Business of Seanad

I propose that the sitting be suspended until 5.15 p.m. There is a vote in the Dáil and the Minister of State who will be present for Private Members' business has not been paired.

With respect, if we had known about this perhaps we could have had another 15 minutes for the very important debate which was very heavily curtailed. I am not sure I am keen to agree to this.

I was not aware of it. I did not know the request was going to be made.

Is the Minister of State, Deputy Barry Andrews, paired?

No, and I thank Senator Bacik for her co-operation.

I do not think we are co-operating on this. We should have had more time for the previous debate. We brought forward Private Members' business to 5 p.m. to facilitate everyone and we were happy to do so, but now it is being moved back to 5.15 p.m. Will the debate on Private Members' business continue until 7.15 p.m.?

Is Senator Bacik disagreeing with the proposal to suspend the sitting?

Question, "That the sitting be suspended until 5.15 p.m.," put and declared carried.
Sitting suspended at 5.05 p.m. and resumed at 5.20 p.m.

I propose we suspend the sitting until 5.30 p.m.

The Minister of State, Deputy Kelleher, who is due to take Private Members' business on behalf of the Government, is required to be in the Dáil Chamber for a vote as there is no pair available to him. I apologise to the House and Senators Bacik and Prendergast and will endeavour to ensure Private Members' business is concluded by 7 p.m. to facilitate Senator Bacik, who, I understand, has another appointment.

Does the Whip propose a suspension?

Yes, until 5.30 p.m.

I am not happy to agree. I do not have another appointment at 7 p.m. and I am happy to stay beyond that. I am anxious, however, that we do not mess around with the timetable too much. We had to curtail the earlier debate and although I was anxious to speak in the time allotted to that debate, I only had two minutes. The Minister of State's response also had to be cut short. It is in that context I opposed the change in the ordering of business to 5.15 p.m and this change to 5.30 p.m.

Question, "That the sitting be suspended until 5.30 p.m.," put and declared carried.
Sitting suspended at 5.25 p.m and resumed at 5.30 p.m.