senator Sir Nugent Everard that the case he has mentioned is the case I wished to bring within the scope of the coroner's duty. The case of a man dying from a gunshot would, caused by a gun he was himself carrying, is a good ilustration of the case that I think should be investigated in the public interest. However, I think I have achieved my object. I wanted the matter discussed, and I am quite convinced that the Seanad, as a whole, agrees with the principle of the amendment, although I admit that it may have been badly drafted. I think it is generally agreed that the coroner's duties should be definitely laid down. But I have no desire to hold up the Bill; I will wait for another opportunity, and I ask permission to withdraw the amendment.

Question—"That the Seanad do agree with the Dáil in their rejection of the amendment"—put and agreed to.


In this House, before Section 30, a section with a series of sub-sections was inserted dealing with the case of continuous trespass on roads by animals. This section, with all its sub-sections, has been rejected by the other House.

I move:—"That the Seanad do agree with the Dáil in their rejection of the amendment."

I second the motion. Question put and agreed to.


Amendment 57, Section 36, lines 19-21 inclusive, deleted. These words have been deleted, "any person duly appointed standing solicitor of a local body before the passing of the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1919, and". These words have been restored in the other House, and it is now for this House to deal with it, either by agreement or disagreement.

I move that we disagree. There is no use in my making a long statement. I think the Seanad understands exactly what is involved. It involves the pensioning of solicitors, the making of an exception in the case of solicitors over every other class, and putting them in the same position as permanent employees who have given their whole time to the work. It was agreed that they are not so, and they are not deserving of any special consideration, and I do not think that we ought to agree with the Dáil.

I second the motion for the same reasons as Senator Colonel Moore has given. The solicitors are not permanent officials, and no other temporary official will get any pension. We emphasised when we passed the amendment that they had got sufficient advantage from being appointed solicitors to local bodies, that their practices were largely enhanced, and for that reason this proposal would give them a particular privilege not enjoyed by anybody else who is a part-time servant.

I hope the Seanad will agree with the Dáil in respect to this amendment. Apart altogether from the merits of the case, there is here involved the principle of preserving existing rights. It has been an old established practice, and one which I think will commend itself in all negotiations, as, for example, between employers and trade unionists, that in making new agreements existing privileges are maintained and the new conditions only come into operation as far as new entrants are concerned. The Bill proposed, as it left the Dáil, that future solicitors shall not be pensioned, but only those who have pensionable rights under Section 8 of the Act of 1919 shall have those rights applied to them. It is a sound principle, which should be preserved, and which it is dangerous to encroach on. On the merits of the case one can argue that to a certain extent a doctor is not a full time employee of a local authority, because he has a large private practice. The same applies to midwives and compounders of medicine. At all events solicitors are dealt with under the Act, and this amendment seeks to take away the rights given to them under an Act of Parliament. I suggest we should stand fast by that principle.

I am rather astonished at Senator O'Farrell bringing up an Act which was passed for a special purpose by the English Parliament to enable some of their friends to get pensions. It was brought up in 1919 to enable friends of theirs to get pensions to which they were not previously entitled. I do not think we should recognise that as an immutable principle. In the ordinary case where people were employed for a long time and had pensions those should not, without consideration, be taken away. This is a different case.

Motion put and on a show of hands declared lost.
Amendment 59.—In Section 36, page 20, line 27, after the word "fees" the words "except franchise fee" inserted.

I propose that the Seanad agree with this disagreement of the Dáil.

I second.

Motion put and agreed to.
Amendment 76.—In section 45, page 23, line 43, before sub-section (2), a new sub-section inserted as follows:—
"This part of this Act shall apply to any officer of a local body who before the sixth day of December, 1922, resigned his office under such local body for the purpose of taking up any employment under the control of Dáil Eireann, as if such officer had resigned such office after attaining the age of sixty-five years, and having at least 20 years' service, but if such officer is or has been appointed to a permanent situation in the Civil Service of the Government of Saorstát Eireann any allowance granted to him by virtue of this section shall not be payable to such officer during the period when he holds such situation."

I move:—"That the Seanad agree with the disagreement of the Dáil."

I second.

I have no desire to inflict anything in the nature of a speech on the House in connection with this matter. The object of inserting this amendment when it was considered in Committee was to protect the rights of a number of men who had the courage, when it was not profitable or safe, to transfer their allegiance to the Dáil Eireann Government. In the Bill as it came to this House it was proposed under this section that employees of a local authority taken into the service of the State would get credit for their service while in the employment of the local authority. The object of the amendment as inserted in the Seanad was to protect even the individuals who before the 6th December, 1922, were prepared from patriotic motives to transfer their allegiance to the Government. Those who waited until it was safe were provided for. The men who were patriotic enough to take risks were not provided for.

I second the motion. I think those people who did go through those difficulties described by Senator Farren deserve to be looked after. I cannot understand on what principle the Government acts in those matters. A Bill has been brought forward by the Government to give pensions to a couple of Judges who did work during a year or two. They are going to give pensions to them and not to some others. I do not know on what principles they go. They are going to give pensions to their friends. They are lashing pensions out all over the country to everyone except those who deserve them most.

The attitude of the Government in respect to this amendment is mysterious and exceedingly disappointing. The amendment was moved on the strength of one particularly hard case to which I drew attention when some temporary local government matter was before the House last year. It was a Bill providing for pensions for those who did recognise the old Local Government Board and who lost their positions owing to technical instruction classes being closed down because of the withdrawal of Government grants, and for those who still carried on under the authority of Dáil Eireann which was not then recognised by the local government. There was one particularly hard case of a man who had 16 years' service and who is now an employee in a temporary capacity in the Board of Works. The position would be improved if the Government placed this man on the permanent staff for which he is qualified. The head of the Board of Works recommended this course, but a strong permanent official within the Ministry of Finance overruled it. They can overrule even the President of the Executive Council in a matter of this kind. The President has interested himself in this case, and is informed that because of some obstacle raised by some individual in the Department of Finance, this man cannot be appointed, notwithstanding all the things that have been done which are not in strict accordance with the letter of Civil Service Law. I do not know whether there is anything personal in the matter, but if people knew all that this man did with regard to Oireachtas work, for which there were very few men then competent, they would be inclined to protect him.

This amendment only protects a person of that kind in a small degree. He would have to resign even the temporary position to get a little pension in recognition of past services as a technical instructor. He sacrificed his career for patriotic purposes, and that is the way he is treated by this benevolent Government. Is it any wonder that charges are made abroad that the people who gave good service have not been recognised? If the man were incompetent I would be the last to suggest that he should be appointed to a permanent position. Admittedly, he is competent, and he has been recommended by the head of the Board of Works for permanent employment. Still, some little person in office is able to prevent anything of the kind being done. The Minister professes to think that there are scores or hundreds of people affected. It is well known that that is not the case. The Minister professes not to understand the meaning of the amendment, and probably has not gone to the trouble to do so. The other House has thrown out the amendment without having gone into the matter. The case that was made has not been answered, and until the position is remedied the Government are wanting in their duty towards those who helped it in the fight that enabled it to be where it is.

I am disposed to support the amendment, but with the permission of the Seanad I ask to be allowed to refer to some of the remarks that were passed. I ask the Seanad to agree that while we might attack the policy of Ministers or their actions, we should at least reserve criticism of permanent officials who cannot answer. Some official of the Ministry of Finance not named has been referred to. I ask the Seanad to remember that the only people who are looking after the taxpayers of this country are the officials of the Ministry of Finance. To some extent that is what the position amounts to, and if things are not according to rules the Comptroller and Auditor-General may come down on them. The Minister may say "my permanent officials did this." While we may attack the Government and its policy I do not think it is fair to attack the officials. I agree with the main argument for the amendment, but I hope we will not have permanent officials referred to in the Seanad in future.

It might be instructive if the Minister would tell the Seanad how much money is involved in the proposed pension. Surely we are not expected to have an Act of Parliament for one or two individuals. If the Seanad could be told that the man resigned before 1922, if his service was pensionable up to that date as well, and the amount that is involved, it would be useful to Senators.

I desire to ask the same information with regard to this matter. I also agree with Senator Dowdall that officials should not be referred to in the Seanad, as the Minister is responsible for the actions of his officials.

From Senator O'Farrell's remarks it appears to be quite evident that this amendment was put in to cover the case of one particular individual. I think it is generally accepted that we cannot legislate for individual cases. If we were to pick out all hard cases of the kind and legislate for them we would have a Bill ten times as long as the present one. Hard cases, it is said make bad law, so that we cannot legislate for particular cases. The case has been put up that the State is under a debt of gratitude, or under some kind of obligation, to a particular individual, not named, and that it is the duty of the State to stand by him and repay him for his services. If such return is to be made it should be made from the National Exchequer. If the State is under an obligation to this particular individual it is the State should pay him and not call upon a local authority to do so. The question has been put to me: How much is involved in money? I am not in a position to say that. The amendment is very widely drafted and says:—

This part of this Act shall apply to any officer of a local body who before the sixth day of December. 1922, resigned his office under such local body for the purpose of taking up any employment under the control of Dáil Eireann.

The amendment does not actually say that the officer should have taken up the employment. It merely says who resigned to take up employment under the control of Dáil Eireann, so that any individual who resigned from a local authority, having that object in view, even though he might never have come under the control of Dáil Eireann, would be eligible for a pension under it. I do not know, exactly, to how great an extent this might involve the local authorities. The principle involved is different to that involved in the main section to which this was an amendment. The object of the main section was to enable the Central Government to avail of the services of an expert official who had attained distinction in any particular line under a local authority throughout the country. As the law stands at present it is very difficult to get any of these officials to come under the Central Government as, in doing so, they lose their pensionable rights. It was in order to enable these officials to become servants of the Central Government without loss of pension that the sub-section was put in. The principle behind the sub-section is different altogether to that of the amendment, the object of which, apparently, is to compensate men for some patriotic services they rendered the State. I consider that if such compensation is to be paid it should be paid by the Central Government, which has benefited by the services of the individual, and not by the local authority which has gained nothing, but probably is at a loss, by having lost the services of that individual.

Question put and declared carried.


The Seanad inserted the following amendment:—

In section 57 (3), page 27, line 27, after the word "section" the letter "(a)" inserted in brackets, and in line 13, after the word "period" the following words inserted: "and (b) a member shall be deemed not to have attended any meeting at which he proposes or votes for a political resolution."

That amendment was disagreed with in the Dáil. Is there any Senator now who will move that the Seanad agree with the Dáil in its disagreement to that amendment?

I second.

Question put and agreed to.


That disposes of all the amendments from the Dáil.