Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dublin Hospital Construction Personnel.

Wednesday, 20 October 1976

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 293 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 51 Next Page Last Page

6.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  asked the Minister for Health if he will ensure that all professional and technical personnel employed by St. James's Hospital Board in connection with the construction of the new St. James's Hospital, Dublin, will be Irish.

Minister for Health (Mr. Corish): Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  The St. James's Hospital Board recently advertised appointments to the design team for the proposed new hospital development in a number of publications, including the Irish national daily press. The advertisements indicated that the appointments would be made following assessment and interview by selection panels and full opportunity has been afforded to Irish applicants to compete for appointment.

The selection of persons for appointment is a matter for the hospital board who, in due course, will submit the names of those selected to me for approval. In the meantime the question of the appointment of any particular person does not arise and in the circumstances I do not consider that it would be appropriate for me to intervene in the matter at this stage of the selection process.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Does the Minister consider that there are in this country, in all of the relevant professions, persons perfectly competent to carry out [6] this work? Would he agree that that is so?

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  The interview board will determine that. The board, in the long run, will determine that.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I am asking the Minister his view as Minister for Health—if he is satisfied that, in the different professions in this country, there is an adequate complement of persons capable of doing this work?

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  I am afraid I would not be able to make a comment on that. I will await the recommendation of the St. James's Hospital Board, following the report of the interview board to them.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  But the Minister and his Department have plenty of experience of building hospitals: They have special teams in the Department fully aware of all that is involved. From that knowledge is the Minister not satisfied that there are Irish professional people perfectly capable of doing this work? Will he not use his office to ensure that Irish persons only are appointed to do this job?

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  I will not make any commitment until I get the report from the board of St. James's Hospital. Such was not always the case. Perhaps the Deputy would throw his mind back to the appointment of the architect at Wilton Hospital in Cork.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I am concerned with the present state of the economy and the fact that a great number of Irish professional firms—architectural, engineering and otherwise—are finding it very difficult to keep going these days.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Can I dissuade the Deputy from broadening the scope of the question?

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  In these circumstances would the Minister not regard it as absurd that this official body should place the contract for these services outside this country when there are persons here perfectly capable and qualified to do this work? Would the Minister not be sensible about this?

[7]Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Would the Deputy not be a little bit sensible? Does he remember the name or the nationality of the architect who was appointed for Wilton Hospital in Cork?

Mr. Brennan: Information on Joseph Brennan  Zoom on Joseph Brennan  That does not justify anything.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Because Fianna Fáil did it.

Dr. O'Connell: Information on John F. O'Connell  Zoom on John F. O'Connell  Might I ask a supplementary on this?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I will allow two more supplementaries. Deputies Haughey and O'Connell are on their feet. Deputy Dr. O'Connell.

Dr. O'Connell: Information on John F. O'Connell  Zoom on John F. O'Connell  Might I ask the Minister if he would consider suggesting to the board that they might take into consideration Irish applicants? While the number of applicants submitted to him may not include some Irish, perhaps he might just mention to the St. James's Hospital Board that they bear that in mind?

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  I am afraid I could not interfere now with the working of the interview board. I think it would be unfair at this stage.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Of course the Minister could.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Of course I could not. The advertisement did not confine the appointment of these people to Irish nationals.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  A final supplementary from Deputy Haughey.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Would the Minister not agree that this board are appointed by him, are a creature of his Department, subject to his direction in everything they do? For heaven's sake would he not have the absurd position—when there are Irish architects, engineers and other people all over the country unemployed, with nothing to do—that we are going to import somebody to do this task for us?

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Many things will have to be taken into consideration before a final decision is made.

[8]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I am calling Question No. 7.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I am asking the Minister to take the national interest into consideration.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  The Deputy would not expect me to intervene at this stage when interviews are taking place.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Order. I have called Question No. 7.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  The Minister knows full well the situation.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  I know what the Deputy did in Wilton Hospital——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Order.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I never appointed any professional firm that was not Irish for anything in this country.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  I am not saying the Deputy did but his colleagues did.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I must ask that the Chair be obeyed. I have called the next question.


Last Updated: 14/09/2010 16:15:18 First Page Previous Page Page of 51 Next Page Last Page