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Tag Archives: Dáil Éireann

Crowe raises online marts outage with Agriculture Minister

MINISTER for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue has pledged to keep restrictions on mart access under review, following a major outage with the online system, which affected sales nationwide, including those in Clare. Raising the issue in Dáil Éireann, Deputy Cathal Crowe told the minister there had been anger and confusion among local farmers over the issue that arose at the end of last month. “The system crashed for about two hours at Sixmilebridge mart,” the Fianna Fáil TD outlined, “with the result that many of the cattle already in pens in the back yard had to be loaded back onto trailers and returned to their home farms. There was consternation in the marts and considerable anger and frustration among farmers.” The Meelick-based TD said that while sales had managed to resume on the day in question, many farmers were unable to sell their animals. “The mart in Sixmilebridge continued and some sales took place, including the sale of my uncle’s yearlings, …

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Minister slated over stance on defective Clare homes

SHARP criticism has been directed at the minister for housing, after he refused to help to Clare homeowners who believe their properties are affected by defective building materials containing pyrite or mica. One local TD has estimated that over 40 people in this county may be affected by the materials which can cause severe structural damaged to buildings, and that many others have not yet come forward. Following the setting up last month of the Clare Pyrite Action Group, the personal experiences of a number of homeowners across the county have been reported by The Champion. The situation in this county was raised in Dáil Éireann last week by Deputy Cathal Crowe and the Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin, with Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien ruling out any extension to Clare of the existing remediation schemes. Dr Martina Cleary, the founder of the action group, has hit out at the fact that Minister O’Brien when in opposition, slated the …

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Comment: Toddling TDs take six-week nap

PERHAPS like toddlers up past their bedtime, TDs were just over-tired as they hurled abuse at each other across the floor of the Convention Centre last week. As the first term of the 33rd Dáil drew to an end with a blazing row over speaking slots, the Leas Ceann Comhairle Catherine Connolly noted that it was very late and everyone was very tired. And after all, forming a government had taken a full four months. The gruelling process caused at least one minister to sink into those plush-looking Convention Centre seats for 40 winks, once the three-way coalition deal was finally done. Toddlers, we can easily forgive. With seasoned politicians, it’s more difficult. Several aspects of first term for the history-making coalition have been unedifying. We have had conflicting messages from the parties and internal wrangling within them. After packing their bags for a six-week break, TDs engaged in further back-biting; online and in the national newspapers. You could be …

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Rollercoaster Dáil term for Crowe as first-time TD

IT would be something of an understatement to say that a lot has happened in the months since Monday, February 10. It snowed in North Clare on the day that Cathal Crowe was unveiled as a new TD, after a General Election count fraught with drama. And while many thought hell would freeze over before Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael would coalesce, and join with the Greens in a history-making new administration, that is what has transpired, against the backdrop of a global pandemic. Ten days later Deputy Crowe took his seat in the Dáil, and received the keys to his new office on the third floor of the Leinster House 2000 building. Since then, he has been putting in gruelling 14-16 hour days and, after the protracted process of government formation, he believes he has found his stride as a national representative. “As a first-time TD, you’re on a very steep learning curve,” he said. “It’s like Fresher’s Week …

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Crowe and colleagues raise Clare Bus issue in Dáil Éireann

THE issue of Clare Bus has been raised in Dáil Éireann, with three of the constituency’s TDs appealing directly to Minister Shane Ross to intervene in the dispute with the National Transport Authority (NTA), which resulted in new contractors being appointed to the rural transport service in March. Deputy Cathal Crowe outlined the importance of the service saying, “We are not a leafy suburb with DARTs and Luas trams going down through it. We rely very much on rural transport.” The Fianna Fáil TD described the dispute over funding as “shambolic” and, referring to the staff of Clare bus said, “They are the only group of workers I can think of in the State at present who have been made redundant, not by the Covid crisis but by Government body hard-balling.” In her maiden speech in Dáil Éireann, Sinn Féin TD, Violet-Anne Wynne asked, “Will the Minister also step up and engage an independent mediator to resolve contractual issues between …

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Calls for ‘ring-fenced’ funding for Shannon post Covid-19

THE importance of Shannon Airport for Clare was stressed in the Dáil last week, with calls for it to be helped through the Covid-19 crisis. “Shannon Airport is the driving force in Clare and the Mid-West Region. At this time of crisis, it has been deemed essential and has accepted many cargo flights of personal protection equipment, PPE. “When the crisis is over, there will be an acute need for the Department to provide the airport with a capital expenditure fund,” said Fianna Fáil TD Cathal Crowe. “For too long, the airport has had to self-finance all major projects, including a recent €15 million upgrade of the runway. “All such outlays seriously eat into the airport’s financial resources meaning that it has very little funding left over for marketing the airport, attracting new routes and retaining existing routes. There is urgent action needed in that regard. “The funding needs to be ring-fenced for the airport to safeguard it in the …

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Ennis artist presents rare works in documentary

ENNIS artist Mick O’Dea has been given unprecedented access to the State’s art collection housed in Leinster House for a landmark one-hour documentary, which will debut on Monday. For the first time in broadcasting history, the collection will be showcased in House of Art. Having been given unprecedented access, Royal Hibernian Academy president, Mick O’Dea, discovers the stories, the artists and the people behind this unique collection, revealing a rich tapestry of our socio-political history. The documentary, produced by Red Shoe Productions, will be launched with a premiere screening in The Little Museum of Dublin, where Mick and director Maggie Breathnach will do a question and answer session.The documentary will then debut on Oireachtas TV on Monday at 8pm. There are over 300 pieces of priceless art housed in Leinster House. With the foundation of the State in 1922, successive governments were keen to create a pantheon of heroes aimed at affirming national self-image. With over 18,000 pieces in the …

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Clare hurlers playing for Limerick?

DR Michael Harty has told Dáil Éireann that Clare would lose inter-county hurlers, if parts of the county were subsumed into Limerick. He was speaking on a Private Members’ Local Authority Boundaries Review debate on Tuesday, which looked at similar issues in Cork. “Anyone familiar with Clare hurling will know that most of our senior team, which has been successful in recent years, come from that area. I am sure people in those areas would not swap the saffron and blue for the green of Limerick, although I am originally from Limerick myself. These are the issues that are important to people when a boundary change is proposed and they are not to be underestimated,” the Independent Clare TD told Dáil Éireann. “Such was the opposition to this proposal that it was not politically possible to pursue it and the then Minister, Phil Hogan, decided not to act on the annexation proposal. A group called Clare Against the Boundary Change …

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