Kenny says credible EU growth agenda needed

Thu, Jul 19, 2012, 01:00

SEANAD:IRELAND NEEDED an end to the euro drama and the crisis affecting the currency, Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the House.

“We need strong leadership and a credible growth agenda at European level – one that is implemented in deed as well as word.”

That was what the Government had been working for, and it would be put at the heart of the Irish EU presidency next year.

Mr Kenny said he had made it clear in contacts with our European partners that he could not accept a situation whereby this country would be at a disadvantage for having had to take the steps necessary to secure our banking system, both in the interests of our economy but also in the wider European interest, before new arrangements on the separation of banking and sovereign debt applied.

Where possibilities were being offered to others, Ireland had to stand to benefit also. “I insisted on this, and it was agreed.”

In his first address to the 24th Seanad, Mr Kenny offered no reprieve from what one member described as the House being on “death row”. The fate of the Seanad would be determined in a referendum, said Mr Kenny.

House leader Maurice Cummins (FG) had earlier asked the Taoiseach to clarify the situation in the light of the passage by the House of a resolution that the future of the Seanad be referred to the constitutional convention.

Seanad deputy leader Ivana Bacik (Lab) said action had been taken to make the House much more dynamic. Issues that were not debated in the Dáil were ventilated in the Seanad.

Leas Cathaoirleach Denis O’Donovan (FF) asked if consideration had been given to calling in the fraud squad to investigate the debacle that had arisen over the trainee pilots’ scheme. It was disgraceful that these young people and their families had found it necessary to picket Leinster House.