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McDonald, Mary Lou

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Leaders' Questions (Continued)

I, too, wish everyone who works in the Houses of the Oireachtas, the Deputies gathered in the Chamber and their families and those viewing proceedings at home a very happy Christmas. Nollaig shona...More Button

On 26 September, Deputy Róisín Shortall resigned her junior Ministry in the Department of Health. On 25 October, almost one month later, I raised with the Tánaiste concerns about a meeting on 20...More Button

The document my party has acquired openly contradicts the Minister's claim that he had no hand, act or part in the selection of the Balbriggan site. Some months on from these events, does the Tá...More Button

The Tánaiste's monotonal response does not take from this scandal. I have in my hand the briefing document prepared for and used by the Minister at that meeting on 20 April. Explicitly in the doc...More Button

I am astonished on two fronts. First, the Minister, Deputy Reilly, and the Government have the brass neck to act in such an improper fashion. Second, but perhaps more astonishingly, the Tánaist...More Button

We said at the time, and let me repeat it-----More Button

Let me say this-----More Button

-----and I said it at the time-----More Button

The wrong Minister resigned. The former Minister of State, Deputy Shortall-----More Button

-----was punished for doing the right thing.More Button

She was punished for standing by proper standards in public office.More Button

The Tánaiste rewards another senior Minister by turning away his gaze and by not tracking the Minister's activities. This is a disgrace.More Button

It is not innuendo. I have the document in front of me.More Button

I am not working on the basis of innuendo or supposition.More Button

I have in my hand the briefing note that came from the Department-----More Button

-----and it states very clearly that a particular site-----More Button

-----was discussed with NAMA, the same site that the Minister slipped onto the list. My question to the Tánaiste is simply this - what will he do about this whole scenario from which he has delibe...More Button

It is a departmental briefing note.More Button

It is called opposition.More Button

A bit like the Tánaiste's neck.More Button

I want the Tánaiste to answer the question. He is the Tánaiste, is he not?More Button

Is Deputy Gilmore not the Tánaiste? Does he-----More Button

It is called opposition.More Button

No, the trick is on the Tánaiste's side, as he will not answer my question. What will he do about this?More Button

Is this how the Tánaiste responded to Deputy Shortall when she raised the matter with him?More Button

Right. We have the Tánaiste now.More Button

No, I put the question to the Tánaiste.More Button

I asked the Tánaiste the questions because the Minister will not answer them. The Tánaiste is a disgrace.More Button

Order of Business

I, too, believe that the handling of the primary care centres is something to which we will have to return in the new year.More Button

I am sure it will be, but I feel incredible frustration with the Tánaiste. When questions of fundamental importance are put to him relating to the integrity of the decision making processes, he re...More Button

I wish to raise two other matters. The Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill is being dealt with today, the last sitting day. I submitted amendments but all of them were ...More Button

There is a commitment in the programme for Government to end long-term homelessness and sleeping rough, which I wholeheartedly support. However, many of the Government's actions have aggravated ...More Button

Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage (Continued)

I am disappointed that the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Howlin, is not here for this debate. Whatever about my personal disappointment, it reflects the fact that the Governme...More Button

Why is it that this matter is put before us just as we are coming to the finishing line of this Dáil session? It strikes me as a sneaky move. It strikes me, rather than have all of the issues a...More Button

The budget introduced by the Ministers for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform delivered cruel blows to many sectors across society. In a very mean-spirited way it took €26 million from the ...More Button

When the Ministers took to their feet and announced the Fine Gael-Labour Government budget, one of the most striking public reactions as people tried to take on board all the different cuts and t...More Button

A budget that could do so much damage to so many was accompanied by language of fairness on the one hand and, on the other hand, an assertion that the State is insolvent and in dire circumstances...More Button

In that spirit, I submitted amendments to the legislation to do precisely that. The remuneration of the Taoiseach and Ministers should not exceed €100,000 in circumstances of emergency and hards...More Button

On the issue of allowances, again my amendment was set aside. I was told the commission does not make those decisions, the Government does. However, the commission is, as the Minister of State,...More Button

If we are serious about leading from the front, we cannot stand over these. I know I cannot and I believe the same is true for all Members of the House. I accept it has been custom and practice...More Button

For the record, I will detail how much would have been saved had my amendments been accepted and voted through. An emergency pay cap for all staff - not politicians - of the Houses of the Oireac...More Button

Time and again, Ministers paid their special advisers huge salaries, including most ironically and shamefully, the special adviser to the Minister for Social Protection. This is the same Minister ...More Button

I had an amendment dealing with the withdrawal of the allowance of €17,000 paid to Ministers of State who attend Cabinet meetings. There are two individuals in that bracket. It would represent ...More Button

Those may not be earth-shattering sums of money for the Government but they are very significant because they come to almost €17 million. If the Government was minded to make those types of savi...More Button

We find ourselves in a pincer movement by Government. On one hand, the Ministers will not take the type of decisions I have described. They have stubbornly refused to cut their pay. The Taoise...More Button

We then arrive at this pass where we have the legislation for the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission, or the board of management of the Oireachtas to use the Minister's expression, and are asked...More Button

A headline in one of today's newspapers stated that our budget for the Oireachtas was being sneaked through at the last minute. Not unreasonably, the article reflected on the fact the figures re...More Button

Those on the far side of the House should understand that it is they who argue for cutbacks and savings. They are the people who tell cancer patients they are terribly sorry but the patients mus...More Button

It does all this at the very last minute on 20 December 2012 in the dying hours of this Dáil session. The Minister with responsibility for this matter does not bother to show up. Apparently, he...More Button

It is on the second page. The Minister of State was speaking about how the debate in the Seanad had gone and that concerns were raised about a lack of transparency in the commission's operation an...More Button

Whatever the Minister of State's personal aversions may be, I well understand why he did not read out the sentence because there is no good news story. The story that €324 million will be required...More Button

Sinn Féin will not support the Bill and we will never be party to a policy, Government, attitude or outlook which has such a gross sense of entitlement by senior officeholders stitched into its v...More Button

In opposing the legislation I wish to state it would be advisable for the Government to go back to the drawing board and look again at the €324 million. It might even take on board some of the a...More Button

Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage (Resumed) (Continued)

Shame on you. That is outrageous.More Button

It is a bit like the Government.More Button

Rail Services

Asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport: if he will provide an update on works being carried out on the Luas BXD project; the total spend on the project so far and current estimate for the cost of the completed project. More Button

Sports Capital Programme

Asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport: if he will provide details of the sports capital grant in terms of the total amount in new funding; the amount allocated thus far; the amount of funding still to be allocated; and if he will make a...More Button