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Posts tagged ‘Pat Rabbitte’

EVERY household in the country will be hit with a new Public Service Broadcasting Charge

Another Rabbit pulled out of  Pat Rabbitte,s hat!


“Every household in the country will be hit with a new Public Service Broadcasting Charge”

Nobody will be able to refuse to pay the charge because it will apply regardless of whether you have a television, computer or any other device that can pick up public information.

The new universal charge will be collected in a way that tackles the current very high evasion rates of the TV licence fee – suggesting the payment mechanism could be modelled on the new property tax.

Currently nearly one in five households does not pay the TV licence fee and this is costing the government €30m a year in lost revenue.

Announcing major changes to the way public service broadcasting is funded Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte today gave a commitment the new charge will not exceed the current €160 a year licence fee………….

full article at source: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/every-single-home-to-be-hit-with-new-broadcasting-charge-29428338.html


By Thomás O Cléirigh


We are Paying for the lottery pensions of pampered and mindboggling arrogant politicians like Pat Rabbitte, Eamon Gilmore and the rest of the Leaches sucking us dry in the Dail. Now they want us to continue to pay the pampered Pre-Madonna’s in RTE their lottery salaries and their enormous pensions ,!

Labor’s Pat Rabbitte and the rest of the freeloaders in the Dail are the ones that have to go! Just look at his plumped up face from all that fine living at our expense!

This is the face of arrogance take a good look!

Mr. Rabbitte and his sellouts collaborators in the Dail should be hounded everywhere they go!

An overpaid stuffed up face of a puppet labour politician get to hear what the people of Ireland want to say. Mr. Rabbitte and his sellouts collaborators in the Dail should be hounded everywhere they go until they get out of the Dail and their lottery pensions taken away from them !

“ridiculous pay packages of board members of semi state bodies” Yeah!

Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte has said that it is “ridiculous” for board  members of semi-state bodies to persist in implementing pay packages that  “aren’t in the wildest dreams” of the average worker.

Minister Rabbitte  made the comments following the decision by the DAA chief Declan Collier to  forego his €106,000 bonus for 2010.

The decision was made following  Government pressure.

Minister Rabbitte said that there are rules set out  by the Government about limits on remuneration packages for people in semi-state  bodies.

“It should follow as night follows day that in circumstances  where people on average incomes have been taking severe hits in the public and  private sector, and in the private sector many of them losing their jobs, then  it is ridiculous to persist in the design and implementation of remuneration  packages that are just simply beyond the wildest dreams of the majority of the  workforce,” said Minister Rabbitte.

Read more: http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/rabbitte-calls-for-end-to-ridiculous-pay-for-semi-state-bosses-510571.html#ixzz1QTJo2LN9


Mr. Rabbitt  has been in power now for 100 and more what has
he done to curtail this wholesale plunder of the public purse nothing why
because it is the culture of “servants of the people”  in this country. When exactly did these state
bodies acquire the right to pay themselves bonus for doing the job they are amply
paid to in the first place?? What exactly does Mr. Rabbitt intend to do about
this intolerable situation. To have an ounce of credibility Rabbitt and his band
of friendly fellows should lead the way and take a 50% cut on their own extravagate
salaries and bring in new legislation to cut the lottery salaries of all semi
state bodies .Why the IMF hasn’t demanded this in the first place is puzzling
to say the least .

sale of scrap copper telecommunications cables to help the State’s finances


Sunday June 12 2011

 In the INDO today  I see this article  and I just got to thinking of other ideas that the  government might be considering like extracting gold fillings from the dead in all the countries graveyards.! With this shower anything is now possible !


A plan to haul up disused telecommunications cables from the sea bed around Ireland and sell the the scrap copper to help the State’s finances is under consideration by the Department of Communications.

The suggestion comes from Fine Gael TD Joe McHugh, who believes the high price of scrap copper, which is now selling at €8,000 per tonne, has potentially made the costly recovery of the materials economically viable.

Mr McHugh has written to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, proposing that his department should carry out the salvage work on the dormant copper wires, which have been superseded by satellite technology.

In response to a parliamentary question, Mr Rabbitte said: “While the recovery and disposal of redundant copper lines lying offshore or elsewhere is not an issue in which my department has a function, I have asked my officials to contact the deputy with a view to establishing who the owners of the material are in order that the potential value and recovery of the material might be considered.”

Various communications cables have been laid between Ireland and the US since the 1850s and would be easily recoverable.

“Recently installed cables tend to be buried below the seabed, but a significant proportion of cables are unburied on the sea floor,” said Mr McHugh.

“The first transatlantic telecommunications cables went from Valentia, Co Kerry, to Newfoundland, Canada, and submarine cables have been laid on the Irish seabed since the 1850s.

“Old telegram and telegraph copper wires could easily be winched from the seafloor on to 40ft to 50ft tugboats, and then sold on the market.

Eircom, Bord Gais and the ESB have collected survey data on cables on the Irish seabed since 1986, and I understand that Kingfisher Information Service, a department within the [UK’s] Sea Fish Industry Authority is undertaking a cable awareness project that will cover waters between the coasts of Norway, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Ireland and the UK.

“The [department] should establish the quantity of dormant copper on the Irish seabed and the feasibility of its excavation. There may be a useful financial and employment opportunity for the State in this proposal,” he added.


Labour lost its way before


IF FINE Gael and Labour have problems in agreeing a programme, the problems are ones of personality and perception. There are no incompatibilities of principle or ideology.

Both are agreed it is best to renegotiate the EU-IMF deal to reduce the debt burden and to decrease the interest rate. Both are convinced there is no option ultimately but to defer to the diktats of the ECB and EU Commission even if this means compensating bondholders of the banks not covered by the guarantee.

Both are agreed the deficit has to be reduced to 3 per cent of GDP, they differ only marginally on the timeframe (in reality it will take longer than either propose) and in terms of the balance between expenditure cuts and tax increases (in reality it will take more than either is proposing on both fronts).

Both have stealth taxes in mind, especially Fine Gael which is allowing for a property tax and services charges and Labour will go along with whatever is deemed necessary.

Both propose political reform and both have good ideas but they avoid the central issue: the subservience of the Dáil to the government of the day, because of the whips system. Neither is prepared to give the people, to whom there is such rhetorical deference, any direct say in the crucial decisions affecting this society. Nothing will be done about the low representation of women in politics or about the low representation of working-class people in politics.

Both Fine Gael and Labour, however, are chock-a-block with men (mainly) and women (a few) of integrity and ability. Both parties are chock-a-block with men and women who believe it is not possible to effect any radical restructuring of society to make it more equal. In the case of Fine Gael there are several who think this is a daft idea and bad for society because it would lessen incentives.

On the Labour side most believe in what they call incrementalism (the incremental advancement of equality), even though they have every reason to know that incrementalism has not worked before and won’t work now.

During the period from 1994 to 1997 when Ruairí Quinn was minister for finance, Seán Healy, then of Cori, calculated that in every one of the budgets for which Quinn was responsible, it was the rich who benefited most. And, in a telling indictment of Labour’s five-year tenure in office in the 1990s (first with Fianna Fáil from 1992 to 1994 then with Fine Gael and Democratic Left from 1994 to 1997), the Institute of Public Health calculated that 5,400 people died prematurely every year because of the scale of inequality here.

On June 30th, 1994, Proinsias De Rossa, then leader of Democratic Left which included Eamon Gilmore and Pat Rabbitte, had this to say of the Labour Party then in coalition with another right-wing party, Fianna Fáil: “Who can point to a single issue in the economic area where this Government has adopted a position or taken a decision that might not have also been taken by the previous Fianna Fáil- Progressive Democrats administration or the minority Fianna Fáil Government which went before that?

“Has the Labour presence led to any new radical approach to the unemployment problem or new measures to secure an equal distribution of wealth? There is no evidence of that . . .

“Far from being in partnership with Fianna Fáil, the Labour Party has now been almost totally assimilated into the political culture which the tánaiste (Dick Spring) spoke of in such withering terms in the dying days of the last Dáil.”

Without even an acknowledgment that Labour lost its way, even partially, in previous coalitions, Labour is now again about to enter another coalition and, it is certain, the outcome will be the same. No alteration to the structure of society, aside from a widening of inequality. Yes a few reforms that, essentially, won’t change much.

Hardly anything different from what could happen were Fine Gael to be in office on its own, with the support of a few capitalist cheerleaders.

There seems no reserve about two parties agreeing a programme for government now, for which nobody voted. It was abundantly obvious for years that the next government would be a Fine Gael-Labour coalition and yet both parties refused to put a joint programme to the electorate to seek a mandate for it, as they sought in 2007.

There will be claims of a strong mandate to engage in all kinds of depredations but many voted for Fine Gael, not to give a mandate to every item of policy or, in some cases, any item of policy, but simply because Fine Gael was not Fianna Fáil. Actually, the Fine Gael success in the election was modest. It won only about a third of the percentage vote Fianna Fáil lost, ending up with just 36.1 per cent, hardly a mandate for anything at all.

The Labour Party did slightly better in getting Fianna Fáil’s lost vote share but still did not manage to surpass its best result, which was in 1992, when it won 19.5 per cent of the vote (just 19.4 per cent in 2011). Fine Gael got lucky in its number of seats getting an unprecedented seat bonus (ie, the percentage seats versus the percentage vote).

The next election will be the most interesting ever!

source: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2011/0302/1224291142810.html?via=mr

Not a single party voted against the bill at the second stage (Bank Bailout)

consensus behind disastrous decision

13 February 2011

 By Vincent Browne
Two dates haunt this election campaign: September 30, 2008 and November 28, 2010.

The first was the date of the bank guarantee. The second was the day of national shame, the day oft he EU/ IMF rescue deal.

The bank guarantee represented the most spectacular single transfer of wealth from society at large to a financial elite in the history of this country.

The elite were depositors of more than €100,000 (depositors up to €100,000 had been guaranteed previously) and bondholders who had lent money to the banks.

Even if the banks had not collapsed subsequently, it was still a huge transfer of wealth because of the insurance it gave the big depositors and bondholders.

We are hearing much in this campaign about who did or did not support that guarantee and who said what at the time.

Finance minister Brian Lenihan said: ‘‘I stress that the provisions we are asking the House to approve are in no way a bailout for the financial system. . .

The terms and conditions on which the guarantee is provided will ensure the taxpayer gets value for money.”

Fine Gael finance spokesman Richard Bruton said: ‘‘We are offering support to this bill because we believe it is important that we copperfasten our financial system. . . I support the view of the government that it is better to provide the broad deposit guarantee involved in this legislation.”

Taoiseach Brian Cowen said: ‘‘In the event of there being a future situation where one had to work out the assets of an institution, if it emerged after working out those assets that there was a deficit, clearly the sector would pay for the difference through a levy over time rather than expecting the taxpayer [to cough up].”

Labour’s Joan Burton offered no opposition to the bill at second stage (the crucial initial procedure where the principles of a bill are debated).She wanted to be assured there would be no exorbitant payments to executives of the banks during the period of the guarantee. She said Labour was willing to provide a guarantee, but not a blank cheque.

Micheál Martin said: ‘‘I applaud the decision taken by the Taoiseach and the minister for finance to bring this issue to the attention of the government yesterday evening.” The Greens’ John Gormley bemoaned the absence of a global financial regulator, while urging support for the bill.

Only Labour’s Pat Rabbitte expressed unease. He said: ‘‘The question remains as to why the markets are frozen towards Irish banks.

The answer has to be that international banks regard Irish banks as having too many bad debts and bad loans on their books.

‘‘Banks who have been lending Too much to dodgy builders come in the back door to Merrion St and make a case, presumably that one or other of them is in deep trouble, and we opt to convert the country into a massive AIG.

We are one massive insurance policy now for some €400 billion.” But even he protested he was not against the bill.

Not a single party voted against the bill at the second stage (where parties opposed to a measure can indicate their disapproval by voting against).

The Labour Party did vote against the bill at the final stage, but only because of disagreements with technical elements of the bill.

So every party agreed to this massive transfer of wealth and every one of them ignored alternative and less risky measures that could have been deployed.

Patrick Honohan is quoted as an authoritative supporter oft he bank guarantee. However, before he became governor oft he Central Bank, Honohan wrote in the Economic and Social Review (www.esr.ie/Vol40-2/Vol-40-2Honohan.pdf): ‘‘No public indication has been given that the authorities gave serious consideration to less systemically scene-shifting – and less costly – solutions.

For example, they might have provided specific state guarantees for new borrowings or injections of preference or ordinary shares – approaches that were widely adopted across Europe and the US in the following weeks.”

It was this guarantee that brought us to November 28, 2010. It was not the deficit in the public finances that caused that humiliation, it was the guarantee to the banks which precipitated that crisis and caused the surrender of part of our sovereignty.

To a large extent, the election campaign is about that EU/IMF deal: whether it can be renegotiated or whether it can be abrogated.

The stuff about the 5.8 per cent interest on the €80 billion loan provision misses the point that the European Central Bank is subverting our banks to the extent of €150 billion at an interest rate of1 per cent.

The 5.8 per cent interest rate will be reduced after a while, and some posturer or other in the new government will claim credit for that.

But getting rid of some or all Of the bank debt will not be a runner in the EU, according to a source that knows. And disowning it all would cause massive problems, not just with the bondmarkets, but otherwise.

If Ireland is seen to breach contracts at will, what confidence would any prospective investors or traders with Ireland have in the sanctity of their contracts?


Like I say the established political parties are all the same and they have no real differences we need independent realistic alternatives

First step is to recognize that the Irish State cannot pay back these enormous sums. The private bets of gamblers must not be placed on the shoulders of the ordinary people of Ireland and only the independents are saying so

This deal will “pauperise” the country

Government ‘cleaned out’ in punitive deal to ‘pauperise’ country

HARRY McGEE Political Correspondent

POLITICAL REACTION: FINE GAEL said the Government and its negotiators had been “cleaned out” because of an over soft approach to the talks on the €85 billion bailout package.

The party’s finance spokesman, Michael Noonan, said the Government had achieved very little in its talks with the teams from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund but had sacrificed too much in return.

“I believe that the negotiators on the Irish side were soft. They have given up €17.5 billion of our own resources in sacrificing all of the National Pension Reserve Fund. The fund has been cleaned out,” he said.

“The interest rate is extremely high. If the IMF part is just over 3 per cent as reported, it must mean that the average EU interest rate must be very high, well over 5.8 per cent.”

He said the decision to allow Ireland an additional year (until 2015) to meet the 3 per cent target gave the State no advantage. What the extension would entail, he said, was an extra year of austerity measures if the targets have not been met by 2014.

“Already, there are four harsh budgets. In their own press release, the Government is accepting the impact of increased interest charges plus a softness in the growth rates they have projected. So, already there is an acceptance that 3 per cent can’t be reached by 2014,” he said.

The interest rate on Irish sovereign borrowing to date has averaged 4.6 per cent, he noted. If it remained close to that level, it would have been manageable in, his view.

Mr Noonan said the higher interest rate would impose a punitive burden on the State.

Fine Gael, he said, now believed the only way this could be met was if citizens were motivated as a people, and a national movement created to solve the problem.

He said the erosion of the pension reserve and higher interest rates would make it more difficult for an incoming Government to change the four-year plan.

On burning the bondholders, Mr Noonan said Fine Gael had argued for this but believed, since the guarantee was established, that this could only be done under the umbrella of the EU.

He said last night’s announcement was necessary, given the State had entered a process. “It gives us some certainty, which is always helpful. At least we know where we stand. Citizens and businesses can now start planning against this knowledge. The worst thing is uncertainty,” he said.

The Labour Party sharply criticised the deal as a “national sell-out” that would leave Irish citizens saddled with a crippling debt for many years.

The party was scathing at the decision to have the pension reserve fund form part of the package; about the level of interest rates being charged; and the decision to leave the majority of international bondholders unscathed.

Party leader Eamon Gilmore, its deputy leader Joan Burton, and justice spokesman Pat Rabbitte all condemned the deal last night.

Mr Gilmore said the high interest rates would mean the Irish people would have to pay billions of euro extra each year. The pension reserve had been cleaned out to bail out the banks, he said.

“The Fianna Fáil Government has shown no backbone, no negotiating ability and no authority.

“The EU and the IMF have had a walk-over in negotiations with a broken and demoralised Government, that is serving out its notice and which has neither the political mandate nor the moral authority to conclude such a deal.”

Ms Burton said it was a sad day for the country, and the last act in a tragedy that began with the blanket guarantee for Irish banks.

“The negotiators on the Irish side had no negotiating power left. If they played poker they lost. The pension reserve fund has been given up. That is an enormous sacrifice. We no longer have any room for manoeuvre,” she said.

“Developers and bankers here were crazy borrowers. But so were German and French banks which backed them with finance. The ECB has to acknowledge that in failing to create a proper structure for all this, they must also carry some of that blame.”

Mr Rabbitte said the deal would “pauperise” the country. “Now we are going to bend the knee and do as we are told by our European masters.” He said the raiding of the pension reserve fund would leave the cupboard bare.

source http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/1129/1224284372152.html?via=rel




To-Night at 21.00Hrs

The Labour Party in Bray is hosting a meeting covering the area of NAMA &

The Irish Economy next Wednesday, April 7th at 9.00pm in the Strand Hotel,

Seafront, Bray. The guest speaker will be Pat Rabbitte TD, former Labour

Leader and currently Spokesperson on Justice.

Pat Rabbitt responds to posting

pat.rabbitte@oireachtas.ie to me
show details 3:27 PM (5 minutes ago)

Mr Clarke

I hope to have a Private Members Bill ready later this month which would remove any outstanding excuse not to inquire into what allowed the Banking collapse

Thank you


Pat Rabbitte TD

Dear Pat 

Thank you for your response 

And nice to see you back at work !

Dail Debates 4

Róisín Shortall
(Dublin North West, Labour)

No one knew it was an indemnity up to June 2002.

Michael Woods
(Dublin North East, Fianna Fail)

On 20 February 2002, the Final Stages of the Residential Institutions Redress Bill were taken in Dáil Éireann. The CORI package and indemnity were discussed again. It was estimated at the time that the overall cost could be up to €500 million. However, since neither the number of victims who were abused nor the extent of injuries was known, the figure could be considerably higher.

Joan Burton
(Dublin West, Labour)

The Deputy is rewriting history.

Michael Woods
(Dublin North East, Fianna Fail)

I am not and Deputy Shortall will find much of this information in the Ryan report.

The Bill passed its Final Stages with the stated agreement of all parties. Deputy Michael Creed, on behalf of the Fine Gael Party, and Deputy Róisín Shortall, on behalf of the Labour Party, thanked me, as Minister, and my officials for the work done on this complex Bill and both Deputies regretted that day pupils in ordinary schools were not included.

Róisín Shortall
(Dublin North West, Labour)

The Deputy has the dates wrong. No one knew it was an indemnity or what were its terms at that point.

Michael Woods
(Dublin North East, Fianna Fail)

While I understood the Deputies’ concern, I stated we were only dealing with the residential schools and reformatories which were under complete, 24-hour control of the Department of Education.

On 8 March 2002, the CORI package was outlined in Seanad Éireann and fully discussed and approved by the House. The Bill was finalised in Seanad Éireann on 22 March 2002 and in Dáil Éireann on 28 March. It became an Act at the beginning of April.

Further meetings involving officials of the Departments of Finance and Education and Science took place on 7 May 2002, at which issues relating to the property transfer part of the agreement were discussed. At a meeting on 16 May 2002 between officials from the Department of Education and Science and Office of the Attorney General, changes to the draft text of the indemnity were discussed and subsequently carried through.

The agreement was finally approved by Government for signature by the Ministers for Finance and Education and Science on 5 June 2002 and then completed on the direction of the Government. This enabled the Residential Institutions Redress Board to begin its work. At last, those who had been abused and injured would be compensated by the State for this horrible period for children in the history of our young nation. This generation of Irish men and women can be proud that they made amends in some small way to those who, as children, were injured and abused in the State’s residential schools and reformatories, mainly from the 1930s until the 1970s.

I trust the sequence I have set out will be helpful to any genuine person who is anxious to understand what was done and why. The Ryan report greatly expanded on our knowledge of how child victims were treated in the State’s residential schools and reformatories. The Government knew in 1998-99 the nature of these abuses and injuries but not the full extent of the awful crimes committed against incarcerated children. Mr. Justice Ryan and his predecessor, Ms Justice Mary Laffoy, and their teams of experts and officials have done the State a great service.

Some commentators stated and still state that we should have had a full inventory of all the lands, schools, hospitals, care centres and other facilities before accepting the contribution of religious congregations who ran most of the institutions on behalf of the State. This would have resulted in delay and more pain and suffering for the victims. The scheme was based on taking a no fault, no quibble, no legal context approach. We knew that few cases would succeed in court and, accordingly, the cost of the scheme would be much greater than if cases were contested in court. It was the State’s decision to behave at last in a magnanimous manner to those whom it had offended by its actions in placing children in horrific circumstances, grossly neglecting them and ignoring all warnings and reports. The system, which the State ran, was the cause and opportunity for these grievous offences against children.

Others argue we should have taken time to allocate blame to all the parties involved. This, too, would have involved delay and adversarial court proceedings. It would also have placed victims under renewed stress, which the Government was not prepared to do. The Government determined that the redress scheme be provided regardless of the involvement of anyone else. This was done by the State paying full compensation. The issue was regarded as one for society to be dealt with fully and firmly and once and for all. The most effective way the Government could achieve this outcome was to take responsibility for the matter, which is what it did. The scheme was to be fully funded by the State – that was the starting position – and full awards were to be paid.

It has been alleged repeatedly by some Deputies that a sweetheart deal was done with the religious congregations. The Committee of Public Accounts chaired by Deputy Michael Noonan examined this allegation and concluded:

The Minister had set up a meeting with the Congregations where he wanted to move the agenda forward, re-establish a position of trust and see if an agreement could be reached. He only asked the Secretary General to come along with him and was aware that the Secretary General worked closely on this issue with the Legal Adviser. Suggestions have been made of a sweetheart deal at the meetings with the Minister. The Committee is satisfied that this is not the case.

The reports of the Committee of Public Accounts of March 2001, the Comptroller and Auditor General on the 2002 accounts and the Joint Committee on Finance and the Public Service all found there was no collusion with anybody, no sweetheart deal was made and every step taken was in line with the Government’s commitments.

I will address two allegations made by Deputy Gilmore on 26 May 2009 in this House. Deputy Gilmore stated:

In the case of Deputy Woods, he has explained why he did not include the Attorney General in discussions because, as he put it, the legal people had fallen out with the religious. [I did not say that.] Therein lies a clue as to why the blind eye was turned over decades. There was an unhealthy deferential relationship between the State and its institutions and the Catholic Church and its religious orders.

The Deputy omitted to refer to the strong rebuttal of the article he cited. It was in the next issue of the Sunday Independent dated 19 October 2003. I refer to a letter which I sent to the newspaper to make quite clear that what they said was wrong. It read:

Dear Editor

Your article published in last Sunday’s Independent October 12th 2003 concerning the agreement between the State and the 18 religious congregations, was a fabrication and a misrepresentation designed to suit a preset agenda. In discussion with your journalist I never mentioned my faith nor my religion nor did I suggest that they influenced me in any way in the manner in which I conducted the negotiations. Throughout the long negotiations involving many meetings from November 2000 until May 2002, all the officials, Ministers and the Attorney General acted with probity and in a fair and objective way. They did this in the full knowledge that the Government, on behalf of the nation, wanted at long last to make amends to those who had suffered injury in residential institutions and to allow the orders to make a meaningful contribution to that process. At all times I acted as an experienced Minister and not on the basis of my religion, as your article implies. Whether I was a Protestant, Catholic or Dissenter, it would have been my duty to do the same. Finally, may I say that your article highlights the need for an independent press council to prevent such irresponsible journalism.

They left that last line out when they published the article.

The second allegation by Deputy Gilmore is contained in the Official Report dated 26 May 2009 at 16.50 p.m.:

It is a pity that in 2002 he [Dr. Woods] did not bring the indemnity deal before the House for approval. What he did was to bring before the House the Residential Institutions Redress Bill, which enjoyed cross-party support at that time as the appropriate way of dealing with this issue. However, the indemnity deal which apportioned the various liabilities and which capped the contribution of the religious orders was never brought before the House.

There is a bit of confusion in that but I will leave that aside.

Pat Rabbitte
(Dublin South West, Labour)

What confusion?

Michael Woods
(Dublin North East, Fianna Fail)

It is his confusion, not mine. Once again, the Deputy is wrong. The indemnity was before the Dáil and Seanad committee and it was fully and openly discussed—–

Róisín Shortall
(Dublin North West, Labour)

That is not true.

Michael Woods
(Dublin North East, Fianna Fail)

—–and had the benefit of the advice of the Attorney General—–

Róisín Shortall
(Dublin North West, Labour)

The indemnity never came before the committee.

Michael Woods
(Dublin North East, Fianna Fail)

—–of his office and of the experts in the Department of Finance, the Department of Education and Science and others.

Pat Rabbitte
(Dublin South West, Labour)

No, it did not.

Róisín Shortall
(Dublin North West, Labour)

On a point of order, Chairman.

Charlie O’Connor
(Dublin South West, Fianna Fail)

Deputy Woods, I am obliged to take a point of order.

Róisín Shortall
(Dublin North West, Labour)

The Deputy is misleading the House. The deed of indemnity never came before the Joint Committee on Education and Science.

Charlie O’Connor
(Dublin South West, Fianna Fail)

The Deputy’s comment is noted but I am advised it is not a point of order. I ask Deputy Woods to continue and he has five and a half minutes remaining.

Michael Woods
(Dublin North East, Fianna Fail

The indemnity is in the legislation. What the Deputies are referring to is the final details which the Attorney General —–

Róisín Shortall
(Dublin North West, Labour)

Those are the important details.

Michael Woods
(Dublin North East, Fianna Fail)

That can be got any time; all those things are done by the Attorney General and the Chief State Solicitor all the time.

Pat Rabbitte
(Dublin South West, Labour)

They were not done and that is the whole point.

Michael Woods
(Dublin North East, Fianna Fail)

The Deputies are caught out now, they are on the bounce, they have their press release out, trying to tie Fianna Fáil in with the church. I know that is what they are at; that is the preset agenda that they have.

Michael D Higgins
(Galway West, Labour)

No, it is not.

Róisín Shortall
(Dublin North West, Labour)

It was done in secret.

Michael Woods
(Dublin North East, Fianna Fail)

That is being driven by the former Sinn Féin-Workers’ Party and by Deputy Rabbitte in particular.

Michael D Higgins
(Galway West, Labour)

There was no hidden agenda. That is the kind of cheap comment we would expect.

Charlie O’Connor
(Dublin South West, Fianna Fail)

Order, please. I ask Deputy Woods to speak through the Chair.

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