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Tag Archives: Dáil Éireann

Wynne voices frustration of Clare pyrite homeowners

CLARE’S Sinn Féin TD has sharply criticised the fact that Clare people, whose homes have defects proven to be linked to pyrite, must continue to pay Local Property Tax (LPT). Deputy Violet Anne Wynne, who last week raised the issue in the Dáil with the Tánaiste, said the lack of action for homeowners here is a source of huge frustration. The Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme is only open to Counties Mayo and Donegal and covers a maximum of 90% of remediation costs. Earlier this month, the government announced that those eligible for the scheme would get a six-year LPT waiver. Because Clare has not yet been included in the redress scheme, the LPT exemption does not apply here. Currently, at the request of the Department of Housing, Clare County Council is compiling a report on the scale of the pyrite issue here, with a view to making the case for the extension of the scheme. “Homeowners in Clare still …

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McNamara critical of low maternity benefit rate

CLARE’S Independent TD has called on government to stop penalising women who have just had children, by offering the a lower payment than they would receive under the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) scheme. Addressing the Tánaiste at Leader’s Questions last week, Deputy Michael McNamara said it was an opportune moment to raise the matter given the historic fact that a cabinet member had just had a baby. Congratulating Justice Minister Helen McEntee and her husband, Deputy McNamara said “there is nothing more hopeful than the birth of a baby”. “We should recall that thousands of mothers across this State, when they went on maternity leave to give birth and bring a life into the world, had their rate of pay reduced from the PUP rate to the maternity benefit rate, which is €245,” the Independent TD continued. “Notwithstanding all the laws we rightly have in the private sector to prevent women from being discriminated against because they, uniquely, give birth, …

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Positive end-of-year report for Clare’s TDs

CLARE’S four TDs have been given a positive end-of-year report by a former minister, after the first 12 months of the 33rd Dáil. Former defence minister Tony Killeen ran the rule of the constituency’s Dáil representatives and concluded that, as things stand, all four can be reasonably confident of retaining their seats. Mr Killeen judged first-time TD and Fianna Fáil Cathal Crowe to have made a positive impact. “I’m hearing some really positive feedback from individuals and community groups about his constituency office,” he said. “He seems to have become a go-to TD for community organisations. Cathal has a style that suits being out and about on the ground. The pandemic has restricted that, obviously, but he has been using Zoom to keep in touch. He has boundless energy, he seems to run on Duracell. Of course, he’s not a political novice, but he has succeeded in making a positive impression over his first year in the Dáil.” Another first-time …

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Hectic year for first-time TD Cathal Crowe

WHEN Patrick Wallace, the Returning Office for the constituency of Clare declared the final result in General Election 2020, it fulfilled a long-time goal for Meelick man Cathal Crowe. He had been in politics for a decade and a half at that point, but, by his own admission, he had been “like a child looking through the turnstile at Cusack Park, dying to get out on the pitch”. The first sitting of the 33rd Dáil saw the ball thrown in and Deputy Crowe has been playing at a blistering pace for the last year. “It has been a learning curve and an immense honour,” he said. “Getting the [Dáil] seat was a landmark moment. I’d been trying for a while and, despite the good vibes on the ground, the count was still a nail-biting event and I’m very appreciative of our peculiar PR-STV system. I might have wanted a better result for the Fianna Fáil party, but Clare got the …

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Clare’s Sinn Féin TD reflects on her first year in Dáil Éireann

“A YEAR full of change,” was the verdict of first-time TD Deputy Violet Anne-Wynne as she reflected on the last 12 months. On February 10, 2020 she was declared elected on 11,903 votes in a General Election where Sinn Féin claimed victory, nationally, and the largest share of the popular vote. The Kilrush resident admits her success came as a shock to many. “The prediction was that Sinn Féin wouldn’t take the seat in Clare,” she said, “so the result came as a big surprise and a nice surprise. It was proof that the desire for change and for an end to the so-called ‘old politics’ was being felt right across the country.” The result made Deputy Wynne the third female TD to serve the modern-day constituency of Clare since the foundation of the State. First-time TDs can face a struggle in finding their bearings amid the corridors of power, but when you combine that with the upheaval created by …

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Full time carers should be prioritised in vaccination programme – Cllr Norton

FULL time carers and people with disabilities should be vaccinated as soon as possible, according to Councillor Ann Norton. Councillor Norton has called on the government to follow the example of the United Kingdom by prioritising carers and family members they are looking after for the vaccine against Covid-19. As a parent and full time carer, the Independent Councillor wrote to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, Tanáiste Leo Varadkar and An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin about the need to prioritise carers as part of the national vaccination programme and was very disappointed with the lack of any serious engagement. She received a standard acknowledgement from Minister Donnelly’s secretary, an automatic response from Deputy Varadkar and no response from the Taoiseach. Councillor Norton, who cares for her daughter, Nicole, (23) said it was time for the government to recognise carers were saving the state huge sums of money by keeping children and adults out of long stay residential facilities. “Full time carers are …

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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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