As I have already stated, I was advised — that advice was also available to the trustees of the National Library — that the post was not likely to be filled. They found that the work of Mr. O'Donoghue was extremely satisfactory and asked that he be retained for some time to deal with the situation in the National Library. He is certainly dealing effectively with the matter.
I want to refer to a parliamentary question which I put to the then Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht, Deputy Higgins, on 8 April 1997 when I was in Opposition. I asked about the status of the Director of the National Library, particularly with regard to salaries and I got an interesting reply. The then Minister said he expected the salary for the post would over time reach the maximum for the grade. It will be noted that the former director also remained on the first point of the scale.
No doubt the question of salaries is a major consideration by any applicant. As a former Minister, Deputy Higgins will be aware of the procedures which must take place and the parameters within which one must work with regard to increasing salary scales in the normal way.
It is only fair to say that the work of Mr. O'Donoghue has been exemplary. I would not like anyone in this House to feel that because he does not have the title of director he is not capable of doing an excellent job. He has proven that he is capable since he took up that position.