Saturday, 27 June 2020
Ceapachán an Taoisigh agus Ainmniú Chomhaltaí an Rialtais: Tairiscint - Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government: Motion
Richard O'Donoghue (Limerick County, Independent)
I acknowledge the work of the outgoing Taoiseach and the former Minister for Health during the pandemic. I congratulate the new Taoiseach, Deputy Micheál Martin, and the new Ministers.
I have listened today to Members in this Chamber talk out of both sides of their mouths. We met Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, the Green Party and Sinn Féin but the only parties that wanted to talk about government were Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party, even though they limited the amount of talk with us. Sinn Féin Members were talking out of both sides of their mouths. People Before Profit and all the parties could have made a programme for Government and come to the Rural Independents but they did not; it is easier for them to stand on the fence and to be critical of everyone else.
Your country elected you to form a Government but you did not even contact the Rural Independent Group. There was a reward offered for Sinn Féin after four weeks for information on where the party was with its mandate. There is a mandate for Independents to stand up here today but Sinn Féin ran and its Deputies were missing for four to five weeks. I understand Deputy Mary Lou McDonald was sick but where was the rest of the party? They ran and left the country by itself.
The Rural Independent Group did not lose out because we stood our ground and every one of us has an independent vote. I voted for the Taoiseach today and the rest of the Rural Independent Group did not; it is their choice. I am not happy the Green Party is in power but it was the only party to stand up. I hope it is responsible and listens to the Independents when we raise concerns about rural affairs. There is no infrastructure in rural Ireland. People are talking about building houses but we have no foundations. Fix the foundations first and then come back to build the country.