Dáil Éireann - Volume 494 - 07 October, 1998

Private Business. - Requests to move Adjournment of Dáil under Standing Order 31.

An Ceann Comhairle: Before coming to the Order of Business I propose to deal with a number of related notices under Standing Order 31 from Deputies De Rossa, McDowell and Sargent. I propose to call the Deputies in the order in which they submitted their notice to my office.

Proinsias De Rossa: I wish to raise the series of contradictory accounts given by Ministers and Government spokespersons as to whether the Government is seeking to recover from certain beef companies sums lost as a result of irregularities or negligence arising from the imposition by the European Union of a fine on the State of £69 million; the urgent necessity for the Taoiseach to make an authoritative statement setting out the Government's actual position and, in particular, the steps, if any, being taken to recover taxpayers' money.

Mr. McDowell: I seek permission to move the Adjournment of the Dáil under Standing Order 31 to discuss a matter of national importance, namely, the decision of the Government not to pursue the companies responsible for the imposition of a £70 million EU fine for breaches of beef intervention regulations.

Mr. Sargent: I request that ordinary Business of the Dáil be suspended to allow time for a debate on the unwillingness of the Government [1209] to make the necessary efforts to recoup the sum of £70 million owed to the State by private companies arising from gross irregularities in the beef trade which constitute fraud perpetrated against the Irish and European taxpayer.

An Ceann Comhairle: Having considered the matter fully I do not consider it one contemplated by Standing Order 31. I cannot grant leave, therefore, to move the motion.