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Tag Archives: Government

Clare woman appointed Irish Ambassador to Singapore

A CLARECASTLE woman has been appointed as the Irish Ambassador to Singapore. The ambassadorial appointment of Sarah McGrath to the prestigious role was among 22 approved by the Government at a meeting last week and has been described as “a proud day for County Clare”. Sarah is a daughter of Anne McGrath and is a native of Clarecastle but has lived in Dublin for some time. She has worked in the Department of Foreign Affairs for the past 20 years where she is currently Director of the UN and Multilateral Unit, Development Cooperation and Africa Division. Deputy Joe Carey said, “I have just spoken with Sarah McGrath to congratulate her on being appointed the next Irish Ambassador to Singapore, Brunei and Timor Leste.” “This year’s ambassadorial nominees made history with women due to take up half the roles for the first time ever. Sarah will take her place in this historic announcement as the first female Irish Ambassador to Singapore, …

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Shannon GP critical of Covid plan ‘chaos and confusion’

A SHANNON GP has hit out the handling of circumstances around the health minister’s Covid-19 test last Tuesday the day it unveiled the new roadmap for living with the virus. Dr Yvonne Williams said that misunderstanding over who should isolate while a contact of theirs is awaiting a test result, smacked of “chaos and confusion”. “The advice is that while someone is awaiting results of a test, their household should restrict their movements,” she explained. “If someone has a positive test, then their contacts are advised to isolate.” On Tuesday, shortly after addressing a press conference on the Living with Covid-19 plan, Minister Stephen Donnelly felt unwell and contacted his GP to arrange a coronavirus test. Following that news, the cabinet, as well as Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn, were told to restrict their movements as a precaution. The Dáil was then adjourned, at first for a period of one week, before being reconvened later on Tuesday evening. …

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Clare childcare providers call for government reforms

AS some childcare providers in the county re-opened their doors this week, workers in the sector reveal the financial challenges they are facing as they call for funding reforms. SIPTU Organiser and Big Start Co-ordinator for Clare, Yvonne McGrath insists, “This vital service cannot be delivered on poverty pay”. The campaign is urging the incoming government to deliver on pre-election pledges to reform the early years sector and implement a new funding model that delivers for children, workers, providers and parents. Ms McGrath says, “Early years educators are eager and enthusiastic to return to work. They play an essential role in our society and parents who have struggled balancing work and looking after children have some much welcomed relief. However, the issues that existed before the lockdown have not gone away. The reality is that before the Covid-19 outbreak the sector was in the grip of a low pay and staffing crisis with the majority of workers earning below the …

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“We won’t be counting our chickens”

ON Wednesday morning, Councillor Róisín Garvey was gearing up to promote the benefits of going into government to her party colleagues. “The last phase is the most important one. The members have to vote and in the Green Party, it requires two-thirds, so we won’t be counting our chickens,” she said. The fact that such a high threshold must be passed means that the formation of a new government involving the Greens is still quite uncertain. Councillor Garvey said she wants the party to go into government but doesn’t know how strong internal opposition may be. “They have been very vocal, the people against it, but how many of them there are, I don’t know. “The national media have given loads of coverage to the ones against it in our party but I can’t surmise from that how many are against it.” The Clare Greens held an online meeting on Tuesday evening, with four of the party’s TDs attending, along …

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€500 million Shannon LNG project scrapped

The decision by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to sacrifice the long awaited €500 million Shannon LNG project to secure a coalition with the Green Party has been welcomed by environmental groups including Futureproof Clare. Criticism of the proposed Shannon Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal near Tarbert had intensified in recent months, with celebrities like Cher and Mark Ruffalo speaking out over its proposed use of fracked gas. US company New Fortress Energy were promoters of the terminal which would have been the first of its kind in Ireland. Futureproof Clare has welcomed the commitment to scrap the Shannon LNG terminal project and to ban the importation of fracked gas in the proposed Programme for Government, ‘Our Shared Future’. “The ban on all new offshore gas and oil drilling in Ireland’s waters is revolutionary in its commitment to leave fossil fuels behind as we transition to a low-carbon society and economy. Ireland would become the first country in the world …

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Shannon airport

Time for Government action on Shannon’s decline

IN Clare, we are rarely at the top of the political or business agenda. This is a peripheral county, the kind of place that advocates of the neo-liberal economic approach of recent years are happy to sacrifice. As the Mid-West’s manufacturing industry was being lost to low-wage economies 10 years ago, we were told it was just the natural order of things and to suck it up. When tech giants go to our capital, rather than to the Clares and Kerrys, we’re told something similar. When previous broadband plans were shelved, it certainly was not a serious problem and as our airport declines, people like departing Transport Minister Shane Ross would find it almost preposterous that Government be required to do something about it. Just over 70,000 people travelled between Shannon and Newark in 2019, many of them high-spending American tourists. This helped keep Clare’s tourism sector going, allowed people to pay mortgages, put shoes on children’s feet and enabled …

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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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Grassroots coaxed toward FF-FG coalition

AS Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil inch closer to government formation, opinion continues to be divided on the merits of a historic coalition. The broad consensus, however, suggests that, in this county, support for alternatives options is in short supply. Both parliamentary parties have been meeting separately to consider a joint framework document agreed by Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin last Tuesday. It is anticipated that mechanisms will then be explored to canvass the views of councillors and grass-roots members. Deputies Joe Carey and Cathal Crowe both suggested that, through consultation, those with reservations could be brought around to the coalition option. “Among Fine Gael councillors there is widespread support, but not unanimity,” said Deputy Carey. “I would say that around 70% favour coalition. People do have legitimate questions and they must be listened to.” Fianna Fáil’s Deputy Crowe said he would emphasising to party leadership the importance of listening to the grassroots. “I have huge support in our party’s negotiating team,” he said. …

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