Dáil Éireann - Volume 483 - 25 November, 1997

Ceisteanna—Questions. - Monitoring of Telephone Calls.

2. Mr. J. Bruton asked the Taoiseach the criteria, if any, used in his Department to decide which of his telephone calls are recorded in view of the fact that they are part of Government business; the individuals, if any, who have access to the transcripts of these calls; whether the person speaking to him is informed the call is being recorded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19437/97]

The Taoiseach: As I understand it, this question relates to a reference in a recent newspaper article. This reference was a mistake. The practice referred to has not altered in any way from the practice adopted by previous Administrations.

Mr. J. Bruton: Did the Taoiseach grant the interview which is quoted in the article?

[488] The Taoiseach: I gave details for the interview.

However, the reference was far broader than the reference I gave. I accept responsibility for this rather than blaming anyone else.

Mr. J. Bruton: The Taoiseach gave the interview. Were there any other mistakes in the interview?

The Taoiseach: I am sure the Deputy will find them if there were.

Mr. J. Bruton: This interview tells us when the Taoiseach gets up in the morning and when he goes to bed. It does not give details about his diet but about everything else. Does it include any other mistakes?

The Taoiseach: As the Deputy may realise, I give the bones of many interviews. At times others put the flesh on those bones. On this occasion, they put slightly more flesh on the bones.

The Taoiseach: That is a good reply; the Taoiseach gives out the bones and others get the flesh. This article appeared in the Irish Independent on 10 November. I recommend that everyone read it.