Cowen, Brian

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 682 No. 6

First Page Previous Page Page of 204 Next Page Last Page

Leaders’ Questions.

Obviously, I do not accept all of the points that Deputy Kenny makes.More Button

In relation to PPARS, that was commissioned under Deputy Noonan when he was the Minister for Health. That was when that issue started. In relation to the question of money that could go to a childre...More Button

——build, maintenance and financing of the Thornton prison project. That project was unaffordable at the price being quoted by Léargas, as the cost had risen by over 30%. Obviously, the cost of finan...More Button

Decisions on how we will proceed——More Button

——will then be announced.More Button

I would also make the point in relation——More Button

——to the question of prison places being an important facet of having a prison system in this country that, during Fine Gael’s own term when it was last in office, it cancelled Castlerea and the women...More Button

Not one new prison space——More Button

——were constructed during the Administration of the then Taoiseach, John Bruton.More Button

It is clear——More Button

What is clear——More Button

It was precisely to make sure we provide value for money that this project did not go ahead under its present guise. It is precisely because the PPARS project was not properly scoped when Deputy Mich...More Button

It is precisely because we want to get value for money that we made this decision. I reiterate it is our intention to proceed with a prison at the site concerned. The site was purchased as a result—...More Button

It is precisely because of the fact that in managing the Prison Service estate, where 19 acres were sold in Shanganagh for the purpose of funding the purchase of 150 acres at Thornton Hall, that we we...More Button

It is precisely because of the fact we have that asset in place that we will be able to proceed with a prison, which is needed. The Mountjoy complex is nearly 160 years old and we need to replace it....More Button

I confirm to Deputy Gilmore that it is the intention of the Government to proceed with the building of a prison on that site——More Button

——and to do so on the basis of a proposal to be drawn up by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform. The prison will meet the functionality and requirements of a prison in a way that will p...More Button

The proposed development at Mountjoy will proceed once Thornton Hall has been completed.More Button

A prison.More Button

The reason I mentioned the Shanganagh sale was to clarify the position in case people were under the impression that the €40 million was obtained from the Estimate from the Department of Finance. It ...More Button

I am delighted to hear that it sold the prison to the local authority.More Button

Of course it is public money.More Button

Is it being suggested that it should not have been obtained for that price and that the €40 million was received from somewhere else?More Button

The point should be fairly made in the interests of accuracy——More Button

The point should be fairly made in the interests of accuracy that through management of its estate the Prison Service funded the purchase of the 150 acres in Thornton Hall——More Button

——by disposing of 18 acres in Shanganagh for another purpose, which as Deputy Gilmore said went to a local authority.More Button

I believe that is a good thing.More Button

Not at all. I was making the point that out of its own resources and its own estate, the Irish Prison Service was in a position to purchase the site we are speaking about.More Button

On the question of other money that was spent on the site, there were two High Court challenges, and there was a necessity to carry out various surveys in the interests of preparing the site in any ca...More Button

That will be determined once the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform draws up an alternative proposal.More Button

The Deputy either wants an answer to the question, or he does not. I am prepared to give him an answer if he wishes to hear it. It can be done on a phased basis through direct procurement, or we can...More Button

This is pathetic. I know the Deputy wants to be taken seriously, but he is the only comic I know who does not smile. The prison can be built through public private partnership, and we need to take i...More Button

I do. The Deputy can be assured that the prison will be built there on the basis of a proposal to come from the Minister for Finance——More Button

——as soon as we agree on a design, put it to tender in the normal way and proceed with it. Many of the capital projects are coming in on time and on budget, as the Deputy knows but will not admit.More Button

Ceisteanna — Questions - Ireland-America Economic Advisory Board.

Was asked: the arrangements in place within his Department for maintaining contact with the Ireland-America Economic Advisory Board; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I recently met with the Ireland-America Economic Advisory Board during my Saint Patrick’s Day visit to the United States. The body provides a structure through which the thinking of the most senior a...More Button

I raised the tax deferral issue with President Obama when I met him on Saint Patrick’s Day. At that time, the President confirmed that this was an issue not to be resolved overnight. He was mindful ...More Button

Corporate America will be making its views known and setting out how it sees the proposal developing and evolving in terms of its meeting policy objectives. While we must respect the right of any gov...More Button

I have no problem in principle with keeping Opposition leaders informed of any developments that are noteworthy in terms of movement of the original proposition. I take Deputy Gilmore’s point that it...More Button

The conference which it is intended to hold in September is a type of global economic forum bringing together people of influence and expertise from the diaspora, not alone from the US but worldwide t...More Button

If one considers other diasporas, including those from Israel, India and others, it is clear that we have used our diaspora in the United States and in the UK for the purpose of helping to consolidate...More Button

As things stand there are no indications that there is about to be a major outflow of American companies from the country. There are issues that will now need to be addressed and on which we will nee...More Button

No, they have not. There is no one.More Button

There are not people lining up to leave Ireland. I have said the opposite. There are people who have been in Ireland and who are investing in Ireland and continue to invest in Ireland. There has be...More Button

I assure the Deputy that there is no competition or problem. The more delegations that come, both North and South, the more we welcome them. If we get 20 of them in the same month, all the better as...More Button

I am coming to that.More Button

US businesses form the biggest component of these investments. More than 450 US companies operate in Ireland and they have invested over $55 billion in this country. In regard to competitiveness issu...More Button

Ceisteanna — Questions - Departmental Staff.

Was asked: the duties and responsibilities of the special political advisers as appointed by him; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the number of political advisers or assistants appointed by the Attorney General; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the names, titles and duties of the programme managers and advisers appointed by him; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the special political advisers or other non-established civil servants appointed to positions within his Department since his election as Taoiseach; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the roles and responsibilities of the special political advisers appointed by him; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2 to 6, inclusive, together. My advisers are Joe Lennon, programme manager; Gerry Steadman, special adviser; Brian Murphy, special adviser; Declan Ryan, special advise...More Button

The figure of €6.2 million, if it is correct, is approximately 0.002% of the Government’s total expenditure of more than €65 billion. The system of special advisers was first introduced in 1992 and h...More Button

We are working within the legislative and strategic framework set out in the Public Service Management Act 1997. I refer to the question about Mr. Oliver O’Connor, the special adviser to the Minister ...More Button

The contracts relating to advisers terminate on the termination of office of the holder of the office.More Button

Unfortunately, not as soon as the Deputy thinks and, perhaps, far too prolonged for his career to be able to withstand it.More Button

He has been right so far.More Button

We all live in hope. With regard to the second matter, I am not aware if there have been applications to terminate appointments or to seek a contract renewal. I do not think there has been. On the t...More Button

No, special advisers do not have specific responsibilities in those areas. Those responsibilities are taken up by established civil servants.More Button

The advisers employed are doing their work capably and well and they enjoy the confidence of those for whom they work. If they did not, they would not be in the employment they hold. They cannot be ...More Button

The health matters of Government have to be communicated to the public and dealt with in the normal way. The Department of Health and Children has its requirements in that regard as well and the pers...More Button

This has nothing to do with that.More Button

Some work for the Minister of Health and Children in that capacity. It is an onerous position.More Button

An adviser attached to my Department also advises me on health matters.More Button

Order of Business.

It is proposed to take No. a9, Finance Bill 2009 — Financial Resolutions; No. b9, Finance Bill 2009 — Allocation of Time Motion for Select Committee; No. 3, Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions)...More Button

I can deal only with the matters before us. If there are other matters for debate they should be raised with the Minister and obviously the next Stage of the Bill would be the appropriate time to do ...More Button

I must check my own records.More Button

It is awaiting Committee Stage.More Button

The UN convention to which Deputy Higgins referred was signed by Ireland at a conference in Mexico in 2003. In consultation with the Attorney General’s office and other Departments, the Department of...More Button

The report being published today is to be welcomed. It fulfils the Government’s intention in setting up the commission that the story of the residents was told. Inevitably, the report will show up f...More Button

I must reply to Deputy Shatter. I listened intently to what he had to say but, unfortunately, he went on to make a political charge that is totally unfounded. What he is seeking to portray as a veil...More Button

——if a person was not being given an opportunity to defend them, where a reputation was being adversely affected on the basis of a non-statutory inquiry in which all the people who were asked contribu...More Button

I am sorry, Deputy Shatter, but it is not right to portray it in that way. Legal advice was given. We did not write the report. The report had to be tested against those criteria and it was unfortu...More Button

The question of debates on reports, produced by the Mental Health Commission or otherwise, is a matter for the Whips. I do not have an adverse view on these matters if an appropriate occasion can be ...More Button

The management of multi-unit developments Bill will be published in the next couple of days and the detail will be outlined then. It is very detailed legislation. I understand it will be taken in th...More Button

I am not sure how fond Deputy Ó Snodaigh is of grass. The Deputy may not have been in the Chamber for the beginning of the Order of Business. To clarify, a prison will be built on the Thornton Hall ...More Button

The heads of the health information Bill are being prepared.More Button

I understand there is no date for the publication of the other two Bills. If the Deputy is meeting public servants who are complaining about the pension levy, he might remind them that his own party ...More Button

I do not know whether there is any promised legislation on this matter. I will ask the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform to reply to the Deputy.More Button

I will have to find out the detail. I will get back to the Deputy.More Button

Not to my knowledge.More Button

The road traffic Bill will be introduced in this session.More Button

The public transport regulation Bill will be published later this year.More Button

The fisheries (consolidation) Bill will be published next year. More Button

I gave a full and succinct answer. The Bill will be published next year. More Button

The Deputy addressed me.More Button

They are an inseparable team. More Button

Finance Bill 2009: Financial Resolutions.

I move the following Financial Resolutions: THAT section 97 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (No. 39 of 1997), which provides for a deduction against rental income of interest on borrowed money emp...More Button

Finance Bill 2009: Allocation of Time Motion.

I move: That, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders: (1) The proceedings in the Select Committee on Finance and the Public Service on the Finance Bill 2009, on Thursday, 21 May, shall be brought...More Button


Last Updated: 07/10/2010 14:02:49 First Page Previous Page Page of 204 Next Page Last Page