Dáil Éireann - Volume 361 - 30 October, 1985

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - National Day of Commemoration.

3. Mr. O.J. Flanagan asked the Taoiseach the number of meetings held by the Committee on the National Day of Commemoration; if he has received a report and recommendation from the committee; if not, when he expects such a report; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

[653] The Taoiseach: The Informal All-Party Oireachtas Committee on the National Day of Commemoration held four meetings. The committee's report and recommendations were received by the Government and their decision in the matter is contained in a statement issued by the Government Information Services on 22 October.

Mr. O.J. Flanagan: Is it now proposed that one general commemoration ceremony will be held on a particular day for all the people who died for Ireland?

The Taoiseach: The proposal is that there be a national day of commemoration. A day on which the State and the nation will recognise Irish people who died in wars anywhere and we are commending the recommendation in that respect.

Mr. Haughey: In the recommendations of the informal all-party Oireachtas committee there is a reference to certain matters, matters of protocol and ceremony, being decided by the Departments and the authorities concerned in the organisation of State ceremonies. Will the Taoiseach indicate which bodies or Departments are concerned in that? When I wrote to the Taoiseach about this matter he referred to the establishment of an inter-departmental committee under the chairmanship of the Department of the Taoiseach to take this proposal a step further. How does the Taoiseach propose to deal with the outcome of that inter-departmental committee? Will the all-party Oireachtas committee be recalled to consider the recommendation of the inter-departmental committee or will there be any further input by members of this House into the arrangements as decided by the inter-departmental committee?

The Taoiseach: I would be happy to discuss with the Leader of the Opposition how such an input could be arranged. Obviously practical arrangements have to be made through the State's apparatus. The nature of the occasion is one which [654] would require that the general character of the arrangements should be open to discussion and agreed between the parties in this House.

Mr. Haughey: I presume the Departments and the authorities concerned include the Department of Defence. I cannot recall who does these jobs.

The Taoiseach: The Department of the Taoiseach have general responsibility for protocol domestically but the Department of Defence obviously have an important role to play on an occasion of this kind.