Tuesday, 19 February 1991
Dáil Éireann Debate
2. Mr. Bell asked the Taoiseach 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: 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.
The Taoiseach: 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: 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.
Mr. 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.
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