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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 14 May 1969

Vol. 240 No. 8

Personal Explanation by Member.

Deputy T. Fitzpatrick (Cavan) wishes to make a personal explanation.

(Cavan): When I was speaking on the Budget this morning and referring to Potez Industry Limited I was interrupted by the Taoiseach who referred to my last general election address which referred to Verolme Dockyard in Cork. The name of Deputy Martin Corry came into it and I referred to a document I had. I was challenged by the Taoiseach on at least three occasions to produce or to read out that document. I confess that I was reluctant to read out the document but the records of this House contain three challenges from the Taoiseach to read it out and I feel I must now read it out. I have a photostat copy of a letter which, with your permission, Sir, I propose to read out. It is postmarked in Cork, 2.45 p.m. 1st October, 1955, and it was contained in an Oireachtas envelope and marked “Personal and Private” and “Very Urgent”. It is addressed to Charles G. McNamara Esq., Consulting Civil Engineer, 27 Merrion Square North, Dublin, and the bottom of the envelope contained the words “Dáil Éireann, Dublin”.

The letter reads:

Dear Charles,

I enclose Carr's Opinion. I have done a lot of sounding here and its pretty good but it will take a two-thirds majority to carry the first motion withdrawing our application for a Bridge Order. That means to be safe I must get 31 members of the Council. I will set to work on that as soon as I get the motion back from you.

Now Mac we can either chuck the whole thing or go out determined to win, I dont believe in being beaten, but the way I am fixed and what I know I will have to do at this end, I would want at least £200, better you not know the use being made of it. So I would suggest you send me not a cheque but notes say 4/50 notes or any other way in registered letter, tis urgent that I have this immediately as the next Council meeting is the 17th October and I must have the notice for special meeting in. If you wish I will go up but phone or write me here if this is O.K.—its urgent. As I see it there is very little use moving without winning and if we are to win there is only one way of making sure and tis urgent that I waste no time on the job.

Burn this letter when read.

Martin Corry.

P.S.—Phone me Southern 11 a.m. Monday.

That is from a photostat copy of the letter which the Taoiseach on three occasions requested I should read. I now place it formally before the House.

May I make an observation on that? Deputy Fitzpatrick in the course of his remarks today, when I challenged him to produce evidence or some document of what he alleged against me personally, referred to this document repeatedly. The whole tenor of his remarks was that I was personally involved, my honour was involved in some way. He now comes in at the heel of the hunt challenging some other Deputy. I told him at the time I did not know what the letter contained and he said I knew all about it. This is the first time I have heard about it and I hope Deputy Fitzpatrick will now have the grace to withdraw the allegation he made against me personally.

(Cavan): I have the report of what I said here and with your permission, Sir, I will read it without comment:

The Taoiseach: If the Deputy had his way there would be another thousand short by the closing down of Verolme Dockyard Cork.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick (Cavan): The Taoiseach's colleague, Deputy Martin Corry, used to talk a lot about that but for one reason or another we have heard nothing from Deputy Corry about Verolme Dockyard and neither have we heard any reference from him to me. Perhaps, the Taoiseach had better keep quiet, too, or I might say something that would not be good for him.

That is the point.

That is the allegation.

(Cavan): There is no reference in that to the Taoiseach.

There is a very strong implication.

There is not.

(Cavan): Obviously the reference is to the fact that the reference to Deputy Martin Corry would not be good for the Taoiseach, Sir. I have asked your permission to allow me make a personal statement and you have been kind enough to do that and the document is now before the House for the Taoiseach's benefit.

In so far as it obviously contains an allegation and implication against me the Deputy has not the good grace to withdraw it.

There is no allegation against the Taoiseach.

The implication is as clear as daylight.

The Taoiseach should accept it when the Deputy says that he made no allegation against him.

This is the sort of stuff that has kept you over there and will keep you over there. You will never learn.

You are learning fairly well, Minister.

Item No. 18 on the Order Paper.