Tuesday, 30 March 2004
Bertie Ahern (Taoiseach; Dublin Central, Fianna Fail)
He does not give legal advice to or provide legal services for the Attorney General. On behalf of the Attorney General, he monitors what is going on. The Attorney General cannot monitor what is happening in all Departments, keep in touch with the legislative programmes of all Ministers and with everything being dealt with by his office or monitor what is going on in the Dáil and Seanad. Mr. Deegan brings such matters to the attention of the Attorney General, otherwise the latter or someone else would have to monitor them. It is not for a political purpose that Mr. Deegan does this, it is so that the Attorney General can deal with the issues. Everyone understands that enormous demands are placed on the Attorney General and his office in terms of requests for information and data from all Departments. For a number of years, Attorneys General have appointed individuals to liaise with them on these matters.
The Attorney General's office is the key contact point between Departments and agencies in respect of the legislative programme in trying to ensure that it is dealt with in a smooth fashion. Somebody must liaise with Departments and agencies on that issue and Loughlin Deegan does so.