Dáil debates

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Taoiseach a Ainmniú (Atógáil) - Nomination of Taoiseach (Resumed)

 

12:15 pm

Photo of Danny Healy-RaeDanny Healy-Rae (Kerry, Independent)

It is clear to me that Deputy Micheál Martin, leader of the Fianna Fáil Party, is going to be elected Taoiseach in a short while. I wish him well and wish his wife and family all the very best. I wish Deirdre Gillane, his special adviser, all the very best in her role as adviser to the Taoiseach.

Even though we started out in the same party, I cannot support Deputy Martin today, because I believe our party, the Healy-Rae party, has remained close to the people who elect and who voted for us. Fianna Fáil has distanced itself from the people of rural Ireland, and that was seen again in the programme for Government Deputy Martin signed up to when he signed the death knell for Shannon LNG. That is one of the reasons I cannot vote for him today. Shannon LNG was providing its own funding and had spent up to €70 million already. It would have created 300 jobs in construction and up to perhaps 100 jobs every year after that. These people have been let down.

I, too, was asked about Ronan Foley. I call on the new Taoiseach, the new Government, and the new Minister for Health to see after Ronan Foley, who was promised in January that his operation would take place in March. That has not happened. We have been waiting for 140 days for a Government, but he has been waiting in pain and suffering agony in the garden for the past 120 days since the operation was supposed to take place, and even much longer than that. I am appealing to them to let that be the end of that and to assist all the other people who have been waiting for operations and have been held up by the coronavirus. I appeal to them on that.

I wish Deputy Martin all the best with his new Government. I wish the Ministers, Fine Gael, and the Green Party well. I wish them all the very best for the sake of the people of Ireland, and indeed, Kerry.

I promise to provide constructive Opposition where it is needed, and I will support the Government where it provides supports for the people whom I represent. As a Member of the Thirty-third Dáil elected by the people of Kerry, I am proud to represent and I will represent them, whether it is in this new auditorium, Dáil Éireann or wherever it may be. While I am elected as a Deputy for Kerry, I promise the people of Kerry to give and do my level best and to ensure support is given to the Government where it is needed, and criticism is given where it is needed.

Thank you, a Cheann Comhairle, for the role you have played over the past four years and again in recent months, and for the impeccable manner in which you have dealt with your office.

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