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Tag Archives: Michael Harty

Candidates in election mode

THE expected return of Dr John Hillery as a possible candidate for the next general election is adding spice to the political manoeuvrings that have stepped up a gear across all parties. Although the resignation of Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald on Tuesday prevented a Christmas snap election, which no politician or voter wanted, all prospective candidates are now firmly in general election mode. The extraordinary political events of the past week suggest that, unless Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin add new safeguards to their confidence and supply agreement, which was severely dented over the Department of Justice emails debacle, a general election could be called early next year. Fine Gael, which leads the beleaguered, minority-led Government, moved quickly to select its two outgoing Clare deputies, Minister of State Pat Breen and Joe Carey, at its selection convention on Monday night. While Senator Martin Conway, who was one of the three nominations, withdrew at the last minute to …

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Harty favours access to abortion in certain circumstances

DEPUTY Michael Harty has confirmed that he favours allowing abortion in certain circumstances but not in the latter stages of pregnancy. In an interview with The Clare Champion, Dr Harty said as much as possible needs to be done around education and provision of contraception to ensure that women are not left in what he called an “unenviable position”. He said, “I am male and I will never have to consider having an abortion and I think that’s an important factor, when males are speaking about this issue. “We don’t know what the wording of the referendum is going to be so it’s difficult to comment on how one will vote, when one doesn’t know the wording of what legislation is proposed to define the circumstances under which termination of pregnancy is going to be allowed. We have to wait for that, before we can make a definitive decision on how to vote.” While Dr Harty favours allowing terminations in …

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‘Opportune time’ for Harty to consider position

DEPUTY Michael Harty has said he is looking at his position in relation to supporting the current Government, arising from a lack of delivery on assurances he received under the Programme for a Partnership Government. He said 15 months after he voted for Enda Kenny as Taoiseach and with a new Taoiseach about to be selected, many people, including him, will be re-evaluating their positions. “It’s up to Fine Gael to elect their leader. I haven’t a preference of one over the other. It’s 15 months since I voted for Enda Kenny. I did that on the basis that there was a possibility that there would be a general election if there wasn’t a nomination for Taoiseach on that morning. I felt it was the responsibility of all TDs in the Dáil to provide a Government. “That Government has been in place for the past 15 months. There is to be a change of leader and I think everyone is …

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Local News Matters Now More Than Ever

INVESTMENT in quality journalism is essential to combat the rise of so-called fake news, a conference in Limerick has been told. The use of click-bait and fake news to drive traffic to online news and social media sites, allied to a lack of media literacy amongst many members of the public, were some of the factors cited as influencing the rise of this phenomenon at the event in King John’s Castle. Organised by the Irish South-West Branch of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Public Relations Institute of Ireland (PRII), the conference entitled Local News Matters featured a panel of speakers offering different perspectives on the theme of ‘The Truth in the News? The role of quality journalism in an era of fake news’. The panelists were Emma O’Kelly, RTE’s Education Correspondent, Cian Connaughton, President of the PRII and Fiona McGarry, Producer of Clare FM’s flagship current affairs programme, Morning Focus. The debate was chaired by Nandi O’Sullivan, …

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Clare TDs to face councillors

CLARE’S newly elected Oireachtas members are to be invited to the next meeting of Clare County Council, where councillors will put funding for the county’s roads “on the shopping list”. The council is also set to write to the Government seeking funding of €1.6 million towards maintaining the roads. This comes after councillors last month sought to raise a loan of the same amount from the Department of the Environment, with the council currently awaiting a decision. At this week’s council meeting, Councillor Christy Curtin urged that they request the Government to reactivate local road grant allocations. He commented that in the wake of the withdrawal of funding allocations for the Local Road Improvement Scheme and the suspension of the Community Involvement Scheme, people in rural Ireland “aren’t getting the benefits of other citizens”. Figures released by the council show that the Local Improvement Scheme funding dropped from €906,000 in 2009 and 2010 to €302,000 in 2011, the last time …

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TDs to Face GPs

SEVEN TDs are to attend a special meeting with Mid-West GPs in Limerick this evening to discuss the crisis in general practice. The meeting is scheduled for 7.30pm at the Strand Hotel. At a previous meeting in Cork over 250 GPs attended to pass on their message to members of the Oireachtas. Though the meeting is not open to the media, there will be a briefing beforehand on the concerns GPs have about the lack of resources being devoted to primary care and the impact this is having on patients. The meeting will be chaired by Dr Conor McGee, and speakers at the event include Dr Edward Walsh, founding president, Limerick University; along with GPs Mary Gray, Miriam Callanan, Emmet Kerin and Michael Harty.  

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