Home » Tag Archives: Michael McNamara (page 2)

Tag Archives: Michael McNamara

“A massive blow to Shannon”

THERE are concerns being raised about the future of Shannon Airport, as it lost a key transatlantic route at the weekend, which local tourism businesses say will affect them badly. United Airlines operated a Shannon-Newark service from April to late October and while it had been suspended for this year, it was expected it would resume in 2021. However, that will not be happening. It is another body blow for Shannon, which had been hopeful of a positive 2020, up until Covid-19 struck. Although in the state of New Jersey, Newark is just a few miles outside of New York City and the United route was an important factor in bringing thousands of American visitors to this part of Ireland. On Saturday, Shannon Group chief executive Mary Considine sent an email, which has been seen by The Clare Champion, to the newly-formed Oireachtas cross-party group on Shannon, in which she appealed for Government support. “We were aware that they [United] …

Read More »

Crowe and colleagues raise Clare Bus issue in Dáil Éireann

THE issue of Clare Bus has been raised in Dáil Éireann, with three of the constituency’s TDs appealing directly to Minister Shane Ross to intervene in the dispute with the National Transport Authority (NTA), which resulted in new contractors being appointed to the rural transport service in March. Deputy Cathal Crowe outlined the importance of the service saying, “We are not a leafy suburb with DARTs and Luas trams going down through it. We rely very much on rural transport.” The Fianna Fáil TD described the dispute over funding as “shambolic” and, referring to the staff of Clare bus said, “They are the only group of workers I can think of in the State at present who have been made redundant, not by the Covid crisis but by Government body hard-balling.” In her maiden speech in Dáil Éireann, Sinn Féin TD, Violet-Anne Wynne asked, “Will the Minister also step up and engage an independent mediator to resolve contractual issues between …

Read More »

McNamara to chair new Covid-19 Dáil committee

CLARE Independent TD, Michael McNamara has said he doesn’t expect the new Covid-19 Dáil committee, of which be became chairperson this week, to be a star chamber or to make a political football of public health guidelines. Responding to questions from The Clare Champion this week, Deputy McNamara said he expected the high-profile committee to treat witnesses, who will include Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Tony Holohan, with respect and to focus on matters of public interest and information. The committee, which is the only one sitting currently, is made up of four members each from Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Sinn Féin, with one seat each for other parties and Independent groups. On Tuesday, it elected Deputy McNamara, by lunchtime, to be its chair, before a longer-than-expected private session which continued into the late afternoon. For reasons of social distancing and to ensure the committee has legal privilege, the meeting took place in the Dáil chamber, with the Scariff-based …

Read More »
Michael McNamara, (Ind) is lifted on shoulders on his election at the Clare General Election 2020 count in The Falls Hotel, Ennistymon. Photograph by John Kelly.

McNamara suggests another General Election could be attractive to Fine Gael

CLARE’S Independent TD has questioned the view that a coalition of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party is the only option when it comes to forming the next government. Deputy Michael McNamara, who has been involved with talks, alongside fellow Independents Michael Fitzmaurice (Rocommon-Galway) and Marian Harkin (Sligo-Leitrim) about supporting such a coalition, said it may be the case that alternatives are viable, if not preferable at this point in time. This week, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party he is confident a government can be formed by June. However, Deputy McNamara said it may still be the case that Fine Gael’s preference was for another General Election. “The prospect of another election might seen attractive to Fine Gael right now,” he told The Champion. “They will have to be seen to exhaust all possibilities for government formation, then to persuade President Higgins to dissolve the Dáil. The president has some discretion in that regard …

Read More »

deputies differ on easing of Covid-19 restrictions

HEALTH Minister Simon Harris is coming under pressure to ease some of the Covid-19 restrictions in Clare following official confirmation the incidence of the virus is the second lowest in Munster. According to official figures, Waterford has the lowest number of confirmed cases in Munster on Wednesday with 138 compared to 229 in Clare, 288 in Kerry, 370 in Tipperary, 518 in Limerick and 1,126 in Cork. Even when population is taken into account, Clare has the second lowest incidence of Covid-19 per head in the province. As frustration grows over how many weeks Clare people will be forced to remain in a restrictive national lockdown, Deputy Michael McNamara has presented a strong case for the need to apply a different level of restrictions in different regions subject to public health guidance. New EU guidelines for the control of Covid-19 have proposed that national lockdowns could be replaced by targeted regional measures. However, the new EU guidelines also recommend that …

Read More »

McNamara attacks ‘cynical’ FF and FG coalition talks

A SCATHING attack has been launched on Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil by Clare’s Independent TD, who is accusing them of using Coronavirus concerns as a cover for a potential coalition government. Senior figures in both parties have this week stepped up talks on government formation, with care-taker Taoiseach Leo Varadkar citing “a dramatic change in context” because of Covid 19. Deputy Michael McNamara is one of a number of deputies, including Fianna Fáil’s own Éamon Ó Cuiv, who has called instead for a type of grand coalition involving most or all of the major parties, with a view to addressing the public health emergency. “I would be prepared to support a national coalition government which might be in place for a limited period, in order to address the threat posed by Coronavirus. That doesn’t look likely, unfortunately. What we have instead is a rather cynical move the FF and FG to use the fact that this horrible virus is …

Read More »

Tectonic plates shifted as SF roared to the top in Clare

NOT so long ago general elections were predictable, both in Clare and in Ireland generally, but after last weekend there is a sense that voters might do just about anything. In Clare this was certainly the most dramatic result for many decades, with neither Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael having a candidate who hit the quota, as Sinn Féin topped the poll, a situation that was unthinkable almost until the moment it happened. There was widespread surprise in the Falls Hotel on Sunday morning as the tallies were being compiled and Violet Anne Wynne, an almost totally unknown quantity, was taking in more number ones than any one else. Many people around the count centre were saying the same thing; they knew that Sinn Féin were going to do well nationally, but just couldn’t see it happening in Clare. But it was happening. As recently as 2007 Fianna Fáil were campaigning on a platform of stability. It genuinely resonated with …

Read More »

Dust Settles After Political Storm at Clare General Election Count

ALL roads led to Ennistymon last Sunday morning as the counting of just over 60,000 Clare ballots began. Storm Ciara tore along the western seaboard, leaving sections of the N85 barely passable. As political pilgrims queued to cross flood waters south of the Inagh village, the brother of outgoing TD Timmy Dooley came quietly to the rescue. Pat Dooley donned his wellies to check the depth of the water, then led a number of other drivers through. Gales and floods ultimately did little to deter the capacity crowd that poured into The Falls Hotel to witness a drama few could have anticipated. As the ballot boxes were opened, the threads of a new political narrative emerged. Sinn Féin was on course to have a Clare TD for the first time since 1922. It took more than twelve hours, however, to confirm the dominance of newcomer Violet-Anne Wynne. Anticipation of the first count was at fever pitch by 9.10pm. Families and …

Read More »