Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Government Information Services Head.

Wednesday, 26 November 1980

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 324 No. 8

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1.

Mr. Horgan: Information on John S. Horgan  Zoom on John S. Horgan  asked the Taoiseach the date on which the appointment of the head of the Government Information Services was made; the identity of the person appointed; and the responsibilities assigned to him.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Mr. James R. Kelly was appointed Head of the Government Information Services with effect from 6 October 1980.

Mr. Kelly is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the services and for the co-ordination of press and information work on behalf of Government Departments.

Mr. Horgan: Information on John S. Horgan  Zoom on John S. Horgan  Is the Taoiseach aware that it was the intention of his immediate predecessor to suppress this position in the public service and are we to take it from his reply that this represents yet another reversal of the policy of his predecessor?

[1262]The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I have no knowledge of any such intention on the part of my predecessor.

Mr. Horgan: Information on John S. Horgan  Zoom on John S. Horgan  I suggest that the Taoiseach should refer to the Dáil debates on this matter. Has any instruction been given by him to the head of the GIS to prevent any repetition of the abuse of this position for party political purposes as happened during the Donegal by-election?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  It ill behoves any member of a Coalition party to talk about abuse of the Government Information Services.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Padraig Faulkner  Zoom on Padraig Faulkner  A final supplementary.

Mr. Horgan: Information on John S. Horgan  Zoom on John S. Horgan  Is the Taoiseach confirming to the House that since the Donegal by-election he has not said one word, good, bad or indifferent to the head of the GIS about the performance of his functions and the limitations of his functions in serving the Government of the day and not the party who form the Government of the day?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  The only instruction I gave to the head of the Government Information Services was to be as helpful and as co-operative as possible to the media in supplying them with information from Government Departments.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Padraig Faulkner  Zoom on Padraig Faulkner  Question No. 2.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  The Donegal papers have said that information was supplied without request.

Dr. FitzGerald: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  Would the Taoiseach reply to Deputy Harte?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Padraig Faulkner  Zoom on Padraig Faulkner  I have called the next question.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  The Taoiseach was contradicted locally by Donegal people.

[1263]The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Disorderly opposition.


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