Seanad Éireann - Volume 96 - 09 December, 1981

Order of Business.

Mrs. G. Hussey: It is proposed to take business in the following order: Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Mr. E. Ryan: I move: “That item No. 14 be added to the Order of Business”.

On a number of occasions we have stressed the necessity, urgency and importance of taking this motion but for a number of reasons which were not entirely satisfactory it was found impossible by the Leader of the House to take it. We cannot allow it to be deferred any longer. It is extremely important and I have moved that it be added to the Order of Business for today. If Government business makes it impossible to take it [1170] today, then at least it can be put on the Order of Business and taken tomorrow.

Mrs. Honan: I second Senator Ryan's motion. I find it extraordinary that the Government are afraid to let us debate this motion which is, if not more important than, equally important as some of the matters discussed in this House since the new Seanad was elected. This discriminates against 75 per cent of the children of this country and all of the Protestant children in the Twenty-six Counties.

An Cathaoirleach: The merits or demerits of the case cannot be discussed on the Order of Business.

Mr. O'Mahony: Is the Leader of the House in a position to indicate when the relevant motion relating to reconstituting the Joint Committee on State-Sponsored Bodies might be introduced?

Mrs. G. Hussey: On the point raised by Senator E. Ryan, there is no question, as mentioned by another Senator, of this side of the House being afraid to take this motion. I have already indicated on several occasions that we consider this motion of great importance. I would point out that we took a Private Member's motion as recently as last week, and also that this week and next week there will be a great deal of important Government legislation coming before us.

The reasons I put forward on other occasions for not taking that motion were perfectly valid, in that we had a recent threat by an organisation of the institution of legal proceedings. Apparently this threat has not been acted upon, which seems to be very wise. Because we are as convinced as the Opposition of the importance of this motion, and the allied motion No. 15, we intend to order those motions for the first sitting day after Christmas, which will perhaps be quite soon after Christmas. Given the pressure which will be upon us to deal with an enormous amount of business in these two weeks, the first sitting day after Christmas would be the best time to take [1171] this motion and therefore I give that undertaking.

On the question of the Joint Committee on State-Sponsored Bodies, as Senators are aware we are taking a motion establishing another joint committee today, which is being initiated in this House. I share Senators' puzzlement about the delay in bringing the other joint committee motion before us, and I can assure Senator O'Mahony that I will be pressing very hard for that to be taken at the first possible opportunity.

Mr. E. Ryan: On a point of order, the question of whether the subject of a motion is sub judice is a matter, in my submission, for the Cathaoirleach to rule on. I am perfectly satisfied to allow the Cathaoirleach to say whether this is a motion on which that should be raised, but with all respect, I do not think it is a [1172] matter for the Leader of the House. I cannot understand the attitude she is taking. Apparently she says it will be allowed early in the new year. Has the threat of proceedings now been removed? If it was a good excuse for not taking it up to now, I do not see that there is going to be any change in the new year.

An Cathaoirleach: Is the Senator pressing the amendment?

Mr. E. Ryan: Yes.

An Cathaoirleach: It has been moved: “That the Order of Business be Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 on the Order Paper”. To that motion an amendment has been moved to add motion No. 14. The question therefore is “That the amendment be made”.

Question put.

The Seanad divided: Tá, 20; Níl, 25.

Cogan, Barry.

Cranitch, Mícheál.

Dolan, Séamus.

Fallon, Sean.

Fitzgerald, Tom.

Hanafin, Des.

Hillery, Brian.

Honan, Tras.

Hussey, Thomas.

Kiely, Dan.

Kiely, Rory.

Lanigan, Mick.

Leonard, Jimmy.

Murphy, John A.

O'Rourke, Mary.

Ross, Shane P.N.

Ryan, Eoin.

Ryan, Liam B.

Ryan, William.

Walsh, Joe.

Níl

Blennerhassett, John.

Bolger, Deirdre.

Bruton, Richard J.

Bulbulia, Katherine.

Burke, Ulick.

Butler, Pierce.

Byrne, Toddie.

Carey, Donal.

Dooge, James.

Ferris, Michael.

Harte, John.

Higgins, James.

Howard, Michael.

Hussey, Gemma.

Kearney, Miriam.

Kennedy, Patrick.

McAuliffe, Timothy.

Manning, Maurice.

Naughton, Liam.

O'Connell, Maurice.

O'Mahony, Flor.

Quinn, Ruairi.

Reynolds, Pat Joe.

Robinson, Mary.

Staunton, Myles.

Tellers: Tá, Senators W. Ryan and Cranitch; Níl, Senators Manning and Harte.

[1173] Amendment declared lost.

An Cathaoirleach: Is the Order of Business agreed?

Mrs. Honan: I hope Senators realise what they have voted on.

An Cathaoirleach: That does not arise at this stage. Is the Order of Business agreed?

(Interruptions.)

Mrs. Honan: I now move that we vote on item No. 15.

Mrs. O'Rourke: I second that motion.

An Cathaoirleach: The last two speakers are out of order. The Order of Business has been agreed.

Senators: No.

Mr. E. Ryan: The amendment has been defeated. That is all that has been done.

An Cathaoirleach: The Chair asked twice if the Order of Business was agreed and I heard somebody say “yes”.

Mrs. Honan: A Cathaoirleach, you only heard me speak.

An Cathaoirleach: Is the Order of Business agreed?

Senators: No.

An Cathaoirleach: There is no other amendment before the Chair. I am putting the question for the last time: is the Order of Business agreed?

[1174] Mr. D. Kiely: I propose that item No. 15 be included in the Order of Business.

Mr. R. Kiely: I second that.

An Cathaoirleach: The Chair is in an unusual position because item No. 15 was not raised during the discussion on the Order of Business, and before the amendment was voted on. Therefore, the discussion cannot be re-opened. The Chair cannot accept that amendment.

Mr. D. Kiely: You asked if the Order of Business was agreed. I am proposing an amendment to the Order of Business, that is, that item No. 15 be included.

An Cathaoirleach: It is too late at this stage. Those points should have been raised during the discussion, which was open to every Member, on the Order of Business. The Leader of the House closed that discussion and the Leader of the Opposition moved an amendment.

Mr. Quinn: On a point of order, is it not the case that if the Opposition wish to disrupt the business of the House they can, if we concede to this procedure, call a division on each item on the Order of Business?

Mrs. Honan: I am concerned only with one item——

Mr. Quinn: On a point of order, am I not right in saying that if the Opposition insist on doing this they will be disrupting the business of the House until 8 p.m. tonight?

An Cathaoirleach: The Chair is putting the Question: “That the Order of Business be Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4.”

Question put.

The Seanad divided: Tá, 25; Níl, 17.

Blennerhassett, John.

Bolger, Deirdre.

Bruton, Richard J.

[1175]Byrne, Toddie.

Carey, Donal.

Dooge, James.

Ferris, Michael.

Harte, John.

Higgins, James.

Howard, Michael.

Hussey, Gemma.

Kearney, Miriam.

Kennedy, Patrick.

Bulbulia, Katherine.

Burke, Ulick.

Butler, Pierce.

[1176]McAuliffe, Timothy.

Manning, Maurice.

Naughton, Liam.

O'Connell, Maurice.

O'Mahony, Flor.

Quinn, Ruairi.

Reynolds, Pat Joe.

Robinson, Mary.

Staunton, Myles.

Níl

Cogan, Barry.

Cranitch, Mícheál.

Dolan, Séamus.

Fallon, Seán.

Fitzgerald, Tom.

Hanafin, Des.

Hillery, Brian.

Honan, Tras.

Hussey, Thomas.

Kiely, Dan.

Kiely, Rory.

Lanigan, Mick.

Leonard, Jimmy.

O'Rourke, Mary.

Ryan, Eoin.

Ryan, William

Walsh, Joe.

Tellers: Tá, Senators Manning and Harte; Níl, Senators W. Ryan and Cranitch.

Question declared carried.

Order of Business agreed to.