Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

Kenny, Enda

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Death of Member: Expressions of Sympathy

I think I speak for everyone in the House when I say that we are devastated by the suffering and the passing of Nicky McFadden, but if we are uplifted by her courage and by her insight into this jo...More Button

Death of Member: Expressions of Sympathy (Continued)

She brings her goodness to that place of life and light beyond the darkness. She was a woman of great joy and will bring that joy with her to her new life and place. She has gone before us and wi...More Button

Leaders' Questions (Continued)

First of all, I would like to put on the record my appreciation of the 41 years of service given by the Commissioner, Martin Callinan, to the service of the community and the public as a member of ...More Button

With regard to the matter I brought to the Deputy's attention and that of Deputy Adams, the Government made a number of decisions arising from that - in accepting the retirement of the Commission...More Button

We have already decided in regard to the report of the inspectorate into penalty points. There will be statements and questions and answers this Thursday for all Members, led and finished by the...More Button

The answer to Deputy Martin's question is that the Minister for Justice and Equality will deal with this matter on Thursday when he addresses the response to the penalty points issue in the repor...More Button

The Minister, Deputy Shatter, has proven to be probably the most reforming Minister for Justice in the past 15 years-----More Button

-----and so many issues of societal consequence that have been left lying around have been, are and will be dealt with by him as Minister for Justice and Equality.More Button

Have I spoken to the Minister for Justice and Equality? The answer to Deputy Martin's question is "Yes," and the Minister will deal with this on Thursday.More Button

"No" is the answer to the Deputy's question. The issue of an independent authority for the Garda Síochána is a matter on which both Fine Gael and the Labour Party jointly agreed as far back as 200...More Button

In regard to the matters on which we made decisions this morning at Cabinet, if the House wishes there will be an opportunity for statements on it tomorrow. As I stated to Deputies Martin and Adam...More Button

I remind Deputy Adams with regard to the area of justice and trust and public confidence in the system the situation as applied is not working properly. This is why the abolition of the confiden...More Button

I have answered the question already. As I stated, Deputy Adams comes in here constantly and always wants information in advance of major issues in the Dáil. This is why I took the opportunity to...More Button

I might point out to Deputy Adams-----More Button

The Garda press office, arising from the Commissioner's own decision, issued its statement at 12.17 p.m. today. I briefed Deputies Adams and Martin at 2:45 p.m. Do not come in and state the Gover...More Button

In any event on this particular account Deputy Adams is wrong.More Button

The statement came from the Garda press office itself about the decision of the Commissioner to retire.More Button

That is why I briefed Deputies Adams and Martin at 2.45 p.m. in the knowledge they would ask a question about it, but Deputy Adams is not interested in what I told him. All he wants is another hea...More Button

-----which will bring our system into the modern era where it is transparent, accountable, professional and competent and everybody in the country can have faith in it. This is why I thought it im...More Button

That is a good Second Stage speech but I suggest, given the list Deputy Healy mentioned, that he put questions directly to the Minister for Health in respect of the specifics.More Button

I will certainly convey to the Minister for Health the issues Deputy Healy has mentioned. He gave a long list of ten or 15 issues-----More Button

-----and I cannot recall them all in sequence.More Button

When €16 billion was being spent on the health system almost 600 people were on trolleys in one day. I remind Deputy Healy despite the reductions in allocations for the health service front-line s...More Button

I disagree with the Deputy for stating that those who provide a service in his county are operating a Third World service.More Button

As Deputy Healy is well aware, they work long hours at the front line, and he should recognise that. The Government seeks to change the structure from one of a two-tier system that is inequitable,...More Button

-----that is inefficient, that discriminates against people who do not have money in their back pockets and that denies access to-----More Button

-----medical attention for people who need it and who do not have the financial facility to buy private health insurance. The Government seeks to move to a single-tier insurance where everyone can...More Button

I will take the points raised by the Deputy and will see that the Minister for Health responds to the Deputy. However, it is not a case of going around the country apologising outside every hosp...More Button

The Deputy first mentioned that South Tipperary General Hospital was an excellent hospital.More Button

He mentioned that it had excellent staff, but repeated thrice in his earlier contribution-----More Button

-----that it was a Third World facility.More Button

He stated it was a Third World facility-----More Button

-----but now the Deputy tells me it has excellent staff and is an excellent hospital, on which I agree with the Deputy. These are not Third World facilities. I remind Deputy Healy that despite a ...More Button

-----€3.2 million has been provided to deal with particular elements of patient safety in respect of cochlear implants, as well as almost €2 million for patient-centred improvements in maternity ca...More Button

-----€2.9 million for organ donation and €35 million extra for 60,000 medical cards.More Button

The Deputy comes into this Chamber and tells the people of south Tipperary that they live in Third World facilities.More Button

He then tells me in his supplementary question that they have excellent facilities and excellent staff. Deputy Healy should get his facts right before he comes in to make the next case.More Button

European Council Meetings

Was asked: the discussions he had at the European Council meeting on 19 December 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the discussions he had at the European Council meeting on 19 December 2013 on European defence capability and common security and defence policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the discussions he had at the European Council meeting on 19 December 2013 on economic and monetary union and economic and social policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he met German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the European Council meeting on 19 December 2013; and if he discussed with her economic and monetary union, economic and social policy; and if he will m...More Button

Was asked: the discussions he had German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the European Council meeting on 19 December 2013 regarding bank recapitalisation, the ESM and the timetable for any progress on this matter...More Button

Was asked: the discussions he had at the European Council meeting on 19 December 2013 on enlargement, migration and energy policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he had discussions with the British Prime Minister at the European Council meeting on 19 December 2013 regarding the issue of legacy matters and the way these might be addressed; and if he will ...More Button

Was asked: if the issue of US National Security Agency bugging of EU Governments was discussed at the 19 December 2013 meeting; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if the disaster in the Philippines was raised during the European Council meeting of 19 December 2013; the aid Europe is providing; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he had any bilaterals at the December European Council meeting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if the Ukraine situation was discussed at the European Council meeting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he has had discussions with President Barroso recently; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the European Council statement following the June 2012 meeting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if discussions have taken place at a European Council level on addressing the problem of youth unemployment across Europe; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if youth unemployment was discussed at the December Council meeting; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the December European summit; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on his meetings with European Council leaders prior to Christmas.More Button

Was asked: if he discussed the exit of the Irish State from the EU-IMF bailout programme with European Council leaders during the meeting of the European Council on 19-20 December.More Button

Was asked: if he discussed the issue of the retrospective recapitalising of Irish banks with his European partners in the European Council meeting on 19 and 20 December. More Button

Was asked: if he discussed the impact of the European Union’s commitment to strengthening its common security and defence policy on Irish neutrality with his European partners during the European Council meet...More Button

Was asked: if he has met or had discussions with President Hollande recently; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he has had discussions or met with the Prime Minister of Latvia; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the discussions that have taken place at European Council meetings since he became Taoiseach; the progress made towards the development of a common European defence policy; the co-operation agreed ...More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the discussions he held during the European Council in December.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on meetings he had with European Council leaders in December.More Button

Was asked: if he discussed the issue of the exit of the State from the troika with European Council leaders in the European Council meeting on 19 and 20 December; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: his plans to meet the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso. More Button

Was asked: if he discussed the issues of growth and employment at the European Council meeting in December 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on his meeting with EU leaders in Brussels on the Russia-Ukraine crisis; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the bi-laterals he had while attending the EU summit on the crisis in Ukraine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he met the German Chancellor at the EU summit on the Russia-Ukraine crisis in Brussels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will report on his meeting with the German Chancellor in Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he raised with the Spanish Prime Minister the recent positive development in the Basque country; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he met with Chancellor Angela Merkel; the issues they discussed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if the European Council agreement of June 2012 was discussed with Chancellor Merkel on 7 March when they met; if there was a response; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 35, inclusive, together.More Button

I participated in the European Council on 19 and 20 December last. As Members will be aware, however, since then I have also participated in an extraordinary meeting of Heads of State and Govern...More Button

Of course, the agenda for last week's meeting was wider than Ukraine alone. It had an economic focus and covered the European semester, Europe 2020, industrial competitiveness, banking union, ta...More Button

Banking union remains a clear priority for the Government. My colleagues and I were particularly pleased last week to welcome the agreement reached with the European Parliament on the single res...More Button

Leaders also held a first policy debate on the framework for climate and energy to 2030. We agreed on the urgent need to further analyse the implications for member states of proposals for emiss...More Button

The Council also tackled the issue of EU energy security, which has an added urgency in view of the Ukraine crisis. The Commission has been asked by June 2014 to prepare a detailed analysis of t...More Button

I will return for a moment to the December European Council, the subject of a question here, which had a lengthy agenda. It covered Common Security and Defence Policy, CSDP, economic and social ...More Button

European Council Meetings (Continued)

The meeting identified the main features of the partnerships for growth, jobs and competitiveness to support structural reform, with a view to concluding discussions by October next year. More Button

The Council also addressed some of the main foreign policy issues, including the situation in Syria and the Central African Republic, as well as the Eastern Partnership, the situation in Ukraine ...More Button

There was no discussion at the December European Council of Typhoon Haiyan which had struck the Philippines in November 2013. However, the European Commission and EU member states have allocated...More Button

While at the European Council meeting in December, I also had informal contacts with a number of colleagues. The House will be aware that I participated in a remembrance event in Messines on the...More Button

Many of my colleagues on the European Council and from the Commission were in Dublin from 5 to 7 March for the European People's Party meeting. I had informal contacts with them at this event, a...More Button

I had a meeting with Prime Minister Rajoy of Spain on the evening of 6 March which, again owing to the meeting on the situation in Ukraine, was postponed from earlier in the day. We discussed th...More Button

As Deputies will be aware, I also held bilateral consultations with German Chancellor Merkel in Government Buildings on 7 March. Over a working lunch, I updated the Chancellor on the economy and...More Button

In respect of the situation in the Basque country, because of the situation in Ukraine, we did not have an opportunity to have the extensive bilateral meeting we would have wished to have had. The...More Button

On the situation in Crimea and Ukraine, Ambassador Peshkov was called in again last week to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and told clearly that the Government and the Irish people d...More Button

At the discussions that took place in Brussels, a three-phase approach was agreed. We discussed how the freezing of assets and the imposition of visa restrictions would impact on the individuals i...More Button

This will change the nature of the discussion in this country about Europe and about energy in particular. The European Union cannot continue in its dependence on Russia. The decision of the Eu...More Button

We have heard other leaders speak about their dependence on Russia for energy. The Ukrainian Prime Minister, Mr. Yatsenuyk, made the point that Gazprom was about to increase the cost of gas per ...More Button

There was a seriousness about the meeting and general agreement that this has gone too far. People were very anxious to take steps that would impact on Russia in a way that had never been done b...More Button

Countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Bloc and which border Russia are fearful of invasion and are acutely aware of their dependence on Russia for their energy needs. The nature of the...More Button

Pardon?More Button

On Ukraine and the divisions at the European Council regarding sanctions, a range of views were expressed. Some were very forthright in saying that we should move to level three sanctions quickly,...More Button

Ireland supports the decision of the European Council in respect of the sanctions against Russian individuals and participated in the discussion about what areas might be included in a broader econ...More Button

Another point made was that the winners should be the people of Ukraine in acting as a buffer between the East and the West. Over €11 billion in funds is on the table from the European Union and...More Button

If they move to the next level, we will participate. Decisions were made the last day on extra individuals to be restricted, visa liberalisation and a paper being prepared on broader options if th...More Button

Deputy Micheál Martin referred to GCHQ. When one is dealing with terrorists or subversives, there is, clearly, an understanding one has to have information available on what is necessary to prev...More Button

As far as I am aware, the United States stated it did not have any listening post in Dublin. I did not detect evidence of, as the Deputy called it, GCHQ bugging Government Buildings.More Button

I cannot recall if I asked that specific question. However, I did raise the issue of surveillance, bugging and the protection of private data.

  The Deputy also referred to brea...More Button

Obviously, it was an agreed figure. We will be happy if the banks stand up to the stress tests which will take place later this year. We hope the fund in place will be adequate. However, these a...More Button

The European Central Bank will be responsible for the SSM and will begin to supervise all of the major banks in the eurozone and those member states which choose to join the mechanism.More Button

The ECB, as the common supervisor will take over the responsibility for the banks from national central banks from late 2014. Those national central banks will continue to play an important role, ...More Button

While there will be varied views about the adequacy of the fund -----More Button

The first thing is to get the structure in place and make it work. Then, these issues can be reflected on as time goes on.More Button

Maybe the Deputy should apply to participate in the OSCE monitoring group. Some 500 civilians with expertise are required to monitor violence, human rights issues and aggression against Ukrainian ...More Button

I agree that the attack on the television station and the television broadcaster was completely unacceptable. It was unacceptable to the government in the Ukraine also. Some people in this demo...More Button

I make the point that Prime Minister Yatsenyuk came to the European Council meeting twice in Brussels and made the point that when Mr. Yanukovych left Kiev, having privatised the presidential house...More Button

It is not right for the Deputy to come in here and say that Ireland is the most gung-ho of all the European countries and that it sees this as a black and white issue. What we contributed to was...More Button

The Deputy mentioned the United States and Europe in terms of banking and all the rest. More Button

Things have changed. We are no longer giving out 100% mortgages. We are acutely aware of the pressure in the housing area, particularly in the greater Dublin area and some of the cities and large...More Button

It has not spread with the same momentum. That is why the Government has worked in recent weeks to put together a realistic, practical response to the construction sector, which is not contributin...More Button

It is very important that there be a functioning banking system. That is why we have great regard for what the credit unions and smaller operators do. That is why there has been an increase in bi...More Button

We are acutely aware of the housing provision problem and the Government will respond to that in the next couple of weeks with a comprehensive response for the construction sector. Deputy Boyd B...More Button

Deputy Higgins should bear in mind that the people of Ukraine wanted to join with Western countries for the development of their economy. Mr. Yanukovych decided he should do deals with Russia over...More Button

That is why the people of Ukraine aspire to getting out of the position in which they find themselves - so they can have greater prosperity, development of the economy and the right to live and hav...More Button

Everybody has a right to be left alone, but that is not what happened in Crimea. I am well aware of the events of the First World War, what happened in Sarajevo and the slaughter of so many main...More Button

I do not accept that this is a case of Europe wanting to barge into Ukraine and argue that the country must join the Union. This was the wish of the people in Ukraine and it was not respected by...More Button

I share the Deputy's view. I went to the consular offices in New York to speak with Dr. Haass last week and I had a good conversation with him regarding his reflections on the talks and the effort...More Button

He intends perhaps to make a comment on his analysis of what has happened. I note former President Clinton's comments in Derry that we should finish the job. He clearly put the point that this is...More Button

The invitation to Dr. Haass came from the First Minister and Deputy First Minister. The Deputy's party endorsed and accepted all the findings of the Haass talks and wants them implemented, but oth...More Button

The Deputy is acutely aware that young people in Northern Ireland do not want to see a solid lump of older politics stuck in the rut of the past that does not allow people to focus on a new and e...More Button

  Written Answers follow Adjournment.More Button

Order of Business

It is proposed to take No. 17, Companies Bill 2012 - Order for Report, Report and Final Stages. It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that in the event a division is in prog...More Button

Order of Business (Continued)

This is the Order of Business.More Button

Deputy Martin is as hypocritical as ever. I asked him to come to Government Buildings to brief him and Deputy Adams on an issue that is of considerable importance to security and justice in the St...More Button

-----at 12.17 p.m.More Button

I will tell the Deputy what the issue was. Deputy Martin never listens.More Button

The first sentence of the statement is “In the best interests of An Garda Síochána and my family I have decided to retire”. The word is "retire".More Button

Deputy Martin is talking about resignations. The Garda Commissioner-----More Button

The Garda Commissioner-----More Button

The Garda Commissioner made his own decision and issued a statement through the Garda Press Office.More Button

I remind Deputy Martin that last week we decided that there would be statements and questions and answers on the Garda Inspectorate report on Thursday. I have responded to Deputy Martin in the Hou...More Button

I said the Minister for Justice and Equality would deal with the issue that Deputy Martin raised.More Button

Deputy Martin never listens. I already said to him-----More Button

-----in respect of the other issue I raised - and Deputy Martin never listens-----More Button

-----as the information comes to us about a new issue there could be statements in the House tomorrow on that issue, if the Deputy wanted that. I offered that to the Leaders of the Opposition.More Button

On Thursday the Deputy will have all day – and I hope he sits here – on the Garda Inspectorate report on penalty points. The Minister for Justice and Equality will deal with the matter the Deputy ...More Button

In times gone by Ministers of the Deputy’s Government rejected all of this-----More Button

The answer is "No." I already offered on Leaders' Questions the opportunity for statements in the House tomorrow on the emerging situation on which I briefed Deputies Adams and Martin. When I met...More Button

Actually, the Deputy did not. Whether the journalist knew is no business of mine. If he or she had information to that effect it did not come from Government, because we had only concluded the Ca...More Button

Whether Deputy Adams likes it or not, the senior counsel Mr. Guerin and Mr. Justice Cooke have been appointed to inquire into sensitive issues, the report of the Garda Inspectorate is due for debat...More Button

-----to follow through on the decision made today by the Government to work towards the setting up of an independent authority suitable for this Republic, with An Garda Síochána, where there is sti...More Button

All the Opposition wants in here - particularly Deputy Martin, who never listens to anything but only follows through with his false anger-----More Button

I can remember time and again when Ministers of Deputy Martin’s ilk refused to answer any questions or to have any debate-----More Button

-----or statements with questions and answers, but went around the country with a condescending arrogance that was breathtaking to behold.More Button

I assure Deputies Richard Boyd Barrett, John Halligan, Thomas Pringle, Joan Collins and Catherine Murphy that I am prepared to brief any one of them, but I need to know from the Technical Group who...More Button

Who is its spokesperson?More Button

Should we call the Deputy?More Button

I take the Deputy's point and thank her for reaffirming it. Briefings that take place in the future will include the Technical Group and the telephone call will be made to the Deputy's office. Sh...More Button

The courts struck down the legislation. The two Bills to which Deputy Joe Higgins referred, the workplace relations Bill and the industrial relations (No. 2) Bill, are due for publication this ses...More Button

The low carbon development Bill and the international tax agreement Bill are due for publication later this year.More Button

A lot of work has been done on the Bill in the Department, but I do not have a date for its publication. Deputy Durkan has raised the issue on around 20 occasions already.More Button

The Minister has not met them recently, but I understand the matter is before the courts.More Button

The Children First Bill is due this session. I do not have a date of publication for the Central Bank (consolidation) Bill. It is a serious piece of work.More Button

The heads of the Bill were cleared last December and the Bill is due for publication this session, prior to the summer.More Button

Employment Data

Was asked: the number and percentage of the workforce who are currently on zero hour contracts; and the number and percentage of workers on zero hour contracts in each of the main sectors of the economy. More Button

Departmental Reports

Was asked: if he will provide in tabular form the reports-reviews-studies commissioned by him or his Department or agencies under the aegis of his Department since 9 March 2011; the date on which they were co...More Button

The following table details the reports commissioned by my Department since March 2011.

More Button

Was asked: the number of external or internal policy reports currently that have been handed to him but not yet published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: when he will publish reports currently in his possession that have not been published to date; if he will outline in tabular form the reports involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 156 and 157 together.

  The National Economic and Social Council's (NESC) role is to "...analyse and report to the Taoiseach on strategi...More Button

Ministerial Staff

Was asked: the number of civil servants engaged in constituency work on his behalf; and the salaries, accommodation costs and expenses involved or associated with these duties.More Button

There are two civil servants working in my Constituency Office.

  The staff comprise one Executive Officer and one Clerical Officer and they are responsible for dealing with my c...More Button

Undocumented Irish in the USA

Was asked: the progress that was made in his discussions with President Obama and senior American politicians regarding the plight of the undocumented Irish in the US, during his visit to Washington; the outc...More Button

I discussed immigration reform and the plight of our undocumented in many of my meetings and public engagements during my recent St Patrick’s Day visit to Washington DC.  More Button

In addition to substantive discussion of the issues with President Obama and Vice President Biden, I also discussed the prospects for progress with a range of other members of Congress including ...More Button

I highlighted the need for progress on immigration reform in the speeches I made to influential audiences at the US Chamber of Commerce, the American-Ireland Fund Gala, the White House St Patrick...More Button

I was accompanied in these meetings by Ambassador Anderson and members of my delegation. Without under-estimating the political complexities that persist around the immigration reform discussion ...More Button

Programme for Government Implementation

Was asked: if he will provide an update in tabular form of the commitments in the programme for Government that relate to his Department; and the progress that has been made in the implementation of each comm...More Button

The full list of the Programme for Government commitments that come under the remit of the Department of the Taoiseach is set out in the Statement of Strategy 2011-2014 which is available on my Dep...More Button

Each year my Department, in conjunction with all Government Departments, publishes a report setting out progress made on the implementation of the Programme for Government. The third annual repor...More Button

The recent report sets out the progress made in implementing the commitments under my Departments remit including the introduction of a second set of Dáil reforms, the holding of a referendum on ...More Button

Semi-State Bodies Remuneration

Was asked: the salaries, including pensions and any other bonus-related additions, including company cars, of chief executive officers of commercial State bodies under the remit of his Department; and if he w...More Button

There are no commercial State companies under the remit of my Department.More Button