Spotted in Dublin 8.
Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s nomination for Taoiseach is rejected for the third time.
Results of Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin’s vote to follow.
Earlier: ‘We Are Stepping Back’
Previously: Doing The Sums
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin’s nomination for Taoiseach is rejected, also for the third time.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaking to VP Joe Biden and guests short while ago. Biden said if he ran in US he’d get 80pc pic.twitter.com/XxubiKLNOY
— Jennifer Bray (@Jennifer_Bray) March 15, 2016
— Independent.ie (@Independent_ie) March 15, 2016
At the US Naval Observatory in Washington DC.
A damn close run thing it wasn’t.
Micheál Martin’s vote to follow.
The result for Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.
The result for Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams.
The result for AAA-PBP’s Richard Boyd Barrett.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Brussels this morning
Several Irish journalists asked Taoiseach Enda Kenny questions as he arrived for a meeting between Turkey and the EU’s heads of states or government – to discuss the numbers of refugees reaching Europe.
It’s being reported that Turkey is now seeking €20billion in return for Turkey taking back all non-Syrian refugees from Europe.
In addition, Turkey wants faster accession talks and quicker visa-free travel for its citizens within Europe.
Readers may wish to note that Ireland’s naval service rescued more than 8,000 people from Italy-bound boats off the coast of Libya and haven’t been present in the Aegean Sea to date, where boats of refugees, leaving Turkey, are bound for the Greek islands.
Ann Cahill (Irish Examiner): “Can Ireland not do any more? In terms of helping the situation. I mean we have very few of the EU’s first-time asylum-seekers last year and I know we’re taking some but could we not do more?
Enda Kenny: “The problem is not only on the Irish side, we’re actually not, as you know, part of the protocol, Ann, but the thing is that we’ve taken some from resettlement and relocation. We’re committed to taking 4,000 and we’re working towards that with the personnel that we have, from Ireland, coming to both Greece and to Italy and with the hotspots and the personnel working there.”
Cahill: “Can we not take more from Turkey?”
Kenny: “Well I think we should first of all be able to deal with what we’ve got with the commitment that we’ve entered into. I might say, I spoke this morning as well to the Minister for Defence [Simon Coveney], I expect that it’s our intention to send one of our vessels down to the Mediterranean again, in order to help with the situation there, in so far as humanitarian assistance is concerned whether that be as part of the formally, of the European response or on a bi-lateral basis will be worked out. But it’s our intention to send a further vessel down.”
Cahill: “And will they take people back to Turkey if…”
Kenny: “Well that has to be worked out in respect of sending them down first of all and in what role they’ll play there either as part of a formal European, humanitarian response or as a bi-lateral arrangement as we had before.”
Cahill: “And would you favour that, would you..”
Kenny: “I’m fully in support of the call and the intention of sending a further vessel down, they did rescue 8,000 people on the last occasion.”
Watch in full here
Previously: Cannon Fodder
From left: Former Cork East Fine Gael TD Tom Barry and Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton
Earlier this evening, former FG TD for Cork East Tom Barry spoke to Mary Wilson on RTÉ’s Drivetime.
Mr Barry lost his seat at the weekend.
Now he wants Enda Kenny to lose his leadership of Fine Gael.
Mary Wilson: “You lost your seat in Cork East on Saturday. Do you look at your leadership and party headquarters? Did you feel let down?”
Tom Barry: “Well, hi Mary. Certainly, you know, while we all ran very good campaigns on the ground, there was certainly no welcome within our party for people like myself who were outspoken. If you offered constructive criticism, it was almost dismissed. And there seemed to be a willingness to look at focus groups and advisors rather than look at the people who were dealing, you know, the elected representatives who were dealing on the ground with people. And it’s very disappointing, because, you know, we all have a lot of experience to offer and, you know, we have obviously suffered because of that. And I would say now, you know, for people who are saying, ‘let Fianna Fail and Fine Gael go in together’, I mean we did not get a mandate to govern this time and, you know, give the people what they voted for. They’re looking for an alternative government – whatever it’s going to bring, be it Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and Independents because the people who came out last week – shouting and roaring and saying they had all the solutions to all the problems that we know are there – they need to come out today with those solutions and say they want to form a government to actually implement those solutions.”
Wilson: “We’ll get to formation of Government in a moment. Stay with your years as a deputy and the Fine Gael parliamentary parties where every TD is entitled to have his or her say. You say there were things you wanted to say. Enda Kenny has always been seen as a chairman, a very good manager of the party. Was he not listening to you?”
Barry: “Well, I mean I often spoke up and criticised at meetings…”
Wilson: “What did you criticise?”
Barry: “Well, initially, I suppose, the very first one where we had a problem was when Kevin Cardiff made such a mistake in finance and I asked for him to be removed. He wasn’t removed, he was promoted. And I took that very bad because I just felt it gave the wrong, the wrong…”
Wilson: “The wrong impression… And what else, for example, around the setting up of Irish Water, were you a supporter of that?”
Barry: “Look, I mean, I’ve run a business for many years and I’ve paid for water. I argued about how they could do it many different ways but, you know what, they were pulling in solutions day after day, trying to manage a situation that was getting out of hand but none of us were asked for our opinion. We were never given…”
Wilson: “What about the issues of health on the ground, and you’ve had issues of overcrowding in the Cork University Hospital, did you raise those issues?”
Barry: “Well, health wasn’t, to be fair, wasn’t my area of expertise but I mean, week upon week, we brought up cases of, when the negotiations for the, or the review of the discretionary medical cards. I mean there was, eventually it led to a point where I had to march up to the Taoiseach’s office and demand that a certain individual who was absolutely worthy of a medical card but to be given it because I wasn’t elected to see people like that without a medical card. It was absolutely ridiculous…”
Wilson: “And did you march up?”
Barry: “Yes I did.”
Wilson: “And did you march in? Did you talk to the Taoiseach?”
Barry: “I did of course and I was absolutely at my wits end because, to be honest, that wasn’t good enough. I mean we had it for weeks upon weeks at the parliamentary party, bringing it up and this was done for a so-called saving of €28million but it’s you know, it’s very frustrating when you’re in a backbench position – you give your opinion, you expect it to be taken on board but it wasn’t. And, you know, that’s the reality of it.”
Wilson: “Do you feel let down by Enda Kenny?”
Barry: “Well look, I mean, I feel very disappointed that there wasn’t a more open government. I think they’ve in fairness, I think there was a lot of control exercised and I think they’re reaping the rewards of that control now. And to be fair, look, I’m not bitter, I mean I’m just saying it as it is. I’m obviously not part of this new government and I’ll move on with my life and, luckily enough, I can go back to my business but there are many others who can’t who were extremely good TDs…”
Wilson: “And what should Enda Kenny do now?”
Barry: “Well, he needs to take responsibility. We have seen our party go into a meltdown, we got more seats than we deserved because a lot of Labour TDs unfortunately were eliminated to elect Fine Gael and vice versa. That won’t happen again when those people are gone. Any person who’s in charge of an organisation where such a seismic collapse happens, you know, in my view, has to go..”
Wilson: “He has to go, and go now?”
Barry: “I mean this isn’t personal, this is just being quite frank about it. It’s a situation that’s unacceptable. But I would say also there is no mandate for Fine Gael to go into Government. We’ll let Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, and all the other parties that are out there who have got votes based on criticism and so-called solutions to let those solutions come into play. I mean, ironically, a lot of them would get their money from increasing corporation tax. They’re anti-Europe and anti-Germany but they’re doing the very things that Europe wants us to do. And just watch the reaction of the many multinationals who give valuable employment here when we start becoming unpredictable…in our economics..”
Wilson: “So you, sorry Tom Barry, for interrupting you, so you think it’s time for Enda Kenny to go, to go now. Who would you like to see replacing him?”
Barry: “Well we’re very fortunate in the party to be fair. We still have extremely capable people such as Frances Fitzgerald, Leo Varadkar, Simon Coveney, there are many, many of them, they are very good people who I think can make a definite change and have the energy to do so but it’s not my call. I’m not a member of the parliamentary party, I’m simply like everybody else now at this stage, watching it but I do have a very informed position at this moment in time and that’s, it’s only my opinion. Certainly, look, I can’t affect change but this country is at a very pivotal point.”
Wilson: “And would you be saying any of this if you were still the Fine Gael TD for Cork East?”
Barry: “Absolutely, absolutely, I went to An Taoiseach’s office in Christmas 2014 to vocalise, there was a lot of problems going on at the time, to say, ‘look if it keeps going, something will have to change’ and I’ve made my feelings clear on this. Certainly, one of my first actions, if I was in the parliamentary party would have been to ask for the general secretary to consider his position.”
Wilson: “Tom Curran?”
Barry: “Yes, that fiasco we had with, up in Sligo, where half a million was absolutely wasted…”
Wilson: “The John Perry court case?”
Barry: “Aw sure it was a ridiculous situation where the Taoiseach had said that he could run and apparently he didn’t say it and then, all of us sudden, we go to court and then we pull out, lose half a million which is ridiculous, and then, you know, we have situations where the general secretary is supposed to know what’s happening on the ground and has, in a lot of cases, you know, his interference has lost us seats – that’s the reality of it. The figures don’t lie.”
Wilson: “You blame, do you, the loss of your seat in Cork East on Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the general secretary of the party, Tom Curran?”
Barry: “Well mine and a lot of others but look…”
Listen back in full here
From top: A Magdalene Laundry in the 1950s; Nuala Ní Mhuircheartaigh (Department of Foreign Affairs), adviser to Martin McAleese in his role investigating State involvement with the Magdalene Laundries; Enda kenny during the leaders’ debate on Tuesday night
Also known as Opus Dei.
On Tuesday night, towards the end of the Prime Time Leaders’ Debate on RTÉ, presenter Miriam O’Callaghan asked the leaders what decision they regretted the most in their public life – political or otherwise.
When it came to Taoiseach Enda Kenny, the Fine Gael leader said:
“Well I regret a number but I would say that, maybe, to have been able to do things earlier but then that didn’t come my way. Like, that’s why I was happy to speak out about the sexual abuse in Cloyne, that’s why I was happy to do, to be moved by the tears of the Magdalene women, that’s why I was happy to deal with the people in Priory Hall, and that’s why I think it was important to be able to join the, join with the many hundreds of thousands who were able to provide freedom and relief for so many people in the marriage equality referendum. I had regrets about not being able to do things about those earlier but, when its come my way, we’ve been happy to work with others in delivering on that responsibility.”
Further to this.
Oireachtas Retort has dedicated their Election Day post to the survivors of the Magdalene laundries and symphysiotomy with pieces written by Claire McGettrick, of Justice For Magdalenes, and Marie O’Connor, of Survivors of Symphysiotomy.
Oireachtas Retort writes:
“You will find no clearer example of how brute uncaring force, casually demeaning people over decades is hardwired into the DNA of this state.
The cold indignity visited upon these women is multi-layered. The complicity and indifference that fuelled these crimes is not confined to the past but persists in the decisions we make in the ballot box today.”
In the post, Ms McGettrick reminds readers that, as the UN found the McAleese Report’s investigation to be neither prompt, independent nor thorough, it called for the Irish government to set up an independent inquiry.
But the government rejected the UN’s claim stating that because McAleese didn’t find evidence to “support allegations of systematic torture or ill treatment of a criminal nature in these institutions”, there would be no independent inquiry.
Further to this, Ms McGettrick writes:
“Are we to believe that the Taoiseach’s tearful apology [on February 19, 2013] was as a result of a ‘road to Damascus’ moment, or was it a political decision, designed to make the Magdalene problem go away? The experiences of survivors in contact with our organisation since the apology would suggest that unfortunately, it was the latter.”
“In June 2013, Mr Justice Quirke published The Magdalen Commission Report and while the financial element of the ex gratia scheme fell far short of what survivors deserve, we nonetheless welcomed it, in recognition of the other recommended benefits and services, particularly the establishment of a Dedicated Unit and the provision of an enhanced medical card which would provide access to ‘the full range of services currently enjoyed’ by HAA Card holders. We were pleased when the government announced that it would accept all of Judge Quirke’s recommendations.”
“...It is now three years since the apology, and the trust of Magdalene survivors has been seriously undermined, as the government has tried to cut corner after corner on its implementation of the ex gratia scheme. Survivors are still awaiting the establishment of a Dedicated Unit, a measure that should have been put in place immediately and not after the women have had to navigate the Ex Gratia Scheme alone. Some survivors have difficulty in proving lengths of stay because of the religious orders’ poor record keeping, yet incredibly, the government affords greater weight to the religious orders’ contentions than survivor testimony.”
“The healthcare provisions as outlined in the RWRCI Guide do not provide Magdalene survivors with the same range of drugs and services made available to HAA cardholders.”
“…Earlier this week a vulnerable Magdalene survivor phoned to say she had spent 17 hours on a drip in a chair in a crowded A&E. This same woman shed tears of happiness in the Dáil on the night of the apology. She phoned me the next day, concerned about the Taoiseach – ‘the poor man was very upset’ she said. Three years later however, she feels completely hoodwinked.”
“She read Appendix G of Judge Quirke’s report and signed away her right to sue the State based on the legitimate expectation that she would receive a comprehensive healthcare suite. She certainly expected better than 17 hours in A&E.”
Previously: Three Years Ago Today
Watch the debate in full here
Taoiseach Enda Kenny outside RTÉ last night
Last night during the Leaders’ Debate on RTÉ One.
Miriam O’Callaghan: “You promised, and I quote you, ‘a democratic revolution’. You were going to reinvent our country and yet one of the most embarrassing crony examples, John McNulty, you appointed him to the board of IMMA to get him on to a bigger board, the Seanad. You out Bertied Bertie….Taoiseach this was naked cronyism and, to be fair, you said at the time, you left your own standards and integrity down.”
Enda Kenny: “Yes.”
O’Callaghan: “What did you mean by that? What did you do?”
Kenny: “What I did was, I didn’t, what I did was make an appointment that did not need to be made. And I’ve changed the rules since then…”
In respect of the appointment to the board of IMMA, that was made by the Minister, Deputy Heather Humphreys, exercising her right as the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in respect of examining the qualifications of Mr. McNulty, who is a completely innocent person in this regard. Mr. McNulty was formally nominated on 17 September.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny addressing the Dáil on September 30, 2014.
Previously: The Crony Crisis Timeline