Seanad Éireann - Volume 118 - 24 February, 1988

Craoladh Imeachtaí an tSeanaid: Tairiscint.

Mr. Lanigan: Tairgim:

Maidir le Comhshuí dhá Theach an Oireachtais an 26 Feabhra, 1988—

(1) Go n-údaraíonn Seanad Éireann do Radio Telefís Éireann beo-chraoladh raidió agus teilifíse a dhéanamh ar óráid an Cheann Comhairle ag fáiltiú roim A Shoilse Francois Mitterrand, Uachtarán Phoblacht na Fraince, ar aitheasc an Uachtaráin, agus ar an óráid bhuíochais ó Chathaoirleach an tSeanaid ar son an aithisc (agus ar an aistriúcháin comhuaineach ar an aitheasc agus ar na hóráidí), faoi réir na gcoinníollacha seo a leanas:—

(a) go ndéanfar iad a chraoladh ina n-iomláine agus nach gcuirfear isteach orthu le tráthtaireacht le taifeach ná le hagaí tráchtála; agus

(b) nach bhféadfar iad a athchroaladh go hiomlán ná go páirteach, ach amháin de réir mar a cheadaítear sna coinníollacha agus faoi réir na gcoinníollacha, atá leaghta amach i Rún an 8 Iúil, 1987, ón Seanad, a mhéid a bhaineann said le craoladh imeachtaí an tSeanaid; agus

(2) go measfar tagairt do Fhraincís a bheith i Míreanna (1) agus (2) de Bhuan-Ordú 16.

The purpose to this Motion is to allow [1673] the Joint Sitting next Friday to be broadcast live on TV subject to the existing arrangments that apply to radio broadcasts in respect of broadcasting material and to allow French to be officially recorded in the Official Report. When the main Motion providing for the Joint Sitting was being passed last Thursday, I mentioned that the motion now before the House would be necessary. Details of the Joint Sitting are to be finalised at a meeting of the group leaders later today and are basically the same as those which pertained for the last Joint Sitting. Senators will be notified by the Clerk of the arrangements later today.

Mr. Mooney: May I ask, in this context, who actually has the ownership of the video tapes of this speech? Is it the House, the Committee on Procedures and Privileges, or RTE? A matter of this nature will obviously receive worldwide attention. The tapes will be available for transmission in countries outside of this jurisdiction which, of course, means there will be cost involved. I am curious to know who actually holds the ownership of video tapes of House proceedings?

Mr. B. Ryan: Of course everybody agrees with this motion. Is it not time that we came out of the 19th century and did not have to have a special motion before the House every time television is referred to? The fact that we have to pass special motions to allow the most important medium of communication to record the proceedings of either House of the Oireachtas seems to me to be as much an indictment of our own apparent determination to make ourselves as irrelevant as possible as anything else.

The motion is most welcome but can we not decide quickly that we recognise that the late 20th century can acknowledge television as a medium of communication which does not have to be specially introduced for special occasions with special permission? It is the medium of communication of the late 20th century. We should be using it, not sort of [1674] defensively protecting ourselves from it most of the time.

An Cathaoirleach: Before I call the Leader of the House who might like to reply, I may say we are discussing this at the moment in the Committee on Procedure and Privileges — television in the Houses of the Oireachtas — and I would think that if it is agreed to or not agreed to you will not have it appearing on the Order of Business. I feel that is the answer to what the Senator has just said.

Mr. Mooney: On that question, in future whenever this debate is aired on the media you, a Chathaoirligh, as the representative of this House, should take the opportunity to indicate the wishes of the House to the media. The most recent media attention devoted to this issue had the Government Chief Whip discussing matters in this House and I felt that in the circumstances, with the greatest respect to the Government Chief Whip, it should be the Cathaoirleach who should discuss these matters as they pertain to this Chamber.

Mr. Lanigan: RTE own the tapes. The matter of broadcasting or authorising the broadcasting does not arise in any way because of the fact that we do not allow television normally. This is to authorise live radio and television broadcasting of a particular item. It has nothing to do with any future arrangements that may be made regarding the broadcasting or non-broadcasting on a regular basis of the Seanad proceedings. That would be a matter for new rules. There are rules set down at present regarding the rebroadcasting or the live broadcasting by radio and television of proceedings in the House.

Cuireadh agus aontaíodh an cheist.