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Tag Archives: Dáil

Deputy McNamara Calls For More Antigen Testing

` DEPUTY Michael McNamara has called for an increase use of antigen testing in hospitals, schools and homes to facilitate a quicker safe exit from stringent Covid-19 restrictions next month. Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy McNamara recalled the European Commission advocated greater use of antigen testing last November and this is being rolled out right across Europe. The Biden Administration has now introduced far greater use of antigen testing in America, including in homes. He claimed the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has finally moved, reluctantly, to a very “circumscribed” role for antigen testing in the context of outbreaks. “Is there a conflict of interest between being chair of NPHET and being director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, which has very large contracts with the State for PCR testing? “I am not saying there is any subjective bias on the part of that member of NPHET, but there is a clear perception there is objective bias, or a …

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Deputy Wynne Slams Government policy on student nurses’ pay as “exploitative”

  The Government’s failure to pay student nurses properly has been criticised as “disgraceful and exploitative’” by a local Sinn Féin deputy. In a recent Dáil vote, Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne said Government TDs from Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party voted to prevent student nurses receiving a fair wage despite the essential role they have played during the Covid-19 pandemic. Deputy Wynne recalled Sinn Féin TDs spoke out on behalf of student nurses and voted for them to receive fair pay. “Student nurses do highly skilled work in challenging conditions. They are the glue holding our healthcare system together. Without them, the healthcare system quite simply could not function in the way that it does. “Throughout the pandemic, student nurses stepped up to work on the frontline to protect our communities and fight Covid-19. “They were rightly praised by all politicians at the time but they need more than praise- they need to see proper action from the …

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Speeding jetskis startled cow into throwing calf, says farmer

SPEEDING jet skis on Lough Derg created such a commotion that a cow on a Clare farm became distressed and miscarried its calf, according to a local Dáil deputy. The nuisance caused by jet skis on Lough Derg was criticised by Deputy Michael McNamara during a Dáil debate about the need to tackle the inappropriate use of quad bikes. Commenting on the increased number of people on the water this summer because of the lockdown and the initial good weather, Deputy McNamara recalled jet skis were used on lakes where they had never been seen before. “I spoke to a constituent about it yesterday. She told me of an incident on her family farm, which adjoins a lake. A cow was so panicked by jet skis on the lake that she threw a calf,” he said. Last June, Killaloe Coast Guard appealed to jet ski operators to operate in the open waters of Lough Derg away from restricted zones near …

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McNamara Claims €38 Million Extra Isn’t Available for Mental Health

DEPUTY Michael McNamara has accused the government of being “deceitful” over its announcement that an extra €38 million has been provided for mental health services in the Budget. Welcoming the total package of €50 million, Deputy McNamara claimed in the Dáil recently the assertion that €38 million is being provided for additional mental health services is “untrue and is simply playing with statistics”. “Some €38 million is provided for additional services. On the face of it, this is very welcome and badly needed. This is, however, to be matched with €12 million for the existing level of services (ELS). “Anybody who has anything to do with mental health provision would accept that the existing level of services, as paltry and deficient as it is, cannot be provided for €12 million. “What then is the additional mental health budget announced today? To say that it is €38 million is, frankly, deceitful because it is not. There is a total package of …

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11 talking points from a unique election

1. The sudden emergence of Sinn Féin Violet-Anne Wynne was a mere footnote in last year’s local elections, way off the pace in the Kilrush Municipal District. However, the Sinn Féin surge saw her take an incredible 8,987 number ones and while she still had to wait until the final count, she was always odds-on from that point to take a seat. 2. The changing of the guard As the new year dawned, most people felt that Pat Breen and Timmy Dooley both had a very good chance of retaining their seats. In the weeks coming up to the election, it was still felt that Mr Dooley would be ok. There was a view that Fine Gael could lose a seat but many felt that would be Joe Carey, rather than Mr Breen. However, Mr Carey managed to keep his nose in front of his colleague from the first count on. Mr Dooley did make it to the last count …

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McNamara aiming for Dáil seat

WHILE it had been expected, it was only this week that former TD Michael McNamara confirmed that he will be standing in the General Election. Having started his political career as a European election candidate, he stood for Labour in the 2011 General Election and won a seat. With Labour taking a hammering in 2016, he failed to hold the seat, despite putting up a credible display and winning 4,472 first preferences. He had sought Labour’s nomination to run in the Ireland South constituency in the European election, but has now left the party and will be running in the General Election as an independent. His chances will have been boosted by this week’s announcement by Dr Michael Harty that he will not be in the race. There is a feeling in local political circles that there is a strong possibility of one candidate from beyond Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael being elected, and the departure of Harty from the …

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Timmy Dooley

Dooley hits out at “unfair” targetting of FF colleague

DEPUTY Timmy Dooley has said that Fine Gael have tried to employ smear tactics, following news stories this week about Lisa Chambers casting votes in the Dáil while sitting in his seat. The Clare TD has said that what happened was entirely in keeping with custom in Leinster House. “There was a practice over time where people didn’t sit in their own seats and that’s the case across the house. My view is they are just targeting Lisa on this and it’s unfair.” He added, “So many people have accepted that they did it and said that they did it. That has tightened up and that has changed, so people have to be in their designated seats now before the vote can take place. There doesn’t seem to be any complaint against me, it’s an effort to target Lisa Chambers, which I think is unfair.”# The fact that footage of the Dáil was brought into the debate was also unfair, …

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No findings against Dooley but further action likely

THE Clerk of the Dáil’s report into the voting issue which Clare Fianna Fáil TD, Timmy Dooley, was embroiled in last Thursday, made no findings against any of the three TD’s primarily singled out. They were Deputy Dooley and his party colleagues, Niall Collins and Lisa Chambers. The Clerk heard input from Deputy Dooley in relation to his role, which resulted in Deputy Collins voting on his behalf several times, while the Clare TD was not present in the Dáil chamber. While no findings were made, the matter is unlikely to end there. “It is now for the Committee on Members Interests to examine the matter, and to recommend any appropriate sanction any recommendation from that committee will be to this House. And it will be this House, not any one committee, which will decide the imposition of sanctions if deemed appropriate,” Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl said.  

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