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Tag Archives: Oireachtas

Dáil Committee to discuss Census

The Joint Committee on Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government will meet on Wednesday to discuss the Census 2016 results. The primary focus of the meeting is to examine the trends and developments in housing across Ireland and identify how this may impact upon existing housing policy. Officials from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) will address the Committee. The latest census figures are of significant importance to the Committee. The Housing in Ireland report is the first of eleven thematic reports from Census 2016 and will form the focus of the meeting, The report provides data and analysis on the housing landscape in Ireland over the last five years from April 2011 to April 2016. The census found that there are almost 260,000 vacant homes in the State and Committee members will be keen to discuss this breakdown.

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Labour Party denies blocking McNamara’s Seanad bid

WHILE Michael McNamara claimed last week that the Labour Party leadership went out of its way to stop him running for election to the Seanad, the party has denied anything underhand has happened. Also, Seamus Ryan, who served as director of elections for Labour in Clare, has defended the party, saying it is no longer in a strong enough position to be putting forward multiple candidates. In a post on social media last week, Mr McNamara wrote, “If there was a democratic contest for the party nomination on the Agricultural Panel, I think I’d have won. So did the party leadership, so there was no contest.” Also, in an interview last week, Mr McNamara, referring to senior figures in the party, said, “It’s quite clear that not alone did I not have their backing but they went out of their way to prevent me from running”. He also claimed that he was being paid back for not being what he …

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Clare senator to quit FG if Aer Lingus share sold

ALREADY contentious, Shannon based Fine Gael Senator Tony Mulcahy has turned up the political heat regarding the potential sale of the State’s share in Aer Lingus, as he has vowed to resign the party whip if the Government does sell to IAG. He made his comments after IAG CEO Willie Walsh addressed the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport and Communications. Mr Walsh told the Committee that in the event of an IAG takeover, Shannon would get a five-year guarantee of Heathrow connectivity. However, after being quizzed by Senator Mulcahy, he acknowledged that he was not offering any guarantees around the preservation of the Aer Lingus services between Shannon and the US. While Mr Walsh did say that transatlantic services from Shannon have “huge potential” and that the numbers travelling on them are likely to increase in the summertime, this didn’t cut much ice with Senator Mulcahy. In a statement released shortly after the Committee sitting he said, “I cannot support …

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Walsh offers five-year Heathrow guarantee for Shannon

SHANNON and Cork can have guarantees of Heathrow connectivity for five years if IAG buys the State’s share in Aer Lingus, its CEO Willie Walsh pledged at today’s meeting of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport and Communications. Clare political figures have expressed concern about the possibility of Shannon losing its vital connectivity to Heathrow in the event of a takeover, but Mr Walsh insisted that the guarantee he is offering is far better than what the airport actually has already. He also claimed that while the concern is at one level understandable, it is actually misplaced, given that the route is profitable. Indeed, he went so far as to say that the current Aer Lingus management could not match the IAG guarantee without drawing the ire of some of the shareholders. While he said IAG is happy to give the guarantees and that there is no reason to pull away from what is a profitable route, he stressed that he will not give …

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Renewed pressure for HGV levy exemption

THE Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) Ireland this Wednesday said the UK Government should grant Irish hauliers an exemption from the HGV Road User Levy for use of the A5 for HGVs transiting Northern Ireland, and has asked for the active support of the Minister for Transport, and the Oireachtas, in delivering this exemption. The HGV Road User Levy (RUL), which became effective on Tuesday in UK law, will result in a net increase in costs for HGV operators from Ireland using roads in NI and Great Britain – according to FTA Ireland’s General Manager Neil McDonnell. “With Irish taxpayers about to pour £50m into the A5 transit route from next year, it defies logic and fairness for the UK Government to ask Irish operators to pay a levy for using this transit route. The N2/A5 is a vital part of the road infrastructure for hauliers in the north-west, as a great many businesses in Donegal are totally dependent on …

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Gardaí at Shannon Airport urged by AG to turn blind eye to US army aircraft?

Owen Ryan THE Attorney General urged gardaí at Shannon not to search US military aircraft, it was claimed in a petition to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Public Service Oversight and Petitions, which met last week. The petition came from Doctor Edward Horgan and 19 associated parties. They called for an investigation into the use of the airport and Irish airspace by the US military and the CIA, focusing on Ireland’s involvement. Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan praised Doctor Horgan at the meeting, saying he believed the allegations. He also said that acting as a whistleblower isn’t easy. Also at the meeting, Sinn Féin TD, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, said some action is required on the petition, which sought an investigation on the US use of Shannon and extraordinary rendition, focusing on the Irish Government’s involvement. “We have received correspondence from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade but I do not think it addresses all the points raised by Dr Horgan,” he …

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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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Mulcahy labels his father ‘a bully’

Fine Gael Senator Tony Mulcahy has said, from what he can remember, his father was “ a thug and a bully”. He made the comment in a  contribution to a Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality, which was discussing submissions on domestic and sexual violence. During the speech on Wednesday night, at the end of which he received a round of applause, the Shannon-based senator said he was not sure how his family would react to his sharing these personal details but said he thought nothing had changed in Ireland since then with regards to this issue. As regards gardaí being called out to investigate an alleged domestic incident, he remarked, “What’s perpetrated at the time is an absolute assault, right, and it is a criminal act, and we need to treat it as a criminal act,” he said. More power should be given to gardaí, as first responders to these incidents, Senator Mulcahy suggested, adding that community …

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