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Martin, Micheál

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Leaders' Questions

Last Thursday, the Central Statistics Office, CSO, confirmed that Ireland was back in recession. GDP has decreased for three quarters in a row. Since last summer, the economy has fallen by 1.8%, ...More Button

A coherent policy on small businesses is also absent and realistic access to credit is lacking.More Button

Leaders' Questions (Continued)

One only has to talk to those in the small business sector to realise their frustration at the lack of any engagement with the Government on policies that could have a real impact. Added to that, ...More Button

What does the Taoiseach and Government intend to do about this situation, given that the existing policy programme being followed is clearly not working, either at EU level or domestically? Domest...More Button

I thank the Taoiseach for his response, but I am somewhat concerned about what is almost a denial by him of the CSO figures. The Central Statistics Office is an independent organisation that has g...More Button

People will find incredible the Taoiseach's statement that there has been a rebalancing of rights between borrowers and lenders. His suggestion is that this is to the benefit of borrowers. Ther...More Button

Furthermore, one only has to look at the retail sector to know the scale and the degree to which the domestic economy is on the floor. I have heard nothing in the Taoiseach's reply that gives any ...More Button

Over the last two or three years, the Government has consistently underspent its capital budget. The Government keeps delaying expenditure on, and thus reducing, what was already a reduced capital...More Button

No. The Taoiseach did not say that at all. He is inconsistent.More Button

What?More Button

They have already been reduced.More Button

I made a statement.More Button

Seanad Referendum

Asked the Taoiseach: if a date has been decided for the referendum on the abolition of Seanad Éireann; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Asked the Taoiseach: if his Department has a special unit in place to prepare for the referendum to abolish Seanad Éireann; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Asked the Taoiseach: if he will circulate his Departments memos and minutes of meetings held regarding the forthcoming Seanad referendum; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Asked the Taoiseach: if his Department officials have given him any assessment they have made on the proposal to abolish Seanad Éireann; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Seanad Referendum (Continued)

I asked the Taoiseach a number of questions on the referendum to abolish the Seanad. I believe he answered two of them but did not answer the other two and I ask him to look at that again. I aske...More Button

Question No. 10 asked the Taoiseach if his Department officials have given him any assessment they have made on the proposal to abolish Seanad Éireann and if he will make a statement on the matte...More Button

The Taoiseach has said he is going to have a chat with us about Dáil reform at the end of the month. He had his chance to have real engagement on these issues with other Members of the House and...More Button

On the date for a referendum, the referendum commission was scathing of the Government's performance over the Oireachtas inquiries referendum on which it claimed that the time allotted to the com...More Button

In that context, the recommendation is that a minimum of three months would be provided for the commission to inform the public on the referendum proposal. The Taoiseach has said that no date ha...More Button

We need a meaningful response to the referendum commission's scathing criticisms of the Government's handling of previous referendums. Given that there are 40 changes to the Constitution consequ...More Button

The Taoiseach said that the abolition of the Seanad would save €20 million. This has been refuted by the Clerk of the Dáil. He has confirmed that gross savings would be less than €10 million a ...More Button

It is only some of the Labour Party, not all of the Labour Party.More Button

Will the Taoiseach make that available to us?More Button

I did not speak about the convention.More Button

I did not talk about Mary O'Rourke.More Button

He is not answering.More Button

He wanders and meanders around this House and abuses this process.More Button

I asked about Question No. 9. Will the Taoiseach answer Question No. 9?More Button

I asked about Question No. 9. Am I entitled to an answer or not?More Button

Through the Chair, this is very frustrating. The Taoiseach is abusing this process.More Button

It has happened time and time again.More Button

I hear this week after week. The Taoiseach is filibustering and going all over the place and he will not answer the specific questions he is asked.More Button

I am behaving myself. The Taoiseach should behave himself.More Button

With respect, we are entitled to answers.More Button

I simply want an answer. There is argy-bargy from time to time in the House. I would not get too excited about it.More Button

The Taoiseach knows our position.More Button

Question No. 9.More Button

I will be brief because I realise the Taoiseach needs a break from the interrogation he just received from Deputy Dara Murphy, in particular, and Deputies Harris and McEntee.More Button

It was very forensic.More Button

The interrogation from the Taoiseach's backbenchers was forensic. I stand back in admiration of their qualities and the very searching questions they helpfully asked, which were obviously prepared...More Button

I jest.More Button

I am not questioning that at all.More Button

I articulated no disagreement with that at all. I merely commented on the quality of the-----More Button

I am entitled to pass a comment, or I hope I am. I know we are just about to discuss a proposal to abolish the Seanad. I hope we will not abolish free speech in the Dáil-----More Button

-----or the right to comment on issues in whatever form we may and in accordance with Standing Orders.More Button

I asked the Taoiseach Question No. 9, to which I would like a specific and straight answer. It should not be difficult because I think he half answered it. I asked the Taoiseach to circulate hi...More Button

My position prior to the general election was clear that we would favour the abolition of the Seanad only in the context of deep and meaningful reform to the electoral system, to the Dáil itself ...More Button

The Taoiseach has dramatically changed his position. In the famous speech in the Glenties, he detailed considerable reform which he believed in then. Then there was the famous dinner at which h...More Button

We should also record the fact there have been many very good contributions in the Seanad. People did not only make colourful contributions which I think was a bit of a put down to some very goo...More Button

The problem is we are abolishing urban councils in their entirety. That is one tier of democracy at a local level which is being abolished. I passionately believe in town councils. In towns th...More Button

We will now have an incredible number of ten-seaters, nine-seaters and so on. It is one of the great gerrymanders we have witnessed in local government. The Government can have that but the aboli...More Button

The elections to Údarás na Gaeltachta were done away with. The Government said to people living in the Gaeltacht area that they did not really need to have a say on who sits on Údarás na Gaeltac...More Button

Will the Taoiseach circulate the memorandums and minutes?More Button

In some areas but not-----More Button

That was not the question.More Button

Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy

Múinteoir, polaiteoir agus Aire den scoth ab ea Pádraig Faulkner. Fear mór clainne a bhí ann chomh maith. Déanaim comhbhrón ar dtús lena bhean Kitty, lena chlann Tom, Bartle, Pat agus Mary agus l...More Button

Amidst the hectic debates we have in this House, I am conscious that we sometimes get into very heated arguments and forget that behind every Deputy there is an individual story. Political life ...More Button

Pádraig was born in Dundalk and, like many people in Irish families, he came from a mixed marriage, as his father was a Fine Gael supporter while his mother was staunchly Fianna Fáil. Thankfully...More Button

He was first elected to the Dáil for Louth in 1957 the same year that his beloved Louth beat Cork in the All-Ireland final. That year is indelible in the mind of all Louth people and it is equal...More Button

Pádraig had first run during a by-election in 1954 when Éamon de Valera was still Taoiseach. He shared the very competitive four-seater constituency of Louth with the great Civil War veteran Fra...More Button

As a Border county, Louth would have been very close to the Troubles and the extraordinary stresses and challenges that the people faced. He was remarkably steadfast and loyal, providing much gu...More Button

Pádraig’s talents were wide-ranging and he was first appointed to a ministerial post when former Taoiseach Seán Lemass appointed him to the new post of Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for...More Button

He had the foresight in 1970 to allocate funds to educate more physical education teachers and he allocated money to send students to Strawberry Hill in London, as Ireland did not have a training...More Button

He also started investment in recreational and sporting facilities around the country and he was one of the first Ministers to invite the youth and sporting clubs around the country to contact hi...More Button

Perhaps one of his greatest legacies was his belief in and development of regional colleges of education.More Button

Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy (Continued)

When one looks back at the history of Irish education, one of the great democratisers of participation in third level education was our regional colleges of education. Many people without the mean...More Button

Order of Business

The health insurance industry is going through a crisis as we speak. There is significant concern and anxiety among many policyholders and members of various insurance companies across the board, ...More Button

The programme for Government contains extensive proposals on health insurance, in particular the establishment of a hospital insurance fund, which was committed to early in the lifetime of the Go...More Button

The hospital care purchase agency.More Button

European Council in Brussels: Statements (Continued)

The statement the Taoiseach has just delivered claims that the past six months has seen enormous progress. Even more than is usual for a government given to daily praising its own actions, he has ...More Button

In the middle of this it is striking just how much the Taoiseach has not mentioned. In his review of the past six months, he has managed to completely ignore the fundamental direction of the Eur...More Button

During the past six months growth rates have fallen, recession has returned, unemployment has reached record levels and sovereign bonds have experienced their fourth worst month in more than 20 y...More Button

The agenda is exactly as was proposed in President Van Rompuy's presentation to the European Parliament last year when he laid out the work programme for 2013.More Button

In normal times this would have been unexceptional, maybe even a welcome sign of stability, but these are not normal times. The scale of Europe's problems requires an urgency and ambition complete...More Button

Ireland has delivered agreements to keep the push for austerity even where countries have had an alternative. Ireland has agreed to cut the Union's budget, to have those cuts focused on the Unio...More Button

As a result of the Lisbon treaty changes, the duties of the Presidency are significantly smaller than in the past and the absence of the major 2004 accession helped to ensure that costs could be ...More Button

However, for a Presidency to change the direction of Europe, it requires political leadership. This has been demonstrated in the past at a time when the Presidency was a much greater challenge. ...More Button

The Taoiseach claimed this morning that Ireland had overwhelmingly delivered on its Presidency objectives of stability, jobs and growth. Certainly, there has been a stability to the agenda, but ...More Button

A defining characteristic of this Government from the start has been the amount of time it puts into public relations. Politics before policy is its only consistent strategy. This has been brou...More Button

Whereas predecessors of different parties saw their role as having a substantial national role above party politics, the Taoiseach has completely rejected this. He has now added to this and become...More Button

The Taoiseach has repeatedly stated that he knows nothing about what happened when the bank guarantee was brought in. He has said he would love to know what happened.More Button

If we put aside the lengthy statements and interviews, including those given in the House, this claim of the Taoiseach is transparent, partisan nonsense. For two and a half years he and his Minist...More Button

In the Taoiseach's case, for an entire year he had at his side the most senior official present during that night.More Button

Is the Taoiseach expecting us to believe that he never asked the official any questions about the meetings he attended? The next most senior official, who was in the room that night as well, worke...More Button

If the Taoiseach actually believed his own smears he would have used his complete access to officials and records to put the information into the public domain, but for two and a half years he ha...More Button

I have no doubt that those the Taoiseach seeks to slur acted in good faith and on the basis of the best available information. They reached the same conclusion as the Taoiseach reached and he ha...More Button

They have no wish to risk an inquiry that does not support their political agenda. Naturally, one thing the Taoiseach especially does not like referring to is that he voted for the same guarantee ...More Button

Last week in Brussels, the Taoiseach was eager to make this issue as prominent as possible. The majority of the Cabinet were sent out to deliver snide personal calls on people to supposedly reve...More Button

I have looked at the record relating to the three previous leaders of Fine Gael who were taoisigh during our Presidencies. In no case have I been able to find anything which comes close to the c...More Button

Fundamentally, this is a Government more interested in exploiting the past than learning from it. It wants to keep re-fighting the last election and is happy to find people who support them in t...More Button

Last week's summit signed off on the last part of the country-specific approach to economic policy. The ensuing recommendations entrench current orthodoxy. They do not call on countries that ha...More Button

The documents agreed last week contain no hope of a new direction and no answer to the rising evidence of a deeper economic downturn taking hold in Europe.

  The need for an urge...More Button

Even today's edition of The Irish Times points out: "As yet there is scant progress on breaking the vicious circle between banks and sovereign states which so excited the Governmen...More Button

Some Ministers are claiming the effort to secure ESM funding retrospectively for Irish banks has been damaged. What they have not done is to explain what Ireland has been seeking. The Minister, D...More Button

During this Presidency, Ireland fulfilled its core responsibilities well. It handled the agenda it was given by President Van Rompuy and delivered the required agreements to keep most of the ite...More Button

I will do so. They did not try to push a move away from failed policies or towards badly-needed reforms of the Union.More Button

Nothing was done which gives any sense that Europe is actively working to help its 27 million citizens who are unemployed. Unfortunately, this was a lost opportunity.More Button

The Taoiseach is good at firing these days.More Button

Banking Sector Issues

Asked the Minister for Finance: if he has raised with his UK counterparts their plans for the future of Ulster Bank; his views on the importance of the institution to banking here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

European Stability Mechanism

Asked the Minister for Finance: if he is satisfied that there was enough progress on banking debt during the Irish Presidency; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Banking Sector Regulation

Asked the Minister for Finance: his views on whether banking regulation has got tighter here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Tax Code

Asked the Minister for Finance: if he is concerned about the rate of corporation tax here within the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Asked the Minister for Finance: if Prime Minister Cameron has expressed concerns to him regarding tax structures of global companies here; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

EU Issues

Asked the Minister for Finance: if he was consulted regarding the recent nomination to the board of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button