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Tag Archives: Deputy Michael McNamara

University Hospital Limerick.

‘Explosive’ revelations on work practices

“Explosive” revelations about the work practices of consultants in the Mid-West’s acute hospitals have prompted calls for an independent public inquiry into the running of theatre facilities. A report prepared by healthcare consultants, Meridian Productivity Limited, in 2013 revealed late starts by consultants in all hospitals in the UL Hospitals’ Group was a regular feature that was going “unchallenged” in the majority of cases. It outlined there was no clear definition or means of reporting utilisation of theatres,  excessive theatre overruns in Dooradoyle and last minute communication of theatre list content. It stated there was “poor theatre start and end punctuality” and a transfer of only a “very small amount of procedures” from UHL to Ennis and Nenagh hospitals, which is contrary to commitments given when 24-hour emergency services were removed from those hospitals in April 2009. UL Hospitals’ Group has welcomed the recommendations made in the report, which it said has helped to improve efficiencies in theatres and insists …

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Civil marriage outside of ‘office hours’

Civil marriage ceremonies shouldn’t be organised just to suit regular office hours, according to Clare TD Michael McNamara. “It is no longer acceptable that people wishing to marry in a registry office should be confined to a ‘Monday to Friday office hours’ ceremony,” the Clare Labour deputy said. “Following the historic vote on same-sex marriage at the weekend more people will now be seeking a civil marriage ceremony. I believe we should extend the hours at which a registrar is available to solemnise a ceremony, not just because same-sex couples are limited to a mid-week wedding, but so too are heterosexual couples who do not wish to have a religious wedding ceremony,” he added. “It is only fair that couples can marry at a time and venue of their choosing. People should have the right to marry at the weekend and celebrate this special occasion with family and friends. Currently those wishing to marry in a registrar office, or have …

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McNamara hopes to run again for Labour

  Clare Deputy Michael McNamara hopes to run for the Labour Party in the next General Election, despite his expulsion from the parliamentary party. The East Clare TD was the only Coalition deputy to vote against the proposed sale of the State’s 25.1 per cent stake in Aer Lingus to International Airlines Group (IAG) on Thursday. The barrister and part-time farmer remains a member of the Labour Party and says he will still support Labour Party policies during future Dáil votes. He still wants to run as a Labour candidate in Clare at the next General Election, if he is selected at the party’s selection convention. However, if he  doesn’t secure a place on the Labour Party ticket, he wouldn’t rule out running as an independent candidate. The Aer Lingus motion passed by 74 votes to 51 with Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and most other opposition deputies opposing the sale. McNamara was the only government deputy to vote down the …

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Closure of rehab unit raised in Dáil

THE “unacceptable” temporary closure of a rehabilitation unit at St Joseph’s Geriatric Hospital in Ennis was highlighted in the Dáil on Wednesday by Deputy Michael McNamara. The shutdown of this specialised unit on Friday last was raised by Deputy McNamara, after his initial attempt to secure a discussion under ‘Topical Debates’ last week was not allowed. The facility has a total potential capacity of 142 beds, including 22 that are consultant-led and are utilised for the purpose of rehabilitation for appropriately identified patients’ post acute care – medical or surgical. In a statement issued to The Clare Champion, the HSE stressed, “This is not a closure of the rehabilitation unit but only a temporary measure, for the shortest period of time possible and will not affect the patients receiving their rehabilitation care”. The authority pointed out the 14 patients that were transferred into another ward are still receiving rehabilitation. When Deputy McNamara learned about the closure, he was told there …

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McNamara chases ‘white collar’ crime

The new Corporate Crime Bill, drafted by Clare TD, Michael McNamara, will ensure more individuals convicted of ‘white collar crime’ will serve a prison sentence. The Office of Fiscal Prosecution Act 2015 is proposing the establishment of an Office of Fiscal Prosecution, overseen by a Director of Fiscal Prosecution, to investigate and prosecute corporate offences, which cost Irish citizens hundreds of millions of euro every year. Deputy McNamara believes many of these crimes are currently going unpunished. “In 2012, 76,405 theft and related offences were recorded in Ireland, meanwhile just 5,792 cases of fraud and deception were recorded by gardaí. I believe there is a lack of capability to bring culprits of corporate crime and fraud before the criminal courts. “The current level of criminal penalties imposed, particularly fines, does not act as a deterrent against banking offences, corruption, fraud or other so called ‘white collar offences’. Likewise the resources usually available to those charged with these crimes are so …

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New social housing fund

Clare County Council has been urged to apply, without delay, for its share of the €3.8billion social housing fund announced by Environment Minister, Alan Kelly. “We have a real social housing need in Clare, and today’s announcement by Minister Kelly to deliver 35,000 homes across the country over the next six years is greatly welcome,”commented Clare TD, Michael McNamara. “I am urging Clare County Council to submit applications to this fund, to address the social housing problem. New rules put in place by Minister Kelly mean that the county council will take a strong leading role in social housing provision in the county, where previously it was mainly the job of private operators,” he added.

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Zero-hours contracts under scrutiny

Difficulties experienced by low-paid workers on zero-hours contracts are to be the focus of a major new study, Clare TD Michael McNamara has confirmed. The study will survey workers and business owners on the impact of ‘zero hours’ contracts, in which workers are given short-term notice of their hours, if any, of work each week. The Labour Party Deputy said,“Workers in these situations have no idea each week what their wages will amount to, making it all but impossible to plan for bills, rent and other living costs. “To address this, my colleague Minister Ged Nash has announced details of a major new study into the area, which will gather information on how widespread and how common such contracts are, and to look at how they affect employees’ rights. Once finished, Minister Nash will make recommendations to Government based on the findings.”

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Farmers reminded of safety scheme

Clare farmers have been urged to apply for grants being made available under the new Farm Safety Scheme. In making the call, Deputy Michael McNamara said, “Concerns over the issue of farm safety are at an all-time high following a number of accidents across the country recently. I am glad that the Department of Agriculture has responded to these concerns quickly by making the Farm Safety Scheme a reality, so that we can all work to reduce the number of farm-related accidents and deaths. “This is a once-off scheme and it incentivises farmers to invest in new equipment, facilities and other preventative measures. A comprehensive list of investment items covered under this new scheme is available on the department’s website and I would encourage anyone interested in applying to the scheme to examine it for more detail,” The Labour deputy added, “In the meantime, I am pleased it contains safety fencing and covers for external slurry and effluent stores, which will …

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