Seanad Éireann - Volume 96 - 02 December, 1981
Order of Business.
Mrs. G. Hussey Mrs. G. Hussey
Mrs. G. Hussey: It is proposed to take items Nos. 1, 2 and 3, with item No. 3 beginning not later than 5.30 p.m.
Mr. E. Ryan Mr. E. Ryan
Mr. E. Ryan: I would like to ask the Leader of the House when it is proposed to take motion No. 9. It has been discussed on a number of occasions. The Leader told the House that there was some legal difficulty, that legal proceedings were being taken. I have made inquiries from the INTO and no legal proceedings have been issued. In the circumstances, it does not seem to me that there is any good reason why this motion should not be debated by the House. Obviously it cannot be taken today but I would press the Leader of the House to allow that motion to be taken next week.
Mrs. McGuinness Mrs. McGuinness
Mrs. McGuinness: I should like to join with what Senator E. Ryan has said. While it may seen churlish, as a motion which I seconded is being taken today, nevertheless I feel that the matters covered by motions Nos. 9 and No. 10 — No. 10 appears in my name and in that of Senator Honan — are matters of very great urgency. I also made inquiries about the legal position and no writ has been issued. Therefore I do not see that there is any legal stop on the Seanad from discussing this. I would ask that it be taken as soon as possible.
Mrs. Honan Mrs. Honan
 Mrs. Honan: I would like to endorse what Senators E. Ryan and McGuinness have said and to ask the Leader of the House when we are taking the motion on the school entry age. Are we taking it before Christmas, 1981?
Mr. B. Ryan Mr. B. Ryan
Mr. B. Ryan: I should like to ask the Leader of the House has there been any progress made on her undertaking to see what could be done about a motion on the Government's commitment to the abolition of poverty? It is some weeks now since I raised that matter. Do I take it that the failure to take the motion that I and Senator McGuinness put down on homeless people — which was put down before the motion on neutrality — is an indication of a derogation of the Government's commitment on poverty, indicated possibly by certain remarks of a member of her parliamentary party about dogs, cats and winos in Cork city? Am I to take it, therefore, that poverty, which affects 25 per cent of our population, is no longer a priority of the Government? Why has this motion not been taken?
Mr. J. Harte Mr. J. Harte
Mr. J. Harte: I do not know what the Leader of the House will say but certainly I have no objection to discussing motions Nos. 9 and 10 but I think they both have the same content.
Mrs. G. Hussey Mrs. G. Hussey
Mrs. G. Hussey: I would like to make quite clear — and I am sure the Seanad is aware — the commitment on this side of the House to progressing with Private Members' motions as frequently as is possible under the terms of the motion laid before the House. On the matter raised by the Leader of Fianna Fáil and by Senators McGuinness, Honan and Harte, the question arose last week about these motions also. I expressed the view of the Government which was not that there were legal difficulties but that the motions deal so much with the actions of — particularly motion No. 9 — and mentions an organisation which has not actually instituted legal proceedings but has threatened legal proceedings and has not withdrawn that threat. That situation which obtained last week has not  changed. We are today taking a Private Members' motion and I hope we will take other Private Members' motions as rapidly as possible.
On the question of motions Nos. 9 and 10 — now that it has been pointed out to the House that legal proceedings have not been instituted — perhaps it would have been more advisable, in order that this debate take place, that legal proceedings had not been threatened in the first place.
As regards the motion mentioned by Senator Brendan Ryan, obviously it must take its place in the order of Private Members' motions and therefore must join the queue for Private Members' time in this House. I would suggest that perhaps the Whips and the representatives of the groups would discuss that.
Order of Business agreed to.
Seanad Éireann 96 Order of Business.