asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will consider the publication by his Department on an annual basis of an "Ireland—Year Book".
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Publication of “Ireland—Year Book.”
So far my Department, which is concerned with information activities abroad, has not found it necessary to supplement the basic documents it produces on Ireland and the periodic publications produced by other official sources by an annual Year Book. It is, however, a matter which is reviewed from time to time in consultation with other Departments.
What are the documents and journals to which the Minister is referring?
There are a number of them. Does the Deputy want me to go through the whole list? Every State body produces documents. The Department of Foreign Affairs have produced a document—"Facts about Ireland".
Just the Department of Foreign Affairs?
Surely all the Departments are not merely concerned with a place called Ireland? Surely they are concerned with the Twenty-Six County portion of Ireland. Does the Minister deny the constitutional interpretation of Ireland?
We are concerned about Ireland and that means the Thirty-Two Counties.
Would the Minister accept that the current document produced by the Department of Foreign Affairs is outdated and inaccurate and would not act as an appendix to a rather conventional diary issued by any organisation, in terms of the information produced? If one might compare it appropriately with the Year Book produced by the Stormont Government or that produced in Westminster it falls sadly short of the kind of book we would like to give to the world.
I am aware of an excellent book being prepared at the moment. It should be published in about six months. We should avoid too much criticism. As I say, an excellent publication is being prepared.
Is this being done by private enterprise? I am concerned that there should be available nationally for the Irish Diplomatic Corps, Members of this House and for a great many people who come to Ireland because of the international interest here—interest in a rather unfortunate way—at the moment. A publication of that kind would be of more value than the current inadequate and rather sparse book.
There is room for improvement. There always is but, as I say, there is a publication in course of preparation.