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Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan's first speech in Dáil Éireann

Taken from Oireachtas website here >>>

The speech is here on YouTube >>

Deputy Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan: Information on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Zoom on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan I wish you, a Cheann Comhairle, the best of luck in your new position. It is an amazing honour to be even standing here today representing the people of Roscommon-South Leitrim and the people of the Republic of Ireland. What is good for the people of Roscommon-South Leitrim will be good for the people of the Republic of Ireland and vice versa. One will not be able to work without the other.

It is unfortunate that as a west of Ireland man I will be opposing the nomination of Deputy Enda Kenny as Taoiseach, not because I have anything against him personally but because I do not believe he is the best person for the job. Before the election it was clear that everyone who was running for the Labour Party thought that Deputy Gilmore would be the best person for the job. A short time before the election it was clear that a majority of people within Fine Gael did not think Deputy Kenny was the best person for the job, but there is nothing I, Deputy Gilmore or those people in Fine Gael can do about that now. The situation is a fait accompli as Deputy Enda Kenny will become Taoiseach.

I wish him the best of luck on behalf of my two children because if he has good luck and he does well then they will not have to take the boat or the aeroplane to London like 19 out of the 20 members of my family and my wife’s family. I am terrified of the prospect that they will have to take the same road. I am conscious of the fact that parents in Germany, Denmark, Holland, Belgium and other countries do not have to tell their sons or daughters when they turn 18 that the best thing they can do is leave their country.

I dream and hope that after five years the Government will have solved the problem of emigration once and for all. I hope the Government will stem that tide as quickly as is possible. Not only that, I also hope that those people who have had to emigrate in recent years, many of my friends and neighbours among them, will be able to come back to a country that can sustain them, just as other modern European countries can.

I hope Deputy Enda Kenny will be brave when dealing with our European partners. I have nothing against Europe. I have lived in Holland, Spain, Germany and Great Britain. All I know is that if I fall on hard times-----

(Interruptions).

Deputy Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan: Information on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Zoom on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan The people of Roscommon-South Leitrim would like to be shown a bit of respect and that Members would keep quiet while I am talking. I will do exactly the same thing. I am conscious that we need to do many things immediately and as quickly as possible to get ourselves out of the hole we are in. We need to do them right because otherwise we are sentencing the people in this country to a life of hell. I am confident that if it is done right then things can go very well for people. When it comes to the agrifood sector and the tourism sector there is massive potential for jobs. If Deputy Kenny, his colleagues in Fine Gael and the Labour Party do it right then we will live in a wonderful country.

The first thing that needs to be done - and it is what I do when, for example, I am buying a car - is to talk to the experts. When I buy a car, I talk to my friend, the mechanic. When I was buying my house, I spoke to an engineer and I listened to his expertise. I am begging Deputy Kenny to listen to the experts, people like Constantin Gurdgiev, David McWilliams and that man across the Chamber, Deputy Ross. He must listen to their view that we have no choice but to default on this bank debt. However, to those who use what is now being described as the “D word”, the question is immediately thrown back as to what we will do for money if that is done The reality is - and the experts cannot all be wrong on this - that we will have to default anyway down the line. It is better to do it of our own accord than to wait for that tonne of bricks to fall on our heads. If we do that we have some chance of getting out of the hole we are in.

There are many things in the programme for Government with which I agree. I agree with reforming our health system, although I would like to see more detail on that. I agree with reform to deal with the fact that government does not work in this country. There are several other issues with which I agree. I hope, above all, that the Government that will be elected today also agrees with these aims, that its members mean it when they say they will go for political reform. Unless they do we will not get out of this hole.

I especially hope they want to reform the health system. I am not any sort of expert in health care from the point of view of being a doctor, but I am an expert from the point of view of being a patient. My children, my wife, my late mother, my father and I have all had to use the health system. It is totally and utterly inadequate. It was embarrassing and nothing short of a disgrace to watch what my mother went through. If the Government does one thing, I hope it gets this right. If it cannot do so it will have failed.

I wish Deputies Kenny and Gilmore the best of luck in the next five years. If I agree with that they are doing I will vote with them. If I disagree, I will oppose them hammer and tongs on the floor of Dáil Éireann, and if I do not get my spake in here I will do it through the media. I hope the new Government will see sense. We all have one thing in common, namely, our wish to make Ireland great again. That great Irish man, Seán Lemass, once said that Irish people are capable of doing things just as well as anywhere else in the world - if not better, then equally well. I believe that and I hope the new Government believes it. If we follow through on it Ireland will become great again.

1 comment:

Penhire said...

I immediately wrote to Luke:

"Luke – fair dues to you, man. I was moved totally & genuinely moved by your speech today; my pride lifted again; my hope was restored. Finally, someone of MY generation, of my perspective, of my outlook, standing strong in that failed forum of so many hollow men; speaking without sentimentality or hidden agenda or mere politeness, in a manner that any Irish person could relate to, and in a style that took proper account of the desperate situation so many people are in at the moment.

I hope you can make a big difference in there & that you don’t lose heart when the frustrations take hold.

Paul O’Connor"