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Deputy Micheál Martin

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Snippet Contents:

I oppose the motion in terms of the timing involved. It is a very shambolic way of treating Parliament regarding this important issue. We have no objection to facilitating a statement from the Government on the issue at hand, although we have been seeking over the past number of weeks a fuller debate on the issues relating to the exit strategy from the troika programme. To come in at 11.15 a.m. and propose a change to the order to provide for a debate in 15 minutes of a half hour duration with five minutes each without any time for consideration of the issues and without any knowledge of what the Government statement will contain is not acceptable in the context of the Government's relationship with the Dáil. It is typical and follows a pattern regarding how the Government treats the Dáil. There cannot be a more fundamental or important issue than this but the Opposition has not been apprised or consulted, good, bad or indifferent. The Government has summoned the Dáil to tell Members it will amend the schedule in 15 minutes and give a number of them five minutes each with nobody else getting an opportunity to speak on this. It is disgraceful and wrong.
We had a great deal of debate over the past month or six weeks in the context of the referendum on Dáil reform. I attended a Constitutional Convention meeting last night to observe what was going on. There were many interested citizens discussing the role of Government and Parliament and so on. I ask the Chief Whip to bear my comments in mind and to change the order.