Weekly Message from An Taoiseach, Enda KennyPosted June 13th, 2011
I was very sorry indeed to hear that Brian Lenihan has lost his bravely fought battle with cancer.
Though we sat on opposite sides of the House, his dedication to his job was very obvious to me from the beginning of his political career.
That he remained so committed after the onset of his illness in 2009 was nothing short of inspiring as he courageously continued to fulfill his ministerial responsibilities in the most challenging and difficult of circumstances.
I would like to extend my sincere sympathy to his wife Patricia, and to his children, Tom and Clare.
Yesterday, I attended former Fine Gael TD Declan Costello’s funeral mass in Donnybrook Church, which is also where Garret FitzGerald’s funeral took place only weeks ago.
Declan will be remembered for his intelligence, integrity and tireless work for the good of the Irish people.
He will also be remembered for writing the Fine Gael policy document ‘Towards a Just Society’, which had a huge impact on the Party back in 1964 and has since helped shape the Fine Gael Party into what it is today.
He assumed the post of Attorney General in 1973, and made a hugely significant contribution in that field during his four-year tenure before he left politics to continue what was a highly successful legal career.
In recent weeks, Irish politics has lost three hugely significant figures and they will each be sorely missed. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamnacha.
The Government continues to seek a reduction in the interest paid on Ireland’s bailout loans.
The case we have put forward for a reduction is supported by the EU Commission, the IMF and the OECD.
However, any proposed cut must have the unanimous support of all 27 EU countries and the situation is that we are experiencing difficulties in obtaining the support of all member states in this regard.
We will, however, continue to strongly pursue the issue. The raising of our corporation tax rate would be absolutely catastrophic for Ireland and remains totally off the table.
On Tuesday, Dell announced the creation of 150 jobs in Cherrywood, Dublin and Limerick.
The new jobs will be in the emerging field of Cloud Computing which involves the storing of information and data over a wireless network or “cloud” instead of physically on a device.
This eliminates the need for software, as that available in the cloud can instead be used to process and store the data and to access various programmes as required.
Dell proposes to build a ‘Cloud Computing Research and Development Centre’ – which will play an important role in positioning Ireland as a centre of excellence in the field in the future.
A recent report by Microsoft predicted that the cloud computing industry in Ireland would be worth €9.5 billion by 2014, employing an estimated 8,600 people.
Also this week, cyber security firm Mycroft announced that it is to create 50 jobs in the cloud computing field, in a further indication of the potential of Ireland to become a world leader in this regard.
The Government has pledged €5 million over the next five years to the development of this area, including the provision of a new applied research centre in Cloud Computing.
The potential is massive, but there are some security issues to iron out in the coming months.
The e-coli epidemic around the world is certainly a cause for concern even though there has been no trace of it to date in Ireland.
However, we must not be complacent. Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, this week attended an emergency meeting of Agriculture Ministers in Luxembourg where he discussed the issue with his European counterparts.
The situation is also being closely monitored by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.
This week I called on Sinn Féin to ask IRA activists for information relating to the murders of Jean McConville and Garda Jerry McCabe.
This is not an unreasonable request, given that Gerry Adams this week stated that they have encouraged former IRA members to engage with the Smithwick Tribunal.
I do hope they use any influence they might have to ensure that those responsible for these heinous murders are brought to justice.
Today, I chaired a meeting of the North South Ministerial Council in Farmleigh House.
This was the Irish Government’s first meeting with the new Executive following the recent Northern Ireland Assembly elections.
First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness both attended the meeting which focused on cross-border cooperation and it’s potential to aid economic recovery, both north and south.
I would like to wish all those sitting the Leaving and Junior Cert exams the very best of luck.
It is many years now since I was in that position myself, but if I could offer any advice it would be to avoid studying too late into the night, which can be tempting, but is rarely wise!
Enda Kenny TD