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06/14/2017 12:00:00 AM


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Martin, Micheál

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Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government

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953

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4

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701

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Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government

3 Part Title Business Index

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Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government

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Senator


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Deputy Micheál Martin

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Deputy Micheál Martin

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Micheál Martin

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Snippet Contents:

It is at best unfortunate that so many of today's appointments have been done on the basis of internal party concerns rather than on the basis of the most suitable person for the position. If this is to be a transformative, radicalising and modernising Administration, this is a poor start. Certain of the assignments appear unlinked either to past performance or interest. The prominence which is being given to party organisation and electoral preparation is highly unusual and the various minor realignments which have been made go nowhere near meeting the hype which has preceded them.
The Good Friday Agreement represents one of the greatest achievements of constitutional republicanism. It secured the agreement to end an illegitimate campaign, take the gun out of politics, establish agreed institutions and move forward on the fundamental objective of a lasting reconciliation on our island. Key elements of this progress are today under threat. Years of a dysfunctional duopoly, underlying sectarianism and neglect from Dublin and London have caused immense damage. The decision of the Tory Government to rely on the DUP cannot be allowed to threaten or undermine the core dynamic underpinning peace.
While we would certainly have had differences with Deputy Charles Flanagan in terms of the urgency and ambition of his approach to Northern Ireland, he is the only Member of Government to show any interest in this area in the past six years. The decision to remove him from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade undermines the claim that this is a Government whose members and portfolios have been defined by ability.
The issue of Brexit is such that the challenges are changing every day. The terms of reference for the EU-side of the negotiations are very general and a non-specific start to what will be complex and detailed negotiations. A number of Ministries have responsibilities which are profoundly impacted by Brexit, including enterprise, social protection, education, agriculture and health. There is a need for the Government to set out concrete proposals to limit the long-term damage of Brexit.