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, 17 February 2015

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Leaders' Questions (Continued)

I disagree with the allegations made by Deputy Martin. When he mentioned selling people down the river, I assume he is referring to his own selling of our country down the river a number of years ...More Button

A consequence of that was a complete collapse of the construction sector, the loss of 100,000 jobs directly in the construction sector and negative equity inflicted on the vast majority of people i...More Button

The Government put together a whole suite of opportunities for borrowers to engage with lenders, to cut deals and come to a conclusion, so that they would not lose their primary home. It is fair t...More Button

That is true. In quite a number of those cases, there has been no engagement whatsoever between the person who borrowed and the lender, which will never resolve the situation. In cases where the ...More Button

Nobody wants to see a primary dwelling go or to see a family out on the road in that sense. However, this will not be solved by leaving things untouched, by not negotiating or by not engaging. ...More Button

Ireland.More Button

I live in the same country as Deputy Martin which he destroyed economically and left no protection to any person in this country. It cost €64 billion.More Button

It is beyond me how he can come into the House week after week with his patronising claptrap when he sold this country down the Swanee and took no responsibility for it.More Button

Deputy Martin is wrong when he said that I blame the borrower. I said that in many cases, there is no engagement at all while in other cases, there has been. I made the point that the reason we c...More Button

It is true to say that thousands of letters have been sent out and that banks are back making money but it is not a case of waiting until property prices rise. Many of these mortgages have been ...More Button

-----realistic appraisal. When personal insolvency practitioners make an arrangement, I do not want to hear banks telephone the client to say they will not accept that deal but will accept it if t...More Button

As I have often said to the Deputy before, if money could have sorted this out, it would have been done ages ago. He mentioned the trolley count. The trolley count numbers for today, 17 February,...More Button

-----their families and the staff who do their utmost to provide safe and quality care in very challenging circumstances.More Button

The Deputy mentioned the hospital in his own constituency. Drogheda has had particular difficulties over the past weekend, up to and including yesterday, as I have pointed out. The hospital has...More Button

The Deputy is also aware that the Minister for Health appointed and convened the emergency department task force last December, to provide focus and momentum in dealing with the challenges presen...More Button

The trampoline must be having an effect on Deputy Adams. He was asked yesterday or the day before how he proposed to fund water services.More Button

The clear implication of his response is to increase commercial rates and income tax.More Button

His deputy leader says it is "all forms of formulae", that is what is going to happen.More Button

In respect of Deputy Adams's link between the challenges the country faces-----More Button

-----and austerity, as he put it, he is the person who has said in here time and again that he does not want the moneys that were put into AIB returned to the taxpayer. He wants it retained in pub...More Button

He has said that in here on more than one occasion.More Button

That money should and will be returned to the taxpayer because of the mess these people left behind them when they vacated office in ignominy just a number of years ago.More Button

The Minister for Health did respond to Deputy Adams at length today. I have his letter here and it is a long and detailed letter, answering all the points the Deputy raised.More Button

The Minister says in part of his letter that the Deputy chose not to read out, that "the HSE disseminated copies of the HIQA Tallaght report to all relevant care providers and requested local asses...More Button

"Where care was provided in sites other than designated beds, it directed that risks be managed appropriately."More Button

It is all there for Deputy Adams. He requested last week that he get a response. He got a response, but he does not want to read it.More Button

It is a detailed response and it answers all the points he raised last week.More Button

He may increase commercial rates if he wants, and income tax. If that is his view, he should say it out straight.More Button

I reject the Deputy's charge that the Garda is operating on the basis of political direction. That is outrageous. Gardaí operate on the directions of the Garda Commissioner who runs the day-to-da...More Button

The Deputy referred to water charge protests and the Anti-Austerity Alliance. I am not sure whether she believes it is appropriate that somebody should not be allowed to get out of a car for mor...More Button

I do not know to which gardaí the Deputy has been speaking or which garda has written to her. If she wishes to publish the letter of the garda in question, we will be happy to see what he has to...More Button

The Deputy made a series of comments, as opposed to asking a question. On her remark about women being assaulted in Áras Attracta and the use of Garda resources in County Mayo, that is a serious c...More Button

The Deputy seems to know that nobody has been arrested. I cannot comment on that matter, as it is one for the Garda and investigations are taking place in the Health Service Executive. It should ...More Button

Those who were involved in the protest about water charges had no interest in the people in the geriatric unit. Their intention seemed to be to knock gardaí and kick them on the ground. That seem...More Button

I am sure the Deputy does not support that.More Button

For that reason, I reject what she said about the gardaí operating in a political fashion here. They have a job to do that is very difficult and it is not being helped by some of the clients that ...More Button

We cannot deal with those challenges unless we have a system of investing to fix and investing for the future. All those people could help in their own small way. A man approached me with two pin...More Button

Northern Ireland

Was asked: if he will provide details of his statement on 17 October 2014 regarding the commencement of political talks in Northern Ireland.More Button

Was asked: his views on his close contact with the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, on the political talks in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the discussions he has had with the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, regarding the Northern Ireland talks; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he has spoken to the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, regarding the next stage of the talks in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will provide details of his statement on 7 October 2014 regarding the commencement of political talks in the North of Ireland. More Button

Was asked: if he will report on discussions he has had with the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, regarding the political talks in the north of Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will report on discussions with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom regarding Northern Ireland.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on discussions with the First Minister and Deputy First Minister and other political leaders in Northern Ireland.More Button

Was asked: if he has discussed the best way to deal with the legacy of the past in Northern Ireland with the British Prime Minister, David Cameron; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he has been provided with a report by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on progress after seven weeks of political talks in the north of Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the...More Button

Was asked: when his Government expects an agreement on the all-party talks in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if the prospect for success of political talks, involving all parties in the North of Ireland, and both Governments, was discussed at the recent meeting of the British-Irish Council on the Isle of ...More Button

Was asked: if he met the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, while attending the European Union Council meeting; if efforts to reach agreement between the North’s Executive parties was discussed; and if h...More Button

Was asked: if he will report on his discussions with the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, in Belfast in December 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will report on subsequent discussions with the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, following their departure from Belfast on 12 December 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the Government's commitments to the Stormont House Agreement of December 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the meeting with the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, on 11 and 12 December 2014 in Belfast; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if he has spoken to the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, regarding the recent deal in the North of Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he has spoken to the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, regarding the lack of agreement between the parties in Northern Ireland regarding flags and parades; and if he will make a statement ...More Button

Was asked: his views on the 23 December 2014 Stormont House Agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the joint paper that the Irish and British Governments agreed before talks took place on 11 December 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding his telephone conversation with Prime Minister Cameron; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on his discussions with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom around the political talks leading up to the Stormont House Agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matt...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 23, inclusive, together, as they relate to the Stormont House Agreement, and the remaining questions are different.More Button

I recall that when I answered questions on Northern Ireland in October last, the British and Irish Governments had just confirmed their intention to convene all-party talks. Since then the politi...More Button

The successful conclusion of the Stormont House Agreement on 23 December 2014 represented the culmination of many months of negotiation and behind the scenes diplomacy, but also a prolonged perio...More Button

I outlined in January's Dáil debate on Northern Ireland the detailed provisions of the Stormont House Agreement. Briefly, the agreement covers a broad range of political, social and economic iss...More Button

In the context of the agreement, the Government undertook a number of commitments which will be an important focus of our work in the period ahead. These include the drafting of legislation wher...More Button

In the period ahead, we will continue to advance political progress and to play our part in the implementation of the Stormont House Agreement. To this end, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and ...More Button

Northern Ireland (Continued)

I have heard many comments from Sinn Féin spokespersons saying they blocked austerity in Northern Ireland, but clearly the budget and its implementation is a matter for the parties in the Northern ...More Button

I agree with Deputy Martin on the truth of some of the issues he raised following his visit to Northern Ireland. The level and degree of co-operation between the Government and Ministers of Stat...More Button

As happened in Deputy Martin's time in government, we continue the process of engaging with Northern Ireland Executive Members. They participated in the flow of information, through our Presiden...More Button

On the question of parades, it must be borne in mind that the parties themselves invited Dr. Haass to Northern Ireland originally to attempt to breach some of the gaps that had arisen and that th...More Button

I understand from the agreement that the Offices of the First and Deputy First Ministers will bring forward proposals to the Northern Ireland Executive by June of this year and there will be full...More Button

In regard to issues of the past, this issue resulted in agreement after 11 weeks of intensive discussion. The issues in this regard included finance; welfare; flags; identity; culture; transitio...More Button

The Executive will, by 2016, establish an oral history archive to provide a central place for people from all backgrounds and from throughout Ireland and the United Kingdom to share experiences and...More Button

The agreement also provides for an independent commission on information retrieval to be established by the UK and Irish Governments. Its objective will be to enable victims and survivors privat...More Button

The implementation and reconciliation group will be established to oversee themes, archives and information recovery. It will have 11 members and publicly elected representatives will not be eli...More Button

I wish Mitchel McLaughlin well in his appointment as Speaker, which is an important position in the Assembly. I am sure he will do a very good job. The Ceann Comhairle had considerable associatio...More Button

It is always interesting to read the comments years later by those centrally involved in many of the issues. Time seems to have a way of bringing them around to reflecting on what they did or di...More Button

The role of the British Government and the Irish Government in this matter was to respond to the calls of the Northern Ireland Executive and the parties in Northern Ireland to assist in the proce...More Button

Acht na Gaeilge is a case for further discussion and it will not be easy. It does not seem to have attracted the attention or support one might have expected. The position here for a number of ...More Button

I have attended three years in a row at the remembrance ceremonies in Enniskillen. After going to a place on a number of occasions, one gets to know people and there is a deeper understanding of...More Button

We will do everything we can on these benches to see to it that the agreements are implemented. Everybody wants to see this. The points at issue are ones that are fragile and clearly demand atten...More Button

Deputy Micheál Martin spoke about the possibility of having a single enterprise unit for the country. We share a brand when I have the opportunity to work abroad with the First Minister and the ...More Button

Deputy Gerry Adams raised a number of relevant issues which we will continue to address in the best way we can. I hope implementation of the Stormont House Agreement will make life a little bett...More Button

The Deputy asked about a savage austerity attack in Northern Ireland, an area of high unemployment. Since the Troubles, the public sector has pumped money into Northern Ireland because of the high...More Button

The budgetary situation, on the other hand, was one for the Executive and the parties elected to the Assembly to make decisions on. In accepting the budgetary allocation from the British Governm...More Button

Our State has had a corporation tax rate of 12.5% for many years and it is not changing. It will not go up and it will not go down. Corporation tax and taxes in general are matters of national ...More Button

Many of these issues cross all political divides. I was able to attend with the First Minister and Deputy First Minister at the Royal School in Armagh to make the island of Ireland bid to host t...More Button

The Deputy mentioned Switzerland, Luxembourg and tax positions. We are very clear where we stand on this. We defend our position very strongly. The European Commission is examining all countri...More Button

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett mentioned peculiar ways of reaching unity. The seven and a half minute rant he had was about promoting marches around the country, one following the other a week later.More Button

When he talks about ordinary working people, here in the South unemployment has fallen from 15.2% to 10.5% and continues to drop. Some 80,000 new jobs have been created and 40,000 more will be cre...More Button

It is an opportunity to get out of social welfare dependency and deals with ordinary working people. The difference between the Stormont House Agreement and the troika was that we were under the d...More Button

Interest rates have fallen from 15% to less than 2% and the country was recently able to borrow 30-year money at 2% and raise more than €4 billion, which puts us in a very different position. If t...More Button

Perhaps the president of Sinn Féin would say whether it is true and whether he has taken any action to deny it.More Button

I take both Deputies' points, that the Government should stay focused on the implementation of the agreement, and I give my word that I will do so. On the tangling over the first offer, I recal...More Button

  Written Answers follow Adjournment.More Button

Order of Business

It is proposed to take No. 38, Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions Bill 2014 - Report and Final Stages (resumed). It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that i...More Button

We have decided on priorities for 41 pieces of legislation for this session.More Button

Order of Business (Continued)

I do not have dates for the Health Information Bill 2014 or the Patient Safety (Licensing) Bill 2015, but I will advise Deputy Micheál Martin on the progress made in developing the heads of these B...More Button

The Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills, Deputy Damien English, is dealing with the apprenticeship Bill. He is waiting for proposals to be submitted by the end of March a...More Button

It is a complex Bill. It is before the Seanad and the Government approved several technical amendments to it a fortnight ago. It will be brought here from the Seanad and I expect it to be impleme...More Button

The Child Care (Amendment) Bill 2014 is due to be published this session. The review of the fair deal scheme was promised to be provided within a couple of months. Its implementation may requir...More Button

The Child Care (Amendment) Bill 2014 is due to be published this session. This morning the Cabinet approved the membership of the low pay commission and its first meeting is to take place by the e...More Button

The heads of the Criminal Procedure Bill 2014 have been cleared. It will be the back half of the year before the Bill is produced and cleared.More Button

I do not have the details of the abuse case mentioned by the Deputy, but I may have read some of them. I will have him advised on the options that are now open, either in respect of the whistleblo...More Button

I commiserate with and again tender my sympathy to Roseann Brennan on the death of her little son, Jake, who was knocked down by a car and ran to his mother but subsequently died. I met Mrs. Bre...More Button

We approved the heads of the second Bill last week at the Cabinet. It is to allow roadside testing where drugs are involved.More Button

Negotiations are still going on with the Criminal Assets Bureau in respect of some elements of the criminal Bill to which the Deputy referred.More Button

Yes.More Button

It is still locked up at present.More Button

I must come back to the Deputy on it.More Button

Clearance was given by the Government a few weeks ago for the heads of the Bill to be developed and that work now is ongoing. I assume it will go for pre-legislative discussions at the committee, ...More Button

I do not think that is accurate. There were some what I will call reflections on elements of the reports that had to be considered by some Departments. My understanding is that as these matters h...More Button

I will, but I cannot do so today. This involves two Departments, namely, the Departments of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and the Environment, Community and Local Government. I am ...More Button

While I do not have a date for the health (miscellaneous provisions) Bill, I can inform the Deputy that approvals have been given for additional staff in Drogheda and Limerick, as well as for param...More Button

I cannot give the Deputy an accurate figure on Mullingar but it should be treated no differently from other hospitals.More Button

In respect of the EPSEN Act, it was necessary to conduct a considerable amount of research on those sections. There has been no cutback in resource teachers or special needs teachers and the opp...More Button

I do not, but I will find out for the Deputy.More Button

I met the Greek Prime Minister the other day and we had a discussion.More Button

Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2015: First Stage

No.More Button

Live Register Data

Was asked: if the 2,635 jobseekers who have commenced on a Momentum programme in 2014 are included in the Central Statistics Office's live register activation programme figures; the scheme under which they ar...More Button

Was asked: the number of persons in County Monaghan and County Cavan who have signed off the live register since 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Mental Health Awareness

Was asked: if he will consider flying the Amber Flag from his Department buildings, on a chosen day, in order to raise awareness of the Amber Flag Programme, which works to raise awareness of mental health is...More Button

The National Flag, the European Union flag and the flags of visiting delegations are the only flags that are flown over Government Buildings. It is not the intention of my Department to depart fro...More Button

Commissions of Investigation

Was asked: when the interim report of the Fennelly commission will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Under its terms of reference, the Commission of Investigation had been due to report by the end of 2014, subject to section 6(6) of the Commissions of Investigation Act 2004, which provides for an ...More Button

Following consultation with the Commission, I have also published on my Department's website the Interim Report submitted by the Commission requesting an extension of its timeframe for reporting....More Button

The Report outlines the work completed to that date by the Commission since its establishment and the work that remains to be done with a view to identifying as accurately as possible the time re...More Button

As I previously informed the Dáil, I have also requested the Commission to submit a separate Interim Report in respect of paragraphs 1 (n) and (o) of its terms of reference provided it is satisfi...More Button

The submission of any such Interim Report is a matter for the Commission. If such an interim report is received, it is my intention to publish it as soon as possible afterwards, subject to the r...More Button

Commissions of Inquiry

Was asked: if he will provide, in tabular form, the number of times a draft motion on setting up a commission of inquiry has been circulated to a legal firm prior to or after the Government agreeing same; and...More Button

Was asked: the number of times a draft motion on setting up a commission of inquiry has been requested by legal firms to his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the protocol in place in his Department to deal with requests from legal firms for draft motions on setting up commissions of inquiry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of requests he has received directly from Members of Dáil Éireann requesting draft motions on setting up a commission of inquiry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 164 to 167, inclusive, together.

  The Fennelly Commission of Investigation is the only Commission of Investigation established under the Commiss...More Button

Jobs Data

Was asked: the number of jobs lost or gained in County Kildare in each of the past six years to date.More Button

Taoiseach's Meetings and Engagements

Was asked: his plans to meet the new Greek Prime Minister, Mr Alexis Tsipras.More Button

I was pleased to meet with the new Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, on 12 February in Brussels at the Informal Meeting of EU Heads of State and Government and we had a short informal discussio...More Button

National Flag

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 173 of 3 February 2015, the reason the national flag was not flown at half-mast over Government Buildings on the occasions of the deaths of the President of Ma...More Button

My Department is currently reviewing the policy on arrangements for the half masting of the National Flag over Government Buildings.More Button

Dáil Reform

Was asked: the number of times Dáil Éireann has sat on a Friday since Friday sittings were introduced by the Government; the number of Bills introduced during Friday sittings; the number of these Bills that w...More Button

National Postcode System Expenditure

Was asked: the projected cost to his Department of converting to using Eircode; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There are no projected costs to my Department to convert to using Eircode other than the cost of including the Eircode on departmental stationery. My Department has been managing its stock of head...More Button