Ahern, Bertie

Wednesday, 8 October 1997

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 481 No. 2

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Order of Business.

It is proposed to take No. 7a — motion re nomination of member of the Government which shall be taken following the announcement of matters on the Adjournment under Standing Order 21; No. 8a — Europol...More Button

That is correct.More Button

I was due to take this at 12.30 p.m. but following a question from Fine Gael I agreed to take it at 4.15 p.m. That is my understanding of the matter.More Button

I would not have had to keep anyone waiting after 12.30 p.m. if I had been able to obtain agreement. Unfortunately they will now have to wait until 4.15 p.m. I assure Deputy Quinn that no one will ha...More Button

The constitutional issues are still being examined.More Button

Yes.More Button

The Bill does not normally have to be introduced until April but it will be introduced in good time so that any necessary changes arising from the budget can be given effect to within a suitable times...More Button

The first question is a matter for the Minister for the Environment and Local Government who will bring forward proposals in this respect in due course. The other question is not strictly in order bu...More Button

There is no such legislation. This issue arose some time ago when a former Attorney General stated there should be legislation, otherwise the scheme should not exist. The Government is examining the ...More Button

It will be taken during this session.More Button

I made a commitment on this matter and the statements are on the public record. The Minister is looking at the action which can be taken on this issue. My views on the matter are well known.More Button

As Deputy Higgins is aware that was an interim High Court decision and, therefore, it would be wrong to comment on it. However, there will be a further review based on the final decision of the High ...More Button

I would favour a debate not only on economic and monetary union but on all issues concerned and the Whips should look at that.More Button

Deputy Quinn and the Minister, Deputy McCreevy, might discuss that issue with the Whips who might welcome a debate on it.More Button

I stated in reply to a question last week that we would have a debate on that issue during this session.More Button

The treaty was signed and I am not sure if it is necessary to bring it before the House. I stated that when the constitutional amendment is prepared it will have to be brought before the House and a ...More Button

I would welcome a debate in the short-term if Members wish to have one. The matter must be brought before the House when the constitutional amendment is prepared. The White Paper will be published d...More Button

I am conscious the Deputy introduced every coloured paper except the Bill, but the Minister hopes to introduce the Bill shortly.More Button

I said there was no legislation.More Button

In answer to Deputy Higgins, we hope to have that legislation in early 1998. In answer to Deputy Rabbitte, there is no legislation or proposals for legislation but for the past four or five weeks the...More Button

The Department of Justice is preparing a report for the Government which I hope to have shortly. I do not know how many weeks it will take. We will look at the merits, advantages and disadvantages o...More Button

No.More Button

I know the decision Deputy Bruton made; then he ignored the advice.More Button

As I stated last week, the Minister for Justice is to bring proposals to the Cabinet and he has yet to do that.More Button

I do not know.More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. - Luxembourg European Council.

Was asked: his priorities for the summit of EU leaders in December 1997; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the member state holding the EU Presidency it is for Luxembourg in the first instance to propose topics for discussion at the Luxembourg European Council. It is unlikely the Presidency will finali...More Button

It would be unacceptable to tie or to prohibit countries which are moving to EMU as not being entitled to be involved. At this stage it is highly unlikely that negotiations on the Structural Funds as...More Button

The main item being pressed at the employment summit at which there will be discussion on some other issues at the dinner for that European Council next month is the enlargement issue. The Presidency...More Button

I said this morning I hope to have that referendum in March. That is the date we are working towards and for the White Paper to be published in November. In relation to the Deputy's concern, which h...More Button

The issue raised in the second part of the Deputy's question is a fair point. In the early years of the euro there is still much uncertainty about what might and might not happen when the currencies ...More Button

It is likely that the discussions will have advanced to the stage of completion. The Structural and Cohesion Funds do not complete the present round for another two and a quarter years. The proposals...More Button

They are matters for consideration in due course, including the date of the local elections.More Button

Deputies De Rossa and Quinn are saying that if there are other elections we should co-ordinate the dates. That will be borne in mind.More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. - Accountancy Qualifications.

Was asked: if he will elaborate on his reported remarks when he met a delegation from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy recently.More Button

I met the new chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and a delegation of his colleagues on Wednesday, 1 October 1997. At the meeting I commended the increasingly ...More Button

I remember a time when that view was held to be totally unhelpful because a centralised unit at the Department of Finance controlled everything. The idea of having qualified accountants out in the sy...More Button

The question might be more appropriate to my colleague, the Minister for Finance.More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. - Strategic Management Initiative.

Was asked: the progress, if any, he has made since 1 July 1997, in implementing the strategic management initiative within the various Government Departments; the organisational structure which currently exists ...More Button

As set out in the programme for Government, the Government is fully committed to the implementation of the strategic management initiative. On 29 July, as part of my address to the social partners at ...More Button

I thank the Deputy for his offer of continued support for the SMI on behalf of the Labour Party. I was involved in the process from the outset and readily acknowledge that the Deputy drove it forward...More Button

I agree.More Button

That issue is being developed. The Deputy is right and that is why I have said the central issue is the performance management system. When dealing with the Financial Services Clearing House Committe...More Button

The performance management system is the broader issue, but one aspect of this matter, as Deputy Barrett said, is some remunerative reward within the system. I am conscious of the difficulties involv...More Button

Resignation of Member of Government.

The commission constituted as provided in section 2 of Article 14 of the Constitution, acting on my advice, has accepted the resignation of Deputy Raphael P. Burke as a member of the Government.More Button

Nomination of Member of Government: Motion.

I move: That Dáil Éireann approve the nomination by the Taoiseach of Deputy Michael Smith, Minister of State at the Department of Education and Science and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Empl...More Button

Mr. Burke achieved a good working relationship with the Secretary of State, Mo Mowlam, and with many of the different parties at the talks. He had sound political judgment on Northern Ireland. He cr...More Button

Those articles go on to state:More Button

A senior Fine Gael front bencher once boasted that “heads in baskets” was what politics was all about. That is not how I have ever regarded politics, which I understand to be about public service. T...More Button

I hope he is proud of his handiwork, that he never comes to a similar untimely political end and that all his actions as a Government member would survive the intense scrutiny as Mr. Burke.More Button

As Leader of the Opposition, I never liked to demand anyone's resignation before the facts were established and before people were given a fair chance to defend themselves. I tried to bring some human...More Button

All members of this Government gave their support and sympathy to Deputy Ray Burke in the midst of personal tragedy and political turmoil. I thank our partners in Government for their solidarity in t...More Button

—and that the circumstances generally are quite exceptional, it is in order for me at least to provide clarification concerning my own contacts with Ray Burke and others on the subject. Ray Burke's in...More Button

I should also draw the attention of the House to the fact that the Government has considered the whole issue of the naturalisation-based investment scheme. I can inform the House that in early Septem...More Button

There are arguments against the scheme also. Should wealthy foreigners as a matter of principle be entitled to purchase citizenship rights, to which they would otherwise not be entitled?More Button

Is there a danger that such a scheme may attract a proportion of more controversial applicants? Why in normal circumstances should foreigners put such exorbitant value on an Irish passport? Are the ...More Button

Deputy Bruton knows.More Button

Only he and one other.More Button

I did not say the Deputy did. The report was finished and Deputy Bruton and one other had a copy of it.More Button

That was only one of the Deputy's statements, he made five.More Button

They are well represented.More Button

Written Answers. - Consultancy Contracts.

Was asked: the number of consultants, if any, engaged by his Department between 1 April 1997, and 26 June 1997; the amounts paid to each consultant; the work undertaken by each consultant; and if he will make a ...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is outlined as follows: Consultants engaged by the Department — 1 April 1997 to 26 June 1997More Button

No consultancy contracts were awarded under the Vote for Foreign Affairs during the above period. The following contracts were awarded under the Vote for International Co-operation during the period i...More Button


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