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Tag Archives: Deputy Michael McNamara

McNamara Bides His Time on Support for Proposed Coalition

DEPUTY Michael McNamara is to wait to see how members of the three coalition parties vote on the Programme for Government before making his mind up on whether to support the history-making arrangement. The view of grassroots members of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party, who will be balloted individually by post, are expected to be made public by June 26. In the meantime, the Independent Clare TD said he saw very little in the 126-page document which would benefit the midwestern region. “There would appear to be no input from this region in the document,” he said. “I would have to ask what influence, if any, TDs from Fianna Fáil, the Greens or Fine Gael have. There are lots of details about planned infrastructure for Dublin, but no definite details for many projects outside of it. There’s no reference to Shannon Airport or to balancing aviation policy. When it comes to farming, there seems to be great …

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McNamara concerned lockdown favoured multinationals over small business

CONCERN has been raised by the Chairperson of the Covid-19 Committee that restrictions associated with the coronavirus have disproportionately impacted on small business and driven economic activity “into the hands of multinationals”. Deputy Michael McNamara made his remarks this week as the committee heard from representatives of the business sector. The Scariff-based deputy handed over the chairperson’s role to Deputy Mary Butler, in order to question witnesses Danny McCoy of IBEC and Neil McDonnell of ISME. He noted that a concerning trend during lockdown had been a boost in business for multinationals at the expense of small business. “One of the most worrying economic or financial aspects of the restrictions was the extent to which all economic activity was driven into the hands of multinationals, many of which are headquartered outside of Ireland and pay their taxes elsewhere,” he told the committee. “Farmers’ markets, for example, were inexplicably shut down and people had to go to supermarkets, all of which …

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McNamara Covid Committee Warned Over Hospital Waiting Lists

WAITING lists for procedures at public hospitals could reach one million, the Clare-based Chairperson of the Special Committee on Covid-19 Response, has been told. At a meeting of the committee, Deputy Michael McNamara was told by Dr Anthony O’Connor, a member of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) consultants’ committee, that the delays in routine care in the public sector because of Covid-19 had created that possibility. In response to a question from Deputy McNamara as to what waiting lists in the public health system were likely to be in at the end of the year, Dr O’Connor warned, “Unless we get the system back up and running for routine care in the public sector, we could be looking at one million people by November or December.” Deputy McNamara also questioned Professor Alan Irvine of the Irish Hospital Consultants’ Association (IHCA) about increasing non-Covid capacity at the so-called ‘Model 2’ hospitals, which includes the likes of Ennis General. “Tier 2 hospitals are …

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Covid outbreaks in a quarter of Clare nursing homes

OUTBREAKS of Covid-19 have been confirmed in a quarter of nursing homes in Clare, The Champion has learned. News of clusters in four out of the county’s 16 homes has prompted renewed calls for greater medical supervision of these facilities. There were a total of 13 nursing home clusters in the Midwest area covering Limerick, Clare and North Tippeary, according to figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) up to May 24. Data released by the Health Service Executive (HSE) now indicate that Clare accounts for just under one-third of these. Reacting to the figures, Deputy Michael McNamara, who is Chair of the Covid-19 Dáil Committee, has called on the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to provide it with details of the homes it identified, at the outset of the pandemic, as being at particular risk. At Tuesday’s committee hearing, Mary Dunnion of HIQA said a list had been sent to the HSE in February or March. “These, …

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Healy Rae firm to replace Miltown watermains in 2021

Clare Independent TD Michael McNamara says he has received confirmation from Irish Water that the proposed replacement of the old watermains from Miltown Malbay to Mullagh will commence during first quarter of 2021. Deputy McNamara says a contractor (Healy Rae Plant Hire – HRPH) has been appointed to carry out the works, the First Phase (Site Investigation) of which has already been completed. Meanwhile, Irish Water has confirmed to Deputy McNamara that four smaller but significant watermain replacement projects will be completed in Clare during the final quarter of 2020. They include the watermain at Mains Street in Scarriff, the Castlecrine to Kilmurray watermain, 2.5km of watermain at Milltown Road in Tulla, and the watermain in Parnell St, Ennis. Responding to the update regarding the Miltown Malbay to Mullagh works, Deputy McNamara said, “I cautiously welcome this news from Irish Water as there have been numerous false starts regarding this project in recent years. It has been a frustrating and …

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deputies zoom in on constituents

CLARE’s five Oireachtas members are now using new methods of communication such as the Zoom application during the national lockdown as a result of Covid-19 regulations Traditional tried and trusted methods such as meetings constituents in a bar or community centre in towns and villages throughout Clare are a non-runner due to new social distancing requirements. However, Clare deputies and Senator Martin Conway insist they are still busy dealing with constituents queries and concerns, Deputy Joe Carey told the Clare Champion he is very busy as he is now the only government deputy after Minister of State, Pat Breen failed to get re-elected after the recent General Election. The Clarecastle Deputy said he is receiving a lot of communication from employers, business groups and individuals concerning the impact of Covid-19 via the phone, email and social media platforms like Facebook. If people want to contact him through applications such as Zoom, he is available to use this form of communication, …

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Dáil told of ‘loathsome’ timing of Clare Bus contract cut

MINISTER Simon Harris has undertaken to ask the minister for transport to engage with Clare’s Independent TD over the decision of the National Transport Authority (NTA) to terminate the contracts of Clare Bus. It follows an appeal by Deputy Michael McNamara who told fellow Dáil members that the timing of the NTA’s actions had been “loathsome”. “Just as the restrictions were introduced, [Clare Bus] had a contract for Local Link services, which was dropped by the National Transport Authority,” he said. “It’s one thing I think, we would all agree that private companies  shouldn’t use this as a cloak to break bad news and to do very Draconian things to staff members, but when the National Transport Authority does it, I think it’s a particularly loathsome thing to do… And, of course, for the staff who were protesting outside of this house last June, can’t protest. They can’t even protest at home in Clare because effectively, everybody’s locked down… I’ve …

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McNamara among trio of Independents in FF-FG talks

CLARE’s Independent TD has described his talks on supporting a Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil coalition as “constructive”, but said he believes the parties’ preferred option is to have the Greens on-board, reducing the requirement for non-party deputies. Deputy Michael McNamara met a negotiating team for two hours last Monday, alongside fellow Independents Marian Harkin (Sligo-Leitrim) and Michael Fitzmaurice (Roscommon-Galway), and said that while the encounter was worthwhile, it didn’t constitute “meaningful negotiations”. “The talks were constructive, but I wouldn’t say there was any great level of engagement on either said,” he said. “The very clear preference is to get the Greens on board, alongside a few Independents bolted on for added stability.” The three rural Independents presented a joint document and reviewed the framework document drawn up by the parties. Deputy McNamara stressed, however, that that he would be working independently for this constituency. “Everything I do is based on what’s best for Clare, even though we met as a team,” …

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