IMEACHTAÍ AN CHOISTE
PROCEEDINGS OF THE COMMITTEE
Dé Céadaoin, 18 Feabhra, 1970.
Wednesday, 18th February, 1970.
1. Tionóladh an Ceathrú cruinniú den Choiste ar 4.30 p.m. i Seomra 91.
2. Bhí na comhaltaí seo a leanas i láthair:—
An Ceann Comhairle (Cathaoirleach), Rúnaí Parlaiminte an Taoisigh, na Teachtaí de Brochtún, Pádraig de Búrca, Risteard de Búrca, Mac Bhloscaidh, Ó Crualaoich, Ó Dúnlaing, Ó Foghlú, Ó Gallchóir, Stráinse, Ó Murchú, Seán Ó Laoghaire agus de Uaidheas.
3. Pribhléid (Lochtú ar an gCathaoir).
Léadh Dréacht-Tuarascáil ón gCathaoirleach mar a leanas:—
(1) Pursuant to Order of the Dáil of 9th December, 1969 the Committee on Procedure and Privileges examined the item in the issue of the magazine, “This Week in Ireland”, for 12th December, 1969, which under the heading, “The Ceann Comhairle is Biased”, purported to given a report of an interview with Deputy Conor Cruise O’Brien.
(2) The Committee found that the only reference to the Ceann Comhairle in the body of the report is contained in the following extract:—
“Is there anything specially that riles you about the Parliament?” I asked him.
“That enslavement to stultifying legislation,” he said, “and, after that, the Ceann Comhairle.”
“Do you think the Ceann Comhairle is unfair to the opposition?”
“I feel that he is subconsciously biased towards his own party.”
(3) In considering whether a breach of privilege had been committed the Committee had regard to the Resolution passed by the Dáil on 30th April, 1947 in the following terms:—
That the Dáil is of opinion that it is desirable that the obligations and privileges of members should be more adequately defined, and that appropriate action to that end should be taken without delay;
that in view of the fact that, prior to the ruling of the Ceann Comhairle on 29th instant, there has been no rule or resolution of the House or ruling of the Ceann Comhairle which declared it to be a breach of privilege for a member to criticise, outside the House, the conduct of the Chair, the Dáil does not agree that the speech of the Minister for Local Government can, in the circumstances, be held to constitute such a breach;
that the Dáil accepts the ruling of the Ceann Comhairle, above referred to, and decides that, henceforth, adverse criticism of the conduct of the Chair, made outside the House, shall be a breach of privilege.
(4) The Committee, by a majority decision, found that the use of the words, “I feel that he is subconsciously biased towards his own party”, attributed to Deputy Cruise O’Brien constitutes a breach of privilege.
(5) The Committee, by a majority decision, also found that the use of the words, “The Ceann Comhairle is Biased”, by the magazine constitutes a breach of privilege by the publishers, Creation Ltd.
Ordaíodh: Go gcuirfear tuilleadh breithnithe ar an Dréacht-Tuarascáil ar athló agus go n-iarrfar ar an Teachta Crús Ó Briain agus ar ionadaí nó ionadaithe ó Creation, Ltd., teacht go dtí an chéad chruinniú eile den Choiste [An Teachta de Brochtún].
4. Chuaigh an Coiste ar athló ar 5.30 p.m. go dtí 4.30 p.m. Dé Céadaoin seo chugainn.