Dáil resumes: Debate on garda Covid-19 powers, new Agriculture Minister expected

ireland
Dáil Resumes: Debate On Garda Covid-19 Powers, New Agriculture Minister Expected Dáil Resumes: Debate On Garda Covid-19 Powers, New Agriculture Minister Expected
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James Cox
A new Agriculture Minister could be revealed today, as the Dáil resumes after the summer break.

The Government is expected to announce the new minister following the resignation of Dara Calleary over Golfgate.

The Irish Farmers Association says the recent turnover of agriculture ministers comes at a time when the sector is grappling with the issues of Brexit, CAP and Covid-19.

Former president of the association Joe Healy says the new agriculture minister must recognise the needs of farmers.

"It's imperative that a good person is appointed to the job, a person who understands the agricultural industry and who will listen to the farmers."

Garda Covid-19 powers

Also on the agenda as the Dáil resumes today is a Bill that will give gardaí additional powers to enforce Covid-19 regulations in bars and restaurants serving alcohol.

It comes amid concerns some premises aren't following the rules.

The Act would provide for three types of closure order and also for a number of criminal offences in relation to breaches.

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It also establishes new grounds for objection to renewal of licences.

Donal O'Keeffe, chief executive of the Licensed Vintners Association says publicans welcome the new powers but added the vast majority of pubs are obeying the rules:

"The gardaí inspection reports that have been published every week since the hospitality section reopened indicate a huge level of compliance by publicans with the guidelines, well over 95 per cent most weeks. There are certainly a number of businesses that are not following the guidelines and the gardaí need these powers to deal with those businesses."

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