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Blaney, Neil T.C.

Thursday, 13 October 1966

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 224 Nbr. 9


Local Elections Bill, 1966: Second Stage.

I move that the Bill be now read a Second Time.More Button

This Bill proposes to postpone until 1967 the local elections which were due to be held this year and to extend the terms of office of existing members of local authorities accordingly. It also pr...More Button

Important changes in the law governing local elections are in course of preparation. A Bill is being drafted to repeal certain disqualifications for membership of local authorities and to set up n...More Button

Pending the holding of the next local elections under the provisions of the Electoral Act, 1963, special provision was necessary in regard to the holding this year of annual or quarterly meetings ...More Button

The Bill also includes certain minor consequential provisions concerning appointments of school attendance committees and meetings of vocational education committees.More Button

I do not wish to interrupt the Deputy, but we have had eight days of this and I am just wondering if that debate is yet over.More Button

The Deputy is wrong about his reference to the Constitution. Five years is not correct.More Button

The Deputy is inaccurate.More Button

Whom is the Deputy quoting?More Button

Quoting from what?More Button

That surely is not a document.More Button

You could scarcely be quoting it, so.More Button

The Deputy should not give the impression he was.More Button

Why did the Deputy not refer to that on the Estimate?More Button

Why did the Deputy not refer to that on the Estimate?More Button

Itoldyouso—it is running today.More Button

Yes.More Button

Since the Deputy got up.More Button

What was Deputy Fitzpatrick waiting for when he talked on the Second Stage of this Bill?More Button

One is not entitled to discuss it on this Bill.More Button

He beat the lot of you this time.More Button

The Deputy would not be around as long——More Button

May I say, Sir, that there are no proposals from the Minister to increase anybody's rent? I just want that correction made.More Button

Let us be accurate.More Button

No better man.More Button

You are innocent.More Button

This is——More Button

I will give way certainly.More Button

Great play is being made with the reasons for postponing these local elections until 1967 and all sorts of motives are being attributed to Fianna Fáil, to the Government and to the Minister ...More Button

We on this side of the House are in general agreement with the proposals in the Bill.More Button

He goes on again and says:More Button

Nevertheless, I think it is quite a sensible thing to postpone the elections for another year even if many people are anxious to have an opportunity to express their dissatisfaction with the way lo...More Button

He continued in the same column:More Button

Members of the House who are also members of local authorities have had their fill of elections for one year.More Button

and further down in the same column he says:More Button

I disagree with this view in the circumstances in which we find ourselvesMore Button

——that is the view that these people are dissatisfied and want to have a go at whoever was in the councils for some years past.More Button

Deputy James Tully, in the same debate—which incidentally was a very short one—opened his remarks, at column 802, by saying:More Button

I have no objection to the postponement of the elections.More Button

If those two spokesmen—I take it they were acting as spokesmen for their two Parties—had those views to express about a year ago in regard to a postponement, for which there was no diff...More Button

There is no doubt about it—whether it is some little advantage the Deputy has that none of the rest of us have—but he does seem to have the queerest ideas about what was understood, tha...More Button

There were only three speakers on this Bill to which I have referred: one from Fine Gael, one from Labour, and myself. Lest it might be said that there was a slip of the tongue on Deputy Tully's ...More Button

As I said at the outset —and I have quoted the outset—— we have no objection —he said “I” the first time—— to the postponement.More Button

Further down in the same column he said:More Button

I expect that this will not be a very contentious Bill and that it will not hold up the House...More Button

It is a pity that the same sentiment could not have been expressed and maintained in regard to this Bill.More Button

The things that have happened since then are not really relevant except in the mind of Fine Gael because the Fine Gael attitude a year ago, to be fair to them, was consistent with the attitude of t...More Button

I do not want to bore the House, but if I am pressed I can give the reasons advanced by the Ministers who introduced those four adjourning Bills and not one of them gave it as a reason that the cou...More Button

That was in a period of nine years. I am being put in the dock now this year—although I was not last year—and it is suggested that I am being unreasonable, and that the Government are...More Button

I agree there is no comparison. Fine Gael are trying to be consistent with their past. We know they changed their name but I think they did not change their spots. I would hate to see them becom...More Button

The Deputy should not keep asking for it. He will get it.More Button

I admit he is a great man to take it. He needs to be because he leaves himself open. There is the inconsistency that no one has attempted to explain away. A person with an open mind and objectiv...More Button

——that it was something they were almost born with.More Button

The record is there. Only one speaker thought it worthwhile to speak on behalf of Fine Gael last year and I have quoted him in a way that leaves no doubt that a year ago in similar circumstances Fi...More Button

I know the Deputy will not accept it.More Button

For the benefit of those who may come to read it in the papers or in the Official Report, I have put on record what the actual position is, and the inconsistency that has been displayed by Fine Gae...More Button

The Deputy should not have any illusions about this because his Party had no illusions a year ago when they agreed that the elections should be postponed.More Button

Do not be hypocritical. There is no point in the Deputy washing his hands.More Button

The whole attitude of Fine Gael is so patently false that the public will see through it. I should like to go back again to try to get Fine Gael not to lose any contacts they have and any consiste...More Button

Fine Gael vehemently and vocally opposed it, and in great volume, and in many places are on record as having opposed it. Unless Fine Gael want to disown their leader of that day, they cannot get a...More Button

Unless they want to disown their leader of those days, which incidentally is not something Fine Gael find hard to do——More Button

The fact is that the leader of Fine Gael in 1945 with the most high-sounding and apparently well-held beliefs took every possible opportunity up and down the country inside and outside the House o...More Button

The point the Deputy seems to miss is that Fianna Fáil do occasionally learn something, but Fine Gael do not. Instead, they seem to forget what they already knew. I do not want to be press...More Button

The point is that those were your views then. We did not go along with you. We held the two elections on the same day then and we won the two elections in 1945. Despite the fact that we did win ...More Button

As was very quietly stated here today, our revered President beat the lot of you and there is no point in trying to get away from that.More Button

(Interruptions.)More Button

He did it in spite of all your gimmicks and tea parties and the aping of the scene in another far-away country and despite all the confusion you tried to create by bringing every sort of political ...More Button

Never forget that he beat the lot of you.More Button

Thanks be to the Lord, the President is back, and no thanks to Fine Gael or any of the touts and tails that hang on to them.More Button

Let the Deputy beware: this mocking might be catching. You people tried to do it during the election and it did not work.More Button

The fact is that he beat the lot of you with all the dirty tactics you used and all the gimmicks of all kinds from every direction.More Button

The Deputy says that the Bill denies the people the right to pass judgment on Ministers' policies. I suppose that could be said of Cumann na nGaedheal in 1923, 1924, 1927 and 1931. If it applies t...More Button

The fact is that they are held by law not less than once every five years but the Constitution, which the Deputy was trying to imply came into play here, says that they must be held not less than o...More Button

The Deputy should keep in mind that in using these tactics or inaccurate statements purporting to come from documents such as the Constitution, the making of even one of these blunders here in a de...More Button

The Deputy was quoting his version of the Constitution, that there must be general elections not less than once every five years and he should be sufficiently upright to admit that he did not know ...More Button

There is no point in talking to a man who when he has seen he has made a blunder will not admit it. Deputy Clinton claims that his Bill of last year would have extended postal voting—as he ...More Button

In fairness, I may say that the postal vote, without any of this clap-trap we hear about “a large section of the people”—4,000 out of 1,700,000— has already been extended without any fl...More Button

I begin to wonder if the Deputy knows anything about democracy, national or local, judging from the way in which during the past couple of days he has kept interjecting and interrupting, despite th...More Button

Deputy James Tully spoke about fair representation. He said there are local areas, counties, local councils, where the number of electors related to the number of elected members shows wide dispa...More Button

Therefore, I can never see Deputy Tully and the Fine Gael spokesman achieving unity of views on what fair representation should be. It is even more strange to find not only Deputy Tully's Party me...More Button

Neither of the Parties has shown consistency even in the past six months. If I could not rely on them for guidance during that period, how possibly can I be expected to ask them for or to get wort...More Button

The one trouble is that the Minister has changed his mind even since 1945. That causes trouble to the Deputy. This is the usual sort of legal quibble. If I make a statement, another meaning is a...More Button

Very often when I change my mind, even in the period since 1945, I do not claim I am right. I am making that statement for what it is worth, not for the interpretation Deputy Fitzpatrick and his co...More Button

That is true, when the Deputy and his colleagues get to it. Do not attribute to me the meaning you take from it.More Button

We did not do it in 1965.More Button

The Deputy's people in Fine Gael agreed that we should not do it in 1965. Therefore, they should not ask why we did it in 1945 and not in 1965 or 1966.More Button

It is quite simple. There was an assertion that we are filching from the local authorities and the people their legal rights or their constitutional rights, or both. There was an assertion that th...More Button

We had contributions from a few other Deputies and the one I appreciated most was Deputy O'Hara from Mayo, this morning bright and early. I am delighted he is now back in the House. He complained&...More Button

I said at the beginning of that two-day marathon that I intended to finish in 1½ hours if I were allowed——More Button

If that is so, it is unlikely I will give trouble very often if I keep on talking.More Button

Perhaps.More Button

Though the reasons are valid for my decision that there should be a postponement — as valid as they were when they agreed with them here — they are now sorry and angry and disappointed...More Button

As Deputy Tully said earlier today, no matter how a person goes before the electorate, no matter what way he may be described, when the life of the council to which he has been elected has run its ...More Button

This Fine Gael practice of cloaking the real purpose of some of the candidates has worked for them in the past, but it will work in fewer places in the future. This may be a fair tactic but it is...More Button

As far as I am concerned, I do not worry a great deal when any election takes place, and that is more than the great majority over there could say. It would not matter if these elections took plac...More Button

Despite all the tricks you could play and despite the fact that you had a start of six months in the race, you were still beaten.More Button

As the Deputy well knows, when a good stable is running a good horse with the right jockey, it wins only by the amount that is required to win the race.More Button

We must give Fine Gael credit for the fact that they made an early start. There was not a gimmick they did not try, and good luck to them. They got away with some of the gimmicks, but the gimmick...More Button

You are beaten, and you will continue to be beaten until you get to the stage where at least from one year to the next, your Party show some consistency, something which they have not shown here t...More Button

(Interruptions.)More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Sale of Limerick Quarries.

The proposal referred to by the Deputy was received in my Department on 21st March, 1966, and is at present under consideration. A decision on the matter will be issued as soon as possible.More Button

The Deputy's suggestion is duly noted and I hope to have a decision in the next couple of weeks.More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Castleisland (Kerry) Housing Scheme.

I am so aware. I understand that final contract documents for a further scheme of 30 houses have been completed and that the council hope to be in a position to go to tender in the near future.More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Ardfert (Kerry) Water Supply.

While the proposals for the carrying out of this scheme are in order, Kerry County Council's application for sanction to the raising of a loan to finance the work is still under consideration.More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Fenit (Kerry) Sewerage Scheme.

Kerry County Council's application for sanction to the raising of a loan to finance this work is still under consideration. I am not in a position to say when a decision on it will be given.More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Age Limits for Driving Licences.

I do not propose, at this stage, to review the minimum age limits for holding licences to drive the various classes of vehicles. These limits were determined as recently as 1964 following full con...More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Ballymun Road Speed Limit.

The desirability of extending the speed limit on Ballymun Road to a point north of St. Pappin's national school, will be considered during the review of speed limits at present being carried out b...More Button

I am aware of all these factors.More Button

As soon as I possibly can.More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Meat Prices in Dublin.

We eat heifer beef.More Button

That would be a commercial.More Button