Dáil debates

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

4:00 pm

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Mayo, Fine Gael)

No, I have not. That is a clear and separate part of the programme for Government and there is no going back on it. The constitutional convention is a specific part of the programme for Government, as is the list of issues the Government would like it to consider.

I will sit down with both Deputy Martin and Deputy Adams before the Government finalises its views on this to hear their proposals and ideas and we will tease out the matter as best we can. I agree it is important that the people sent here by the electorate have the opportunity to discuss this issue. Our Constitution has been organic. The Republic declared by John A. Costello, from across the globe as Deputy Martin said, has had quite a number of changes brought to it in the past 30 years. The range of issues to be discussed by the constitutional convention has been set out in the programme for Government. What I am interested in is getting a structure that will work and be effective. We will decide how it will be allowed and funded to do its business, how it will complete its work and the form in which that work will be presented, whether by majority or minority reports. We will move on with it in that manner. I will take on board the Deputies’ views and move on from there. Having had a significant number of issues to deal with up to now, I suppose I am somewhat at fault for not having pushed this harder. However, now I have a clear horizon and I expect to brief both Deputies in the next two weeks.

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