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Tag Archives: politics

Big issues of the election ‘ignored’

VAGUE, disappointing and unambitious were some of the terms used by Violet Anne Wynne to describe the Programme for Government this week. She claimed the concerns that were raised during the general election campaign are not being tackled. “I think the big issues of the election were ignored, affordable housing, the health service in crisis, the cost of childcare. Looking at it overall it’s very vague, there’s loads of flowery language about reviews and revisiting things but as for commitments and definitive targets, they seem to have left those figures out.” The new Sinn Féin TD said that more affluent people are being looked after, rather than low and middle income families and individuals. “It contained a series of stealth taxes that will hit low-income households hardest. All the while, they plan to spend €123 million a year to provide a tax cut to individuals earning more than 100 thousand euro a year through the removal of the USC surcharge. …

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“They have to put on their Clare jersey”

WITH a range of challenges mounting for Clare, there was disappointment this week, as not only was the county denied a seat at the Cabinet table, there won’t even be a representative from the wider Mid-West Region. Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council Mary Howard said that while ability should be the first criteria, the lack of West of Ireland representation in the new Cabinet is striking. “The other night, when you looked at the map and there wasn’t a senior minister from Donegal down to Limerick, it wasn’t a nice thing to see. I’m hoping that the west of Ireland will have the majority of the junior ministries now. “It was glaring when you saw there was two ministers in Wicklow, three in Cork, six in Dublin and nothing at all from Donegal down to Limerick.” At the moment the Mid-West’s health services are a shambles, Shannon Airport seems to lurch from crisis to crisis, while there are fears that …

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Garvey part of Green negotiating team

CLARE County Councillor Róisín Garvey was in Dublin last Thursday, as part of a Green party group working on the preparation of a programme for Government with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. The three-person Green team at the talks also included Deputies Malcolm Noonan and Marc Ó Cathasaigh. Fine Gael were represented by Simon Coveney, Michael Ring and Hildegard Naughton and Fianna Fáil’s team consisted of Dara Calleary and Anne Rabbitte. “Fianna Fáil were quite passive, I would say. Their document was quite light. There was very little content in it, whereas Fine Gael and the Greens had very substantial documents. It was only a two-hour meeting. I’d like to have seen another two-hour meeting but what happens is that it is done over emails,” she said. “While we were in the room, we got to dictate wording. for instance, 20% remote working. Fine Gael wanted it to be an ultimate target but I argued with Simon Coveney that it …

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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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Breen retiring from politics

EVEN as it was apparent that he was going to lose his seat, Pat Breen cut a relaxed figure at the General Election count centre and this week he announced that he will not be returning to political life in any guise. The Senate is very often the next target for those who don’t get to the Dáil but the Ballynacally man said it’s not for him. “There was huge pressure on me to run for the Senate from party members in Clare and from colleagues but I kind of made my mind up. “Here I am, at this stage of my life and if I don’t do something different now, I’ll never do it. I want to do something different, rather than stay in a political career. I’ve served 20 years in politics, 18 years in the Dáil, and I’ve left my mark on the county. I think it was Barack Obama who said once, ‘Never fear the future, …

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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 …

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Clare electorate up by over 8,000

FOUR years on from the last general election, the Clare constituency has almost 10% more voters than it did in 2016. This time there are 91,120 people registered to vote, up from 82,965 last time. It is a very sharp increase, but besides a growing population, the redrawing of the electoral boundaries with Limerick has seen another 4,488 voters come into the constituency. The county is divided into five municipal districts for local government purposes. On Saturday there will be 40 ballot boxes in the Ennis Municipal District, 35 in the Shannon Municipal District, 32 in the Killaloe Municipal District, 43 in the Kilrush Municipal District and 29 in the Ennistymon Municipal District. The redrawing of the county’s borders helps Fianna Fáil’s Cathal Crowe, the Meelick man now having significantly more people in his local area who can vote for him. The feeling is that he will have enough votes to comfortably take a seat in his first general election. …

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“They don’t have any empathy with rural Ireland”-Harty on FG leadership

ON Monday, Dr Michael Harty announced that he is not looking to be re-elected to the Dáil and in an interview with The Clare Champion, he said the outgoing Government has failed rural Ireland, while the administration didn’t accept obvious solutions to major problems facing the country. Dr Harty also revealed that he had turned down invitations to stand for established parties in the General Election. “Obviously, the economy has recovered and that brings benefits to everybody. But I think there is still a huge dissatisfaction within rural Ireland that they are being left behind, that services are still being withdrawn to rural Ireland,” he commented. As it stands now, he feels that the likes of Leo Varadkar, Simon Harris and Eoghan Murphy do not understand the needs of a county like Clare. “I think that the Government is urban-orientated. We have the Taoiseach, the Minister for Finance, the Minister for Health, the Minister for Housing, who are all urban-based …

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