As Michael D Higgins prepares for his inauguration as President of Ireland, read his final Dáil speech, delivered on 25 January 2011, in which he talks about the failure to build a real republic in Ireland, and "that ugly statement of Michael McDowell’s that inequality is needed for the stability of society."
By some stroke of good luck we have a remarkable man as our president. We probably don't deserve him. By Vincent Browne.
The Dáil met on the afternoon of Tuesday, 26 January last and debated the second reading of the Finance Bill. There was a spat about speaking rights and the opening speech was made by Brian Lenihan, who went on to defend the Universal Social Charge and went through the changes which the new Finance Bill was to inaugurate.
It has been a dismal seven days, not just because of the events of the week, but also for what those events portend. By Vincent Browne.
The spectacle of Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy summoning George Papandreou to account, and threatening Greece with expulsion from the eurozone, was a chilling insight into the new reality in the European Union.
Yesterday in the Dáil, Socialist Party and ULA TD for Dublin West Joe Higgins asked Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore to "explain the point of the Irish Labour Party given that it brings to the debate on the current crisis absolutely nothing different in the slightest from Merkel, Sarkozy and all the high priests and hawks of right wing, neoliberal capitalism?" Read an edited transcript of the bad-tempered exchange which followed below.
The long awaited Inter-Departmental Mortgage Arrears Working Group proved to be a major let down for anyone with high hopes of the Government making a serious attempt to solve a mortgage crisis that is being allowed to increasingly worsen. Given that the report was written by civil servants and bankers, maybe we shouldn’t be quite so shocked.
Yesterday the Government refused to allow a debate on the payment of a controversial €700 million to unsecured, unguaranteed Anglo bondholders. However, Stephen Donnelly, independent TD for Wicklow and East Carlow, took the opportunity during the day's session to remind Michael Noonan of his comments in December 2010 regarding unguaranteed bonds. The text of his speech is below.
I will cite the words of the Minister in a contribution he made in the House on 15 December 2010 when he was essentially the Minister for Finance in waiting:
The rejection of the so-called Abbeylara amendment last week was down to two men: Brendan Howlin and Alan Shatter. Well done! By Vincent Browne.
Aside from Michael D’s splendid victory in the presidential election, there was another triumph at the polls last Thursday and those responsible have got nowhere near the recognition they deserve for an extraordinary achievement. It was on the referendum on Oireachtas inquiries.