Dáil Éireann - Volume 504 - 05 May, 1999

Request to move Adjournment of Dáil under Standing Order 31.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Before the Order of Business, I propose to deal with a number of related notices under Standing Order 31 from Deputies Quinn, Jim Higgins and Joe Higgins. I propose to call the Deputies in the order in which they submitted their notices.

Mr. Higgins (Mayo): I seek the Adjournment of the Dáil under Standing Order 31 to debate the following important matter of public interest which requires urgent consideration: the decision by the Taoiseach to withhold from the Dáil the fact that he made representations to have Philip Sheedy released; the refusal of the Taoiseach to honour his commitment to the Tánaiste to bring the matter before the Dáil; the failure of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform to inform the Dáil that there was documentation on file in his Department relating to the Taoiseach's [172] intervention on Mr. Sheedy's behalf; and the Taoiseach's contemptuous comments about the Dáil in yesterday's newspapers.

Mr. Higgins (Dublin West): I seek leave to move the Adjournment of the Dáil to discuss the following issue of urgent public importance: whether ongoing revelations relating to the background of the Sheedy case indicate that individuals with privileged access to political influence receive favourable treatment in the administration of justice by comparison with those who do not have such access.

Mr. Howlin: In accordance with Standing Order 31 I seek leave to move the Adjournment of the Dáil to discuss the following matter of public interest: the failure of the Taoiseach the advise the Dáil that he made representations to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform regarding the possible early release of Mr. Philip Sheedy; the conflicting accounts given by the Taoiseach and the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform as to why this information was not disclosed to the Dáil; and the conflicting versions given by the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste regarding conversations between them on this matter.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Having considered the matters I do not consider them to be contemplated by Standing Order 31. Therefore, I cannot grant leave to move the motions.