Tag Archives: Joan Burton

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Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton in the Dáil this lunchtime

“The Order of Business shall be as follows. Number 33: Environment Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2014  report and final stages resumed… It’s proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders that 1) the Dáil shall sit later than 5.30pm tonight and shall adjourn on the conclusion of Topical Issues which  will take place not later than 9pm tonight. 2) The sitting shall be suspended on 2.30pm today for 30 minutes. 3) The proceedings on the resumed report and final stages of number 33 shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 9pm tonight by one question which will be put from the chair and which shall be in relation to amendments include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government.”

Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton imposing a guillotine on the  Environment Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2014 Dáil this afternoon.

This effectively means Ms Burton has imposed a vote at 9pm – on the bill – thus ending further debate on the bill.

In response, Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald said:

This Environmental Miscellaneous Provisions Bill originally, in its original incarnation was to deal with such matters as dog breeding, dog licences and Killarney National Park. Now, I think you’re going to have to have a fairly flexible interpretation of the law to explain how a piece of legislation like that is used as a vehicle to do things like: force landlords to tell Irish Water who’s renting a property; make it compulsory the charges be paid before a sale of a house, include in all tenancy agreements obligation to pay the Irish Water tax and to ensure that local authorities will be enforcers of this tax. That’s a bit of a stretch, I think, by any standard.”

“And this is just the latest episode in which you demonstrate, not alone contempt for the Dáil. We could probably stomach that but utter contempt for the citizens outside this Dáil and the citizens that we serve. Utter contempt. We have raised with you, and I raised with you, Tánaiste, many, many months ago and asked you to show your hand in terms of the penalties that you were cooking up for people who weren’t in a position, or who just would not pay your unfair water charges. You avoided that issue like the plague and then you store it up until now and you put some of it in with legislation dealing with dog breeding, dog licences and Killarney National Park and all in an effort to ramroad, ramrod this legislation through just before the summer in the vain hope that you’ll get away with it, that people will be distracted, that they’ll go off on their holliers and forget all about it. I think you’re very wrong if that is your assessment.”

“Finally, Ceann Comhairle, on a matter of good parliamentary practice, even if we were to accept that this dog breeding, dog licence, Killarney legislation was the appropriate mechanism, you’re deliberately, you deliberately, you’re not even affording the basic right of scrutiny of the amendments, you’re guillotining the bill and you’re doing it in a cynical fashion.”

Related: Water Services Bill goes to Seanad after Govt ‘guillotines’ debate in Dáil (Irish Examiner, December 18, 2014)

Previously: ‘We Don’t Know What We’re Supposed To Be Amending’

‘That’s A Matter For The Landlord’

Thanks Anne-Marie McNally

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Labour leader Joan Burton taking a selfie after she cast her votes in Cabra on May 22

Newstalk reports:

“The Tánaiste Joan Burton has confirmed the issue of abortion will be part of the Labour Party manifesto for the next general election. Labour says it wants to see a vote on whether or not to repeal the 8th Amendment, which gives equal rights in the Constitution to the mother and her unborn child.”

The report followed an interview Ms Burton did with Shane Coleman, stepping in for Pat Kenny, on Newstalk this morning.

At one point, Mr Coleman asked Ms Burton if the Labour Party is pro-choice.

Shane Coleman: Are you a pro-choice party?”

Joan Burton: “I would say that what we have now is an agreement that, as a party, we should seek to repeal the 8th amendment. But in the Labour Party, we have a whole range…”

Coleman: “You’re stopping short of describing the Labour Party as a pro-choice party.”

Burton: “Well in the Labour Party we’ve a whole range of views. We’ve people of very deep religious faiths, we have people who are agnostic. We have people who are atheist. We reflect the kaleidoscope, if you like, and the rainbow colour that’s the Irish nation. The Labour Party very much reflects that and what we have to do is we have to spend more time looking at, if we do repeal the 8th amendment, then what structure replaces it.”

Right so.

Burton confirms abortion referendum will be part of Labour manifesto (Newstalk)

Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland


This afternoon.

Merrion Hotel, Dublin

Labour Party leader Joan Burton launches her #talktoJoan campaign, which encourages people to get online and talk to the Tanaiste “about their vision of what Ireland’s social and economic recovery should look like”  ahead of the next General Election.


(Leah Farrell/Photocall Ireland)


The twist?

Joan does all the talking.

From left: (Back) Labour Party Member Grace Willams, Minister For Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin, Labour Party Member Cait Nic Amhcaoibh. From left (front):  Labour Party Member Jim Butler, Joan Burton and Labour Party Minister for Business & Employment Ged Nash.



Ah here.

Via James Kelleher


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Independent TD Catherine Murphy, top, and Tánaiste Joan Burton in Dáil this morning

This morning, during Order of Business in the Dáil, Kildare North Independent TD Catherine Murphy told Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton that she is experiencing major delays in receiving replys to Freedom of Information requests that she has sent to the Department of Finance.

She also said she received one FOI response two weeks after a newspaper obtained the exact same FOI response – even though they were due to receive them at the same time.

Catherine Murphy: “The programme for Government included a commitment to introduce new Freedom of Information legislation, which it did, and my understanding is that it also, it also allows for a review of that legislation. Tánaiste, I have put in Freedom of Information requests into the Department of Finance and I’ve got to say that I’m really unhappy with the way the legislation is playing out.”

I was due to have responses about the same time as responses to the same questions were given to a journalist. Two weeks later, I got them, the exact same pieces of Freedom of Information. I’ve other material that I’m waiting, that’s overdue by weeks. I’ve gone through the appropriate channels, making the complaints and they’re not being provided to me. I’m not being given an explanation. And I’ve got to say it’s completely unsatisfactory.”

“Will you consider strengthening the legislation, if it’s found not to be working and if there is evidence that this is not working, at an earlier date, will you bring in a review before the term of this government is concluded, thank you.”

Joan Burton: “Well, we’ve just very significantly strengthened and expanded and restored the remit of the Freedom of Information Act and, certainly, I’m not aware of the details of what you’re complaining about – I will certainly refer that to the Minister for Finance for comment and reply to you. But what I think is also important and what this government has, as a policy, is to have a more open information society whereby, rather than having people request information, solely through the Freedom of Information Act, that as much information as possible is actually published. I don’t know about the specific incident you’re referring to, Deputy. So, as I say, I’ll refer it to the Minister for Finance for further comment and reply to you.”

Previously: Redactulous

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Expensive phone selfie-ness outside the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin.

Mark writes:

The launch of the Labour Party’s #MakeItHappen campaign aimed at encouraging supporters of the referendum to take practical steps to get more people to vote Yes. The #MakeItHappen campaign will be rolled out over the course of the next three weeks. The first activity of the #MakeItHappen campaign is to talk to older people and to persuade them of the need to vote Yes.

Top from left: Brenna Clarke, Jimmy Somers, Jack Eustace, Grace Williams, Alice Somers, Alex White [Director of the Labour’s Marriage referendum campaign] and Joan Burton.

(Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland)

00159468Tanaiste Joan Burton and Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Sinn Féin’s support has risen significantly by five points to 22%.
Fianna Fáil is up one point to 19%.
When [undecideds] are excluded, Fine Gael support was measured at 25% down two points
Labour has also dipped by two points to 8%.
Support for Independents and the smaller parties fell by two points to 26%.
72% of people questioned have said that they would vote yes in the Same Sex Marriage Referendum with 20% opposed to the proposal and 8% undecided.

The latest RED C/ Sunday Business Post opinion poll.

Poll taken Monday/Tuesday (before-Siteserv).


Poll suggests drop in Govt parties support (RTÉ)


Tanaiste Joan Burton and Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger in the Dail today

What guys?

Those guys.

I don’t see any guys.

Siteserv DOMINATED dáil proceedings today.

Justice minister Frances Fitzgerald has announced an independent inquiry to be set up independently by, cough, Michael Noonan.

Meanwhile Ruth Coppinger pressed Joan Burton on her depth of knowledge about the Siteserv transaction. To wit:

Ruth Coppinger: “The secretive sale of this company Tanaiste has been raised in this house, by the way, for years – on numerous occasions. Deputy Catherine Murphy has done us all a huge service and I commend her aswell for her work, she raised it before. Other deputies raised it to the Taoiseach and to the Minister for Finance. I raised it myself actually, in a Leaders’ Question, and had my mic switched off. Hope it won’t happen today.But, of course, Denis O’Brien is so well connected to Fine Gael, owns large swathes of the media, that it’s taken this long to get us this far. Now Tánaiste specifically, on the issue of Siteserv, and if your baying hounds could stop shouting over the deputies that are here. Can you please answer the following questions: Richard..”

[Bell rung]

Ceann Comhairle: “Sorry, order please”

Coppinger: “Richard Woodhouse, an alleged acquaintance of Denis O’Brien..”

Ceann Comhairle: “Sorry, deputy..”

Coppinger: “…who’s also..”

CC: “Sorry, deputy please, I, I, I just, I know…”

Coppinger: “Who’s also..”

CC: “Sorry, no, there are people’s names in the public, in the public arena but I don’t want people making accusations against people who aren’t [inaudible]…”

Coppinger: “These are facts, Cathaoirleach these are just facts. He was also the head of specialised asset recovery at IBRC and oversaw Denis O’Brien’s borrowings at IBRC. Brian Harvey, the CEO of Siteserv.”

[ At a press conference on Friday April 24 former IBRC chairman Alan Dukes said Mr Woodhouse was excluded from the Siteserv sale because he was “handling Mr O’Brien’s finances”]

CC: “Deputy…”

Coppinger: “Received a personal lump sum of €800,000, as a result of the sale to Millington, €800,000. Siteserv’s chairman…”

CC: “Please respect the rule I’m asking you, that’s what I’m putting to you today. OK, continue.”

Coppinger: “Yeah these are facts Cathaoirleach. Siteserv’s chairman Hugh Cooney was also obviously involved in the NTMA, Enterprise Ireland and reportedly also was on an American trip that the Taoiseach attended with Denis O’Brien and we know lawyers Arthur Cox represented both O’Brien and IBRC.”

CC: “Question please?”

Coppinger:”`But why Tanaiste was there no independent representation for the Irish taxpayer. Why was there no legal representation for the Irish taxpayer? The sale was processed we know by people with many connections to people in Siteserv, Davy and KPMG and, of course, the big question, why were other bidders making much larger offers not even considered?
For example, Tanaiste, can you comment that the only tender, and this is very important, that included a payment to directors was the Millington tender. Now if that’s the case why would it not be in the interest of shareholders to take that bid. And if it is true then this was obviously the company that was being positioned to get the water meter contract that’s going to be a license to print money, if you can force through the water charges. What other sweetheart deals took place or are happening and have happened recently at Anglo? From Fine Gael’s bankers? We’ve already heard about Topaz and Beacon Hospital, etc…”

Joan Burton: “I don’t know who they are.”


Earlier: “The €5million Was An Essential Component”

Screengrabs via agenda.ie