Seanad Éireann - Volume 123 - 06 December, 1989

Joint Committee on Standing Orders: Motion.

Mr. Lanigan: I move:

That, in pursuance of Standing Order No. 56 of the Standing Orders relative to Private Business, a Select Committee be appointed to be joined with a Select Committee of Dáil Éireann to constitute the Joint Committee on Standing Orders.

Question put and declared carried.

Mr. McGowan: May I comment? This House is wasting time.

Professor Murphy: Senator McGowan is allowed to speak——

Mr. McGowan: May I address the House?

[993] An Cathaoirleach: Senator McGowan is speaking——

Professor Murphy: ——and out of order, I suggest.

An Cathaoirleach: I will decide that, Senator.

Mr. McGowan: On the Order of Business, may I say that this House has wasted over an hour——

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Ross: The Order of Business is over.

Professor Murphy: If I have no right to speak the Senator has no right to speak.

Mr. McGowan: May I inform the House that the Whips of all the parties and groups agreed to a weekly meeting which we held. The Independents in this House formed themselves into a group and were represented by Senator O'Toole who attended a meeting and who agreed——

Professor Murphy: I regard this as a partisan attitude on the part of the Chair. The Chair is being partisan.

An Cathaoirleach: I will rule this debate out of order.

Mr. McGowan: May I explain to the House? On a point of information.

An Cathaoirleach: What is the point of information?

Mr. McGowan: If I am not interrupted I will finish in two minutes.

Mr. O'Toole: Under what Standing Order is Senator McGowan raising a point of order?

Mr. McGowan: I would have finished in two minutes but I was not allowed to proceed.

[994] Professor Murphy: I would have finished in two minutes also but I was not allowed to speak.

Mr. McGowan: How can Independent Members ask for co-operation but yet continue to obstruct this House for an hour and obstruct the Ministers who are waiting to come into this House? It is ridiculous.

An Cathaoirleach: I rule this debate out of order. Item No. 11. Senator Brendan Ryan is in possession.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. B. Ryan: I am not accustomed to being interrupted when I am in possession.

Mr. O'Keeffe: On a point of order, since the first day of the Seanad the question was put, particularly by the Independents, about the perception of this House among the public and the call——

Mr. B. Ryan: On a point of order, how does that arise under Item No. 11 on which you called me to speak?

(Interruptions.)

An Cathaoirleach: I must ask the Senator to resume his seat.

Mr. O'Keeffe: It is important to lead into the point of order. The point of order is that the public had a poor perception of this House. There was a general agreement that there would be reform of the Seanad and there would be effective operation of the Seanad. I will conclude by saying that the Independent group——

An Cathaoirleach: I must ask the Senator to resume his seat.

Mr. O'Keeffe: This is a point of order. The Independents are a group in this House. They have a spokesperson attending meetings——

[995] An Cathaoirleach: I will not hear further discussion. I am asking the Senator to resume his seat.

Mr. O'Keeffe: Yet when they come into this House they totally ignore what was agreed at that meeting. That is not in order in the House. We seem to have reached a stage where we have a mutual admiration society on the Independent benches. We had five of them this afternoon standing up patting each other on the back.

An Cathaoirleach: I must ask the Senator to resume his seat. I call item No. 11.