Header Item An Bille um an gCeathrú Leasú is Tríocha ar an mBunreacht (Vótáil Uachtaráin) 2014: An Chéad Chéim
 Header Item Thirty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution (Presidential Voting) Bill 2014: First Stage
 Header Item Open Adoption Bill 2014: First Stage
 Header Item EDA Category B Project on Counter Improvised Explosive Devices Manual Neutralisation Techniques: Referral to Select Committee
 Header Item Standing Orders: Motion
 Header Item Topical Issue Debate
 Header Item School Enrolments

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 834 No. 1

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An Bille um an gCeathrú Leasú is Tríocha ar an mBunreacht (Vótáil Uachtaráin) 2014: An Chéad Chéim

Thirty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution (Presidential Voting) Bill 2014: First Stage

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams Tairgim:

Go gceadófar go dtabharfar isteach Bille dá ngairtear Acht chun an Bunreacht a leasú.

  I move:

That leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to amend the Constitution.

This Bill seeks to amend the Constitution to allow the voting age for presidential elections to be lowered to 16 years of age and to introduce votes in such elections for people in the North and for members of the Irish diaspora, as recommended by the Constitutional Convention.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Deputy Adams is on his feet. Members who are leaving the Chamber should go quietly.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams There is an urgent need for a really inclusive democracy - based on equality - for citizens throughout Ireland and for those of people who have been forced to leave this country through no fault of their own. The diaspora is an important part of the Irish nation.

Tá timpeall 70 milliún saoránaigh ar fud an domhain a deir gur de fhréamhacha Éireannacha iad. Cé gur oileán beag muid, is náisiúin ollmhór muid atá scaipthe ar fud na n-ilchríche. Tá an ghéarchéim eacnamaíochta atá againn faoi láthair ag cur brú ar 240 duine imeacht ón Stát gach aon lá. Tá 400,000 duine imithe sna cúig bliana anuas. Is géarchéim í an eisimirce éigeantach, agus go dtí seo theip ar Rialtais i ndiaidh a chéile dul i ngleic leis an fhadhb seo.

Tá an t-am ann chun stop a chur le seo. Caithfear straitéisí agus polasaithe a chur i bhfeidhm a bhfuil ábalta an eisimirce a aisiompú. Chun sin a dhéanamh, creideann Sinn Féin go bhfuil straitéis diaspóra de dhíth. Creideann muid gur cóir vóta i dtoghchán uachtaránachta a thabhairt do na saoránaigh sin a bhfuil lonnaithe lasmuigh den Stát.

The current inequality of citizenship which punishes Irish citizens living outside the State must be ended. The Constitutional Convention took a significant step in the context of recognising equal rights for all Irish citizens by recommending voting rights in presidential elections for citizens living in the North and those Irish citizens living abroad. This was a significant contribution to both democratic reform and to reform of the system which obtains here-----

Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath Hear, hear.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams -----particularly in the context of citizens of the Six Counties who, since Partition, have been cut off from the national political life of the nation. It is time now to build on the contribution made by the Constitutional Convention and for the Oireachtas to play its part.

Sinn Féin urges the Government to accept this Bill and to make time available for its transition through the Houses of the Oireachtas, thereby triggering a referendum on an issue of huge importance for the Irish people across this island and overseas.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Is the Bill opposed?

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe It is not opposed.

Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath Hear, hear. That was well done by the Minister of State, Deputy Kehoe. Very impressive.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett I am not very impressed with the Deputy interrupting me.

Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath I thank the Ceann Comhairle. What about Deputy O'Donovan? Where is he? The Deputy is always interrupting.

  Cuireadh agus aontaíodh an cheist.

  Question put and agreed to.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Since this is a Private Members' Bill, Second Stage must be taken in Private Members' time.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams Tairgim: "Go dtógfar an Bille in am Comhaltaí Príobháideacha."

   I move: "That the Bill be taken in Private Members' time."

  Cuireadh agus aontaíodh an cheist.

  Question put and agreed to.

Open Adoption Bill 2014: First Stage

Deputy Anne Ferris: Information on Anne Ferris Zoom on Anne Ferris I move:

That leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to provide for the possibility of access to a child by a natural parent or relative of the natural parent after the making of an adoption order and to provide for related matters.

This Bill proposes to amend section 58 of the Adoption Act 2010 to allow a natural parent or a relative of a natural parent - for example, a grandparent - to either agree with the Adoption Authority to allow future access to the child that is to be adopted, to agree with the adoptive parents in respect of access to an adopted child of the natural parent or to apply for a court order to secure access to an adopted child of the natural parent.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Is the Bill opposed?

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe It is not opposed.

Question put and agreed to.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Since this is a Private Members' Bill, Second Stage must be taken in Private Members' time.

Deputy Anne Ferris: Information on Anne Ferris Zoom on Anne Ferris I move: "That the Bill be taken in Private Members' time."

  Question put and agreed to.

EDA Category B Project on Counter Improvised Explosive Devices Manual Neutralisation Techniques: Referral to Select Committee

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe I move:

That the proposal that Dáil Éireann approves Ireland's participation in an EDA Category B project on Counter Improvised Explosive Devices Manual Neutralisation Techniques pursuant to section 2 of the Defence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009, be referred to the Select Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality, in accordance with Standing Order 82A(3)(b) and paragraph (8) of the Orders of Reference of Select Committees, which, not later than 8th April, 2014, shall send a message to the Dáil in the manner prescribed in Standing Order 87, and Standing Order 86(2) shall accordingly apply.

  Question put and agreed to.

Standing Orders: Motion

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe I move:

That, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, the following amendments be made to the Standing Orders of Dáil Éireann relative to Public Business until further notice in the 31st Dáil:

(a) SOS on Wednesday
In Standing Order 23, the substitution of the following for paragraph (1):

‘(1) On Wednesdays the sitting shall be suspended for 60 minutes immediately following the order of business, save where the Dáil sits at 2.30 p.m.’; and
(b) Timing of topical issues on Wednesday
 In Standing Order 27A—

(a) in paragraph (1), the deletion of all words from and including ‘Provided that’ down to and including ‘on a Thursday.’ and the substitution therefor of—

‘Provided that topical issues shall reach the Clerk not later than 10 a.m. on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday to be considered for selection on that day.’;

and

(b) the substitution of the following for paragraph (3)—
‘(3) Matters selected by the Ceann Comhairle shall be considered—

(a) on Tuesdays, immediately after the order of business,

(b) on Wednesdays, immediately following the suspension of the sitting under Standing Order 23(1), or on a Wednesday where the Dáil sits at 2.30 p.m. immediately following Questions to a member or members of the Government, and

(c) on Thursdays, as the last item of business.’.”

  Question put and agreed to.

Topical Issue Debate

School Enrolments

Deputy Eoghan Murphy: Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy If it is order, perhaps we might take the Minister's reply immediately. This matter relates to his constituency and he is aware of it.

Acting Chairman (Deputy John Lyons): Information on John Lyons Zoom on John Lyons The Deputy is requesting that the Minister reply immediately.

Deputy Eoghan Murphy: Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy Yes.

Acting Chairman (Deputy John Lyons): Information on John Lyons Zoom on John Lyons Is that acceptable to the Minister?

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn It is. We do our business very smartly in the constituency of Dublin South-East.

Acting Chairman (Deputy John Lyons): Information on John Lyons Zoom on John Lyons That is good. I am glad to hear it.

Deputy Ruairí Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn I thank Deputy Eoghan Murphy for raising this matter, particularly as it gives me the opportunity to remind the House of the significant challenges we face in the context of meeting increasing demand for pupil places throughout the country in the coming years and of how these are to be addressed.


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