Nomination of Taoiseach.

Wednesday, 2 July 1969

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 241 No. 1

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Mr. Aiken: Information on Frank Aiken  Zoom on Frank Aiken  Tairgim:

Go n-ainmneoidh Dáil Éireann an Teachta Seán Ó Loinsigh chun a cheaptha ag an Uachtarán chun bheith ina Thaoiseach.

I move:

That Dáil Éireann nominate Deputy John Lynch for appointment by the President to be the Taoiseach.

Mr. Geoghegan: Information on John Geoghegan  Zoom on John Geoghegan  Cuireann sé anáthas ormsa cuidiú leis an moladh sin.

It gives me great pleasure to second the motion.

Mr. T.F. O'Higgins: Information on Thomas F. O'Higgins Jnr.  Zoom on Thomas F. O'Higgins Jnr.  Tairgim:

Go n-ainmneofar an Teachta Liam MacCosgair mar Thaoiseach.

Mr. Barry:  Cuidím leis an tairiscint sin.

I second the motion.

Mr. Cluskey: Information on Frank Cluskey  Zoom on Frank Cluskey  I move:

That Deputy Brendan Corish be nominated as Taoiseach.

We, in the Labour Party, fought the recent general election with the express intention of forming a Labour Government and we intend now to fulfil our trust to our supporters by still going it alone and nominating Deputy Brendan Corish to the position of Taoiseach.

We realise fully that our numbers in this House will not make our nominee's candidature successful but we are conscious of the fact that in the recent general election the Labour Party secured the highest vote ever secured by that Party in a general election. It is, I think, appropriate to point out at this stage that the Labour Party did not lose the election, did not fail to secure the Government of this country in the general election, because of its policy. There was, unfortunately, a most scurrilous and scandalous campaign waged by both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael during the course of the election and this calculated campaign [17] of scurrility and scandal resulted in the Labour Party's policy being completely distorted. It will not be our task in this Dáil to either change or shift as has been suggested by some commentators, from the policy contained in “the New Republic”. We will pursue the policy adumbrated by us on behalf of our supporters and, indeed, as we believe, on behalf of the people of this nation, as vigorously as we can both inside and outside this House.

As I stated, it is not our intention to change one iota of our written policy. What we do intend to do is to correct the gross misrepresentation of that policy, scandalously and consciencelessly indulged in for both personal and political ends by members of both the Fianna Fáil and the Fine Gael Parties. We are fully confident that at the end of this ninteenth Dáil we will have been successful in that mission. We are also confident that the only policy that can cure the many ills besetting the people of this nation is true socialism, the socialism contained in our policy document. We face this nineteenth Dáil with the full confidence that at the end of its life the correction we are going to undertake will have been effected and, when next a Labour spokesman rises in this assembly to propose the Leader of the Labour Party for the position of Taoiseach, it will not be, as may be commented by some, an isolated political gesture; it will be because the people, realising the content of our policy and appreciating its gross misrepresentation by others, will give the necessary support to ensure the election of a Labour Taoiseach in the twentieth Dáil.

Dr. Thornley: Information on David Thornley  Zoom on David Thornley  I second the motion and, in seconding the nomination of Deputy Brendan Corish, I speak first with great pride and, secondly, with great humility in the fact that the members of the Labour Party should have asked me, a new Member of this great Assembly, which good men died to win us, to undertake this task. Like Deputy Cluskey, I see the nomination of Deputy Corish on this day as a symbolic gesture, a gesture which will be of great importance in the future history of our country. It is a symbol, first, of the fact that the Labour Party, the [18] oldest Party in our land, is true to its independence, true to the uniqueness and integrity of its policies. There may seem to be few of us here, but we speak for many. We speak for the 223,000 Irish men and women who, in the face of gross misrepresentation, gave us their first preferences. On their behalf, we repeat our dedication to our pledged policies. This is no alien pledge. It is the pledge of Pearse, who said:

I have insisted upon the spiritual fact of nationality. I have insisted upon the necessity of physical freedom in order to ensure the continued preservation of that spiritual fact in a living people. I now insist upon the necessity of complete control of the material resources of our nation in order to ensure the completeness of that physical freedom. The nation has a moral obligation so to exercise its public right as to secure strictly equal rights and opportunities for every man and woman within this nation.

These are not my words. Neither are they the words of any communist. They are the words of Patrick Pearse.

The nomination of Deputy Corish to the position of Taoiseach on this day is a symbol, too, of something else: it is a symbol of the determination of the Labour Deputies to use Dáil Éireann in the years ahead as the instrument of the people of Ireland. We here now dedicate ourselves to the use of the national Parliament to protect the rights of the ordinary people of this country as, perhaps, they have never been protected and watched over before in this Chamber. I am sorry that that should give rise to laughter. I was under the impression that on an occasion so solemn as this and, secondly, on the occasion of a maiden speech laughter is, to say the least of it, unusual. I am sorry I was misinformed. If there seem to be few of us now to do this task, soon, very soon, there will be more and while we await that day to come we here, though few, are not downhearted. On the contrary, we are doubly determined. We know that that day must come and, on behalf of our people, and on behalf of those who will join [19] us here, we repeat what Terence MacSwiney wrote years ago on the “Principles of Freedom”:

We have not survived the centuries to be conquered now. We shall endure and the measure of our faith will be the measure of our achievement and of the greatness of our future place.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin  Zoom on Cormac Breslin  On the motion “That Deputy John Lynch be nominated as Taoiseach” a division has been challenged——

Mr. Ryan: Information on Richie Ryan  Zoom on Richie Ryan  The doors are open.

Mr. Cluskey: Information on Frank Cluskey  Zoom on Frank Cluskey  Sir, after the division was called several Fianna Fáil Deputies entered the Chamber.


An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin  Zoom on Cormac Breslin  I understand the bells are still ringing.

Mr. L. Belton: Information on Luke Belton  Zoom on Luke Belton  These doors are locked.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman  Zoom on Gerard Sweetman  That door is still open and Deputies are still coming in. If you are going to open one door, open them all.

[20]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin  Zoom on Cormac Breslin  I have not opened any door.

Mr. Sweetman: Information on Gerard Sweetman  Zoom on Gerard Sweetman  It is a bad act for a new Dáil.


The Taoiseach: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  I understand that the bells are still ringing on that side of the House. There must be some mis-understanding. We have no objection to all the doors being opened again.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin  Zoom on Cormac Breslin  In view of the fact that the bells are out of order, I think we must call the division again.

Mr. M.P. Murphy: Information on Michael Pat Murphy  Zoom on Michael Pat Murphy  This procedure is without precedent during my 18 years here. When the Chair announced the division and after he had named the tellers, the doors were locked and under no circumstances were Deputies allowed to enter the Chamber. It has been changed today and, as I said, it is without precedent.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin  Zoom on Cormac Breslin  There has been no change today. Unfortunately, the division bells paid no attention to my ruling. I propose to announce the question again. On the motion “That Deputy John Lynch be nominated Taoiseach” a division has been challenged.

Aiken, Frank.
Allen, Lorcan.
Andrews, David.
Barrett, Sylvester.
Blaney, Neil.
Boland, Kevin.
Boylan, Terence.
Brady, Philip A.
Brennan, Joseph.
Brennan, Paudge.
Briscoe, Ben.
Brosnan, Seán.
Browne, Patrick.
Browne, Seán.
Burke, Patrick J.
Carter, Frank.
Childers, Erskine.
Colley, George.
Collins, Gerard.
Connolly, Gerard C.
Cowen, Bernard.
Cronin, Jerry.
Crowley, Flor.
Cunningham, Liam.
Davern, Noel.
de Valera, Vivion.
Dowling, Joe.
Fahey, Jackie. [21]MacSharry, Ray.
Meaney, Thomas.
Molloy, Robert.
Moore, Seán.
Moran, Michael.
Nolan, Thomas.
Noonan, Michael.
O'Connor, Timothy.
O'Kennedy, Michael.
Faulkner, Pádraig.
Fitzpatrick, Tom (Dublin Central).
Flanagan, Seán.
Foley, Desmond.
Forde, Paddy.
French, Seán.
Gallagher, James.
Geoghegan, John.
Gibbons, Hugh.
Gibbons, James.
Gogan, Richard P.
Haughey, Charles.
Healy, Augustine A.
Herbert, Michael.
Hillery, Patrick J.
Hilliard, Michael.
Hussey, Thomas.
Kenneally, William.
Kitt, Michael F.
Lalor, Patrick J.
Lemass, Noel T.
Lenehan, Joseph.
Lenihan, Brian.
Lenihan, Patrick J.
Loughnane, William A.
Lynch, Celia.
Lynch, John.
McEllistrim, Thomas. [22]O'Leary, John.
O'Malley, Des.
Power, Patrick.
Sheridan, Joseph.
Smith, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Timmons, Eugene.
Tunney, Jim.
Wyse, Pearse.

Barry, Peter.
Barry, Richard.
Begley, Michael.
Belton, Luke.
Belton, Paddy.
Browne, Noël.
Bruton, John.
Burke, Joan.
Burke, Liam.
Burke, Richard.
Burton, Philip.
Byrne, Hugh.
Clinton, Mark A.
Cluskey, Frank.
Collins, Edward.
Conlan, John F.
Coogan, Fintan.
Corish, Brendan.
Cosgrave, Liam.
Cott, Gerard.
Coughlan, Stephen.
Creed, Donal.
Crotty, Kieran.
Cruise-O'Brien, Conor.
Desmond, Barry.
Dockrell, Henry P.
Donegan, Patrick S.
Donnellan, John.
Dunne, Thomas.
Enright, Thomas W.
Esmonde, Sir Anthony C.
Finn, Martin.
FitzGerald, Garret.
Fitzpatrick, Tom (Cavan).
Flanagan, Oliver J.
Fox, Billy.
Governey, Desmond.
Harte, Patrick D.
Hogan, Patrick.
Hogan O'Higgins, Brigid.
Jones, Denis F.
Kavanagh, Liam.
Keating, Justin.
Kenny, Henry.
L'Estrange, Gerald.
Lynch, Gerard.
McLaughlin, Joseph.
Murphy, Michael P.
O'Connell, John F.
O'Donnell, Patrick.
O'Donnell, Tom.
O'Donovan, John.
O'Hara, Thomas.
O'Higgins, Thomas F.
O'Leary, Michael.
O'Reilly, Paddy.
O'Sullivan, John L.
Pattison, Séamus.
Ryan, Richie.
Spring, Dan.
Sweetman, Gerard.
Taylor, Francis.
Thornley, David.
Timmins, Godfrey.
Treacy, Seán.
Tully James.

Question declared carried.

Mr. J. Lynch: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  Ba mhaith liom m'fhíor-bhuíochas a ghabháil leis an Dáil as ucht mé d'ainmniú mar Taoiseach.

I should like to express my sincere thanks to the Dáil for having nominated me to be Taoiseach. At this stage, I do not propose to comment on statements made during the course of the debate on this motion to which, ordinarily, I should reply. I am resolved to carry out to the best of my ability my duties as Taoiseach. It is necessary that I should now go to inform the President so that he may appoint me. For this purpose, I propose that we now adjourn the Dáil until 5.30 p.m.

Business suspended at 4 p.m. and resumed at 5.30 p.m.

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