Nomination of Taoiseach.

Tuesday, 10 March 1987

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 371 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 8 Next Page Last Page

The Tánaiste: Information on Brian Lenihan Snr.  Zoom on Brian Lenihan Snr.  Molaím Gearóid Mac Gearailt mar Thaoiseach.

Minister for Finance (Mr. J. Bruton): Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  Ba mhaith liom cuidiú leis an rún sin.

Mr. Lenihan: Information on Brian Lenihan Snr.  Zoom on Brian Lenihan Snr.  I move that Dáil Éireann nominates Deputy Charles J. Haughey for appointment by the President to be Taoiseach. Molaím Cathal Seosaimh Ó hEocaidh. In proposing Deputy Charles J. Haughey as Taoiseach I wish to emphasise that he is leader of by far the largest party in the 25th Dáil. Fianna Fáil are the only party in a position to form a Government. Deputy Haughey has an outstanding record of achievements in 30 years of political life. No one else in this House can match his political experience, his leadership qualities and his practical social concern. He was a great reforming Minister in the Departments of Justice, Agriculture, Finance and Health and Social Welfare. Few legislators have done so much for the old and the deprived. It is the primary duty of the Dáil to give the country a Government. Ireland needs an enlightened and imaginative Government to deal with the major problems we face. There is no one better qualified to provide that than Fianna Fáil under the leadership of Deputy Charles J. Haughey.

Mr. G. Collins: Information on Gerard Collins  Zoom on Gerard Collins  Ba mhaith liomsa aontú leis an chuidiú sin.

Miss Harney: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  I wish to propose Deputy O'Malley to be nominated by Dáil Éireann as Taoiseach. First though, I wish to congratulate you on your election this afternoon to the position of Ceann Comhairle. Unanimity is rare in this [21] House and is not always a good thing but a wise decision was made this afternoon. On behalf of the Progressive Democrats you will certainly have our support to ensure that the affairs of this House are conducted in an orderly and efficient manner. We represent the people that we are honoured to come here to represent.

The predominant thing that is needed in this country today is leadership. Sadly, it has been lacking for many years. There is a growing consensus regarding the nature of the nation's problems but unfortunately successive Irish Governments have failed to address these problems. We politicians have wrangled as the country, in James Joyce's bleak phrase, has performed a stationary march. The problems of unemployment, Government spending and taxation have all outpaced the ability of this House to solve them. Rarely are contributions made that address the real issues. It is no wonder that many people feel that this House contributes more to the country's political problems than it does to solving them.

There are many in this House who in recent days have attached labels to many Members of the House. I do not wish to be a prisoner to such labels. I do not wish to be a prisoner to anybody's naked ideology. We want to see in this House a Government who are characterised by fairness and commonsense, one who will not pander to any sectional interest. The Progressive Democrats sought a mandate in the recent general election to have a fair and equitable taxation system, to have a Government who would reward enterprise and initiative, who would be caring and compassionate to the needy in our society, who would eliminate the abuses by the greedy, who would reform the political institutions in this country and who would restore the image of politics by changing things like ministerial pensions. That is why the Progressive Democrats will shortly introduce in this Dáil a Bill in that respect.

We sought a mandate for new leadership. Alone of all the parties, we told the people we would not support either Deputy FitzGerald or Deputy Haughey [22] for the post of Taoiseach. For many years the exercise of electing a Taoiseach has been a mere ritual, the result having been predictable from the day of the general election count. That is not so today. There are those who feel that because the election yielded an inconclusive result we should support the nominee of the largest party. No one in this House welcomes instability. If this evening, this House fails to select a Taoiseach, the Progressive Democrats will be keen to see the three main parties get together to facilitate the election of a Government.

(Interruptions.)

Miss Harney: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  This business in which we are engaging is a serious business. We are not electing just any one to any particular office. We are here this afternoon to elect a Taoiseach to preside over a Government of this country in the weeks, months and years ahead. We are here to pick the best person. We are here to judge each person on his merits. The Members of this House who canvassed in the recent general election will agree that the country is crying out for new political leadership. We sought a mandate to try to provide that condition and it would be inconsistent for us now to confine ourselves to making a choice between the nominees of the two main parties, each of whom has been in office in the position of Taoiseach on two occasions and both of whom have failed.

We need a leader, Sir, acceptable to a wide cross-section of the people, a leader capable of getting a consensus, capable of uniting our people. We need a leader who will inspire confidence and trust, who will display vision, pride and hope. We need a leader who has the qualities to be the first elected Officer of this House. We also need a Taoiseach who has stated his intention to take tough decisions to bring about the necessary economic recovery.

Alone of all the nominees, Desmond O'Malley has shown determination to lead by example. Just over two years ago, he refused in this House to put politics before conscience. He cut himself off [23] from the path of easy advancement which rewards compliance and subservience. He refused to keep his head down and his mouth shut when the country was crying out for a new political initiative. There are many who followed that initiative, particularly young people and the vast numbers who have become tired and fed up with the existing political choices. They have given the Progressive Democrats a mandate to come into this Dáil and make changes. We do not intend to let them down.

Desmond O'Malley is firmly committed to the building of a new Republic. He displayed that commitment just over two years ago in this House when alone he stood by the Republic in one of the best speeches ever to have been made in this House, a speech that many felt was conduct unbecoming a politician. His total condemnation of violence and his commitment to the rule of law and order was displayed as Minister for Justice when he stood up to the forces that were trying to subvert this State. His unequivocal support for the Anglo-Irish Agreement was again evidenced in this House. Since then he has supported it and he has done everything possible to help the process of reconciliation on this island. He respects the rights and aspirations of both traditions in Ireland. His lone fight for deregulation has been shown in his successful stance on the Air Transport Bill. He has rejected fear and offered hope to so many people. He is the kind of person who does not put political expediency before his own convictions. He is a person of enormous courage, the kind of person that Ireland needs today. Now is the time for bravery and courage. It is not a time to run away. No one can doubt that of all the candidates offering themselves for the position of Taoiseach today he commands widespread support around the country because of what he stands for and because of what he is prepared to do in the interests of this nation.

Mr. Keating: Information on Michael Keating  Zoom on Michael Keating  I formally second that proposal.

[24]Mr. Desmond: Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  Let me first assure you, Sir, of the co-operation of the Labour Party in the discharge of your duties as Ceann Comhairle. I wish to propose Deputy Dick Spring, Leader of the Labour Party, as Taoiseach. The Labour Party have decided on this occasion not to support any other nominations.

Deputy Dick Spring, when he launched the Labour Party manifesto in the general election, said on 30 January:

At various times in the past Labour has remained independent of Government. At other times it has supported or participated in Government, but at all times Labour has fought for an end to unemployment and for an end to injustices.

In or out of Government, that has always been our role.

Deputy Dick Spring said — and his words were prophetic — on that occasion:

After the General Election we will play our part in ensuring that Dáil Éireann concentrates on the problems of unemployment and social injustices. We will also discharge, if necessary, our duty to the Irish people by playing a key role in the election of a Government. Never once since the foundation of this State has Labour failed to provide an Opposition when it was needed, or to ensure a Government when it was necessary.

He concluded by saying: “We shall not fail on this occasion”.

I hope that Dáil Éireann will not fail on this occasion. There now devolves on this Dáil the very grave responsibility, first to elect a Taoiseach and, secondly, to decide on his nomination of the other members of the Government. It is necessary that we should make a fresh start in Dáil Éireann, that we should produce the political leadership which the country demands of us in the national interests and, following the election of a Government, that we should proceed with a budget for 1987, long and truly overdue.

Above all else, there devolves on us — and the Labour Party will play their [25] historic and current role in that responsibility — a responsibility to ensure the confidence of our people in this democratic parliamentary institution. The Labour Party, therefore, were particularly proud, despite very many difficulties, to return to Dáil Éireann 12 Deputies. There was opposition from very many vested interests — I do not propose to name them, but we all know them — who attempted to write us off. We came back and are proud to be back as a strong, experienced and vibrant Labour Party.

We did resign from Government. We were not afraid to go into Government, we were not afraid to take difficult decisions in Government and, when we disagreed on fundamental budgetary questions, we were not afraid to leave Government. The Labour Party are proud of their role in that Government. For four successive budgets, we succeeded in defending the basic interests of working people in a harsh economic climate. We protected jobs, in joint partnership with the Fine Gael Party in Government, in both the public and the private sectors. Above all else, we defended the living standards of ordinary people and social welfare recipients in the face of demands from other parties for massive spending cuts throughout that period. We are proud of that record. The one man who led the Labour Party in achieving that record was Deputy Dick Spring. His contribution was monumental and it will be seen when the history of that period comes to be written that it, and also the contribution of the Taoiseach, Deputy FitzGerald, were exceptional throughout that period.

When one looks back on the virtual elimination of housing lists and waiting lists, when one sees the introduction of the enterprise allowance scheme, the social employment schemes and other measures to help those who are unemployed, it is obvious the work of Government was exceptional during that period. Despite great difficulty we succeeded in modernising our health services and in [26] bringing in very many social reforms. Finally, in Government we succeeded in setting up — and they are there now for the incoming Government to take the work forward — the Commission on Social Welfare, the Combat Poverty Agency and the National Pensions Board. All of that framework is there to be built on in the national interest.

In our work in Government the Labour Party and Deputy Dick Spring were proud to join the Taoiseach, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and our colleagues in Government in developing and bringing to fruition the Anglo-Irish Agreement. That is a record on which we stood in the election, on which we were returned to Dáil Éireann and on which we will go forward in the lifetime of this Dáil.

When the Government are established our approach will be entirely responsible and constructive in the framing of the 1987 budget, in the discussion on that budget, a budget which will endeavour to create more jobs, which will reform our taxation system, which will attempt to bring forward measures to develop our mixed economy of public and private enterprise, which will simultaneously reform our social services and stabilise our national debt. Such a budget will have the support of the Labour Party in this Dáil. We will reject any approach which would diminish the role of Government in the administration of our social services. As a political party we will reject any approach to the privatisation of our successful State companies. We will reject any approach which would impose hardship on those most vulnerable in our society.

These were the bench-marks from which we, the Labour Party, worked in Government. In Opposition, we will contribute in like manner. The House may be assured that we will discharge that responsibility to the utmost in the months and, hopefully, in the years ahead.

I am pleased and proud to nominate Deputy Dick Spring, the Leader of the Labour Party, as Taoiseach. I look forward to the support of other Deputies for our nomination.

[27]Mr. Howlin: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  I take pride — all the more so since this is the first time I have had the privilege of addressing this House — in seconding the nomination of Deputy Dick Spring for the position of Taoiseach. As a Labour Party we have no illusions that our nomination will be successful or that Deputy Dick Spring will be elected today. Many outside this House regarded the mere fact that we had our own nominee as an act of cynicism. We feel it vital that the Members of this House should be presented with real alternatives. An option between one, two or three leaders of the centre right is not presenting this House with an alternative. That choice would not offer a clear policy option which would influence significantly the economic policies that will determine how this country is to be managed in the months and years ahead. It would not give rise to any new impetus to fairness or to greater equality in our society. Furthermore, it would not create an awareness — to quote James Connolly — of the gap between what ought to be and what is and, more important, a determination to bridge that gap. The choice between parties, policies and personalities of the centre right is merely a choice between shades of opinion. It is a contest which serves no useful purpose for the future of this country.

That is why we are placing a real alternative before this House today. We are inviting the House to choose not just a different personality but a radically different philosophy and approach, an approach which has not been tried as yet in this country except in so far as it has succeeded in protecting key elements of our society from attack in recent years. We believe our approach is well equipped to initiate the changes and radical reforms necessary if we are to emerge in the future as a prosperous, united and, most important, an equal society. Because we believe that Labour's approach can work, we are putting it forward today in the person of the Leader of our Party, Deputy Dick Spring. I am proud to second his nomination.

Tomás Mac Giolla: Information on Tomás MacGiolla  Zoom on Tomás MacGiolla  Ba mhaith liom ar [28] dtús comhghairedas a ghabháil leat féin agus a rá go bhfaighidh tú gach tacaíocht uainne mar a fuair an Ceann Comhairle deiridh agus tá súil againn go bhfaighimid an tacaíocht chéanna uaitse. Maidir leis na moltaí atá os ár gcomhair ba mhaith liom a rá go ndúramar go poiblí deich lá ó shin céard díreach a dhéanfaimís inniu.

The Workers' Party announced ten days ago our decision that we would not be supporting nominees for Taoiseach of any of the conservative parties, that is, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael or the Progressive Democrats. I do not think the Progressive Democrats' nomination or indeed that of the Labour Party is serious. But the procedure of declaring one's intentions in good time is the best in the interest of the country. It ends speculation and makes it clear to everyone what needs to be done to elect a Government. In such a case — when everybody's intentions are clear — those who have 90 per cent agreement between them, as has been declared, clearly can enter into dialogue to ascertain how best they can get their programme implemented. That is what should have been happening over the past couple of weeks. Speculation games played by the media over the past week have been of no benefit, to the left, the right or indeed to the democratic process.

The mandate we were given in this election was to defend the interests of workers, whether employed or unemployed, to make job creation the first priority of Government; second, to shift the burden of tax from the PAYE workers to other sectors; and, third, to ensure that there would be no cutbacks in health, education or social welfare services. If it was not clear before the election where Fianna Fáil stood on these matters, it is now very clear that they are not committed to those principles either with regard to taxation reform or cutbacks or, indeed, to what needs to be done in order to render job creation the first priority. To do that, harsh measures must be taken, not the harsh measures spoken of by the conservative parties, but those that need to be taken against their [29] friends, the harsh measures that need to be taken against speculators, tax dodgers, against those who are annually shifting £1.5 billion of the wealth created by our workers out of the country. These are the people at whom those harsh measures must be levelled. We have seen no evidence of that.

Our party's decision was based solely on the policies of the other parties. We are not interested in the sort of personality contest which has been such an unfortunate feature of Irish political life recently and which appears to have been the main impetus in the formation of a particular new political party. We find the prospect of a Fianna Fáil Government led by somebody like Deputy Mac-Sharry or Deputy Reynolds neither more nor less appealing than one under Deputy Haughey, and we do not believe that a Government led by Deputy Barry would be significantly more or less responsive to the needs of Irish workers and their families than one led by Deputy FitzGerald. It is a question of the policies of the parties and it is on that basis that we made our decision. I think it is very clear where we stand.

Mr. Kemmy: Information on Jim Kemmy  Zoom on Jim Kemmy  I am well aware of the importance of my vote on the election of Taoiseach today. I am also well aware of the implications and the significance of it especially for the people who are watching this event today outside the House. I have never believed in histrionics in politics. There is nothing to be gained from such and I leave that to other people who have more practice in the art than I have. I believe in coming to the point. I did not delay my announcement of how I would vote today until this assembly met this afternoon. I announced a week ago how I would be voting. I was down this road before and my vote is an unqualified and unconditional one. It is on the issue only and I would like the people concerned to take note of that. My vote is for the Labour Party, the largest of the left-wing groups in this Dáil.

Talk about left-wing unity is cheap. I have heard a lot of it in my 25 years in [30] politics, but I see little practice of that unity in this House or outside. My vote today is an effort to encourage the development of real alternative parties here. After all, the three main parties have gained 148 of the 166 seats in this assembly. My vote is also a practical demonstration of socialist co-operation and goodwill in action.

The people have voted and have clearly placed the responsibility for forming the Government on the three main parties. It is time for these parties to get away from Civil War and personality politics and get down to the business of forming an administration. It is time for them to get away from the point scoring and petty shadowboxing that has characterised Irish politics for far too long. In reality, there is no difference between the three parties. There are only cosmetic differences dating back in some cases to 65 years ago, to the Civil War which is long since forgotten, and to personality problems in Fianna Fáil in more recent times. All the parties in this House, with the exception of the Labour Party and my own party, are chips off the one Sinn Féin block, and the sooner we get away from personality politics the better for all of us.

Our economy is in a mess. We have a quarter of a million people unemployed and our young people are running out of the country in their tens of thousands. We have failed to bring the full development of our people and our resources behind us as a nation. At the same time, more than £1,000 million is being exported from our country every year in the form of profits for multinational companies and there is also the matter of repayment of our £21 billion national debt. The enormous export of capital is draining away the very lifeblood of our people and must be tackled immediately along with all our other problems.

At the same time, we are importing more than £900 million worth of food, much of it vegetables. It is time for a Government to emerge which will use taxation to force investment and productivity on an unwilling and reluctant agricultural sector in the interests of our [31] people. For far too long we have created wealth and jobs inside the farm gates. It is time to create them outside.

Even though there are 18 left-wing Deputies in this House, which is a very small number, the people at large are watching us, particularly the ordinary working people. They want us to behave in an intelligent and effective way in how we use our forces in this House, because some of us might not get a second chance — and I know a little bit about that. We must also learn the lessons of Labour's past mistakes. While I welcome the Labour Party's newfound socialist stance, I must say that for far too long Labour have merely been used as lobby fodder by Fine Gael. For too long that party have acted as Fine Gael's conscience. It is time for Labour to act as their own conscience. Labour must work with other left-wing forces in this House in the interests of the people they represent. They must also endeavour to forge some kind of effective opposition to the powerful, wealthy, conservative forces which have ruled our society since its inception. The Workers' Party today have made their stance known in this House. It is not for me to tell The Workers' Party how they should behave, but I will say that I have no interest in cat and mouse games between Labour and The Workers' Party. The people out there will not tolerate that. They put us here to act in an effective way on their behalf and not to engage in cat and mouse politics. We have seen too much of that in the conservative forces.

It would be easy for me to talk about left-wing unity, using all sorts of clichés. I have no interest in doing that. The concept of unity of the left is something important that we should work for. I am voting today for Deputy Spring, not as an individual but as the leader of the largest left-wing party in this House. His views are consistent with my own views about an alliance and unity of the left and, therefore, I have great pleasure in supporting his nomination.

Mr. Gregory: Information on Tony Gregory  Zoom on Tony Gregory  Ar dtús, a Cheann [32] Comhairle, ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh leat as an oifig ard atá bainte amach agat. Tá a fhios agam go n-éireoidh that barr leat mar a éirigh leis an Cheann Comhairle deireannach a bhí againn. Ba mhaith liom an deis a ghlacadh chun buíochas a ghabháil leis an Cheann Comhairle deireannach, Deputy Tom Fitzpatrick, as an neamhspleáchas a bhí aige i gcónaí sa Dáil deireannach.

As an independent Member of the Dáil my position on the vote on nomination for Taoiseach is guided by the record of the candidates and the policies of their parties, whether it be Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael or the Progressive Democrats. My analysis is that all of these conservative party leaders share direct responsibility for the dreadful economic and social downfall of this country over the past decade. While the same nominees for the position of Taoiseach are themselves insulated from and unaffected by their own harsh economic and social policies, I see at first hand every day in my own constituency the human tragedy that results, in the poverty and the unemployment, in the horror of heroin addiction and the mindlessness of crime. There is no doubt in my mind that it is the right-wing policies of Deputies FitzGerald, O'Malley and Haughey that have made one million of our people dependent on social welfare, over 300,000 unemployed and now, sadly, we have the recurring haemorrhage of emigration. Worse than that, it appears that their only budgetary solution is to make the poor pay for their appalling economic and social mistakes and mismanagement.

Now they seek to pursue these same and even harsher policies. I could not vote for the architects of such policies. Indeed, since the results of the general election became known the factor that has been the major influence on the course of action I will take today has been the dangerous swing to extreme right-wing politics evident in the outcome of the election.

It was this conservative threat that prompted me almost immediately to call on the left-wing individuals and groups to form an alliance in the Dáil. Had this [33] happened, while there would have been unity of the left for the first time, there would have been division and disarray among the right-wing parties, with each trying to out-manoeuvre the other. In these circumstances, should the left have been united in the Dáil, a Fianna Fáil Government could have been, at the very least, held in check by the left and prevented from introducing the harshest of budgetary measures and, indeed, could well have been forced to improve the living standards of the more vulnerable sections of the community. I cannot think of a more honourable role for the left in a Dáil dominated by the conservative right.

Instead, regrettably, the left failed even to meet to discuss a common strategy, despite the huge responsibility they carry to defend the poor and the disadvantaged against the policy of That-cherite cutbacks. The strategy of Labour, The Workers' Party and the Democratic Socialist Party appears to be to force the right-wing parties together into an even more extreme conservative block, where the victims yet again will be the poorest sections of society. It is not in the interests of the unemployed or those on social welfare, either in the short term or the long term, that the right becomes stronger. I have never believed in the cynical philosophy that things get better for the left when they got worse for the poor. Just as I could not vote for the three right-wing nominees because of their record on policies, I could not vote for Deputy Spring because of his collaboration in the previous four years with the Fine Gael dominated Government, when even the food subsidies were taken from the poor, and unemployment reached crisis proportions. Even then, Deputy Spring only pulled out of Government when the game was up, not on any issue of principle but out of simple and cynical expediency.

I waited until today in the Dáil to state the decision I have reached, initially to allow the left to meet and discuss a common strategy. I did nothing to preempt, or prevent the realisation of that [34] course of action. Equally, I waited to allow time for the main parties to act responsibly and selflessly and honour their commitment to the electorate. They all said the country needs stability, but they failed miserably to provide that stability. Instead, they are motivated by petty party self-interest and personality differences. They have sought to divert attention from their irresponsibility by isolating me, as if the burden of responsibility rested with me alone. It is in this context that I have been forced to make my decision, a decision based on a practical assessment of the realities presented by a Dáil so overwhelmingly dominated by the right. Another election would most likely drive the country further into the grip of the hard monetarist right. No matter what the posturing, nobody here or outside wants another election.

While never collaborating by participation in right-wing Governments the left must use their position to influence the Government in order to prevent the worst excesses of right-wing policies, and in doing so, work constructively in the interests of the working class. This is the only way forward to build a credible socialist alternative which in the long term will gain the confidence of the people. For these reasons I have taken a most difficult although necessary and correct decision, to abstain in the vote on the nomination of Deputy Haughey.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Gregory: Information on Tony Gregory  Zoom on Tony Gregory  Coming from somebody who has just spent four years in the most right-wing and anti-working class Government that comment is incredible, but I would expect it from Deputy Quinn.

Deputies:  Hear, hear.

Mr. Gregory: Information on Tony Gregory  Zoom on Tony Gregory  The result will be the lesser of two evils. I hope the left will meet before the budget and find a united way in which to respond to the economic and social issues that confront the working class. There is no question of my [35] abstaining on or supporting harsh budgetary measures which affect the poor.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Blaney.

(Interruptions.)

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

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney  Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney  I join with the other Members in extending my congratulations and good wishes to Deputy Treacy on his election to the post of Ceann Comhairle. It is my great pleasure that Deputy Treacy should occupy the Chair at the moment, not only because he comes from a small number of us who are unattached to any major party but also because of his long experience, because he showed courtesy when in the Chair before, because of his international experience in Europe and his 25 years service in this House. All of this ensures a good start to what seems a rather dicey situation at a time when we require a Government that will take imaginative and determined steps and if necessary spectacular decisions in order to rectify the situation in which we find ourselves as a result of the mal-administration now departing and as a result of the mal-administration going back not for ten years as indicated by Deputy Gregory, but going back 13 years and a bit.

We began going down hill in 1973 with the fairly genuine excuse at the time, that the oil crisis forced us to borrow in order to run the house. That proceeded to a point where in the following four years, even though the crisis gradually lessened, we were £6 billion odd in the red before the 1977 election. In that unfortunate contest there was panic in the front bench of the then Fianna Fáil Party who could not read the signs that they could have stayed in bed and won the election in 1977. With ten days to go before polling day they put the brains of the then elitist within that party, the then leader, Deputy O'Malley, Deputy O'Donoghue and I will not mention any others——

(Interruptions.)

[36]A Deputy:  What about Charlie?

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney  Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney  ——to work and they decided that in order to buy the electorate with its own money, and feed the dog with more of its own tail, they would wipe out all rates and beat Fine Gael to it as they were doing it by instalments, on the never never system. They also decided that there should be no tax on cars. That, added to the £6 billion, really set us on the down hill course with the wind at our back and we have never since recovered under any administration. Another £6 billion debt was added to our housekeeping costs during the term of that administration, right up to 1981. From 1981 on we have doubled it again and we now have a debt of about £24 billion. Though the interest rates keep changing, somebody said lately it is costing us £70 a second in interest on our debts created by successive administrations since 1973. We have nothing to show for it. This would have been different had the money been borrowed for capital development and not for housekeeping and to ease things when difficult decisions had to be taken.

It is a scandalous record that stands as a monument to the maladministration by and the lack of determination on the part of successive Governments since 1973. Leaving aside the world depression which has been used as an excuse for our going further into the red, it has resulted in the frightening ever-growing unemployment figures that we have today. These things have happened because of the lack of determination and the lack of real leadership in Governments during that time. Nobody can be excused in that regard. The only thing one can ask of this House is that from now on we can take a lesson from what has happened, from the unemployment figure of 250,000 and from the exodus of the tens of thousands who are beginning to drift out to all corners of the globe. As far back as ten years ago it was predictable that the exodus could one day become equal only to that which was seen during the great famine. We are approaching that stage today. We should [37] not borrow further for housekeeping but should borrow, if necessary, for development and job creation and to do the things which are required for the future.

If our young population are to stay here, jobs alone will not keep them though we do not have the jobs yet for them. Unless there are provided such services as housing, roads, water and sewerage — even if we might have the jobs in the future — our young people will not stay and why should they? They will go to places where all these things are available as of right. These, then, are the areas that any Government who would rear their heads to try to lead us out of the mess we are now in should concentrate on. They must take their decisions regardless of how narrow their majority may be or of whether they are actually a minority. They must take those decisions seriously, without favour to any section and as and when the dictates of the benefits of this country so require.

In the contest now before us there are four runners and apparently no betting. Had there been betting a fixed book might have been contrived.

Mr. G. Mitchell: Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell  There are a few tick tack men.

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney  Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney  What are the odds now? There are no layers.

Mr. S. Barrett: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  You are always ten to one on.

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney  Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney  I fought this election with a very small party, and I have a party as some of you may well know. In that election, as I have done in the last four elections, on the economic side I pointed out in our literature and manifestoes, of which we have printed several during the years, that in 1977 unemployment was 70,000 which I regarded then as a scandal, that it is now 250,000 and still rising with the outlet valve open for emigration again. As has been said, probably the true figure for comparative purposes would be 300,000 at present. From 1977 to 1981, and twice in 1982 I called for determined efforts from incoming Governments [38] whoever they may have been to invest in the future. Now in a worsening situation I am making that call again to the incoming Government. We must believe in the future of this country. Above all, we must believe in the huge percentage of young people among our population — the under 25s or the under 30s, whichever you wish.

The construction industry is the one outlet that can be put into operation overnight. I can hear the cynics ask where is the money to come from? The money for that purpose could be raised and would be good value because it could put anywhere up to 60,000 of our unemployed construction workers back to work. Some people seem to think that we have too many houses, that the position is similar to that of 1957 or 1959. That is not the case. For some considerable time 300 housing contracts from my own county have been resting in the Department awaiting sanction. We have a five-year waiting list for people who are just as badly off as those already approved. That is just my own county and counties elsewhere differ very little in that respect.

There is scope and there is the need. Idle hands are being paid money at present. Taking into account administration costs, those construction workers are costing more than what would be their gross wages after tax. As I have said on several occasions, not only during elections but in this House, it is daft to pay people for doing nothing at a cost as great as you would pay them net if they were doing some useful work. That useful work lies not just in housing but in the breakdown of our roads system which was predicted by me ten years ago also. It has broken down because of the fact that no money has been spent on maintenance for a considerable number of years.

A silly decision was taken to take the surface men off, the men who were fair game for a skit, those with their barrows, hooks, brushes and shovels, whom people thought it was all right to laugh at. But these were the men who kept the water tables clean, the briars and the hedges cut and the holes filled in. When [39] there was a splash of rain he knew where the flooding would take place and would relieve it even if that meant going out in the middle of the night. In my county we had 1,500 of those men. Today we have 280 while our roads are becoming impassable. There is a similar story in every county. Surely nobody can say we can stand back and allow our roads to deteriorate and become impassable. Surely something vital must be done if we are to keep our heads above water.

Telecommunications, despite all the money that has been put into that area, are still far from satisfactory although improved. We hope they will be perfected in the not too distant future. There are tens of thousands in this country in whose homes there are no sewerage facilities. There are thousands who have no water facilities. We are short schools to the extent that a blot on our landscape in every county in the motley collection of prefabs, some of which have been standing so long that they are now falling down. Building plans and contracts have been held up while our kids and our teachers are suffering in bad conditions to provide what all of us agree must be provided, education for our young people for the future.

These things must be done. We have the hands to do them but we are spending more paying people to do nothing than it would cost to pay them to do this work. If we have to borrow, borrow for those things but cut out fast the borrowing of housekeeping money that has been to our detriment during the past 13 years. Our fisheries have only been crawling along despite massive increases. Fish processing is still in its infancy. In fact, we are providing 0.7 of a job onshore in processing fish against every individual fisherman who is full time at sea whereas in the EC the comparative figure for every full time fisherman employed is seven employed onshore processing fish.

We have 5,000 fishing full time in this country and we are only employing 0.7 of those onshore. We could multiply that figure by ten, or halve it and call it five, and provide between 20,000 and 25,000 [40] jobs in that industry. If you think we do not have the supplies let us do what the Bulgarians have been doing during the years: let us put the factory ships on the water and follow the shoals as they do and not stand, as I have done, watching 15 to 30 of them operating off the Donegal coast year in and year out. That continues to happen. We can do these things but we must take our courage in our hands. Timber is one commodity which will pay off very well but not if it is sold when it is half grown, as this Government have done and are doing, exporting it at the lowest possible value, giving as an excuse that it is sold in this condition to raise money to plant more trees. I do not know anything more daft that the present Administration did than that.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  May I dissuade the Deputy from making a very long speech of a general nature which might perhaps be more appropriate to the budget?

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney  Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney  I bow to your ruling but I must say in my defence that I have not been talking for the last fortnight, as many others Deputies have been doing.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney  Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney  I left it all to Deputy Gregory. Having been silent for so long, you will pardon me for making all these points. However, there are a few more points I wish to make and I will keep my contribution short.

I campaigned specifically against the Anglo-Irish Agreement, the Act dealing with extradition which we passed, but which is not yet in operation, and section 31 which is one of the daft things for which we are all responsible, and not just the last Administration who might be credited with other daft things. Section 31 is too daft to talk about here. I also campaigned on the basis that I am not to be taken for granted by any party on any issue.

I am satisfied that with the inconclusive result of the last general election we have the worst possible situation which could [41] have been envisaged so far as the future well being of this nation is concerned. It is believed that the last thing anybody wants is another election. It is my opinion that we are rather introverted so far as this is concerned because 90 per cent of all those to whom we have been speaking about these matters have been working on our behalf and they see things as they affect themselves. They say nobody wants another election but I do not believe the public at large give two hoots whether there is an election next week, next month or next year. All they are concerned about is that we get a Government to govern, a Government who are not afraid to take the right decisions.

On the national issues, I have mentioned extradition, the Anglo-Irish Agreement and section 31. I have no belief in those who forced the Anglo-Irish Agreement through this House. How could I? My only hope that these trends will be reversed is if the Fianna Fáil Party form a Government. We are left with Deputy Gregory abstaining and if the counting is right — I have been counting the Deputies on the Government side and they are one short; Fianna Fáil are there in strength——

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney  Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney  If we fail to elect a Taoiseach today, it will be up to the Taoiseach, Deputy Garret FitzGerald — I am not sure if he is still Taoiseach but I am regarding him as such — and perhaps the intervention of the President in his normal role to decide what will happen. If we had known for sure on the night of the elections that there would be a deadlock — although that was clear to me when only half the returns were in — it would have made my task of how I was going to vote this evening a lot easier.

If we do not elect a Taoiseach this evening, I would not be afraid of Fine Gael's manipulations in the interim. I would be much more afraid of the new extreme right and their manipulations with whichever party they might negotiate or among whom they might be welcome. The outcome of such a manoeuvre [42] frightens me so much that I begin to get a much clearer idea of the benefit of an immediate election or having a minority Government. Anything would be preferable to a PD-influenced Government, whether it be the far left, the middle right or the middle ground, which is now Fianna Fáil. This new entity is frightening because they have grasped this opportunity, departed from their roots and set up a new party. He could not be captain of the team so he formed a team of his own.

Mr. D. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  We did it rather better than Deputy Blaney did.

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney  Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney  I did not hear what the Deputy said.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  People in the Gallery should not interrupt the business of the House. Deputy Blaney, without interruption, please.

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney  Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney  In reply to the comment about languishing for 17 years, I would like to place a bet — and somebody else can collect it if I am not around — that you will not be here in 17 years time because——

Mr. D. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  Six months ago I was told I would not have two Deputies in this House.

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney  Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney  That does not make any difference. The fact is the Deputy has a team now and he is captain of that team. He should be happy and not try to run the bloody country as well. Let me conclude——

Miss Quill: Information on Máirín Quill  Zoom on Máirín Quill  Thank God.

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney  Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney  Do you believe in God? I thought it was only in the PD leadership you believed. Let me conclude on a note which I have no doubt will be as dear to the Chair as it is to me. My support will go to the only party which can form a Government and who — I want to put [43] it on record — I am satisfied will not recognise the article in the Anglo-Irish Agreement which gives the British the right to be in our country; and No. 2, that the Extradition Act, which is ready to be put into operation when certain things happen, will go out the window as far as the UK and the Six Counties administrations are concerned. In the meantime, and urgently, the newly interpreted extradition laws we recognise between here and the Six Counties and the UK should be repealed so that in the interim a young county man of mine, by name McIntyre, who is in custody awaiting an appeal to the Supreme Court against extradition be not extradited under the present interpretation as handed down from the Supreme Court or now being practised under existing law. Those matters are of fundamental importance to me and to all who hold republican traditions in any sort of favour at all.

In those circumstances, and in order to avoid the possibility of the far right getting their hands on any party to [44] manipulate a Government in the future, I will support the new administration. I will support it on the condition that measures beneficial to the construction industry, the fishing industry, the forestry industry and in job creation will be implemented speedily and that the differential in taxes which is destroying our Border counties will be reduced on petrol, liquor and beer before it swamps the entire country. I am putting it to the House that the only possible place to get that return is from the Fianna Fáil Party. On that basis, on conditions laid down by me, no deals done by anybody, I will vote for Deputy Charles Haughey and hope he becomes the Taoiseach to avoid all the things I have said about the right, far right and otherwise. I hope he does the things that need to be done in order to save our country, our economy, our people and our future.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I am putting the question: “That Deputy Garret FitzGerald be nominated as Taoiseach”.

Allen, Bernard.
Barnes, Monica.
Barrett, Seán.
Barry, Peter.
Begley, Michael.
Birmingham, George.
Boland, John.
Boylan, Andrew.
Bruton, John.
Bruton, Richard.
Burke, Liam.
Carey, Donal.
Connaughton, Paul.
Cooney, Patrick Mark.
Cosgrave, Michael Joe.
Creed, Donal.
Crotty, Kieran.
Crowley, Frank.
Deasy, Austin.
Deenihan, Jimmy.
Donnellan, John.
Doyle, Avril.
Dukes, Alan.
Durkan, Bernard J.
Enright, Thomas W.
Farrelly, John V.
FitzGerald, Garret.
Fitzpatrick, Tom.
Flaherty, Mary.
Flanagan, Charles.
Griffin, Brendan.
Harte, Paddy.
Hegarty, Paddy.
Higgins, Jim.
Hussey, Gemma.
Kelly, John.
Kenny, Enda.
Lowry, Michael.
McGahon, Brendan.
McGinley, Dinny.
Mitchell, Gay.
Mitchell, Jim.
Naughten, Liam.
Nealon, Ted.
Noonan, Michael J.
(Limerick East).
O'Brien, Fergus.
O'Keeffe, Jim.
Shatter, Alan.
Sheehan, P.J.
Taylor-Quinn, Madeline.
Yates, Ivan.

[45]Abbott, Henry.
Ahern, Bertie.
Ahern, Dermot.
Ahern, Michael.
Andrews, David.
Aylward, Liam.
Barrett, Michael.
Bell, Michael.
Blaney, Neil Terence.
Brady, Gerard.
Brady, Vincent.
Brennan, Mattie.
Brennan, Séamus.
Briscoe, Ben.
Browne, John.
Burke, Ray.
Byrne, Hugh.
Calleary, Seán.
Clohessy, Peadar.
Cluskey, Frank.
Colley, Anne.
Collins, Gerard.
Conaghan, Hugh.
Connolly, Ger.
Coughlan, Mary T.
Cowen, Brian.
Cullen, Martin.
Daly, Brendan.
Davern, Noel.
Dempsey, Noel.
Dennehy, John.
De Rossa, Proinsias.
Desmond, Barry.
de Valera, Síle.
Doherty, Seán.
Ellis, John.
Fahey, Frank.
Fahey, Jackie.
Fitzgerald, Liam.
Fitzpatrick, Dermott.
Flood, Chris.
Flynn, Pádraig.
Foley, Denis.
Gallagher, Denis.
Gallagher, Pat Cope.
Geoghegan-Quinn, Máire.
Gibbons, Martin Patrick.
Gregory, Tony.
Harney, Mary.
Haughey, Charles J.
Higgins, Michael D.
Hilliard, Colm Michael.
Howlin, Brendan.
Hyland, Liam.
Jacob, Joe.
Kavanagh, Liam.
Keating, Michael.
Kemmy, Jim.
[46]Kennedy, Geraldine.
Kirk, Seamus.
Kitt, Michael P.
Kitt, Tom.
Lawlor, Liam.
Lenihan, Brian.
Leonard, Jimmy.
Leyden, Terry.
Lynch, Michael.
Lyons, Denis.
McCartan, Pat.
McCarthy, Seán.
McCoy, John S.
McCreevy, Charlie.
McDowell, Michael Alexander.
Mac Giolla, Tomás.
MacSharry, Ray.
Molloy, Robert.
Mooney, Mary.
Morley, P.J.
Moynihan, Donal.
Nolan, M.J.
Noonan, Michael J.
(Limerick West).
O'Dea, William Gerard.
O'Donoghue, John.
O'Hanlon, Rory.
O'Keeffe, Batt.
O'Keeffe, Ned.
O'Kennedy, Michael.
O'Leary, John.
O'Malley, Desmond J.
O'Malley, Pat.
O'Rourke, Mary.
O'Sullivan, Toddy.
Pattison, Séamus.
Power, Paddy.
Quill, Máirín.
Quinn, Ruairí.
Reynolds, Albert.
Roche, Dick.
Sherlock, Joe.
Smith, Michael.
Spring, Dick.
Stafford, John.
Stagg, Emmet.
Swift, Brian.
Taylor, Mervyn.
Treacy, Noel.
Tunney, Jim.
Wallace, Dan.
Walsh, Joe.
Walsh, Seán.
Wilson, John P.
Woods, Michael.
Wright, G.V.
Wyse, Pearse.

[47] Question declared lost.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I am now putting the question: “That Dáil Éireann nominate [48] Deputy Charles Haughey for appointment by the President to be Taoiseach.”

Abbott, Henry.
Ahern, Bertie.
Ahern, Dermot.
Ahern, Michael.
Andrews, David.
Aylward, Liam.
Barrett, Michael.
Blaney, Neil Terence.
Brady, Gerard.
Brady, Vincent.
Brennan, Matthew.
Brennan, Séamus.
Briscoe, Ben.
Browne, John.
Burke, Ray.
Byrne, Hugh.
Calleary, Seán.
Collins, Gerard.
Conaghan, Hugh.
Connolly, Ger.
Coughlan, Mary T.
Cowen, Brian.
Daly, Brendan.
Davern, Noel.
Dempsey, Noel.
Dennehy, John.
de Valera, Síle.
Doherty, Seán.
Ellis, John.
Fahey, Frank.
Fahey, Jackie.
Fitzgerald, Liam.
Fitzpatrick, Dermott.
Flood, Chris.
Flynn, Pádraig.
Foley, Denis.
Gallagher, Denis.
Gallagher, Pat the Cope.
Geoghegan-Quinn, Máire.
Haughey, Charles J.


Hilliard, Colm.
Hyland, Liam.
Jacob, Joe.
Kirk, Séamus.
Kitt, Michael P.
Kitt, Tom.
Lawlor, Liam.
Lenihan, Brian.
Leonard, Jimmy.
Leyden, Terry.
Lynch, Michael.
Lyons, Denis.
McCarthy, Seán.
McCreevy, Charlie.
MacSharry, Ray.
Mooney, Mary.
Morley, P.J.
Moynihan, Donal.
Nolan, M.J.
Noonan, Michael J. (Limerick West).
O'Dea, William Gerard.
O'Donoghue, John.
O'Hanlon, Rory.
O'Keeffe, Batt.
O'Keeffe, Ned.
O'Kennedy, Michael.
O'Leary, John.
O'Rourke, Mary.
Power, Paddy.
Reynolds, Albert.
Roche, Dick.
Smith, Michael.
Stafford, John.
Swift, Brian.
Treacy, Noel.
Tunney, Jim.
Wallace, Dan.
Walsh, Joe.
Walsh, Seán.
Wilson, John P.
Woods, Michael.
Wright, G.V.

Allen, Bernard.
Barnes, Monica.
Barrett, Seán.
Barry, Peter.
Begley, Michael.
Bell, Michael.
Birmingham, George.
Boland, John.
Boylan, Andrew.
Bruton, John. [49]Crotty, Kieran.
Crowley, Frank.
Cullen, Martin.
Deasy, Austin.
Deenihan, Jimmy.
De Rossa, Proinsias.
Desmond, Barry.
Donnellan, John.
Doyle, Avril.
Dukes, Alan.
Durkan, Bernard.
Enright, Thomas.
Farrelly, John V.
FitzGerald, Garret.
Fitzpatrick, Tom.
Flaherty, Mary.
Flanagan, Charles.
Gibbons, Martin Patrick.
Griffin, Brendan.
Harney, Mary.
Harte, Paddy.
Hegarty, Paddy.
Higgins, Jim.
Higgins, Michael D.
Howlin, Brendan.
Hussey, Gemma.
Kavanagh, Liam.
Keating, Michael.
Kelly, John.
Kemmy, Jim.
Kennedy, Geraldine.
Kenny, Enda.
Bruton, Richard.
Burke, Liam.
Carey, Donal.
Clohessy, Peadar.
Cluskey, Frank.
Colley, Anne.
Connaughton, Paul.
Cooney, Patrick Mark.
Cosgrave, Michael Joe.
Creed, Donal. [50]Lowry, Michael.
McCartan, Pat.
McCoy, John S.
McDowell, Michael Alexander.
McGahon, Brendan.
McGinley, Dinny.
Mac Giolla, Tomás.
Mitchell, Gay.
Mitchell, Jim.
Molloy, Robert.
Naughten, Liam.
Nealon, Ted.
Noonan, Michael J.
(Limerick East).
O'Brien, Fergus.
O'Keeffe, Jim.
O'Malley, Desmond J.
O'Malley, Pat.
O'Sullivan, Toddy.
Pattison, Séamus.
Quill, Máirín.
Quinn, Ruairí.
Shatter, Alan.
Sheehan, P.J.
Sherlock, Joe.
Spring, Dick.
Stagg, Emmet.
Taylor, Mervyn.
Taylor-Quinn, Madeline.
Wyse, Pearse.
Yates, Ivan.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  There is here an equality of votes. Pursuant to Article 15.11.2º of the Constitution I have a casting vote and I am required by the Constitution to exercise that vote. I exercise it, therefore, for the question and I declare the question carried that Deputy Charles J. Haughey be nominated as Taoiseach.

Question declared carried.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I would like to offer my congratulations and good wishes to Deputy Haughey on his election as Taoiseach. That election was secured, it is true by a very narrow margin, the narrowest of margins. Deputy Haughey will be aware that there exists in this House a clear and decisive majority in favour of decisive action in the economic sphere. I refer to the action necessary to create conditions favouring increased employment and a lasting cut in the tax burden achieved by means which do not add further to the share of public revenue preempted by interest payments which, indeed, it would be desirable to reduce as soon as possible. The action necessary to achieve these objectives will in present circumstances necessarily involve decisions that will not find favour with sections of the community. The new Government will require the necessary support in this House to carry them through.

In so far as the incoming Government introduce budgetary measures which correspond to the objectives which I have just mentioned — and I have deliberately avoided being more specific recognising that the Government must take their own decision on the details of the policies required for this purpose — my party will not oppose such measures or legislative action required to implement the necessary budgetary provisions. It is important that the Dáil and public opinion generally [51] understand that this is the situation. It is important that the narrowness of the margin by which Deputy Haughey was elected should give rise to no doubts as to the possibility of the new Government in this Dáil as at present constituted taking the steps that have become necessary in the national interest because it was the unforeseen and indeed the unforeseeable events that have so aggravated our public finances since the preparation by the outgoing Government of the national plan in 1984.

Finally, this party will offer full support to Deputy Haughey in the further implementation of the Anglo-Irish Agreement, the full fruits of which can be secured only over time and through the continuance of the common sense of purpose which has animated both the Irish and British Governments in negotiating and signing this agreement and in its implementation to date. Were the continued and further implementation of the agreement to be put at risk in any way my party, and I believe Dáil Eireann as a whole, would react very sharply. I believe and I hope that we shall have no occasion to face such a problem and that Deputy Haughey will actively pursue the further implementation of the agreement with the aim of securing peace and stability in Northern Ireland and indeed in Ireland as a whole. I conclude by renewing my good wishes to Deputy Haughey in the very difficult task he is now undertaking.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Ba mhaith liomsa mo fhíor bhuíochas a chur in iúl don Dáil as ucht mé a ainmniú mar Thaoiseach. I want to express my very deep gratitude and appreciation to Dáil Éireann for having conferred upon me the honour of electing me as Taoiseach. May I also, a Cheann Comhairle, offer you my congratulations on your election and join with all the other Deputies in the House who have promised you their full support and co-operation in the discharge of your onerous duties. I want also to express my appreciation to Deputy FitzGerald for his offer of support in decisions that he [52] feels will be necessary and that will merit his support. I am grateful for that attitude on the part of Deputy FitzGerald and his colleagues.

I appreciate the efforts made by the outgoing Taoiseach to deal with the problems which confronted him and his Government. I believe that those problems were perhaps unprecedented in their severity during the course of the past four years. We did not always agree on the methods or the approaches of the Government in dealing with those problems but the Taoiseach and his colleagues approached them as they saw best and in the best interests of the country. I hope that I and my colleagues will do the same with the problems which confront us.

A Cheann Comhairle, it is necessary now that I should go and inform the President of my nomination so that he may appoint me. Accordingly, I suggest that the Dáil now adjourn until 7.30 p.m. this evening.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Is it agreed that the Dáil adjourn until 7.30 p.m. this evening? Agreed.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  In accordance with precedent, when the Dáil resumes will the Members on my left please take their places on my right and those Members on my right please take their places on my left?

Sitting suspended at 5.25 p.m. and resumed at 7.30 p.m.


Last Updated: 13/09/2010 22:25:35 First Page Previous Page Page of 8 Next Page Last Page