asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will state (1) (a) the date of establishment of the sub-post office in Ballyfermot Upper, (b) the name and address of the first sub-postmaster and the date of his appointment, (c) what method was employed for selecting him, (d) the name and address of the then rated occupier and legal owner of the premises in which the sub-post office is located, (e) the gross average monthly value of salary and emoluments received by this sub-postmaster during his period of appointment and (f) the date of his resignation; (2) (a) the date of the advertisement for the filling of the subsequent vacancy, (b) the number of candidates for the post, and (c) the name of the candidate to whom appointment was offered but who declined and the reasons given for declining; (3) (a) the basis on which the sub-post office was administered after the resignation of the first sub-postmaster, (b) whether the latter acted in a temporary capacity after his resignation, (c) the name of a deputy or nominee who acted as sub-postmaster at the request of the first sub-postmaster, and (d) the gross average monthly value of the salary and emoluments paid to the acting sub-postmaster during this period; (4) whether the post was again advertised in July, 1957, and, if so, (a) the number of applicants for the post, and (b) the name of the successful candidate, if any; (5) the date on which the sub-post office was staffed by his Department and the reason for the change from the system as at (3); and (6) (a) whether a further advertisement of the post was made between December, 1957, and January, 1958, (b) the name and address of the successful applicant, (c) his place of residence for the 12 months period prior to his making application for the post, (d) his previous experience and training in the work involved, and (e) the gross average monthly value of the salary and emoluments of the new sub-postmaster since his appointment.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Ballyfermot Upper Sub-Post Office.
The replies to the Deputy's questions are:—
(1) (a) 1st July, 1955.
(b) Mr. Ciarán Ó Beolláin, 2 Grange Cross, Upper Ballyfermot; 24th May, 1955 effective from 1st July, 1955.
(c) The applications for the appointment were reviewed by a permanent departmental selection board and the appointment was made by the Minister.
(d) The person named in reply to
(b) was the then rated occupier; the Department is not concerned with legal ownership.
(f) 1st November, 1956, to have effect from 1st February, 1957.
(2) (a) 5th November, 1956 to 20th November, 1956.
(c) Mrs. Cecilia Boland. Shortly after the candidate's appointment had been approved, but before it had taken effect a general election was held at which her husband was elected to Dáil Eireann and he was subsequently appointed Minister. Because of the change in her husband's position the candidate with drew her application.
(3) (a) On a temporary basis.
(c) and (d). The outgoing sub-postmaster continued in office and the Department had no arrangement with anyone else. Sub-postmasters are, of course, entitled to employ assistants.
(b) One person was selected for appointment subject to making suitable accommodation available but was unable to do so. As the appointment did not become effective it would not be proper to state the name of the person so selected.
(5) 2nd October, 1957; because the period of notice given by the sub-postmaster had expired and he wished to be relieved of the office.
(6) (a) Yes.
(b) Mr. Michael Delaney, 349 Ballyfermot Road Upper, who was the only applicant for the post.
(c) Information not available to my Department.
(d) None; previous experience in Post Office work is not an essential requirement for appointment as sub-postmaster.
(e) £33 3s. 6d.
Is it not a fact that the individual who was appointed recently was not resident in Dublin until a very short time prior to the appointment; further, that he is a resident of Athleague, County Roscommon, and thirdly, that the main qualification he had for the position was that he is a connection of the acting Minister for Posts and Telegraphs?
In reply to the Deputy's three supplementary questions, the first two are not matters with which the Department concerns itself. The man in question is resident at the address which I gave in the answer to the question and was resident there where he was applying for the position. Where he was resident before that is no concern of the Department's. With regard to the suggestion that he is a relative of mine, I can only say he is no relation whatever, so far as I know, except in so far as we are all supposed to be descendants of Adam and Eve. I know of no other relationship.
Is it not a fact that this man who has been appointed is a connection of the acting Minister?
I have said he is not.
Is it not a fact that this man is a relation, through marriage, of the acting Minister for Posts and Telegraphs and surely——
The man is no relation of mine.
Surely this is a glaring example——
You are a yellow rat.
This smear campaign should stop. These tactics of Deputy McQuillan are contemptible.
Straight answers to straight questions.
Is it a fact that no resident Dublin man was qualified to be postmaster in Ballyfermot?
Will Deputy McQuillan please sit down?
While making every allowance for the tempestuous atmosphere, has it now become consistent with order in this House for a Minister of Government to inform a Deputy that he is "a yellow rat"?
I did not use that expression.
I think the Minister for Defence permitted himself that unfortunate phrase.
I regret I had to refer to Deputy McQuillan, when exercising his privilege, in that manner and I withdraw that.
What I say in this House I will say outside it.
May I draw your attention to the fact, Sir, that I have stated here this person is no relation of mine and that Deputy McQuillan has stated that is untrue? I ask you to ask him to withdraw that insinuation. I have told him it is untrue.
If a Deputy says a certain matter is not in accordance with the facts, the practice has been that the Deputy making the charge withdraws it. Is Deputy McQuillan withdrawing the statement?
I am very glad you gave me this opportunity of repeating that the man is a connection of the Minister, and the Minister cannot deny that by any type of quibbling in this House. He brought the man up from Athleague.
The Deputy is merely aggravating the offence.
I think, Sir——
Is the Deputy accepting the Minister's word on the matter?
I am asking a direct question.
I repeat the charge I made that the man is a connection of the Minister. I repeat it in this House.
Then I have to ask the Deputy to leave the House.
Are you suggesting I am telling an untruth, Sir?
I am not. The man appointed is a relation by marriage of the Minister.
It is the practice in this House that when a Deputy denies a charge, the Deputy making the charge accepts the denial and withdraws. Is Deputy McQuillan prepared to do that? I shall give the Deputy another chance.
I am prepared to substantiate that this man is a connection by marriage of the Minister.
I must inform the Deputy again that he must either withdraw the charge or leave the House.
I cannot withdraw what is true.
Then I shall have to name Deputy McQuillan.
I will leave the House in protest. I will not withdraw.
Deputy McQuillan withdrew from the House.