Wednesday, 8 July 1981
Dáil Eireann Debate
The Taoiseach: Senator FitzGerald has been appointed as Special Adviser to the Government and will advise on all matters of Government policy referred to him by the Taoiseach on behalf of the Government. He will attend meetings of the Government in an advisory capacity. Senator FitzGerald has tendered his resignation from the Seanad.
Mr. Haughey: Would the Taoiseach tell us if Senator FitzGerald when attending meetings of the Government is entitled to speak at such meetings, offer opinions and participate in Government discussions?
Mr. Haughey: Can the Taoiseach tell us if Senator FitzGerald is awarded any special facilities by the State? Does he have accommodation and correspondence facilities? Is he in receipt of any remuneration? Could the Taoiseach indicate the situation in that regard?
The Taoiseach: Senator FitzGerald has an office in the Department of the Taoiseach. With regard to other arrangements in respect of the appointment they will be set forth in the form of a contract to be drawn up and executed on behalf of the Government and their special adviser, the terms thereof being deemed to commence on the date of his appointment.
Mr. Haughey: In effect Senator FitzGerald will participate in Government  discussions, attend Government meetings, will have office accommodation, and, presumably, secretarial facilities and will be remunerated?
Mr. Haughey: In response to that interruption—I do not think Deputy Kelly should interrupt the Taoiseach—I never brought anybody into the public service through the back door, never. If Deputy Kelly has any instance he wants to give let him mention it. Let him mention it now.
The Taoiseach: I do not know about the back door but there cannot have been a more front door than the one through which he came in in so far as I announced his appointment at the same time as I announced the appointment of the Government.
The Taoiseach: I will accept nothing of the kind. Senator FitzGerald's services to the State over a long period of time qualify him in a remarkable way to advise the Government. His career in the public service goes back over many years. He was responsible for the advice that led to the establishment of the IDA and the export tax relief on which the whole of our industrial development was based and in 1956 he accompanied the then Taoiseach on his first official visit to the United States.
The Taoiseach: His contributions in the Upper House on legislation has commanded the universal respect not merely of the House but of the civil service and even when he was in Opposition he was on occasions consulted on legislation because of his extraordinary expertise in so many relevant spheres.
Mr. Haughey: Will the Taoiseach accept that all of the qualifications he has mentioned in the case of Senator FitzGerald would be available to the Taoiseach and the Government from Alexis FitzGerald as a Senator? I have often heard Senator FitzGerald make valuable contributions in the Seanad and any contribution he would have to make on the affairs of Government and the administration of the country could easily be made either in his capacity as a Senator or in his capacity as an individual. Will the Taoiseach accept that? Will the Taoiseach further accept that it is a perfectly outrageous, outlandish and scandalous thing to make this appointment? Does it not amount to saying to all those distinguished members of the new Government that between them they have not enough experience, expertise or knowledge to advise the Taoiseach on the running of the affairs of the country——
The Taoiseach: Deputy Haughey may think it is good politics although I doubt it. The fact is that the country's present situation is such that the Government need all the assistance they can get to govern effectively. In my view the availability to the Government, during their  deliberations, of the advice of Senator FitzGerald, just as they have available to them on legal matters the advice of the Attorney General, will be a great strength and of great value in governing the country.
Mr. Haughey: Will the Taoiseach agree that an appointment of this nature was never visualised in the Constitution, is not provided for in the Constitution and, in fact, is a totally unconstitutional type of appointment?
Mr. N. Andrews: On a point of order, Deputy Loughnane was offering but, through no fault of the Chair, he was not seen. Is it proper that the Chair should deny him the opportunity to ask a supplementary question?
An Ceann Comhairle: We have moved to Question No. 3 and if the Deputy continues I will have to say he is disorderly. We have gone to Question No. 3. I am sorry about this but the Deputy is persisting.
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