Dáil debates

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Advice to Dissolve Dáil: Announcement


2:30 pm

Photo of John GormleyJohn Gormley (Dublin South East, Green Party)

I join other speakers in wishing the Taoiseach, Deputy Brian Cowen, the very best for the future. I wish his wife Mary and his family all the best. I also wish good health to him and all retiring Members. Far too many Members are suffering from ill health and this is often overlooked. The recognition the Taoiseach gave to politicians is one we all must face up to. Politics have been denigrated for far too long. Likewise, our civil servants have been denigrated and they have performed admirably. I pay tribute to the civil servants in my former Department, the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. I thank the staff of the House, I thank the Ceann Comhairle and I wish all members the very best for the future.

The Taoiseach said he did not want to talk about achievements and perhaps he was being modest. That politics is defined by the economic crisis may mean we overlook these achievements. I am very proud to have served in a Government that produced civil partnership. Yesterday, a gay couple came up to me in Ranelagh and thanked me for it. I am proud we delivered the legislation. I am proud we delivered rigorous planning legislation for the first time. We will not revert to the irresponsible over-zoning of land that led, in part, to the property bubble. I am proud that we have financial reform at long last, with an independent Financial Regulator, Mr. Matthew Elderfield. I am proud that we have a new Governor of the Central Bank, a person of independence, Professor Patrick Honohan. These measures will make a difference. I am proud that we have investment in renewable energy and insulation. I am proud that we were part of a Government that produced real political reform. We reduced the number of Ministers of State for the first time, where previously there were increases.


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