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Tag Archives: Pat Breen

Breen welcomes New York ID cards

Clare TD  and chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Pat Breen, has described a move by New York City Council to allow identity cards for undocumented immigrants “a real step forward” “There are an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 Irish among the 500,000 undocumented living in New York City and they can now benefit from the new ‘New York Identity Card’. It means they will now have access to city services, and can now do things like open bank accounts, sign a lease, or visit a doctor. “Every parish in Clare can identify with the plight of the undocumented and the introduction of the ID Cards will give our illegal immigrants in New York a sense of security and make them feel more at home away from home, Deputy Breen said. He added, “I want to praise the work of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, and I also want to praise New York Mayor Bill De Blasio, …

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Minister Pat Breen

Breen to chair Joint Committee hearing with Gilmore

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, chaired by Clare TD Pat Breen, is to hear from Tanáiste Eamon Gilmore on this Wednesday. The meeting will consider the outcomes from Monday’s session of the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) in Luxembourg, where the Tánaiste discussed the on-going crisis in Iraq with his counterparts. Deputy Breen said, “The deteriorating security situation in Iraq has been the source of grave concern to Committee members, particularly in view of the appalling levels of indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians. We note the Tánaiste’s call at the meeting for the Iraqi Government to take a non-sectarian, inclusive approach to curb any opportunities for extremism to thrive. The Committee will have an opportunity to consider the alarming situation with the Tánaiste in detail at tomorrow’s meeting, and the approach that European Foreign Ministers are proposing to take to stem the crisis.” Mr Breen will also meet with the new Iraqi Ambassador to Ireland, Faik Nerweyi, at which …

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Minister Pat Breen

Breen visits Quatar and Bahrain

THE chairman of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Pat Breen is in Qatar and Bahrain on a three day official visit at the invitation of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Qatar and the Shoura Council of Bahrain. The itinerary in Doha includes meetings with the Prime Minister of Qatar, the CEO of Qatar Airways, the Deputy Foreign Minister and the US Assistant Secretary of State for Economics and Business Affairs. On Wednesday, Deputy Breen travels to Bahrain for meetings with the Minister for Industry and Trade to push for the re-opening of the beef and sheep meat market, as well as the Chairman of the Shoura Council and representatives from the Foreign Affairs, Defence and National Security Committee there. Deputy Breen said, “This visit is follow up to An Taoiseach’s trade visit in January and it is my hope that it will serve to strengthen the economic and trade ties of Ireland with Qatar and …

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Minister Pat Breen

‘Widely unrealistic’ that Ireland might draw €60m from EU

CHAIRMAN of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Pat Breen has been informed by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan, that it is widely unrealistic that Ireland might be in a position to draw down €50 to €60 million in funding from from the European Union’s Solidarity Fund in response to the recent storms. He said this position was based on the content of contact between Irish Officials and the Commission DG Regio on Monday. The clarification was sought from the Commission, solely in order to confirm the factual position, in light of statements issued by Irish MEPs, following their meetings with Commissioner Hahn on the margins of the EP Plenary in Strasbourg on Thursday of last week. “The total funding available under the Solidarity Fund for 2014 is €500m in 2011 figures or inflation adjusted, €531m. There is no additional funding available this year arising from any carryover of 2013 allocations, despite …

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Minister Pat Breen

Breen to lead delegation to Iran

A DELEGATION from the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, headed by chairman Clare Deputy Pat Breen, will travel to Tehran this Thursday for a series of engagements aimed at developing relations and bolstering trade links between Ireland and Iran. As well as meeting its parliamentary counterpart, the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, the delegation will hold discussions with Foreign Minister Dr Mohammad Zarif, Agriculture Minister Mahmud Hodjati and Dr Ali Laridjani, Speaker of Parliament, and will meet with the Iranian Chamber of Commerce. The delegation will also meet with the Head of the Iranian Human Rights Council Dr Mohammad Javad Laridjani. Committee Chairman Pat Breen will lead the cross-party delegation, which includes TD’s Eric Byrne, Sean Crowe, Maureen O’Sullivan and Senator Deirdre Clune. Deputy Breen TD said, “The visit to Tehran will provide a new impetus in relations between Ireland and Iran. We are looking forward to positive and open dialogue with fellow parliamentarians, senior Ministers, …

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Mixed reaction to growth strategy

THE Government’s Six Year Strategy for Growth was published last week and local TDs divided along predictable lines when reacting to it. One of the striking things in the document are forecasts for unemployment in the coming years. Given two sets of economic assumptions, one said to be base line and the other high growth, unemployment will fall, but recovery will take years. Under the base line figures it will be 2018 before the rate of unemployment goes under 10%. At the end of the plan’s term, in 2020 it would be 8.1%. Under the high growth scenario, unemployment would be 10.2% in 2016, while it would still be at 5.9% in 2020, still slightly shy of full employment. Inevitably, there is an element of aspiration behind these, with some shocks inevitably going to come over the coming years. Labour TD Michael McNamara said the current situation, with a slowly advancing economy, is “like taking the first steps again after …

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LRC invites mediation talks

THE Labour Relations Commission has invited both Aer Lingus and the IMPACT Trade Union to talks in Dublin on Friday. It follows an overwhelming vote for industrial action by IMPACT members, who work as cabin crew. The decision to close the cabin crew base at Shannon is just one of the issues that form the background to the dispute as IMPACT spokesman Niall Shanahan explained; “By the time we were putting a ballot paper together it had become a live issue, but up until that it had been issues about rosters, breaches of previous agreements made with management and what had been identified as a sort of withdrawal by management from industrial relations processes over the previous couple of years. “The mechanisms we had to solve problems in the past, it seemed the company were unwilling or unable to engage with them. This led to a back up of an awful lot of problems, deep feelings of resentment among cabin …

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Ryanair deal to boost Shannon

THERE is strong speculation this week that a new deal between Shannon Airport and Ryanair is about to be announced, which could deliver a number of new routes and an extra 350,000 passengers next year. Ryanair has scaled back business at Shannon dramatically since 2008 and, on several occasions, placed the blame on the controversial air travel tax. In Tuesday’s Budget it was announced that the tax will be scrapped from the start of next April. On Wednesday, the low cost airline said it would increase its Irish business by at least one million passengers next year. After the Budget announcement, Ryanair outlined its plans. “Ryanair highlighted that since the travel tax was introduced in January 2009, traffic at the main Irish airports had declined from 30.5m passengers in 2008 to 23.5m in 2012. Ryanair believes that much of this traffic can now be recovered thanks to the abolition of the travel tax, which makes Ireland a more competitive and …

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