I have had notice from Senator O'Kennedy regarding a motion which he wishes to raise under Standing Order 29. I call on Senator O'Kennedy to give notice of the motion before I give my ruling.
Request under Standing Order 29.
I wish to move a motion for the Adjournment of the Seanad on a specific and important matter of public interest requiring urgent consideration:
The contradictory statements made by the Taoiseach to Tribunals established by the Houses of the Oireachtas in relation to his role and involvment in seeking financial contributions for the Fine Gael Party and in respect of which he has issued further statements to the print and broadcasting media.
The Tribunals in question are:
1. The Tribunal of Enquiry into the Beef Processing Industry established pursuant to a Resolution passed on the 24th day of May 1991 by Dáil Éireann and on the 29th day of May 1991 by Seanad Éireann
2. The Tribunal of Enquiry into Allenged Payments by Dunnes Stores established pursuant to a Resolution of Dáil Éireann passed on the 6th day of February 1997 and a Resolution of Seanad Éireann passed on the 6th day of February 1997.
I have given careful consideration to the matter raised by Senator O'Kennedy. I regret that I have to rule it out of order as the Taoiseach has no responsibility to the Seanad in relation to this matter.
The Taoiseach moved the resolution in the Seanad. I do not wish to question the Chair's ruling. However, he said the Taoiseach has no responsibility to the Seanad when it was the Taoiseach and his Government which moved the resolution.
The fact that the tribunal was established by resolution of this House does not give the House a right to attempt to interfere in its proceedings in any way. I ask the Senator to desist forthwith from any further reference to that.
I do not wish to interfere with the tribunal. This is not my purpose, but I wish to have the Taoiseach, who established the tribunal, come before the House to clarify——
The Senator cannot debate the matter.
It is the ruling of the Chair that I do not understand. I am not asking to interfere with the tribunal. If the Chair's ruling is based on——
Matters occurring in the tribunal are not in order for discussion in this House.
There are matters of contradiction and they have been debated in the public press. I regret the Chair's ruling but I have to abide by it. I am not suggesting that we interfere with the tribunal, but the opposite. I want the Taoiseach to clarify in this House the statements he has made which contradict each other.