Dáil debates

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

1:00 pm

Photo of Luke FlanaganLuke Flanagan (Roscommon-South Leitrim, Independent)

I wish you, a Cheann Comhairle, the best of luck in your new position. It is an amazing honour to be even standing here today representing the people of Roscommon-South Leitrim and the people of the Republic of Ireland. What is good for the people of Roscommon-South Leitrim will be good for the people of the Republic of Ireland and vice versa. One will not be able to work without the other.

It is unfortunate that as a west of Ireland man I will be opposing the nomination of Deputy Enda Kenny as Taoiseach, not because I have anything against him personally but because I do not believe he is the best person for the job. Before the election it was clear that everyone who was running for the Labour Party thought that Deputy Gilmore would be the best person for the job. A short time before the election it was clear that a majority of people within Fine Gael did not think Deputy Kenny was the best person for the job, but there is nothing I, Deputy Gilmore or those people in Fine Gael can do about that now. The situation is a fait accompli as Deputy Enda Kenny will become Taoiseach.

I wish him the best of luck on behalf of my two children because if he has good luck and he does well then they will not have to take the boat or the aeroplane to London like 19 out of the 20 members of my family and my wife's family. I am terrified of the prospect that they will have to take the same road. I am conscious of the fact that parents in Germany, Denmark, Holland, Belgium and other countries do not have to tell their sons or daughters when they turn 18 that the best thing they can do is leave their country.

I dream and hope that after five years the Government will have solved the problem of emigration once and for all. I hope the Government will stem that tide as quickly as is possible. Not only that, I also hope that those people who have had to emigrate in recent years, many of my friends and neighbours among them, will be able to come back to a country that can sustain them, just as other modern European countries can.

I hope Deputy Enda Kenny will be brave when dealing with our European partners. I have nothing against Europe. I have lived in Holland, Spain, Germany and Great Britain. All I know is that if I fall on hard times-----


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