SELECT COMMITTEE ON LEGISLATION AND SECURITY
Interim Report of the sub-Committee established following the orders of Dail Eireann of 15 December 1994.
The sub-Committee has made progress on the matters referred to it and has agreed the following interim report:
1.Dail Eireann ordered on 15 December 1994 that a sub-Committee of the Select Committee on Legislation and Security consisting of the Chairman and 12 other members of that Committee be appointed to consider the matters referred to that Committee by order of Dail Eireann on 6th December, 1994 and to report thereon directly to Dail Eireann not later than 24th January, 1995.
2.The Select Committee met on 15 December 1994 and appointed a sub-Committee in accordance with the orders of Dail Eireann of 15th December 1994 and Section 4 (1) and (2) of the Select Committee on Legislation and Security of Dáil Éireann (Privilege and Immunity) Act, 1994.
3.The following members were nominated to the sub-committee:
Deputies Ivor Callely, Dermot Ahern, John O’Donoghue, Dan Wallace (Chairman) and Willie O’Dea for the Fianna Fáil party;
Deputies John Browne, Jim O’Keeffe and Donal Carey for the Fine Gael party;
Deputies Derek McDowell and Eamon Walsh for the Labour party;
Deputy Des O’Malley for the Progressive Democrat party;
Deputy Eamon Gilmore for the Democratic Left party;
Deputy Tony Gregory for the Independent group.
4.On the nomination of the Clerk of Dáil Eireann, Mr. Nial Fennelly, S.C. was appointed legal advisor to the sub-Committee on 20th December, 1994 in accordance with the orders of Dail Eireann of 15th December, 1994. Mr. Fennelly subsequently decided to step down as legal advisor once it became apparent that the evidence taking would continue beyond 11th January 1995 and that he would therefore not be in a position to complete the task. Mr. Gerard Durcan S.C. was appointed legal advisor to the sub-Committee on 4th January, 1995.
5.Following its appointment, the sub-Committee met on Thursday, 15th December, 1994 and has since met on the following occassion in public session and questioned the following witnesses:
Tuesday, 20th December 1994:
Mr. Eoghan Fitzsimons S.C. and Mr Harry Whelehan, S.C.
Wednesday, 21st December, 1994:
Mr. Harry Whelehan, S.C. and Mr. Matthew Russell, Office of the Attorney General.
Thursday, 22nd December, 1994:
Mr. Matthew Russell, Office of the Attorney General.
Wednesday, 4th January, 1995:
Mr. James Hamilton, Office of the Attorney General and Mr. Richard Barrett, Office of the Attorney General.
Thursday, 5th January, 1995:
Deputy Albert Reynolds.
Tuesday, 10th January, 1995:
Deputy Maire Geoghegan-Quinn
Wednesday, 11th January, 1995:
Deputy Bertie Ahern and Deputy Michael Woods.
Thursday, 12th January, 1995:
Deputy Noel Dempsey and Dr. Martin Mansergh.
Tuesday, 17th January, 1995:
An Tanaiste, Deputy Dick Spring and Deputy Ruairi Quinn, Minister for Finance.
Wednesday, 18th January:
Deputy Brendan Howlin, Minister for the Environment, Mr. Fergus Finlay and Mr. John Rogers, S.C.
There were also 17 private sessions of the sub-Committee.
The sub-Committee also met in private session on Thursday, 19th January, 1995, for the purposes of deciding on an interim report to Dail Eireann and on the strategy for completing the work.
6. The sub-Committee requested written statements from the following:
i.Deputy Joe Walsh
ii.Deputy Charlie McCreevy
iii.Deputy Brian Cowen
iv.Deputy David Andrews
v.Deputy Micheal Smith
vi.Deputy Mervyn Taylor, Minister for Equality and Law Reform.
vii.Deputy Pat Rabbitte, Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Enterprise and Employment.
viii.Mr. Tim Dalton, Secretary, Department of Justice.
viii.Mr. Declan Ingoldsby, Higher Executive Officer, Department of the Taoiseach.
ix.Mr Patrick Teahon, Secretary, Department of the Taoiseach.
In the cases of Deputy Rabbitte and Mr. Dalton, the sub-Committee had requested them to attend for the purposes of answering questions but subsequently decided to request written statements from them instead.
The sub-Committee may wish to question these persons on foot of the statements which are received. It may also, if so requested, have to provide an opportunity for witnesses who may wish to appear before the sub-Committee again. It is likely that limited further evidence will be taken in this regard in the week commencing 23rd January, 1995. In any event it is intended that the taking of evidence by the sub-Committee will be concluded within the next week, following which the report of the sub-Committee can be prepared.
7. Therefore, in spite of the extremely heavy workload in which the sub-Committee has engaged itself since its appointment, it has found that it will not be in a position to complete the functions assigned to it by 24th January as originally ordered.
8. The sub-Committee considers that a period of four weeks from the conclusion of the taking of evidence will be required to finalise a report and thus recommends that the date by which the sub-Committee is required to report to Dail Eireann be extended to Friday, 24th February, 1995.
(signed) Dan Wallace
Chairman of the sub-Committee
19 January, 1995