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Tag Archives: Fianna Fáil

Extension of rates waiver recommended by tourism recovery group

MEASURES to kick-start tourism in the wake of Covid-19 have been welcomed, with Clare’s Fianna Fáil TD pledging to fight to have both the rates waiver and lower VAT rate extended. Deputy Cathal Crowe, the Fianna Fáil spokesperson on tourism, also welcomed proposals to extend the Employee Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) and Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), as well as to reform the insurance sector and revise the Stay and Spend Scheme. The measures form part of a suite of recommendations made this week by the Tourism Recovery Oversight Group. “Although all the measures to keep the tourism sector buoyant at this time are costly to the State,” Deputy Crowe acknowledged, “it makes sense that they should continue – because simply put, the alternative is to stand back and watch the sector collapse, resulting in a huge amount of other pressures on the State’s social welfare system. In this time, we have seen the tourism sector reach a rock bottom …

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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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President Leads Tributes to Dr Brian Hillery

President Michael D Higgins has led the tributes to former Fianna Fáil TD and Senator Brian Dr Hillery who has died aged 83 after a short illness. In a glowing tribute, President Higgins said the news of the death of Brian Hillery will have been received with great sadness by all those with an interest in politics and economics, by those who encountered him in a long life of public service, and particularly by his colleagues in the Fianna Fáil Party. Minister Higgins said after taking an early interest in commerce and the economy, Mr Hillery went on to make a distinguished contribution as a Senator and TD for Dún Laoghaire, to his mark in the world of administration and finance, serving as Ireland’s representative on the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as Director at the Central Bank, as a Financial Regulator, and as a member of a number of bodies providing advice to Government. “He also held with …

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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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Deputy McNamara seeks health care reforms

  MAJOR reforms will have to be delivered to transform health services in the Mid-West, particularly in the area of elderly care, according to a local Dáil deputy. If there is a second Covid-19 wave in the Mid-West during the winter, Deputy Michael McNamara has warned that it would not be acceptable if Covid-19 patients were left lying in trolleys in hospital corridors transmitting the virus. “We can’t continue with the current model for our health service and elderly care. We can’t be bringing patients into an overcrowded University Hospital Limerick (UHL). “There will have to profound changes in the way acute patients are treated because we can’t have overcrowding any more. “A stitch in time saves nine. Billions of Euro have been provided to deal with Covid-19. If a fraction of this money was spent improving our health service, we may not have needed to take such draconian measures. “The reason such draconian measures had to be taken was …

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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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Deputy Crowe emphasises importance of regional development

CLARE Deputy Cathal Crowe has emphasised the importance of the new Programme for Government delivering on regional development in the wake of stinging criticism of the lack of a senior cabinet minister from the West of Ireland. Deputy Crowe admitted he would have loved to have seen a senior minister from the Mid-West appointed to the cabinet. In an interview with the Clare Champion, he acknowledged quite a number of people had contacted him to express their concern about the lack of a senior minister from the region. However, the former Meelick Councillor pointed out he also respected it is the prerogative of the three party leaders to put forward names of deputies to become members of the cabinet. He was optimistic that the perceived geographical imbalance would be addressed by the appointment of junior ministers from the region. “It is always a good thing to have a minister in a county of from a region but we have seen …

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