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Tag Archives: Government

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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40 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland

There are 40 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland. Twenty three are male and 17 female. Twenty five are associated with the east of the country, nine are associated with the west and six are associated with the south There have been two deaths associated with COVID-19 in Ireland. There are now 169 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

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€14 million for four Irish airports, but nothing for struggling Shannon

LAST week saw the Government announce funding of almost €14 million for airports in Donegal, Knock, Kerry and Waterford, but not for Shannon. It is a situation that has been criticised by Shannon Chamber CEO Helen Downes, who says the Clare airport is now eligible for supports that others are getting. “If the Government is serious about its promise, in the National Planning Framework, to drive regional economies, it may be timely for them to broaden their support for airports that are vital catalysts for regional growth. “Shannon Airport suffers from a lack of support around capital expenditure projects and is in the process of investing €20 million in safety and security projects from its own resources.   “This funding would be better invested in securing new routes and services to feed the regional economy. “However, unlike other regional airports, who recently received Government subsidisation in the order of €14 million for capital expenditure works, Shannon receives no exchequer support …

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Source of Moneypoint coal a burning issue

CERREJÓN mine in north-eastern Colombia is a fifth of the size of Clare but supplies the majority (approximately 90%) of the coal for Moneypoint power station, Ireland’s largest energy generation station and greenhouse gas emitter. The coal sourced from this area is tainted by the abuses suffered by the local people who endure threats, intimidation, police brutality, forced displacement and human rights abuses. Their indigenous lands and homes have been destroyed to make way for this colossus of a mine that continues to expand and leaves a trail of human suffering in its wake. The Irish Government, through the ESB, has purchased 11.2 million tonnes of coal from Colombia in the last seven years, most of which is from Cerrejón and continues to do so, all while well-documented cases of wrongdoing by the mine are available from various NGOs. Under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the ESB and Ireland have a responsibility “for human rights impacts …

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IFA hit out at Government Planning Framework

THE draft National Planning Framework developed by Government has been described by the IFA as “Dublin-centric and lacking ambition for rural Ireland.” “The Government’s aspiration to develop a planning framework out to 2040 in a balanced and coherent way fails rural Ireland, particularly in the addressing following four areas: the decline of rural towns and villages; the need to rebalance development towards the regions; the need for rural housing; and, supporting community based renewable energy development,”said Thomas Cooney, IFA Environment chairman. In a submission to Government, IFA has detailed a number of areas that need to be addressed. To reverse the decline of rural towns and villages, IFA says new business start-ups should receive incentives, such as exemptions from rates, for an initial time period and relief from capital gains tax, to encourage innovation and enterprise. Double tax relief should be provided on rental expenditure for businesses establishing in rural towns and villages. A condition for a valid planning application for …

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Cabinet briefing on cyber attack

The Minister for Communications Denis Naughten will be briefing the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Infrastructure, Environment and Climate Action on the international cyber attack incident later this afternoon.The minister will also brief the Cabinet tomorrow (Tuesday). “There have been no further reported incidences of the ‘Wannacry2’ malware in Ireland, beyond the isolated case in a HSE funded facility in Wexford on Saturday. It is still possible that further incidences will arise and a sustained period of vigilance will be required, both in terms of updating and patching software and monitoring equipment,” he said. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment is monitoring the situation on an ongoing basis, and remains in close contact with international counterparts and with public and private sector entities in Ireland, both in terms of the dealing with the threat and taking measures to ensure that the impact of any future variants of this malware is limited. The NCSC …

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Harty deplores Fair Deal extension delay

THE Government’s progress on extending the Fair Deal Scheme to Home Care is proceeding at a snail’s pace, Clare Deputy Dr Michael Harty has claimed. The independent TD has, however, welcomed the decision by Helen McEntee, Minister for Older People, to launch a public consultation process at the end of May. “I welcome this public consultation as it is important to seek the opinions of all those who have views on the subject including old people themselves. I also welcome the fact that the department commissioned the Health Research Board to undertake a review of the home care systems that are in place in four other European countries. However, long experience in the health service has taught me that reports upon reports can merely act as a delaying tactic. “I don’t doubt the minister’s assurance that Government considers that a standalone funding scheme, designed for Home Care is needed but I don’t detect any real sense of urgency in her …

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