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 Header Item Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy (Continued)
 Header Item Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 984 No. 3

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(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Michael Healy-Rae: Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae] It is a very special honour.

Many have asked about the reason for the delay. I will explain it. In early 2015 I notified that we were going to do this but then something came up and there were delays. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae and I said we would do it before the council elections and then that we would do after them. Lately we said that if we did not do it soon, we would hardly be here ourselves. We wanted to have it done to remember a person. I think it is nice, even this length of time afterwards. It is very special, something we will remember forever.

We will cherish the nice and genuine contributions made by people who stood with my father year in, year out; the people who visited him when he was ill; the neighbours who were always so kind and always there and true friends; and the nurses and doctors. I saw a message from a doctor in County Kerry, of whom we are very fond and who helped to mind our father when he was ill. He sent a message a minute ago that my father had been his favourite patient. Things like that mean an awful lot to us, as does the fact that everyone is here and has shown patience because I know that there is a lot of very important business to be done today. I appreciate the fact that they have given us this opportunity.

My father packed an awful lot into the years he had in this world. He lived every day as if it was his last. The one thing he always said to me was, "Keep going as hard as you can for as long as you can and never give up and never surrender." If there is ever a little row inside this House and any Member thinks we will back down, I can say we will not. We will tell Members now that we will not, but we will try to do it in the nicest possible way.

All I can say is there is the memory of Jackie Healy-Rae here today. You can see it and feel it. Again, we thank the people who are here from the bottom of our hearts. We thank them, their families and relatives at home and the people around County Kerry, the rest of Ireland and the world who will hear this. We thank them for being so respectful to the memory of Jackie Healy-Rae because he was loyal, as Deputy Lowry stated. It was all about loyalty. To this day, if someone meets me, Deputy Danny Healy-Rae or anyone in what I call the new generation of Healy-Raes, it is like paying a deposit. We need not sign anything. If we shake hands with a person and say, "That's it, you have my word;" that is it. The only thing we will ever have when we have nothing else, just like our father, is our word. If we give our word to somebody and shake hands on it, we will have to die before we break it and I mean that.

I thank everybody on behalf of all the Healy-Raes and the Healy-Rae organisation. People can do the sums. There is an awful lot of people at home. I thank Members for giving us this opportunity.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl It is clear the apples did not fall far from the tree. We will stand for a moment's respectful reflection.

  Members rose.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher To those who are here from County Kerry, a hundred thousand welcomes. That was Jackie Healy-Rae.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin In the context of the programme for Government and industrial relations in the health service, I wish to reflect on today's strike which represents the dysfunctionality of human resource management in the health service. Yesterday the Taoiseach said the Government had accepted the outcome of the job evaluation scheme and the recommendations made and was prepared to pay. The only issues seemed to be implementation and the timelines. When I said the strike would have been averted by the payment of a couple of million euro, it was in that context because the Government has stated it is willing to pay and accepts the outcome of the job evaluation, yet the Taoiseach said the issues were the timelines and implementation in the next few years. He said payments would start in 2019. I think Deputy Howlin suggested the offer was €1 million.

Deputy Brendan Howlin: Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin It was the offer.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin My sense is the union would settle for something higher than €1 million. I might be wrong, but my suggestion is that it would be in single digits. In the context of the massive overruns on a range of other projects, it would not have taken a whole lot to avert the strike. Three more days of strike action have been pencilled in for next week. There are, obviously, significant issues for patients and those who attend hospitals as inpatients and outpatients. In respect of the commitment in the programme for Government to better industrial relations within the health service, I put it to the Taoiseach that the strike could have been averted and that some creative work should be done to make sure we will not have strikes next week.

The Taoiseach: Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar As I pointed out, the public sector pay bill is now at a record high.

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