Thursday, December 4, 2008

To ask or not to ask - that's the question!!

Fine Gael’s Bernard Durkan – stand up and take a bow!!

For the Kildare North Fine Gael TD has won the 2008 Star-sponsored Battle of the Inquisitors.

It is no secret that it is a hobby horse of this writer to take notice of the number of parliamentary questions being asked by some politicians.

There are some TDs who you wouldn’t hear a peep out of, yet there are others who take their role very seriously and use every arm of the State to ask questions.

And then there is Bernard Durkan, the affable Fine Gaeler who this week – whether known or unknown to him – celebrated tabling his 1,000th parliamentary question since the start of the new Dail session last September.

A quick look-back through the questions that Deputy Durkan tables on a regular basis reveals that he is the man to go to when it comes to finding out the status of a residency application or an asylum application.

It’s hard work and judging by the number of questions he has asked since September – it is expensive work.

To quote Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, ‘the cost of submitting another question will be a couple of hundred euro’.

So now that Bernard has reached the historic 1,000th question, it is time to look at those who almost made it.

1. Bernard Durkan – 1,018 questions (estimated cost based on Enda Kenny’s assessment of €203,600)
2. Enda Kenny – 608 questions (estimated cost €121,600)
3. Paul Kehoe – 502 questions (estimated cost €100,400)
4. Michael Ring – 362 questions (estimated cost €72,400)
5. Leo Varadkar – 345 questions (estimated cost €69,000)
6. Denis Naughten – 214 questions (estimated cost €42,000)
7. Fergus O’Dowd – 161 questions (estimated cost €32,200)
8. Alan Shatter – 110 questions (estimated cost €22,000)
9. David Stanton – 107 questions (estimated cost €21,400)
10. James Bannon – 69 questions (estimated cost €13,800)

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