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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 30 Apr 1969

Vol. 240 No. 2

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dublin City Commissioner.


asked the Minister for Local Government whether the Commissioner appointed by him to carry out the duties formerly carried out by the elected members of Dublin City Council will have an office and staff allocated to him to assist him in the discharge of his functions; and, if so, where the office will be situated; what staff will be allocated to him; and at what annual cost.

The Commissioner will be assisted in the normal way by the city manager and his officials; there is no question of the allocation of additional staff for his assistance. Such accommodation as he requires will be provided, at no additional cost, in the City Hall.


asked the Minister for Local Government what remuneration will be paid to the Commissioner appointed by him to discharge the duties which were formerly carried out by the elected members of Dublin City Council without any remuneration whatsoever.

I have fixed the remuneration of the Commissioner at £1,500 per annum. I might add that the allowance and expenses of the Lord Mayor, up to £4,500 per annum, has ceased, following the removal from office of the council, to be a charge on the rates.

Will the Minister say whether there will be any representative of the citizens appointed suitably to welcome to the capital city any visitors from abroad in the manner in which the Lord Mayor did and on which he expended his salary, to which the Minister referred?

The Deputy and his colleagues arranged that that would be so.

I understand from the Minister's reply that this city will not have any public person to welcome, in the name of the people of the city, visitors from abroad.

The Deputy's question relates to remuneration.

By way of reply, the Minister wanted unfairly to infer that he has caused a saving when what he has done is to deprive the city of something which every other city in the world has——

The only contribution the Deputy and his colleagues made by way of saving to the ratepayers was in the abolition of the Lord Mayor's office.

The Minister can be assured that the Lord Mayor will bring the chain back from America, not like the Russian jewels.

Which Lord Mayor?

Apart from the £2,500 saved by the abolition of the council and the dethroning of the Lord Mayor, could the Minister tell us what additional saving there will be to the ratepayers?

There is a loss of £870,000.

In reply to Deputy Foley, it is hard to say, of course, there will be other savings as well.

Does the Minister not consider that the alleged saving to which he has referred is a mere pittance compared with the saving which Fine Gael and other councillors would have given—£870,156 in this year alone?

That does not arise.

The proposal of Fine Gael and Labour was to deprive the citizens of essential services and to effect a considerable amount of disemployment of corporation staffs.

That is complete nonsense.

The Fine Gael-Labour coalition proposed in the first instance to deprive the citizens of essential services and, secondly, to disemploy a large number of corporation workers.


asked the Minister for Local Government if he is aware of the public concern at the appointment by him of a retired public servant to the post of Commissioner to perform the duties formerly carried out by the elected members of Dublin City Council; and why a retired official was chosen to discharge the duties of Commissioner.

I am not so aware and I regard the person appointed as being eminently suitable for the post.

How can the Minister justify appointing to discharge a responsible position formerly carried out by 45 active members——

You were not very active.

——a person who, by reason of age, was unfit any longer to act as secretary to the Department of Local Government? How can the Minister justify appointing a retired officer who is regarded as beyond his best in the public service to carry out work that was formerly done by 45 elected representatives?


The Commissioner has not reached retiring age yet, and even if he had, that would not indicate that he was no longer fit to do the work. As I said, I could not think of any more suitable person to do this work and I am quite sure he will do it more efficiently than it was done by the Coalition-dominated Dublin Corporation which wasted time discussing matters which were not their concern.

(Cavan): Did I understand the Minister to say that the Commissioner has not yet reached retiring age?

(Cavan): If so, would the Minister please tell the House on what grounds the Commissioner retired from the position of Secretary of the Department of Local Government?

That is a separate question.

Deputy Fitzpatrick might not know that a civil servant can opt to retire five years before the retiring age.

(Cavan): On certain grounds.

He can opt to retire. Mr. Garvin opted to retire.

In view of the Minister's reply I should like to raise this matter on the Adjournment.

Why did the Deputy not go to the City Hall at 3 o'clock?


Why is the Deputy not at the City Hall to stop the imposition of——

Would the Deputy allow Questions to continue? I have called Question No. 33.

Arising out of the reply, if the Corporation of Dublin cannot transact its business in the City Hall——

Question No. 33.