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Termination of Ministerial Appointments: Announcement by Taoiseach (20 Jan 2011)

Brian Cowen: I wish to announce for the information of the House that the President, acting on my advice, has accepted the resignations of Deputies Mary Harney, Noel Dempsey, Dermot Ahern, Batt O'Keeffe and Tony Killeen as members of the Government. I advised the House yesterday of the resignation of Deputy Micheál Martin. I want to put on the record of the House my gratitude to each of them for their...

Termination of Ministerial Appointments: Announcement by Taoiseach (20 Jan 2011)

Brian Cowen: In her previous work as Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment and Tánaiste she made an enduring contribution to developing the economic base of the country. Deputy Noel Dempsey has served this country well in a variety of portfolios. At the Cabinet table he was a straight talking and respected colleague, forceful in his contributions and a loyal supporter of Government decisions....

Termination of Ministerial Appointments: Announcement by Taoiseach (20 Jan 2011)

Brian Cowen: If I may, I would like reply to some of the assertions that have been made. As outlined in my statement to the House, I believe it is essential for the country that we proceed with publication and enactment of the Finance Bill 2011. Deputy Kenny inquired as to the revision of the scheduling in that regard. Second Stage of the Bill will be taken next week and subsequent Stages will be taken...

Termination of Ministerial Appointments: Announcement by Taoiseach (20 Jan 2011)

Brian Cowen: -----which we believe help it confront and overcome. That is the issue as far as I am concerned. I challenge the politically correct view that suggests that it was a stunt; far from it.

Termination of Ministerial Appointments: Announcement by Taoiseach (20 Jan 2011)

Brian Cowen: I am giving my view.

Termination of Ministerial Appointments: Announcement by Taoiseach (20 Jan 2011)

Brian Cowen: This election is about the future of this country.

Termination of Ministerial Appointments: Announcement by Taoiseach (20 Jan 2011)

Brian Cowen: We have people who have the talent and ability to put that case and to put it vigorously and with determination. That is my strong view.

Termination of Ministerial Appointments: Announcement by Taoiseach (20 Jan 2011)

Brian Cowen: As I stated, the convention of coalition Governments has always been on that basis.

Termination of Ministerial Appointments: Announcement by Taoiseach (20 Jan 2011)

Brian Cowen: In the event of there not being majority support for such nominations, I am reassigning those portfolios to existing colleagues in the Government.

Written Answers — EU Presidency: EU Presidency (20 Jan 2011)

Brian Cowen: Hungary assumed the Presidency of the Council of Ministers for the first time on 1 January. The Hungarian government met the Commission on 7 January in Budapest to discuss its Presidency programme. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán presented the priorities to the European Parliament yesterday (19 January). The Hungarian Presidency is placing a strong emphasis on coping with the economic and...

Written Answers — Human Rights Issues: Human Rights Issues (20 Jan 2011)

Brian Cowen: I am gravely concerned about the recent upsurge in attacks against Christians in Iraq including the horrific attack against defenceless worshippers at Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad on 31 October. I also condemn unreservedly the deplorable attack on 18 January against an Iraqi police recruitment centre in Tikrit which killed more than 50 people and wounded many more, most of whom...

Written Answers — Foreign Conflicts: Foreign Conflicts (20 Jan 2011)

Brian Cowen: Conflict, food shortages, human rights abuses are unfortunately still widespread in Africa despite considerable progress in recent years. The international community continues to intervene to address these issues on the African continent, whether on a bilateral or multilateral basis. It is not possible to go into details on all parts of this question in the time available, but in any event,...

Written Answers — Foreign Conflicts: Foreign Conflicts (20 Jan 2011)

Brian Cowen: I have been very concerned by the most recent violence in and around Jos in Plateau State, Nigeria, where there have been more deaths in January, after the bombings in December. This follows on from violence over the past several years, which has been a result of ongoing tensions, and which the government has been attempting to settle. Since the violence in 2008 inter-religious dialogue has...

Written Answers — Trade Relations: Trade Relations (20 Jan 2011)

Brian Cowen: I am conscious that Taiwan is an important market for Irish exporters. In 2009, our merchandise exports to Taiwan were €253million and imports were €279million. The total annual figures for 2010 are not yet available, but in the first three quarters merchandise exports were €141million and imports were €122m. The most recent data on services trade relates to 2009 when our services...

Written Answers — Foreign Conflicts: Foreign Conflicts (20 Jan 2011)

Brian Cowen: The UN has the lead role in the search for a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus and Ireland fully supports the leadership of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his Special Representative, Alexander Downer, in this important work. We continue to encourage both sides to work for progress towards the achievement of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal state through an honourable, balanced and...

Written Answers — Official Engagements: Official Engagements (20 Jan 2011)

Brian Cowen: The sixteenth regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) will take place from 28 February to 25 March 2011. As the Deputy may be aware, the annual High Level Segment takes place during the March session of the Council each year. This year it will take place from 28 February to 2 March. Officials from my Department have been working closely with European Union colleagues to prepare...

Written Answers — International Agreements: International Agreements (20 Jan 2011)

Brian Cowen: During his visit to India in November 2010, President Obama issued a Joint Statement with Indian Prime Minister Singh which addressed, inter alia, India's possible membership of four multilateral export control regimes: the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Australia Group, the Missile Technology Control Regime and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Ireland is a member of all four bodies. Of the...

Written Answers — Foreign Conflicts: Foreign Conflicts (20 Jan 2011)

Brian Cowen: Unfortunately, a series of unilateral provocations by North Korea over the last year has caused relations on the Korean peninsula to deteriorate significantly. The sinking of a South Korean naval vessel along the disputed border in the Yellow Sea in March, the announcement of new uranium enrichment at Yangbyon nuclear power plant and the November artillery strikes on Yeonpyeong Island, in...

Written Answers — Foreign Conflicts: Foreign Conflicts (20 Jan 2011)

Brian Cowen: The general election in Bosnia-Herzegovina on 3 October saw gains for moderates in the Bosniak-Croat Federation, while the ruling party, the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, did well in the Republika Srpska. Under Bosnia-Herzegovina's complex constitutional system - a legacy of the Dayton peace agreement - the government formation process can take some time. Talks are currently...

Written Answers — Foreign Conflicts: Foreign Conflicts (20 Jan 2011)

Brian Cowen: Polling in the referendum on self-determination for Southern Sudan which began on 9 January ended, as scheduled, on 15 January and counting of votes has now commenced. The authorities in Sudan, and the United Nations which provided logistical support, are to be commended for the way in which the referendum has been conducted. In its preliminary report, the EU Election Observation Mission has...

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