Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - National Honours Recognition.

Tuesday, 19 February 1991

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 405 No. 3

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[514]

  2.  Mr. Bell  Information on Michael Bell  Zoom on Michael Bell   asked the Taoiseach  Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey   if, having regard to his replies to parliamentary questions on 2 February 1988, 12 April 1989 and 14 November 1989 in relation to an honours list-order of merit system, he will agree that the time is now opportune that an appraisal be undertaken to investigate the desirability of a merit list in this country in line with those granted by other Republics to citizens who give freely of their talents for the good of society.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  As I indicated to the House on 1 May last in response to questions, I would favour the introduction of an honours system and I would be prepared to talk to the parties in the House about the idea if there was a possibility that we could make some progress.

Mr. Bell: Information on Michael Bell  Zoom on Michael Bell  May we take it that that is an invitation to the party leaders to meet the Taoiseach? Second, when does he hope this meeting will take place?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  It is, in effect, an invitation but I would hope that there would be some general agreement that we could make progress.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  Has the Taoiseach any specific proposals in mind to be put before the party leaders or is this to be an open discussion with no particular agenda?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  If I went to Deputy Bruton with specific proposals he would say I was pre-empting the whole thing and not having all party agreement. I think it would be much wiser for us to meet to have a discussion about it to see if there is any possibility of making progress.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  I would be happy to accept the invitation but I would not criticise the Taoiseach for having proposals, if he had any, as it would at least show he had given the matter some thought whereas if he had an open meeting without any proposals on the table, we might all be wasting our time. However, I am prepared to have the meeting.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Thank you.

Mr. Deasy: Information on Austin Deasy  Zoom on Austin Deasy  Albert could make you an offer.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Ceiste 3.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  May I ask a very brief supplementary?

[515]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  A very brief supplementary; I have in fact called the next question.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  In view of the fact that this issue was raised a number of times in the House and the Taoiseach gave an indication that he would actively pursue the matter with which we agree, would he outline a timetable at this stage? On one occasion he invited me in for a cup of tea to discuss it with him, but I am still waiting.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  We will do it as soon as possible, but I would not like to undertake any major initiative of that kind until after the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis.

Mr. Noonan: Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  (Limerick East): Very wise.

Mr. J. Mitchell: Information on Jim Mitchell  Zoom on Jim Mitchell  We could have Lord Lenihan of Castleknock.


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