Gama raised in Dail
Dáil Éireann, 14th April 2005, Order of Business
J. Higgins: Since the Tánaiste carries a major personal responsibility for the Gama exploitation scandal----
An Ceann Comhairle: Does the Deputy have a question appropriate to the Order of Business?
J. Higgins: Yes. The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Deputy Martin, indicated last night that he wants the labour inspectorate report on Gama published as soon as possible, laid before the Oireachtas and debated in the House. As soon as the High Court gag is lifted, will the Tánaiste provide for a major debate on the implications of the labour inspectors' report? In regard to legislation, will the Tánaiste promise that any legislative changes pointed to by the report in light of the experience of the Gama scandal will be immediately fast-tracked in the House?
The Tánaiste: Officials on behalf of the Government made presentations overseas encouraging companies to tender for work here to complete the national development plan. At the time they were made everybody was told they would be subject to European tender procedures, labour laws would have to be honoured and there could be no discrimination. No doubt was left about this in the official presentations made by officials in a number of cities overseas to encourage companies to enter the Irish market. The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment will publish the labour inspectors' report if and when he can. He has given a commitment that a debate will be held in the House. Clearly, if there is any legislative gap on this matter, it will be rectified.
J. Higgins: Would the Tánaiste like to apologise for her role in the matter?
The Tánaiste: I had no act, hand or part in bringing the company in question to Ireland. What I did, as Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, was encourage investment in this country anywhere I went. I also encouraged employees to come here and would still do so. I regret very much the circumstances which are emerging regarding this case. It is a disgrace and I would not stand over it.
J. Higgins: How could the company get away with it for five years?
Earlier reports on Gama