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Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government (Continued)

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 994 No. 3

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(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Marian Harkin: Information on Marian Harkin Zoom on Marian Harkin] A balance of development between the regions is at the core of my political philosophy and, I believe, the political philosophy of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. The problem is that we have been promised it time and again, Government after Government, yet it does not happen. The most recent report from the Northern and Western Regional Assembly shows the economic gap between the regions, with lower levels of per capita investment in health infrastructure, third level education infrastructure, local, regional and national roads infrastructure, high-value job creation, and research and development in the Northern and Western Regional Assembly area. A balance of development allows the regions to play to their strengths but it is very difficult for that to happen if there are no voices around the Cabinet table representing those regions that have slipped behind. Geography matters; that is the reality. We might like to say it does not matter but it does. Ministers represent the national interest but a specific interest in and passion for the region they represent really matters. I said I would loan my vote for today and I will not walk back from that commitment but the Ministers appointed today have a huge responsibility, individually and collectively, to ensure the economic gap is closed. They can do that both in their own Ministries and by co-ordinated Government action. I await to see what will happen.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Anois, is é sin deireadh leis an díospóireacht mar gheall ar ainmniúchán Comhaltaí den Rialtas. Tá orm an cheist a chur anois: "That Dáil Éireann approves the nomination by the Taoiseach for appointment by the President to be members of the Government."

  Members should be aware that the division bells will ring for six minutes and the doors will be closed after a further four minutes.

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