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Tag Archives: Michael McNamara

Mixed reaction to growth strategy

THE Government’s Six Year Strategy for Growth was published last week and local TDs divided along predictable lines when reacting to it. One of the striking things in the document are forecasts for unemployment in the coming years. Given two sets of economic assumptions, one said to be base line and the other high growth, unemployment will fall, but recovery will take years. Under the base line figures it will be 2018 before the rate of unemployment goes under 10%. At the end of the plan’s term, in 2020 it would be 8.1%. Under the high growth scenario, unemployment would be 10.2% in 2016, while it would still be at 5.9% in 2020, still slightly shy of full employment. Inevitably, there is an element of aspiration behind these, with some shocks inevitably going to come over the coming years. Labour TD Michael McNamara said the current situation, with a slowly advancing economy, is “like taking the first steps again after …

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Call for cannabis possession to be included in adult caution scheme

DEPUTY Michael McNamara has called for possession of cannabis to be included on the adult caution scheme. The Clare deputy raised the matter when speaking on a private members motion tabled by Deputy Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan and the technical group calling for cannabis regulation and legalisation last week. Deputy McNamara highlighted that in 2006, the adult caution scheme was introduced, whereby gardaí could grant an adult caution for a list of offences if they believed it to be beneficial. “It was proposed that the possession of cannabis – not possession with intent to supply – would be included on the list but it fell off the bottom. Additional offences have been added since in which an adult caution can be issued but possession of cannabis remains excluded. I asked the Minister for Justice and Equality in how many cases the Probation Act was applied to cases of cannabis possession in Ireland, and there appears to be approximately 1,500 cases on …

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Ryanair deal to boost Shannon

THERE is strong speculation this week that a new deal between Shannon Airport and Ryanair is about to be announced, which could deliver a number of new routes and an extra 350,000 passengers next year. Ryanair has scaled back business at Shannon dramatically since 2008 and, on several occasions, placed the blame on the controversial air travel tax. In Tuesday’s Budget it was announced that the tax will be scrapped from the start of next April. On Wednesday, the low cost airline said it would increase its Irish business by at least one million passengers next year. After the Budget announcement, Ryanair outlined its plans. “Ryanair highlighted that since the travel tax was introduced in January 2009, traffic at the main Irish airports had declined from 30.5m passengers in 2008 to 23.5m in 2012. Ryanair believes that much of this traffic can now be recovered thanks to the abolition of the travel tax, which makes Ireland a more competitive and …

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Minister says no study into Shannon smell

ON Tuesday Minister for Health James Reilly declined to commission a study into the effect of the odours that have tormented residents of Shannon over the last month. In the Dáil, Clare TD Michael McNamara asked the minister “if he will commission a study to look into the effect of smells in Shannon; if he or his officials can provide assurances to Shannon residents that the smells there do not pose a threat to public health and if he will make a statement on the matter.” Responding, the minister said, “I do not propose to commission a study to look at the effect of smells in Shannon as an investigation into the matter is already underway. I am advised by the HSE that the investigation of recent odours in Shannon is being undertaken by the EPA and Clare County Council. This investigation is being assisted by the Public Health and Environmental Health Departments of the HSE.” Regarding the investigation, he …

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Michael McNamara arrives at count centre

A delighted Michael McNamara has been greeted by supporters at the count centre in the West County Hotel. While Mr McNamara said he wouldn’t count any chickens until the result is official, he said he was very pleased with the tallies. He said that a huge effort had gone into his campaign. “I think it’s harder than sometimes people realise, other than those who have fought an election or been involved in an election campaign.” He also said that he hadn’t yet made plans for life as a TD. “I fought harder for this than I ever fought for anything in my life and I haven’t looked beyond tomorrow. And as I said earlier, I’m not elected yet.”   *A full interview will appear in next Thursday’s Clare Champion.

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