Dáil Éireann - Volume 365 - 16 April, 1986

Order of Business.

The Taoiseach: It is proposed to take No. 20. Private Members' Business shall be No. 45.

Mr. Haughey: I should like to ask the Taoiseach, in view of the still very dangerous and fluid state of affairs pertaining in the Mediterranean, the situation in Libya and the danger of an escalation of that, whether the Government have in mind or can give us any indication of any action which might be taken either in the UN or in the Council of Foreign Ministers of the EC to make some contribution to ameliorating this very dangerous and threatening situation.

The Taoiseach: There is a meeting tomorrow morning at 8 o'clock in Paris of the Foreign Ministers of the Twelve at which the matter will be discussed with our colleagues. We will be seeking, obviously, to prevent any escalation of a situation which all recognise is very dangerous.

Mr. Prendergast: I should like to ask the Taoiseach, in view of the incidents we read about this morning, if the Government have any proposals to introduce legislation which would impose mandatory life sentences on anybody [882] convicted of the crime of kidnapping. Fortunately this morning the circumstances ended very happily for the family and for the nation, but I should like the Taoiseach to explain if he has any proposals in this regard——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: That does not arise on the Order of Business.

Mr. Prendergast: ——in order to protect the best interests of our people. There are 60,000 young students preparing for exams who will be looking for work and the prospect of that is being jeopardised by such actions. Will the Taoiseach tell the House if he proposes to introduce any legislation in this regard?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: This does not arise on the Order of Business.

The Taoiseach: There are no proposals for legislation but I welcome the opportunity to congratulate the Garda on their remarkable work and to express the relief of all of us that Mrs. Guinness has been released unharmed.

Mr. Haughey: Now that the Taoiseach has mentioned this I should like to join with him in offering the congratulations of the House to the Garda officers concerned who in a very unhelpful atmosphere acted very coolly and with tremendous professional skill. We are all deeply grateful to them.