‘We were elected on our own names and will take no rubbish’
Dáil adjourned amid heated exchanges between Healy-Raes and Marc MacSharry
A MAJOR row over Dáil speaking time erupted in the Dáil between Fianna Fáil’s Marc MacSharry and the Healy-Rae brothers, Danny and Michael. The heated exchanges led to the Dáil being adjourned.
When Leas Ceann Comhairle Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher called Michael Healy-Rae to address the House immediately following his brother Danny, Deputy MacSharry interrupted to say it was “making a joke out of it altogether”.
“We have 44 Deputies here but we have Kofi Annan McGrath and Ban Ki-moon Healy-Rae up every day, undermining this country’s democracy,” he said.
Deputy Michael Healy-Rae: “That is outrageous”.
Deputy MacSharry: “There are either 158 Deputies here or there are not.”
Deputy Danny Healy-Rae: “Do not call us names. We were elected here in our own names and we will take no rubbish from Deputy MacSharry.”
Deputy Michael Healy-Rae: “When Deputy MacSharry was looking for Seanad votes, he was happy to come to Kilgarvan.”
Deputy MacSharry: “This is a joke. It is ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and they are the half-time performers. For Christ’s sake, control them. The Business Committee of the House is a joke.”
An Leas Ceann Comhairle: “Listen Deputy MacSharry, you are all shouting and circumventing the regulations. I will suspend the House.”
Deputy Marc MacSharry: “Suspend it if you like. It may as well be suspended. The same people have the floor all the time.”
The Leas Ceann Comhairle then adjourned the House for five minutes.
A third of Kerry households in need of broadband
A THIRD of households in Kerry need State intervention to acquire broadband, Deputy Danny Healy-Rae told the Dáil. They are entitled to that connectivity with the world, he said.
Speaking during a debate on a Fianna Fáil motion on broadband, he said the implications of eir pulling out of this tendering process is that Enet will have the monopoly but in fact eir will still have the monopoly as Enet must use eir’s infrastructure.
“The big question is whether Enet has the capacity to carry out the operation and to do so on its own,” he said. “Many people wonder if it has the ability to do so.”
Small companies have problems paying wages when they do not have broadband, he said. “Take places such as Mangerton in Killarney. We cannot understand what is happening. There were 40 houses to be connected there. For some reason, management pulled eir away, closed up the trench and left the people there standing, as it were. There are pockets in different places across Kerry where there could be 12, 20 or it could be 30 houses where houses have broadband around them but and they cannot understand how they have been left behind and have none. Why was it not carried out methodically? Who is running this show? Who is responsible?”
Deputy Healy-Rae said he had asked the Minister, whom he did not blame personally, but he was blaming both sides of the House who were attacking each other. “They ought to get into some room in here get around a table and talk it out to secure all-party agreement as to what must be done. If they go out to the people, whenever the next election is, everyone of us will be roasted. If the Government goes before the people without doing something about the broadband before the next election, they will have the kettle and the frying pan and the whole lot at them.”
Ferris proposes legislation to give licence to island fishermen
A HUGE indictment of the political system is the decline in the population on our islands and along the coast since 1986, Sinn Féin Deputy Martin Ferris told the Dáil.
“There is an obligation on each of us to ensure that we give them fair play and part of giving them fair play is to give them a sustainable income so that they can live where they and their parents and grandparents were born - they have a traditional link to those islands - rather than forcing them to emigrate to America, Australia, England or elsewhere to try to seek out a livelihood and an income,” he said.
“There is an income off their shore. A part of a lot of allocations of quota has been a historical track record. If people are prepared to look, there is a historical track record from our island communities that is going back generations. It dates back hundreds of years. They lived and worked and reared their families on the islands.”
Deputy Ferris was speaking during a debate on a Sinn Fein sponsored Island Fisheries (Heritage Licence) Bill which is designed to put in place a licence specifically for those fishermen who live on offshore islands and who gain their incomes from island fishing.
“We made it quite clear that a person has to live on the island, has to be fishing for a living on the island and has to be onboard the fishing vessel,” he said.
“That is copperfastened. If people want to look at it, there is also a fallback position. A prime example is how Tralee Bay Oyster Society works. Both a licence and a permit are required to fish it. That is a fallback position. These are the forgotten communities. It gave a voice to them and today we must support the Bill.”
However, Minister of State Andrew Doyle said the legal advice was that the Bill is not compatible with EU law and the provisions of the Common Fisheries Policy.
Danny Healy Rae and Michael Healy Rae.