It is proposed to take Item No. 2 — the Environmental Protection Agency Bill, 1990 — until 4 p.m. with a sos between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Order of Business.
On the Order of Business, will the Leader of the House consider making some time available for discussion on what is a good report— the Ombudsman's report — which was released yesterday? In passing, I would like to compliment the Ombudsman and his staff on their report.
What Senator Cosgrave has suggested is a particularly good idea. The debate on the report of the Ombudsman is exactly the sort of debate which we could usefully have in this House. It would allow a number of matters to be raised. I know we are close to resolving the matter of a debate on the prison system. That is more urgent than ever. On the front page of The Irish Times this morning there is a story about a refugee from state terrorism in China who has been detained in Mountjoy for six months while the Department of Justice operate at their leisure to find out whether he is entitled to be treated as a refugee. That is a singular reproach to the prison system——.
That matter does not arise on the Order of Business.
On the Order of Business, I was simply asking the Leader to try to give us a confirmed date for a debate on the prison system because of that case and indeed, the case of a 15 year old girl in solitary confinement on a drugs charge. She is separated from her family and is in Mountjoy at present. She cannot even visit the grave of her father who died since she was put in prison. We have a rotten prison system.
A question to the Leader, Senator Ryan.
I would like the Leader to give us a specific date at this stage for a debate on the prison system.
Bhí tuairisc san Irish Times inné, agus i nuachtáin eile, faoi staid na Gaeilge sna Gaeltachtaí, mar tá sé ráite nach bhfuil ach 10,000 duine fágtha sa Ghaeltacht a labhraíonn Gaeilge. An mbeadh an Ceannaire sásta díospóireacht phráinne a chur ar bun sa Teach seo faoi cheist na Gaeilge sa Ghaeltacht?
Senator Cosgrave asked, as did Senator Ryan, for a debate on the recently published Ombudsman's report. There is a tradition in this House that we act each time we get a report and I am willing to make some time available as soon as possible for that debate. Senator Ryan asked also about the prison system and when a debate will take place. I can assure him it will be next week, on Wednesday or Thursday, more likely on Thursday. Senator Pól Ó Foighil asked about a díospóireacht tré Gaeilge. I have no proposal in that connection at this point, but I will consider it seriously and come back to him on it.