Stay with us as we take you through Leaders’ Questions.
Another day, another issue with the gardaí. This time it relates to a report on how funds were used at the Templemore training college.
Questions relating to the Garda Commissioner are likely to raise their head again today.
Issues relating to how a million breath tests that never happened but were recorded on Pulse dominated proceedings yesterday, and that was before the Tánaiste was up answering questions on the issue of how she knew about miscarriages of justice.
However, she did state she did not know the scale of the scandal until last week’s press conference.
Catch up with that here:
Then let’s not forget Brexit is kicking off today.
You can follow that over on our liveblog:
Micheál Martin is up on his feet and he is saying that the Bus Eireann strike is rumbling.
Is there a hidden agenda, he asks.
He believes that if it involved transportation in Dublin it would be solved already, but because it is rural Ireland, nothing is being done.
Martin says the Dublin Bus strike got sorted, as did the Luas strike, but still Bus Eireann is left to languish.
Paschal Donohoe is stepping into Enda’s shoes as he is off in Malta today.
Perhaps he wants to test out the seat?
He tells the Dáil that the Work Relations Commission is the only place that the industrial relations disputes get resolved.
“In relation to your allegations” relating to the government not being behind public transport, he says they are committed to supporting public services.
Whoops! Martin calls Donohoe Taoiseach. Freudian slip?
Gerry Adams wants to talk about today being a big day with Brexit kicking off.
Again, you can follow that all over here:
Adams again makes the case that Northern Ireland needs to be given special status in the negotiations.
“There can be no hardening of the border,” says Adams.
He says the Dáil supports the idea of a special status.
Donohoe says thte British people have made up their mind and the process is underway.
He says this government are clear about Ireland’s interests. He says it is nice to hear Adams speaking so positively about the EU – something he says he has spoken out against for some time.
The greatest contribution that Sinn Féin can make is to get the institutions up and running in the North says Donohoe.
Mick Wallace is up now. He wants to talk about the the gardaí.
He is raising the case of a female gardaí who he says has been ”condemned and isolated” by her seniors.
She has spent 60 days in court, and was cleared of allegations made against her. However, he says that she is still subject to disciplinary internal inquiries.
He holds up a letter that says the officer should wither quit or resign to avoid dismissal.
“This woman is to be fired out of the force,” says Wallace.
He says the officer is guilty of failing to put a crime that was reported on Pulse and for failing to secure a statement.
“Minister, there is mayhem,” says Wallace. “The force is in bits.”
“The only one in the whole country supporting her is you.”
You will eventually get rid of her, but too much damage will be done, Wallace tells Donohoe.
Donohoe says their paramount priority is the reputation of the gardaí.
Independent TD Mattie McGrath is now talking about the banks.
He wants to know why family businesses in Ireland have to pay the banks some of the higher interest rates in Europe.
Where are our friends, he asks, stating, is it any wonder the UK are leaving the EU.
The banking system in Ireland need a root and branch reform, he says.
Donohoe says we need more competition in the market and says it is not the fault of the EU.
McGrath says the banks need to be community focused and reformed.
He says you allowed the banks to terrorise people. “A blind person could see the problems,” he says. “They are hauling people into courts,” he add.
“It is time you wake up and smell the coffee or you’ll ever see Taoiseach,” McGrath tells Donohoe.
The minister says they will not undermine the role of the Central Bank. He says they are fully committed to getting back all the investment that was put in to support the pillar banks.
Martin is now back up and says he was surprised, like many, to read the Policing Authority statement last night.
It was a strong worded statement stating that it had asked for information for months from the gardaí but to no avail.
Donohoe says if legislation is needed to give more power to the authority, that will be looked at.
You can read more about that statement here:
That’s it for Leaders’ Questions. Join us again tomorrow.