Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Bord na Gaeilge Chairman.

Tuesday, 19 May 1992

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 419 No. 9

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  8.  Mr. Deasy  Information on Austin Deasy  Zoom on Austin Deasy   asked the Minister for the Gaeltacht  Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson   if his attention has been drawn to the public outrage to the remarks of the chairman of Bord na Gaeilge prior to the Westminster elections; and if it is his intention to retain this individual as chairman of the State board.

10. D'fhiafraigh

Mr. Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  d'Aire na Gaeltachta ar léigh sé an t-alt a scríobh cathaoirleach Bhord na Gaeilge sa nuachtán “Anois” inar mhol sé tacaíocht vótála do Gerry Adams; an bhfuil sé oiriúnach do chathaoirleach bhord Stáit rud mar sin a dhéanamh; ar labhair sé leis an gcathaoirleach faoin alt; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas faoi.

  12.  Mr. Spring  Information on Dick Spring  Zoom on Dick Spring   asked the Minister for the Gaeltacht  Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson   if he will make a statement on the appropriateness of the chairman of Bord na Gaeilge recommending the voters in West Belfast should support a person (details supplied) in the recent British general election.

  13.  Mr. Deasy  Information on Austin Deasy  Zoom on Austin Deasy   asked the Minister for the Gaeltacht  Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson   if it is normal procedure for the chairperson and members of State boards under his control to engage in political matters in the public manner.

  14.  Mr. J. O'Keeffe  Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe   asked the Minister for the Gaeltacht  Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson   whether he proposes to seek the resignation of the Chairman of Bord na Gaeilge.

Minister of State at the Department of the Gaeltacht (Mr. Gallagher): Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Tógfaidh mé Ceisteanna Uimh. 8, 10, 12, 13 agus 14 le chéile.

Dírím aird na dTeachtaí ar a raibh le rá agam sa Teach seo ar 8 Aibreán nuair a bhí an t-ábhar á phlé ar an Athló.

Bhí socruithe déanta ag an Tánaiste bualadh leis an gcathaoirleach ar an Déardaoin seo caite ach ní raibh dul as aige ach an coinne sin a chur ar athló toisc gur socraíodh go bpléifí Meastacháin na Roinne Cosanta anseo ar an lá sin. Tá an coinne ath-shocraithe anois don Déardaoin seo chugainn — an 21ú lá — agus [1788] b'fhearr liom gan a thuilleadh a rá faoin ábhar ag an bpointe seo.

Mr. Deasy: Information on Austin Deasy  Zoom on Austin Deasy  It seems extraordinary that the series of statements was made almost two months ago and that there has not yet been a meeting between the chairman in question and the Minister. Is the Minister aware of the difficulties involved where moderate opinion is concerned in Northern Ireland of inflammatory statements like this which give sustenance and support to the Provisional IRA and if he, like most of the public in this country, will be anxious to see that individuals who express views of this nature should not hold public office.

Mr. Gallagher: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Thug mé freagra sa Teach seo ar an athló, 8 Aibreán, agus dúirt mé an lá sin go ndearna mé iarracht teagmháil a dhéanamh le cathaoirleach Bhord na Gaeilge a bhí thar lear, ach anois atá ar ais le coicís anuas. Bhí sé beartaithe ag an Tánaiste bualadh leis an Déardaoin seo caite ach bhí sé socraithe roimh ré go bpléifí Meastachán na Roinne Cosanta sa Teach an lá sin. Anois tá sé i gceist go mbeidh an cruinniú le cathaoirleach Bhord na Gaeilge an Déardaoin seo chugainn. Bhí an Teachta Deasy i láthair sa Teach an oíche sin, más buan mo chuimhne, agus thug mé, mar chonacthas domsa é, freagra cuimsitheach ar an cheist seo. Thairis sin níl aon rud sa bhreis le rá agam ag an bpointe seo.

Mr. Spring: Information on Dick Spring  Zoom on Dick Spring  Ba mhaith liom a fhiafraí den Aire Stáit an aontaíonn sé go ndéanann ráitis den chineál a rinne cathaoirleach Bhord na Gaeilge an-dochar do na hiarrachtaí atá á ndéanamh chun an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn. An bhfuil an tAire Stát in ann a chur in iúl don Teach seo go bhfuil an Rialtas iontach míshásta leis an ráiteas a rinne an cathaoirleach, agus an bhfuil sé i gceist ag an Rialtas Proinsias Mac an Aonghusa a scaoileadh as a phost mar chathaoirleach ar Bhord na Gaeilge?

Mr. Gallagher: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Mar fhreagra ar cheist an Teachta Spring ba mhaith liom a rá [1789] arís an méid a dúirt mé ar an athló, is é sin, gur trua, tar éis do Rialtas na Breataine an deontas a bhain siad de choiste Ghlór na nGael in iarthar Bhéal Feirste agus ansin é a cheadú arís dóibh, go ndearna cathaoirleach Bhord na Gaeilge an ráiteas sin mar go bhféadfaí dochar mór a dhéanamh do chás na Gaeilge sa Tuaisceart, go háirithe i súile na nAontachtaithe. Ach chuir mé i dtuiscint freisin gur scríobh Proinsias Mac Aonghusa an t-alt sin mar iriseoir neamhspleách agus nach bhfuil aon cheangal idir an méid a bhí le rá aige sa chomhthéacs sin agus a dhualgais mar chathaoirleach ar Bhord na Gaeilge. Glacaim leis, ar ndóigh, go mbíonn sé deacair ag daoine in amanna an t-idirdhealú seo a dhéanamh idir imeachtaí duine i gcomhlíonadh a ndualgas poiblí agus rudaí a dhéanann siad ina ngairmeacha proifisiúnta.

Chomh maith leis sin rinne mé trácht ar an méid a bhí le rá ag an Taoiseach nuair a labhair sé ag Ard-Fheis Fhianna Fáil i mbliana nuair a dúirt sé: “The democratic leaders of constitutional nationalism know that we fully support their untiring search for dialogue and for political structures based, not on domination, but on an honourable accommodation between both traditions on this island”.

Mr. Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Nach ráiméis é a rá nach bhfuil baint idir an méid a dúirt cathaoirleach Bhord na Gaeilge go pearsanta ar “Anois” agus é a rá mar chathaoirleach ar Bhord na Gaeilge. An aontaíonn an tAire Stáit liom go ndearna an ráiteas seo ó chathaoirleach Bhord na Gaeilge andochar don Ghaeilge? Freisin, cad é an difríocht idir an cás seo agus cás an Bhreithimh Ó hAnluain nuair a d'iarr an Rialtas ar an bhreitheamh seo éirí as a phost mar chathaoirleach ar an Law Reform Commission; agus an bhfuil sé ar intinn ag Aire na Gaeltachta, nuair a chasann sé féin agus cathaoirleach Bhord na Gaeilge ar a chéile, a rá go gcaithfidh sé éirí as an bpost sin?

Mr. Gallagher: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Is barúil phearsanta de chuid an Teachta Gilmore é sin maidir le raiméis agus na rudaí eile a dúirt sé. Tá [1790] muinín agam féin agus a lán eile sa Teach seo as an Tánaiste agus Aire na Gaeltachta agus is cinnte go mbeidh sé in ann an gnó seo a láimhseáil go sásúil.

Mr. J. Higgins: Information on Jim Higgins  Zoom on Jim Higgins  D'admhaigh an tAire Stáit don Dáil nuair a pléadh an cheist seo cúpla seachtain ó shin nach raibh aon fhreagracht ar an Rialtas as rudaí a scríobhann cathaoirleach Bhord na Gaeilge ina ghairm phroifisiúnta, ach, ag an am céanna, os rud é go bhfuil sé ainmnithe don phost seo ar Bhord na Gaeilge ag an Rialtas, agus go bhfuil sé seo ag dul go díreach in aghaidh pholasaí an Rialtais, ba cheart duit iarraidh air éirí as a phost mar chathaoirleach ar Bhord na Gaeilge.

There is a clear conflict between the chairman of a State-appointed body and Government policy on a matter of life and death. Does the Minister of State not agree therefore that in a case like this, as Deputy Gilmore has said, the man should be asked, without further ado, to resign from office, as happened in the case of Judge Rory O'Hanlon?

Mr. Gallagher: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Aontaím gurb é seo ceann de na deacrachtaí agus mar a dúirt mé ar 8 Aibreán, ba chóir do dhuine a bhfuil íomhá phoiblí aige nó aice, mar shampla, mar chathaoirleach bhord Stáit, bheith iontach cúramach faoi aon ní a dhéanann sé ina ghairm féin lena chinntiú nach dtarraingeoidh sé a phost poiblí isteach i gcúrsaí conspóideacha. Sílim, áfach, gur cheart dúinn uilig bheith foighneach os rud é go mbeidh cruinniú ann idir Aire na Gaeltachta agus cathaoirleach Bhord na Gaeilge Déardaoin seo chugainn.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  Nach fíor a rá maidir leis an gceist seo nach bhfuilimid ag caint faoi rud simplí, ach faoi dhuine a scríobh alt in ar iarr sé tacaíocht, le linn toghchán Westminister sa Tuaisceart, d'iarrthóir a thugann tacaíocht don IRA sa Tuaisceart, a mharaíonn mná agus leanaí, agus nach cóir don duine seo fanacht níos faide ina phost. An bhfuil an tAire chun iarraidh ar chathaoirleach [1791] Bhord na Gaeilge éirí as a phost nó nach bhfuil? Tá an cheist chomh simplí sin.

Mr. Gallagher: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Mar a dúirt mé cheana, beidh cruinniú ann Déardaoin idir Aire na Gaeltachta agus cathaoirleach Bhord na Gaeilge agus creidim gur fearr dúinn fanacht go dtí go mbíonn an cruinniú sin ann.

Mr. Deasy: Information on Austin Deasy  Zoom on Austin Deasy  I want to reiterate what Deputy Higgins, Deputy De Rossa and Deputy Gilmore have said — this man should be asked to resign immediately. I wonder if the Minister of State has any views on the matter and if he is aware — if not, he should bring it to the attention of his Minister — that this is not the first time that this gentleman has impugned the integrity of the State and its personnel. Some years ago he blatantly accused members of the Garda Síochána——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Let us be careful about making charges against a person outside the House.

Mr. Deasy: Information on Austin Deasy  Zoom on Austin Deasy  ——of being involved in the death of a prisoner in his cell in Cork city and when asked to substantiate his allegations he could not to so. It is a disgrace that an individual like that is the chairman of a State body.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  We are having statements rather than questions and I am proceeding to Question No. 9. Ceist a 9.

Mr. Deasy: Information on Austin Deasy  Zoom on Austin Deasy  It is a fact and it was never replied to.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  A Cheann Comhairle——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Gabh mo leithscéal, ar aghaidh go Ceist a 9.

Mr. Deasy: Information on Austin Deasy  Zoom on Austin Deasy  You cannot be two-faced about these things, a Cheann Comhairle.


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