Tag Archives: Leo Varadkar

Leo Varadkar hits back at claims he got a free meal at Kylie Minogue concert (Independent.ie)

Top pic: Tiernan Brady

Um.

This afternoon.

Latest: Minister says banks ‘unable to feel pain or conscience’ amid track mortgage scandal (Irish Examiner)

Meanwhile…

Assistant Secretary Department of Social Protection Kathleen Stack with Leo Varadkar, then Fine Gael Minister for Social Protectio, in April, 2017

More than 3,200 persons in receipt of welfare benefits have been overpaid by a minimum of €30,000 and still owe €179m back to the State, it emerged yesterday.

The Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee heard that the overall level of outstanding debt on pension, welfare and carers payments due to overpayments now stands at €501m

Good times

3,200 welfare claimants overpaid by at least €30k (irish Examiner)

Rollingnews

This afternoon.

Government buildings, Dublin 2

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar meets the Grand Secretary of the Orange Lodge, Reverend Mervyn Gibson. Rev Gibson led a delegation of Orange Lodge members from the southern border counties to discuss “matters of interest to their members including education, infrastructure and culture”.

Name that painting, anyone?

Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews

Hanging too loose.

Gnarly.

Shaka?

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

This afternoon.

During Leaders’ Questions.

In the Dáil.

In reply to a question from Independent TD Tommy Broughan about this morning’s protest and collective call for inquests into those who died in the fire at the Stardust nightclub in Artane, Dublin on Valentine’s Day, 1981, to be reopened…

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said KRW Law solicitors, acting for the Stardust relatives and victims, wrote to the Attorney General on April 12, saying that they were putting the AG on notice of their intention to make a formal request of him to grant new inquests, within a matter of weeks.

Mr Varadkar said the AG had acknowledged this letter but that, to date, KRW Law has yet to make the formal inquest.

He also claimed the AG office twice wrote to KRW Law, in July and this month, noting that the AG awaited the formal request.

Mr Varadkar added:

Once it is received, and I did speak to the Attorney General this morning, he will give it full consideration and will look at it afresh with an open mind.

Anyone?

Earlier: Bringing The Truth Home

This morning.

Taoiseach  Leo Varadkar officially opens 42 new social homes at Stormanstown House, Ballymun Road, Dublin 9 on  on behalf of the Oaklee Housing Trust.

Forty two.

More as we get it.

Leah Farrell/RollingNews

Update:

Jump, etc.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar joined by  Damien English, Minister of State at the Department of Housing Stormanstown House this morning.

Rollingnews

Gary Alder tweetz:

I’ve heard it all now. Our great leader is a Jedi apparently.

Elements of British politics ‘can’t believe we won’t fall into line’, claims Taoiseach (independent)

This afternoon.

In the Dáil.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks about yesterday’s announcement by the Minister for Children Katherine Zappone that there will be an exhumation and forensic examination of the remains found at the site of the former Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co Galway.

UPDATE:

Later.

Fianna Fail TD Anne Rabbitte also asked Mr Varadkar about the necessary legislation.

They had this exchange:

Anne Rabbitte: “With the announcement yesterday about the mother and baby home with the site in Tuam, it is understood, what you said was bespoke legislation would be required. Now is that amending some of the legislation or is that drafting new legislation?”

“And do you foresee that in the first quarter of next year, fast-tracking that legislation so as it can run in tandem with, sort of, outsourcing the work that needs doing? And also have the legislation running parallel so as that the people who are at the centre of all these, because they’re ageing, so as they don’t have to wait much longer for results. Thank you.”

Leo Varadkar: “It will be new primary legislation which may of course amend some existing legislation. What we want to avoid, of course, for the reasons that the deputy says, we want to avoid a situation where nothing happens until the legislation is passed. So the things that can be done without legislation, we’ll try and do. What requires legislation will obviously have to wait.

“Unfortunately fast-tracking any legislation in the world of new politics is difficult. A lot of legislation is being held up because we don’t have a majority Government. But that is the will of the people.”

Yesterday: Exhumation But No Inquests

This afternoon.

There will be an exhumation and a forensic examination of remains at the site of the former Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, County Galway but no inquests to discover the causes of death.

Actions to be taken will include:

A phased approach to the forensic excavation and recovery of the juvenile human remains in so far as this is possible;

The use of systematic on-site ground-truthing and test excavations to effectively locate potential burials;

The forensic analysis of any recovered remains and, where possible, individualisation and identification, and arrangements for respectful reburial and memorialisation and the appropriate conservation of the site.

Statement by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone TD

The Tuam Babies’ Family Group said:

‘This is an exceptionally important decision and will pave the way for all the other mother and baby homes, and the lost children of Ireland.

We want all of the children found, if they are not in the grave, where are they? All of the children must be found and we would like to see a full excavation of the entire site as we believe there are many graves in the area, not just at the site we have all come to know.”

Kevin Higgins, a legal advisor to the Tuam Home Survivors’ Network, said:

“The set piece orchestrated today by Katherine Zappone announcing an excavation of the Tuam grave is possibly one of the most cynical and callous acts ever carried out by an Irish Government.

Having maintained for almost two years that Government would make the ‘final decision’ on the Tuam grave -she has repeatedly rebuffed the plain truth that Government did not have the power to make that decision.

Last evening [Monday] Leo Varadkar was asked several times by a representative of the Tuam Home Survivors’ Network – what powers Government had to make such a decision and whether they had advice from the Attorney General, that they had such power.

In response he filibusterd and failed to give a direct answer.

Today in her Statement, Minister Zappone explicity acknowledges that it will require new legilsation to allow the Government excavate the site.

For two years the Coroner for North Galway has sat on his hands and declined to convene an inquest into the deaths of 800 children who have no known burial place except a cess-pit.

Two successive Attorneys General have declined to appoint another Coroner on foot of his failure to carry out his statutory duty to convene an Inquest.

Today the Government announces its intention to introduce legislation, effectively giving it the power to by-pass the law in respect of Inquests.

The only purpose of an Inquest is to determine the cause of death.

Neither Government or the Bon Secours Order are disposed to public knowledge of how those children died.

Denied any justice in life, Government now proposes to deny them any justice in death.

What is proposed is an excavation, reburial and as a gesture an attempt at identification for the benefit of survivor families.

A ‘dignified reburial’ means giving the residents of the Dublin Road Estate in Tuam, back the full run of their playground.

There will be no blame, no liability, no accountability, no vindication for the Tuam babies.

In tandem with today’s announcement, the biggest global owners of private hospitals, the Bon Secors nuns, have offered a ‘voluntary contribution’ of €2.5 million towards the cost of excavation.

They must consider it very good value.”

Tuam Home Survivors Network

Earlier….

From top: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Galway Independent TD Catherine Connolly

This afternoon.

In the Dáil during Leaders’ Questions.

When posing a question to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar about a change in the application process for women who formerly worked in Magdalene laundries seeking compensation and Caranua, Galway Independent TD Catherine Connolly referred to the pending decision of the Government on the Tuam Mother and Baby Home site.

She said:

“I sincerely hope that your decision will be for a full excavation, a full exhumation of the site with a view to maximum information being available.”

In regards to Tuam, Mr Varadkar said:

“In relation to the Tuam Mother and Baby Home, Minister [Katherine] Zappone will make a statement about that at 3pm and I think it’s fair to say that she’s put an enormous amount of work into studying this matter over the last two years.

“The Cabinet accepted her recommendations today and I’d like to give her the opportunity to outline them in detail at 3pm when she’s able to do so.”

Related: Magdalene laundries victims fear officials want to limit compensation (Ellen Coyne, Times Ireland edition)

Earlier: ‘The Taoiseach Reflected The Need To Respond Now With Action, Rather Than Words’

Yesterday: ‘The Only Acceptable Outcome Is The Immediate Convening Of An Inquest Into The Deaths Of All The Children’