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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 27 Mar 1969

Vol. 239 No. 8

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Donegal Housing Grant.


asked the Minister for Local Government the date on which a payable order in respect of a housing grant for a person (name supplied) in County Donegal issued from his Department; to whom it was made payable; and the total amount.

A payable order for £310, payable to the Northern Public Utility Society, was issued by my Department on 20th December, 1968.

Is the Minister aware that this applicant did not receive the grant until 7th March of this year and is he satisfied that the functions of this utility society are best being performed by the present group? If the Minister is satisfied, can be explain why there was such a delay in the payment of the grant and, if he is dissatisfied, will he take the appropriate steps with his colleague, the Minister for Industry and Commerce, to see that this is a disbanded association within the next week or so?

I have no reason to believe that the affairs of the society are not properly conducted and that it is not doing a great amount of good.

Is the Minister satisfied that it is in the best interest of house-building that a cheque issued by his Department on 20th December, 1968, was not received by the applicant until 7th March of this year? This matter was raised last week. The Minister for Lands disputed my information. The Minister for Local Government has now given the Minister for Lands my information.

I have not given the Minister for Lands the Deputy's information. I do not know whether or not his information is right.

The Minister has confirmed it.

Next question.

This is an important fact. I want to know—the Minister refused to give me the information on the previous question—how many other people are affected by this dodge of the utility society. We know it is a Fianna Fáil nest and we know that Deputy Cunningham signs the cheques —I am not concerned very much about that. My concern is to know why people are kept waiting for moneys they need to defray expenses to builders' providers.

The Deputy has produced one case in which he alleges there was a delay. I do not know whether or not there was a delay.

There was. The applicant did not receive the cheque until 7th March of this year. He received it the morning after I inquired from the Department as to the delay. It is quite obvious that the Minister had somebody inform Deputy Cunningham that Deputy Harte was on the trail and that he had better release the cheque.

The Minister was trailing his coat recently.

I have not given that information. I have told the Deputy when this cheque was issued by my Department.

The applicant did not receive the cheque which was issued to him on 20th December last year until 7th March of this year.

I do not know whether or not that is true.

I am telling the Minister it is true. Deputy Cunningham signed the cheque on 6th March, 1969.

Is the Deputy giving me his word of honour again?

I would not tender anything to you, Sir.

"I'll tell my Ma..."

A man without a title is a man of straw in my view. If the Minister wants to be Champion Heavyweight of Ireland, that is his affair, not mine.

I would remind Deputies that this is Question Time.