Dáil Éireann - Volume 362 - 10 December, 1985

Order of Business.

[1691] The Taoiseach: It is proposed to take items Nos. 22, 23, 11 and 12, By agreement the Dáil shall sit later than 9 p.m. today and not later than 12 midnight. Business shall be interrupted at 11.30 p.m. Also by agreement, items Nos. 11 and 12 will be taken at 8.30 p.m. and the order shall not resume thereafter. Subject to an order for the taking of the Second Reading of the Bill being made. Private Members' Business shall be No. 6.

An Ceann Comhairle: Are the arrangements for the late sitting agreed? Agreed. Are the arrangements for taking Nos. 11 and 12 agreed? Agreed.

Mr. Daly: I attempted to raise by private notice question the very serious matter that has arisen for fishermen as a result of a ban on fishing for mackerel imposed by the Minister for Fisheries. I am asking the Taoiseach now if he is prepared to request the Minister for Fisheries to make a statement on this matter having regard to the chaos being created in the fishing industry.

An Ceann Comhairle: I will not allow the Taoiseach to make a statement. I have disallowed the question as I had to and my reasons for that were conveyed to the Deputy. He has other methods of raising the issue.

Mr. Daly: I am not sure that the Chair recognises the seriousness of what has happened.

An Ceann Comhairle: Of course I do.

Mr. Daly: Up to 2,000 jobs in the fishing industry are at risk because of the Minister's decision.

An Ceann Comhairle: The Chair should not have this wrangle day after day. The Deputy is not in order.

[1692] Mr. J. Walsh: I presume you had a good reason for disallowing my question.

An Ceann Comhairle: I expect that my private secretary conveyed those reasons to the Deputy.

Mr. J. Walsh: So far I have not received details of any official reason for my question being disallowed. I am seeking permission to raise on the Adjournment the subject matter of the question which relates to the Government's decision to hijack $44 million from the Bantry area and by implication to abandon the workforce of the area.

An Ceann Comhairle: The Chair will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. MacSharry: Arising from your ruling in relation to questions from Deputies Daly and Gallagher and myself for urgent private notice, I wish to put on the record that at 5 p.m. yesterday the fishermen were informed that the Minister had signed an order banning the fishing of mackerel. This was when their boats had put to sea. The men are now out fishing and will arrive back with loads of mackerel which will be treated, so far as the Minister is concerned, as having been caught illegally. This is an urgent matter and the Minister should make some statement in regard to it in this House today because the livelihood of hundreds of fishermen is at stake, as is the livelihood of those hundreds of people involved in the processing industry.

An Ceann Comhairle: It cannot be raised in this way. Deputy M. Ahern.

Mr. MacSharry: What other way can it be raised?

An Ceann Comhairle: I have made a ruling and I am not going back on it.

Mr. MacSharry: How else can it be raised?

[1693] An Ceann Comhairle: I am sorry, Deputy. I am calling Deputy Ahern.

Mr. Haughey: I am beginning to think that if the Government decided to put the country into voluntary liquidation you would not think it was urgent.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Deputy Haughey said earlier today that he did not want to infer lack of confidence in the Chair. I want to say it is much preferable to coming here day after day and hurling personal insults at the Chair. I am calling Deputy Michael Ahern.

Mr. Haughey: The question is urgent——

An Ceann Comhairle: I am calling Deputy Ahern.

Mr. M. Ahern: Over the past year a couple of my neighbours, defenceless old men, have been murdered and there is great concern at the decisions of the court——

An Ceann Comhairle: Has the Deputy a request to make?

Mr. M. Ahern: Yes. I want to ask the Minister for Justice if he will make a statement so that elderly people as well as younger people in our community will not continue to fear that——

An Ceann Comhairle: It is not in order to put it that way.

Mr. M. Ahern: ——justice is not being served by our courts.

An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy is out of order. I am calling Deputy Leyden.

Mr. Leyden: Will the Minister for Communications tell the House if the RTE Authority are in conflict with the Broadcasting Acts by the continuation of the appointment of Mr. Ó Briain, General Secretary of the Labour Party, as the [1694] presenter of a programme appropriately called “Slants”——

An Ceann Comhairle: That does not arise in this way——

Mr. Leyden: ——and if that appointment will be terminated pending the appointment of a full-time secretary?

An Ceann Comhairle: I am sorry Deputy but I cannot allow that. Deputy O'Hanlon.

Mr. Leyden: May I raise this matter on the Adjournment?

An Ceann Comhairle: I will communicate with the Deputy.

Dr. O'Hanlon: With your permission I would like to raise on the Adjournment the decision of the Minister for Health to impose a penalty on the Mater Hospital for carrying out an operation——

An Ceann Comhairle: I will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. P. Gallagher: I would like permission to raise on the Adjournment the matter of the 2,000 jobs in the fishing industry which have been affected as a result of our esteemed Minister for Fisheries signing an order in Brussels yesterday terminating the landings of mackerel between now and the end of the year. I want to ask your advice——

An Ceann Comhairle: You can come to my office. I am not giving any advice here.

Mr. P. Gallagher: This relates to 2,000 jobs. There are 250,000 people out of work and a further 2,000 jobs along the west coast will be affected——

An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy is not in order. I will communicate with him.

Mr. P. Gallagher: I should like to impress upon you that you should change [1695] your judgment in relation to the question tabled by myself, Deputy Daly and Deputy MacSharry.

An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy is not in order.

Mr. P. Gallagher: The Minister signed a contract with the Egyptians and he has renegotiated——

An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy is out of order. Will he please resume his seat?

Mr. P. Gallagher: May I ask the Taoiseach a question on the Order of Business?

An Ceann Comhairle: Yes, if it is on the Order of Business.

Mr. P. Gallagher: Why did the Minister sign in Brussels yesterday——

An Ceann Comhairle: That is not in order.

Mr. P. Gallagher: If you can pre-empt the rest of my question I cannot understand you——

An Ceann Comhairle: I cannot understand the Deputy——

Mr. P. Gallagher: Allow me to ask a question which I think is very much in order. Why did the Minister for Fisheries sign a document in Brussels yesterday, obviously to appease the other Europeans which——

An Ceann Comhairle: That is an argument; it is not a question.

Mr. P. Gallagher: Why was that document not laid before this House before 3.40 p.m. today? Will the Government recognise this House and the Deputies here?

An Ceann Comhairle: That does not arise on the Order of Business.

[1696] Mr. P. Gallagher: What is the procedure for orders being laid before the House?

An Ceann Comhairle: Deputy Haughey has a motion before the House.