Members of the Oireachtas Justice Committee have said they were not given sufficient time to scrutinise emergency legislation on the retention of data.

The bill was brought about in response to a ruling by the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU), in relation to convicted murderer Graham Dwyer.

It found that Ireland's system of retaining and accessing mobile phone metadata breached EU law.

The heads of bill for the Communications (Retention of Data) Amendment Bill were published last week and it was the Government's intention to avoid pre-legislative scrutiny in order to speed up its passage through the Oireachtas.

However, members of the Justice Committee rejected this request, citing concerns they had about the legislation.

A one-off public pre-legislative scrutiny session was held this morning, but it had to be suspended, as members sought clarity on the amount of time that they would be allocated to table amendments to the legislation.

It followed comments from Donegal TD Thomas Pringle who said that the deadline for submissions appeared to be imminent and that the entire process appeared to be a "fiasco that has been foisted on us by the Department (of Justice)".

After a brief suspension, Committee chair James Lawless clarified that there would be a "reasonable period" for members to table amendments.

However, he described Deputy Pringle's comments as "fair", adding that the committee could only do its own job and offer suggestions and amendments.

Deputy Pringle said that those assurances did not change the situation, given that the legislation was unlikely to be re-drafted to include amendments from the Committee.

He told the committee that it still called the committee's pre-legislative scrutiny process into question.

Labour's Brendan Howlin asked that there be better engagement from the Department of Justice on legislation such as this.

Both Deputy Howlin and Deputy Pringle asked that a sunset clause be included in the legislation, given the concerns outlined by politicians and members of the public.

They requested that overarching legislation be drafted, which would incorporate those suggestions and amendments.

It is intended that this emergency legislative would eventually be replaced by a more comprehensive bill.

Deputy Howlin also pointed out that the Data Protection Commissioner only received the General Scheme of the Bill eight days ago and the updated bill 24 hours ago.

There is a requirement for consultation with the DPC under the bill.

Dan Kelleher, principal officer at the Department of Justice, said he did not believe that the time afforded to the DPC was adequate, but he made the point that this was emergency legislation.

The Green Party's Patrick Costelloe also expressed concern over the "rushed procedure", which he said could undermine the legislation which was brought in the context of a "horrendous case".

Another concern expressed by Committee Chair James Lawless was related to a 90-day cap on the retention of data, contained in the emergency legislation.

"That's one of the major concerns for us", Assistant Garda Commissioner Justin Kelly told members.