Dáil Éireann - Volume 447 - 24 January, 1995
Sub-Committee of Select Committee on Legislation and Security: Interim Report.
Mr. D. Wallace Mr. D. Wallace
Mr. D. Wallace: The sub-committee has made progress on the matters referred to it and has agreed the following interim report. Dáil Éireann ordered on 15 December 1994 that a sub-committee of the Select Committee on Legislation and Security consisting of the chairman and 12 other Members of that committee be appointed to consider the matters referred to that committee by order of Dáil Éireann on 6 December 1994 and to report thereon directly to Dáil Éireann not later than 24 January 1995.
The select committee met on 15 December 1994 and appointed a sub-committee in accordance with the orders of Dáil Éireann of 15 December 1994 and section 4 (1) and (2) of the Select Committee on Legislation and Security of Dáil Éireann (Privilege and Immunity) Act, 1994. The following members were nominated to the sub-committee: Deputies Ivor Callely, Dermot Ahern, John O'Donoghue, Willie O'Dea and Dan Wallace, chairman, for the Fianna Fáil Party; Deputies John Browne, Jim O'Keeffe and Donal Carey for Fine Gael; Deputies Derek McDowell and Eamon Walsh for the Labour Party; Deputy Des O'Malley for the Progressive Democrat Party; Deputy Eamon Gilmore for the Democratic Left Party and Deputy Tony Gregory for the Independent group. On the nomination of the Clerk of Dáil Éireann, Mr. Niall Fennelly, Senior Counsel, was appointed legal adviser to the sub-committee on 20 December 1994 in accordance with the orders of Dáil Éireann of 15 December 1994. Mr. Fennelly subsequently decided to step down as legal adviser when it became apparent that the evidence-taking would continue beyond 11 January 1995 and that he would, therefore, not be in  a position to complete the task. Mr. Gerard Durkan, Senior Counsel, was appointed legal adviser to the sub-committee on 4 January 1995.
Following its appointment the sub-committee met on Thursday, 15 December 1994 and has since met on the following occasions in public session and questioned the following witnesses: Tuesday, 20 December 1994, Mr. Eoghan Fitzsimons, Senior Counsel and Mr. Harry Whelehan, Senior Counsel; Wednesday, 21 December 1994, Mr. Harry Whelehan, Senior Counsel and Mr. Matt Russell, Office of the Attorney General; Thursday, 22 December 1994. Mr. Matt Russell, Office of the Attorney General; Wednesday, 4 January 1995, Mr. James Hamilton, Office of the Attorney General and Mr. Richard Barrett, Office of the Attorney General; Thursday, 5 January 1995, Deputy Albert Reynolds; Tuesday, 10 January 1995, Deputy Máire Geoghegan-Quinn; Wednesday, 11 January 1995, Deputies Bertie Ahern and Michael Woods; Thursday, 12 January 1995, Deputy Noel Dempsey and Dr. Martin Mansergh; Tuesday, 17 January 1995, the Tánaiste, Dick Spring and Deputy Rúairí Quinn, Minister for Finance; Wednesday, 18 January 1995, Deputy Brendan Howlin, Minister for the Environment, Mr. Fergus Finlay and Mr. John Rogers, Senior Counsel. There were also 17 private sessions of the subcommittees. The sub-committees also met in private session on Thursday, 19 January 1995 for the purposes of deciding an interim report to Dáil Éireann and on the strategy for completing the work.
The sub-committee requested written statements from the following: Deputies Joe Walsh, Charlie McCreevy, Brian Cowen, David Andrews, Michael Smith, Mervyn Taylor, Minister for Equality and Law Reform, Deputy Pat Rabbitte, Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Enterprise and Employment, Mr. Tim Dalton, Secretary of the Department of Justice, Mr. Declan Ingoldsby, higher executive officer, Department of the  Taoiseach and Mr. Partick Teahon, Secretary of the Department of the Taoiseach.
In the case of Deputy Rabbitte and Mr. Dalton the sub-committee had requested them to attend for the purposes of answering questions but subsequently decided to request written statements from them instead. The sub-committee may wish to question these persons on foot of the statements which are received. It may also, if requested, have to provide an opportunity for witnesses who may wish to appear before the sub-committee again. It is likely that limited further evidence will be taken in this regard in the week commencing 23 January 1995. In any event, it is intended that the taking of evidence by the sub-committee will be concluded within the next week following which the report of the sub-committee can be prepared. Therefore, in spite of the extremely heavy workload in which the sub-committee has been engaged since its appointment it was found that it will not be in a position to complete the functions assigned to it on 24 January as originally ordered.
The sub-committee considers that a period of four weeks from the conclusion of the taking of evidence will be required to finalise a report and thus recommends that the date by which the subcommittee is required to report to Dáil Éireann be extended to Friday, 24 February 1995.
I move: “That the interim report be laid before the Dáil”.
Question put and agreed to.
Dáil Éireann 447 Sub-Committee of Select Committee on Legislation and Security: Interim Report.