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'Dream on,' Dermot Ahern tells the doctor who called for a shorter Dail holidays

THE BOOT Boy couldn't resist one last kick in the teeth to the people before he went on his three-month vacation.

Justice Minister Dermot Ahern goaded Opposition Health spokesman James Reilly when Dr Reilly asked that the Dail continue for at least another month to help sort out the various crises facing the country.

But when he added, much more seriously: "Why not sit until the end of July?" Ahern unleashed his volley.

"Dream on," the minister laughed, as he then snarled and scoffed his way to his three-month break.

The minister, who aspires to become the next Taoiseach, clearly disagreed with the opinion that it is "entirely out of order for the House to rise for three months".

Dr Reilly and Labour leader Eamon Gilmore spent much of the final session attacking the Government, saying politicians were being "shamed" by the long summer break.

But an uninterested Mr Ahern slouched in his chair as members sought more time to debate a series of legislative bills.

Fine Gael claimed that in recent days bill after bill has been "guillotined" as the Government stampeded towards the door of Leinster House.

"I realise the Minister for Justice and Law Reform is across the way. The amount of crime continuing in our country, including serious gun crime, has not been ameliorated by the statutes brought in to date," said Dr Reilly.

"We need a proper and full debate on this matter. This side of the House has been opposed to guillotines. I realise we will come to the matter later but this House will rise for three months. Why not sit until the end of July and hold a proper debate on these issues?"

But the bored response from Mr Ahern summed up the contempt that this Government has for its people: "Dream on."

A shocked Dr Reilly tried to reason with the minister, noting: "These issues are of serious concern to the people and to the many victims of crime in the country."

His FG colleague, Seymour Crawford, said of the lengthy and unseemly Dog Breeding Bill: "The dogs are more important."

kdoyle@herald.ie


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