In the Dáil today during Leaders' Questions the Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD said the Government's proposals for a banking inquiry is not an inquiry into what went wrong with the banks and how we can learn from it
Our proposal, which is being debated again this evening during Private Members seeks a parliamentary inquiry similar to the DIRT inquiry.
Eamon called the Government's proposals 'unacceptable' saying they would only serve to cover the bad decisions made by the Taoiseach and the Government and would not deal with what went wrong in the banking system so that we can learn from it.
"Fianna Fail want a private inquiry. The rest of us want a public inquiry.
A year ago saw the resignation of Sean Fitzpatrick as chairperson of Anglo Irish Bank following the revelation that he had been moving personal loans from Anglo to another institution and back in order to conceal them. Since then we've seen a Garda raid on the bank and we are told that the Director of Corporate Enforcement is doing an investigation. Today during Leaders' Questions the Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD demanded to know when the Government will establish such an inquiry.
Today's Leaders Questions saw the Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD question the Taoiseach about the extent of pay cuts announced in last week's Budget.
Eamon said: "I want the Taoiseach to tell me if the cuts in pay will apply not alone to direct employees of the State but to all bodies, as stated in the Bill, which are wholly or partly-funded directly or indirectly out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas or from the Central Fund."
Following the Taoiseach's response where he fudged the issue Eamon said it was because the Taoiseach does not know what the impact of the pay cut will be because it did not assess what its impact will be on low-paid employees and those on social welfare.
This afternoon saw the first Leaders' Questions of the Dáil session and the Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD used the time to demand that Cowen apologise for wasting taxpayers' money.
"People are already losing jobs and businesses. It is a very difficult time. While the Taoiseach is asking people to do that, we are being informed on a weekly and daily basis of the extent of the waste of taxpayers' money which his Government has presided over for the past number of years...
Leaders' Questions today saw Eamon Gilmore tell the Taoiseach that opposition parties are prepared to engage in the Budget debate but in order to do that in a meaningful way the Government must come forward with the information that is available to them.
Eamon told the House: "We have to have available to us the information Taoiseach that you have available to you, we need the information that is coming up to the minister for finance from the different departments. We need to know what that information is, we can't fly blind here. This is either a genuine exercise or a smoke screen."
The video shows a short clip from Leaders' Questions but you can read the full debate at the following link on the Oireachtas website.
Following another weekend which has seen gangland gun murders claim two more lives bringing to 150 the number of gun murders in the State since the Taoiseach took up office in 1997; this level of gun murders and subsequent convictions was the subject of today's Leaders' Questions in the Dáil.
Addressing the Taoiseach, Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore said: "Of the 150 savage gun murders only one in six has been caught and put away out of society. I know there are difficulties, difficulties of people not talking or being afraid to give evidence.
The cancer screening scandal and the Health Service Executive once again dominated Leaders' Questions in the Dáil today.
Addressing the house Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore said the Taoiseach had a "bad dose of 'BSE' 'blame somebody else' and that "every problem you are confronted with you will find someone else to blame except yourself".
Deputy Gilmore also said: "That is a dysfunctional organisation, that's the organisation, the HSE, that your Gov established to run the health service. It is manifestly clear that it is not working. And when you are asked about it today you say there are issues to be addressed, there is to be a review and we must reduce the bureaucracy.
Raising the delays on promised reports investigating last autumn's cancer misdiagnosis scandal the Labour Leader Deputy Eamon Gilmore told the Dáil today that "it is perfectly clear that this whole issue of the Mahon Tribunal and the Taoiseach is transfixing this Government and taking its attention away from the issues that affect the people".
He said: "We were promised reports on all of those cases and those reports were to have been published before Christmas to tell us what exactly happened and why they were misdiagnosed and what went wrong.
The security of people's personal data was discussed in the Dáil this morning during Leaders' Questions after the theft of a laptop containing the personal details of 171,000 Irish blood donors. You can read more about this on the Irish Times website (subs required).
The theft of the laptop also highlighted a recent Dáil question tabled by Deputy Ruairi Quinn which found that almost one hundred laptop and desktop computers, as well as at least 14 Blackberry mobile phones and eleven portable storage devices, have been lost or stolen over the past five years.
Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD addressing the Taoiseach said: "I think it is reasonable that when people give personal information to a State agency people need to have some confidence that information is secure.
Over the last three years a staggering 40,000 drugs tests on prison inmates have returned positive with detection rates as high as 75 per cent in some jails.
Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore raised the issue in the Dáil during Leaders' Questions this afternoon when he told the Taoiseach that there is clearly a big drugs problem in our prisons.
He asked the Taoiseach how so many drugs are getting into prison in the first place. Deputy Gilmore also questioned the fact that if drugs are so available in prison, a secure institution, how does he proposed to keep drugs from places of entertainment. Finally Deputy Gilmore asked was there an unofficial policy of keeping prisoners drugged and therefore quiet.