Tag Archives: Leo Varadkar

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’


A statement (above) released by DUP East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson (top) this morning.

It follows Taoiseach Leo Varadkar producing a 1972 copy of the Irish Times which included a picture of an IRA bomb attack on the Newry Customs Office, at a dinner with EU leaders in Brussels on Wednesday.

Nine people died and six people were injured in the attack on August 22.

Sammy Wilson hits out at ‘vile Varadkar’ over ‘despicable, low and rotten’ border violence claim (Belfast Telegraph)

Pics: News Letter and Sam McBride

Previously: Eagle Droppings

 

Scenes from the meeting between UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Brussels, Belgium last night

Leo Varadkar and EU chiefs have given Theresa May two more months to come up with a Brexit solution or face getting turfed out of Europe with no deal.

This would be disastrous for both Ireland and the UK and would almost certainly see the return of a hard border between North and South.

However, the 27 remaining EU heads of State on Wednesday were supportive of Ms May in her efforts.

Ms May will have to come forward with fresh proposals at the next summit in mid-December outlining the British position ahead of formal Brexit in March.

Leo Varadkar and EU chiefs give Theresa May two more months to come up with Brexit solution (irish Mirrror)

Earlier:

…the Prime Minister acknowledges the European Union’s backstop drafted in the December withdrawal agreement can not feature an end date.

Senior EU officials revealed Mrs May made the admission to Leo Varadkar before briefing the remaining EU leaders on her latest Brexit strategy.

Mr Varadkar insisted a “legally operative backstop” that would come into effect immediately after the transition period must still be included in the withdrawal agreement in order for it to be acceptable to Ireland.

This has remained a Brussels demand as the bloc’s leaders seek assurances Brexit will not create a hard border on the island of Ireland.

Mr Varadkar did, however, move to offer the Prime Minister an opportunity to make the backstop more palatable in Westminster by using creative wording.

“There can’t be a time-limit to it,” said one official. “But we can try to find a wording to show it’ll never be used.”

Hmm.

REVEALED: What May told Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that will ENRAGE Britons at home (Express)

Pics: GIS

From top: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (left) and Denis Naughten; Pat Breen, Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection

This evening.

Further to the resignation of the Minister for Communications. Denis Naughten…

Mr Varadkar said he was informed late last night by Mr Naughten of a private dinner he had attended at Mr McCourt’s home in 2017.

This dinner was organised by Minister for State Pat Breen, who was also at the dinner.

This morning, Mr Naughten told Mr Varadkar that he had had at least three further private dinners with Mr McCourt. No officials were present and no minutes of the meetings were taken.

Mr Varadkar also informed the Dáil that he had met Mr McCourt last March in the US at a public event but th ebroadband plan was not discussed.

Taoiseach reveals further dinners with Naughten and broadband bidder (RTÊ)

Earlier: Picking Up The Tab

This morning.

Ireland AM on Virgin Media 1.

Leo Varadkar: “I can accept how the optics are problematic and perception does matter in politics and, of course, in business, too. But, as I said, Denis [Naughten] is going to be in the Dáil this afternoon. He’s going to clarify all those aspects and I’d like to give him the opportunity to do that first.

“You know, a lot of the time, people also jump to conclusions and rush to judgement and I wouldn’t like that to happen.”

Mark Cagney: “Do you have confidence in him?”

Varadkar: “In Denis? I do, yes.”

Cagney: “Fully?”

Varadkar: “Yeah.”

Cagney: “OK, so there won’t be a resignation any time soon? And if Fianna Fáil come looking for his head?”

Leo Varadkar: “Well…that’s up to them, obviously, I can’t speak for Fianna Fáil.”

“…Well I asked him [Naughten] to come and see me last night so actually, last night, we had a meeting, went through these issues, asked the kind of questions that you’re asking me now and he’s to come back to me with a few more answers.”

Mark Cagney: “And you’re satisfied?”

Varadkar: “So far, yes.”

Mr Naughten will make a statement and take questions on his contacts with David McCourt in the Dáil at 3pm.

More as we get it.

Earlier: Wiffy

Yesterday: The Birthday Party

From top: Lorraine and Sgt Maurice McCabe; former Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, former Assistant Secretary to the Department of Justice Ken O’Leary, former assistant secretary at the Department of Justice Michael Flahive, former secretary general at the Department of Justice Noel Waters; Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the Dáil

This afternoon.

While Fianna Fáil leader Mícheál Martin was putting questions to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar about the Minister for Communications Denis Naughten and the tendering process for the National Broadband Plan contract…

And telling Mr Varadkar that the process had been “contaminated” but the contact between Mr Naughten and David McCourt, of the consortium which is the only bidder left seeking the contract…

Mr Varadkar put it to Mr Martin that he had “a history of making allegations against ministers, saying their assertions are not credible and then refusing to take back your claims when they’ve been disproved by an inquiry”.

Supreme Court judge Peter Charleton is expected to deliver his report on the Disclosures Tribunal shortly – having said he will deliver it in October.

The tribunal examined allegations that Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe was the victim of a smear campaign.

Members of An Garda Síochána, the Department of Justice and the media were questioned at the tribunal – including the former Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald.

In light of this…

The Taoiseach said:

“You have a bit of a history in this Dáil, of saying things, of claiming, of making allegations against ministers and claiming that things aren’t credible. You said the same about Minister Harris and about me in relation to CervicalCheck and yet the Scally report proves that what you believe was not credible was credible.

“You made allegations about former Minister [for Justice] [Frances] Fitzgerald. And we’ll see what the findings are in relation to that.

“So you’ve a history of making allegations against ministers, saying their assertions are not credible and then refusing to take back your claims when they’ve been disproved by an inquiry. So this is a pattern of yours unfortunately and it’s not a good one.”

Hmmm.

Previously: Unconscionable

This afternoon.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar tweets a video of himself speaking about what he says the Government is doing to tackle the housing crisis.

In the video, Mr Varadkar pretty much repeats what he told the Dáil on Wednesday – including  the line that there will be 20,000 new homes built this year.

Meanwhile…

Mr Varadkar told the Dáil on September 18 that about 30,000 or 35,000 homes are needed.

Via Namawinelake

Previously: “I Could Speak For Hours”