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Brexit and the arrests at Dublin airport likely to feature in today’s Leaders’ Questions.

Christina Finn here to take you through Leaders’ Questions today.

Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin is up first.

He quotes Tom Clonan (who has written for TheJournal.ie) that Ireland is Europe’s weakest link when it comes to security intelligence.

He says arrests at Dublin airport yesterday was a serious security lapse and says questions need to be asked.

A comprehensive review is needed, says Martin.

“I’m surprised a national security review hasn’t been initiated already,” says Martin. “We shouldn’t be waiting around.”

Martin says this is a “wake-up” call for Ireland’s security. Enda Kenny says it’s not clear how long this operation has been going on for.

Possible terrorist threats is under constant review, says the Tasoieach.


Gerry Adams is up next.

Adams says the government’s tactic on Brexit appears to be to wait and see what the British government says first.

He says the Irish government’s response has been “dismal”. He asks Enda Kenny to ensure that a special designated status is given to Northern Ireland.

“Assert this approach,” says Adams.

The Taoiseach says for the last 18 months the government have been in Brexit preparations.

He lists off a range of actions he says the government have done since the UK vote.

Obviously setting out all of that long before the PM herself was elected…

He asks Adams to define what he means by “special status”.

He tells Kenny that he should not accept as a matter of course that the land frontier between UK and EU should be on island of Ireland.

Enda says he agrees that there are significant elements of the Good Friday Agreement have not been implemented. He said these should be followed up on.

Independent 4 Change TD Mick Wallace is on his feet talking about the O’Neill report.

The harassment of whistleblowers continues, he said.

He raises the issue of former Garda Press Office David Taylor. Highlighting what Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sulllivan said on the radio yesterday, Wallace lists off what whistleblowers have been facing since raising their concerns.

You can catch up with what she said here:

When are you going to publish the report, asks Wallace.

Wallace asks if Garda Commissioner will be left in her position when inquiry takes place.

Enda Kenny now reads out sections of the Protected Disclosure Act. He said they cannot be bullied or dismissed under this act.

However, Wallace said whistleblower Keith Harrison wrote to Commissioner 14 times detailing harassment and bullying. Wallace says Harrison has been out sick since 2010.

Kenny says Attorney General is looking at report and what can be published. He says there are concerns as some of the report makes reference to third parties.

Ceann Comhairle cautions Wallace about what he is saying under privilege, says he is sailing close to the wind. “Only close to it,” says Wallace.

Wallace: “Why are so many whistleblowers out sick?”

Only right and proper that AG should decide what form the report can be published. This will come back to government very shortly, says the Taoiseach.

Independent TD Michael Harty is talking now. He wants to know what the Taoiseach is gong to do to protect rural Ireland against Brexit.

He welcomes the government’s action plan on rural development, but says it does not address Brexit-proofing.

Read more about the plans here:

enda 33

Enda Kenny says there is constant engagement on agri issues, particularly on sectors highlighted by Harty such as the mushroom industry.

Harty says his main concern is the strategy Ireland is taking. He says we should be taking an independent line rather than hitching our wagon to Europe.

“Our strategy is vague,” says Harty, who says we must side with the UK on some matters.

“I put it to you we need a ministry on Brexit,” says Harty.

Labour’s Brendan Howlin was also out on the Leinster House plinth calling for this today.

Kenny disagrees with Harty. (The Taoiseach is heading up the government’s Brexit committee).

“We will negotiate from a position of strength,” says Kenny.

“The game hasn’t even started, Minister Harty.”

They are new moving on to Promised Legislation.

You can continue to watch Dáil proceedings here.

Join us back here tomorrow for more happenings from Leinster House.

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