I will be voting no confidence in this Government for a number of reasons. It is now clear that senior gardaí were systematically intimidating whistleblowers. False accusations of sexual misconduct made to Tusla was the first leg of that operation. The second leg of that operation was the dissemination of these allegations through pet crime correspondents who are dependent on gardaí for information to do their jobs. In this way, these allegations were disseminated to other journalists, politicians and opinion formers.
The Taoiseach has refused to say when he first learned about this operation. I am satisfied that he and the Tánaiste knew about it. They tried to cover it up and to confine the inquiry to a cosy secret investigation but Sergeant McCabe pulled the plug on them. They were caught out.
It is time for the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and the Garda Commissioner to resign. I believe that a criminal investigation by an external police force chosen by this Dáil should begin immediately in parallel with the tribunal of inquiry.
The Committee of Public Accounts will shortly report that €220 million was lost on the Project Eagle sale and that it was not appropriate for the Minister for Finance, Deputy Noonan, Department of Finance officials and NAMA to meet senior Cerberus representatives in the days prior to that sale. This is but the tip of the iceberg. Massive Irish assets are being sold off at knock down prices to the Government’s international financial friends.
People in need of health care are being criminally neglected and hundreds are dying needlessly according to our medical consultants.
At the same time as the Irish super-rich make massive untaxed asset gains – the value of their assets is now significantly higher than at the height of the boom – tenants, mortgage holders and farmers are being evicted by banks and vulture funds, including banks owned by this State.
With regard to housing, the Government has refused to declare a housing emergency and to implement adequate measures to house the homeless and the 100,000 on the housing waiting list.
Recent Governments have surrendered all Irish economic sovereignty under the fiscal treaty. Despite what I would describe as a begging letter, the European Union is now refusing to allow the Government to borrow money to put a roof over the heads of our citizens.
The wheels are coming off the policy of privatising State companies, combined with the over-reliance on foreign direct investment. The interests of the Irish people have been put completely in the hands of foreign agencies, foreign companies and foreign governments.
I say to this Government tonight: go now.