Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to

Kenny, Enda

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Leaders' Questions

It is not so long ago that there used to be 12-hour meetings of the parliamentary party of the party in which Deputy Martin is involved.More Button

Leaders' Questions (Continued)

I notice that Deputy Martin has moved from a point of accepting everything he reads in the newspapers to be the truth. Let me inform him that I have spoken to both Ministers, Deputy Quinn and Depu...More Button

Our job is to fulfil the mandate given to us, to sort out our public finance problems, to deal with the creation of jobs and to continue to provide opportunities for job creation so that people c...More Button

Deputy Martin can speculate all he likes and can give truth to speculation, rumours or quotes in newspapers if he wishes. I want him to understand, however, that the Minister, Deputy Reilly, wil...More Button

This Cabinet is focused entirely on the mandate given to us by the people to sort out the mess that Deputy Martin left behind him. We will do that irrespective of the claims or allegations that he...More Button

If Deputy Martin was not the leader of his party I would say something else to him about the nature of his questions. I do not have to speak for the Minister, Deputy Quinn, or anybody else. I can...More Button

Deputy Martin has not made a claim, yet he claims that something written in a newspaper is the truth, as if he was there. Let me repeat for him that the Government has a challenging position ahead...More Button

In that sense, let me assure Deputy Martin that the Ministers, Deputies Reilly and Quinn, are part of a Government that is focused on dealing with our problems - that is, to improve the state of ou...More Button

First of all, I am glad Deputy Adams has been able to remove the dark shades.More Button

I hope the little interaction he had with the medical service has proven to be a really good success. I wish Deputy Adams well in his recovery.More Button

Some of the speculation that I have been reading and hearing about in the past couple of weeks has certainly been fuelled by Deputy Adams and members of his party making outrageous claims and spinn...More Button

Let me assure Deputy Adams that as regards tomorrow's budget, we have made no secret of the fact that our country faces a challenging time. We have never been talking about green shoots or having ...More Button

The Deputy is clearly interested in what will happen in tomorrow's budget and he asked me for clarification on one particular issue. He has less than 24 hours to go before details of the budget ...More Button

Deputy Adams has again asked me for confirmation regarding issues in the budget that will be delivered tomorrow by the Ministers for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform. Let me confirm a num...More Button

The ratings agency, Fitch, has improved the ratings status of the country.More Button

Bank of Ireland raised €1 billion without a State guarantee.More Button

Moreover, Allied Irish Banks raised serious money without the State's guarantee. The ESB and Bord Gáis also did the same-----More Button

-----in exercises that have been oversubscribed many times.More Button

The sale of the analogue spectrum-----More Button

-----brought in both a significant amount of money and confirmation of signals from three international communications companies of their interest in investing in Ireland.More Button

These are facts I can confirm for the Deputy. As for the details of the budget, everyone will have all the details tomorrow. As I stated, these are challenging times but this budget will build on...More Button

The Government has tried and has worked hard to make it as fair, equitable and affordable as is possible. These things are never easy. This is a major challenge for Ireland and the budget tomorro...More Button

Unlike the Deputy, I did not have the benefit of a private school education but if one studies what is happening, this country is in a very different position and on a different path than are the c...More Button

The Deputy speaks of all the different sectors and mentions the unemployed, workers and those who are in receipt of social protection. Does he not think the Government appreciates the challenges...More Button

We know all about challenge and adversity and all about the difficulties the people have faced for many years. Deputy Boyd Barrett should not come into this Chamber and lecture us about all of that.More Button

I am sure he will be present for the budget tomorrow when the details will be spelled out by the Ministers for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform.More Button

Does the Deputy think I live in some kind of ivory tower?More Button

The Government has a particular ask in respect of our colleagues both in Europe and with the ECB and that is to restructure and re-engineer the level of the bank debt the country has faced. Patien...More Button

I can confirm that a great deal of work has been done and is ongoing in respect of the promissory notes with the European Central Bank, with a view to having the issue resolved before March next ye...More Button

Deputy Boyd Barrett is aware that the discussions were progressed yesterday in respect of the banking union requirement, a decision of the European Council, which can only take place once the leg...More Button

Tomorrow's budget will be presented on the basis of it being a challenging but positive step towards putting the country on a continued path for recovery, economic growth and opportunities for jo...More Button

The Deputy seems to have the impression that we should have a population that is entirely unemployed. I have never heard the Deputy speak about opportunities to create jobs in his constituency or ...More Button

Instead of wallowing in disillusionment, which the Deputy does all the time, he should focus on some of the signs of confidence-----More Button

-----around the country. People are striving and winning. Some 20,000 jobs have been created in the past 12 months in the private sector, which is an indication of confidence that those people ha...More Button

The Deputy does not want this or to recognise it.More Button

The Deputy is entitled to his opinion. The budget tomorrow will have a continued focus on rectifying our public finances and continuing to be competitive.More Button

There will be opportunities to create jobs, which are essential and fundamental to the good of the country and the future of hundreds of thousands of young people-----More Button

-----looking forward to the expectation of a job, if they wish to take it up.More Button

Diplomatic Representation Expenditure

Was asked: if he held any bilateral meetings on his recent trip to America; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will report on his visit to the United States on 12 and 13 October. More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the politicians, business leaders or other organisations he met during his visit to the United States in October.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on his visit to the US on 12 and 13 October 2012.More Button

Was asked: if he will extend a formal invitation of a state visit to the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, in view of next year's G8 summit taking place in Enniskillen; and if he will m...More Button

Was asked: his views on extending a formal invitation for a State visit to the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama; and if he will make a statement on the matterMore Button

Was asked: if he has been in contact with US President Barack Obama in relation to his plans to attend the G8 summit in June 2013.More Button

Was asked: if he has any plans to extend an invitation to US President Barack Obama for a State visit in view of his attendance at the G8 summit in Fermanagh in June 2013.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on his recent visit to the US on 12 and 13 October 2012; the achievements of the visit; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if it is his intention to invite US President Obama to Ireland given the G8 summit that will take place in County Fermanagh next year. More Button

I propose to answer Questions Nos. 1 to 10, inclusive, together.More Button

On Thursday, 11 October, I travelled to the United States for a series of engagements in Philadelphia and Cleveland. The visit was part of the Government's ongoing efforts to drive economic reco...More Button

I met some of the leading supporters of the American Ireland Funds in Philadelphia. I recognised the contribution made by the Ireland Funds to worthy causes in Ireland as well as to supporting l...More Button

Later I travelled to Cleveland for a series of further engagements, including an address at the City Club of Cleveland, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. In this address I ag...More Button

While in Cleveland I participated in a number of other business events to support Irish companies expanding into the US, as well as to promote Ireland as a location for inward investment. Some o...More Button

On Saturday morning, I met the Mayor of Cleveland, Mr. Frank G. Jackson, at the City Hall. Following our meeting we both attended a public event at the Irish Garden, which is part of the Clevela...More Button

While in the US I also used my various speaking opportunities to promote The Gathering 2013 throughout the region and was very encouraged by the reaction we are getting to this important initiati...More Button

Diplomatic Representation Expenditure (Continued)

I know Deputy Martin is familiar with Zenith Technologies. It is doing a wonderful job and is an example of a company that is growing in importance. As a consequence, it is able to expand its bus...More Button

Prime Minister Cameron indicated to me a number of months ago that it was his intention to hold the G8 summit in Northern Ireland. He also stated he would extend to me an invitation to me, as Ta...More Button

I raised the issue of corporate tax with the American companies I met, pointing out that the issue is our business and that a number of other countries in Europe now have corporate tax rates belo...More Button

I noted the comments made by President Obama following the first meeting of the new US Cabinet. The Administration's focus is clearly on the so-called fiscal cliff, on which the Republican Party...More Button

I did not have an opportunity to discuss immigration policy with the President, although I discussed it with the Irish ambassador who accompanied me in Philadelphia and Cleveland. It is importan...More Button

I thank Deputy Adams for his comments. The US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, is due to attend an OSCE conference in Dublin this week, which will bring to Ireland the largest number of foreign...More Button

Publication of the 1926 census is a matter of cost and the 100 year rule. I would like it to be published as it is of great interest to millions of people the world over. However, there is a he...More Button

I spoke to President Obama and sympathised with him in the same way as Deputy Adams has about people from Ireland and other countries who lost their lives. I made the point to him that Breezy Poin...More Button

I have seen some of the documentaries. Significant areas are entirely Irish, or are certainly Irish connected. In that sense when one looks at a home that was completely flattened as if the pla...More Button

To be honest with Deputy Adams, the reason that I did not have an opportunity to discuss with the Administration the question of the E-3 visas and immigration was that I left here on Thursday nig...More Button

I might point out that, from Deputy Adams's party, Deputy Martin's party, our own, the Labour Party and everybody else's party, there have been delegations to Washington over the last 15 to 18 mo...More Button

I thank Deputy Keating. I spoke to President Obama to congratulate him on his re-election and the start of a second term in office. I expressed the wish that, during the course of his term, he wo...More Button

The President has said on a number of occasions that his visit last year had an extraordinary impact on him and was one of the most exciting days of his presidency. In its own small way followin...More Button

I recall how, while I was a young lad, President Kennedy came here in 1963 and spoke from this spot. At that time, he quoted poetry: "to come back and see old Shannon's face again." That opport...More Button

When I had the opportunity to speak at the Kennedy centre in Boston, I said that perhaps we should look at doing something next year, but in a forward thinking and forward looking way, on the 50t...More Button

Deputy Keating is quite right. It is an opportunity for us to promote the country fairly strongly in terms of The Gathering. There is a big effort going in there at the moment. I hope that it ...More Button

When the protocol of the visit becomes a little clearer and the President's schedule becomes known, we can reflect on that suggestion. I hope that, during his Administration, he will have the op...More Button

The G8 summit takes place in Lough Erne in County Fermanagh. I have no idea whether President Obama will be attending and, if so, what his schedule might be. As I said to Deputy Keating, I did su...More Button

-----of particular sectors of societies that have problems. Clearly, there are other fora and opportunities for those matters to be discussed. As the Deputy is aware, the Irish representative vot...More Button

Corporate tax rates are a matter for the Government. We have been clear about that for many years. Those who wish to invest in this country, in particular from the US, like definition, clarity ...More Button

That is our business. The Minister for Finance, Deputy Noonan, has been examining tax piracy and the double-Irish syndrome, as it is called, in respect of clearing up any perceptions that this cou...More Button

It is not for me to invite any other individual to this country.More Button

I am aware that certain people have been in correspondence with the Deputy. There are other opportunities that will allow them to address issues at a European level or a national level. Confirmat...More Button

That is not the intention.More Button

We will do that. We were expecting a report towards the end of last month which will be ready sometime early in December on the possibilities and potential that exists for free trade between the E...More Button

What we are seeking from a European point of view is to get a mandate to open the discussions which will clearly go on for a considerable time. This is the appropriate time to do that. The poin...More Button

I thank Deputy Adams. I do not believe I would have any influence over the agenda as it is one drawn up by the G8 but if and when an invitation comes, I would be very happy to follow through on th...More Button

The crisis between Israel and Palestine has been raised here on umpteen occasions. I am aware the Deputy has been out there, as has Deputy Martin, and I have been there also. It is a very compl...More Button

The issue of poverty raised by Deputy Adams is one we can certainly support. When I had the opportunity to go to the Olympics a special meeting was called by Prime Minister Cameron about hunger,...More Button

There is no question that the Deputy's comments are about issues that are very important. I do not have any control over the schedule of the American President. I assume the President's schedule ...More Button

That Bill has fallen. There is a new Administration in place. It is a matter for Senator McCain, Senator Schumer, Senator Brown or any of them to raise the matter again and we will be happy to wo...More Button

Constitutional Convention Agenda

Was asked: if he has approached persons to chair the Constitutional Convention and the responses that have been received; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will reaffirm his commitment that marriage equality for same sex couples will be prioritised in the upcoming Constitutional Convention.More Button

Was asked: if he will outline the process used in identifying a chairman for the Constitutional Convention. More Button

Was asked: if he has met the new Chairman of the Constitutional Convention; the areas that were discussed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the date on which the first meeting of the Constitutional Convention is to be held.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on his decision to appoint Mr. Tom Arnold as chairman of the Constitutional Convention. More Button

Was asked: the date on which the Constitutional Convention will convene its first plenary meeting; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the contact he has had with representatives of the Irish diaspora in relation to the forthcoming Constitutional Convention.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on any discussions he has had with the new chairman of the Constitutional Convention. More Button

Was asked: if he will provide the timeline for the different meetings and topics of the constitutional convention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 11 to 20, inclusive, together.

  As I announced in the House on 24 October, the Government appointed Mr. Tom Arnold as independent chairperson of...More Button

I have discussed the matter with Deputy Martin before. The convention is set up and is independent in how it does its job. We set out a number of issues on the agenda and asked it to consider, in...More Button

I am not sure what Deputy Martin meant when he referred to the convention making a recommendation to the Houses of the Oireachtas. The commitment I gave on Saturday, which will be honoured, is t...More Button

As I understand it, the convention will report directly to the Houses of the Oireachtas but the Government will give its response because it must set out whether it will prepare for a referendum, i...More Button

If the chairman and the convention decide that is the next issue to deal with, it is the right of the convention to do so. The convention can make a recommendation and we will respond to it.More Button

I do not want to go down the road of having the convention hear endlessly from different lobby groups. We had this in the Forum on Europe, with an endless stream of them. It is an important secto...More Button

Constitutional Convention Agenda (Continued)

It was symbolic that the leaders of different parties and representatives from Northern Ireland attended the launch of the Constitutional Convention in the great hall of Dublin Castle.More Button

I apologise for not giving a full answer to Deputy Martin. Any proposal that comes from the convention, be it about same-sex marriage or whatever, will be responded to by the Government within a...More Button

It will be up to the chairman to take the convention to locations throughout the country. That was done with the forum on Europe. It remains to be seen whether the members of the convention wil...More Button

With regard to the diaspora, the convention website is flexible and vigorous. It may well be extended to video links to groups on the far side of the United States or to individuals who want to ...More Button

I would like this to work and to work well. The convention has been inaugurated and is in place now. It has got its remit and independence and has a very good chairman. Let us see how it opera...More Button

  Written Answers follow Adjournment.More Button

Order of Business

It is proposed to take No. 11, motion re leave to introduce Supplementary Estimates - Votes 25, 37 and 39; No. 12, motion re referral of Supplementary Estimates - Votes 25, 37 and 39 - to select su...More Button

Order of Business (Continued)

I note the opposition of Deputy Martin and Deputy Adams to the proposal. These matters will be referred to the committee on Tuesday and everyone will have the opportunity to talk about them there....More Button

The Supplementary Estimate for the Department of Social Protection will be taken tomorrow in committee. The social welfare Bill will be taken next week and the protected disclosure in the public i...More Button

The Minister will outline the details. As I understand it - if I am incorrect on this, I will advise the Deputy further - the finance (local property tax) Bill will be published on Thursday. Obvi...More Button

The courts Bill is being drafted at the moment and it will be early next year before it can be published.More Button

I can confirm that a great deal of work has been done on the heads of this Bill but it will be next year before it is published.More Button

The Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Bill is on Committee Stage, if this is the Bill referred to by the Deputy.More Button

The Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Bill is on Committee Stage at the moment.More Button

I do not have an answer to the Deputy's question.More Button

The finance Bill will be published in the new year. Obviously, the best attempts are always made to proof all budgets on all fronts, although it is never possible to do these things perhaps as one...More Button

As I said during Leaders' Questions, this budget will be presented as an opportunity to move the country further towards retrieval of our economic sovereignty and independence and create opportunit...More Button

We are very conscious of those who are vulnerable.More Button

Northern Ireland Issues

Was asked: the groups or organisations he has met in the past 12 months who were victims of the conflict in Northern Ireland, including the name of the group or organisation and the date on which the meeting ...More Button

Was asked: the areas of work which the Northern Ireland section of his Department has supported him in relation to matters relevant to Northern Ireland. More Button

Was asked: the process through which the Northern Ireland section co-ordinates North-South co-operation through each individual Government Department, including the nature and outcomes of co-ordination of Nor...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 114, 119 and 120 together.More Button

I refer to my response to question numbers 1 to 19 in the House on Tuesday, 20 November, 2012 in which I gave a comprehensive account of the meetings I have had with the families of victims of th...More Button

Consistent with the overall role of my Department, the Section provides a "whole-of-government" viewpoint in its work. My officials also work closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and T...More Button

Constitutional Convention Establishment

Was asked: the progress made in establishing the Constitutional Convention; if he plans to make public the names of the 66 non-elected citizens represented on the Convention; and if he will make a statement o...More Button

The Constitutional Convention held its inaugural meeting in Dublin Castle on Saturday, 1 December 2012. The Tánaiste and I attended the meeting to wish the members well in their work, as indeed did...More Button

Ministerial Adviser Appointments

Was asked: the total number of Government special advisers employed in his Department; the total cost of employing these advisers; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Five Special Advisers are employed by my Department, four of whom are Special Advisers to me while one is a Special Adviser to the Government Chief Whip. The total cost of the salaries paid to the...More Button

National Minimum Wage

Was asked: the number of employees on the minimum wage; the number of employees on the minimum wage who are male and the number who are female; the number of employees on the minimum wage who are under 25 yea...More Button

Cross-Border Co-operation

Was asked: if he will outline projects which the Department co-operates with the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister in the North. More Button

My Department cooperates closely with the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister on a wide range of political and economic issues. It also liaises with that Office in the context o...More Button

  Questions No. 119 and 120 answered with Question No. 114.More Button