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29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] Viva España!It would be timely for the Leader to consider allowing time for the continuation of consideration of the Registration of Wills Bill 2011, which I brought forward. The case of Heather Perrin, a former judge who is now serving two and a half years in prison b...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [121]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] Is the Senator seeking a debate or the reintroduction of the Bill?[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [122]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] The Minister for Social Protection turned down the Bill. The previous Seanad, of which the Cathaoirleach was a Member, passed the Bill with the unanimous approval of Fine Gael, the Labour Party, Fianna Fáil and Independent Senators. We now know the difficulties that c...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [122]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I know who recommended that the particular solicitor be made a judge. I know the name but I will not mention it here because the Cathaoirleach probably knows who the person is. Let us say, the person was probably a member of the Green Party. That is all I can say.[Le...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [122]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I will say no more. My party was part of that Government, but that is irrelevant.
This is a wake-up call for the people regarding their wills. They should check them out today and make sure the people they want to benefit will do so, and not the solicitor involved i...
Vol-219 Book-3 Page [122]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I agree with Senator Darragh O'Brien that the Personal Insolvency Bill 2012 is the nuclear option. It is important to remind ourselves of that fact. It is also important to remind ourselves that large tracts of Irish society will not be able to avail of the legislatio...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [122]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] There are reports today of a shortage of nurses in operating theatres. This country has a serious shortage compared to the United Kingdom. In contrast, the Irish complement of numbers is one of the highest in the OECD. We had 36,000 nurses employed in 2011. We had 3...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [123]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I join Senator Brennan in urging the Government to bring forward Senator Quinn's Construction Contracts Bill. We all know of many small subcontractors who have been put out of business by unscrupulous developers and whose livelihoods have been destroyed. There is tota...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [123]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] The figures we have seen in the newspapers this morning are far less than the thousands that were referred to by some of our opponents on the other side.[Mullins, Michael]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [123]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] The Irish Independent knows about it but we do not.[O'Brien, Darragh]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [123]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] Will the Leader invite the Minister of State with responsibility for housing, Deputy Jan O'Sullivan, to the House to discuss the 2012 unfinished housing developments survey? The survey shows there are 1,770 unfinished housing estates in the State, which is down from mo...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [123]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I welcome reports this morning that the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, IBRC, is at last taking action to explore the role of its auditors and the apparent failings of oversight in the catastrophe that has overtaken that institution. I believe I can speak for many p...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [124]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] In the past two days a right-wing member of the Hungarian Parliament issued vile and outrageous statements relating to Jewish people living in his country. He called on the government to draw up a list of Jews, whom he believes constitute a threat to national security....Vol-219 Book-3 Page [124]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I welcome the announcement by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Deputy Leo Varadkar, yesterday of the retention of the Coast Guard stations at Valentia and Malin Head. They have rendered sterling service to the State during the years.
It is significant t...
Vol-219 Book-3 Page [125]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] That is great. It might give some relief to its customers.[O'Brien, Darragh]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [125]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] It indicates that investors have confidence in the measures this Government is taking to restore order to the public finances and to help our ailing economy. It is to be welcomed. It is a sign that the banks are at least moving in the right direction. They might not ...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [125]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] In light of the settlement of €500,000 made by The Sun for telling lies about an Irish citizen, the resignation in shame of the editor of the Irish Daily Star, and the publication at 1.30 p.m. today of the report of the Leveson inquiry, will the Government introduce the...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [125]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments of Senator Mooney. The former French President Clemenceau said that a patriot loves his country and extreme nationalists hate all others. We are seeing a growth in extreme nationalism in Europe that 100 years ago broke up Eur...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [125]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I agree with the leader of the Fianna Fáil group on the mortgage issue. People should only pay what they can afford after they have paid for fuel, food and the care of their families. This Government and previous Governments have failed to help the increasing number o...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [126]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I seek a debate on the Irish Coast Guard service and how it happened that a Minister saw a final report when all the criticism of senior management that was in the draft report was removed. The final report sent to the Minister was entirely different from the draft.[Da...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [126]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] At the time I called for the head of the Irish Coast Guard service to resign.[Daly, Mark]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [127]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I ask the Cathaoirleach to indulge me briefly. I pay tribute to all Members of the House who took part in the fashion show for motor neurone disease on Tuesday night. Despite some media comment, I commend in particular some of the male Members who took part.[Conway, M...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [127]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I join other Senators in commenting on the banking situation. I agree with many of the sentiments expressed on all sides of the House about the behaviour of the banks. However, I find one element quite perplexing, which is the role of the banks' public interest direct...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [127]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] Unless there is absolute clarity on the role of the public interest directors and the areas of public interest they are obliged to serve, their positions are untenable and they should resign. I call on all banks' public interest directors to consider their positions an...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [127]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I travel around the country frequently and I am struck by the number of closed shops in the main streets of many of our towns. In recent years we have heard how tough business is. As mentioned by Senator Harte, Judge Kelleher recently stated that 170 shops that had be...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [127]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I support Senator Brennan's call for the Construction Contracts Bill to be brought to Committee Stage as soon as possible. I call on the Leader to request the Minister to include it in the schedule for the first term of the new year. In my area, I have seen the subcon...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [128]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] It might be more suitable to raise this issue on the Adjournment.[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [128]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] Now that I have started, will the Cathaoirleach let me finish?[Landy, Denis]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [128]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] There are 54 people from Clonmel in the Reserve Defence Force. They are being requested to travel to Cork city for training, 75 miles away, twice a week and on Sunday. It would take four minibuses to bring them to and from Cork six times a week, and the cost of these ...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [128]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] On top of that, the Minister announced in the constituency two weeks ago that the Army barracks is to be used for a new Garda barracks, offices for the county councils and the VEC. Will the Leader put to the Minister that it makes sense to allow the RDF to remain in Ki...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [128]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I call for a debate on alternative budgets. I called for it last year and I believe we should have it again this year. It is not too late because we are sitting tomorrow and on Monday. It would also be important to discuss the National Recovery Plan 2011-2014, becaus...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [128]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] When Fianna Fáil members are talking about their alternative budget, they should be reminded of the national recovery plan on which they signed off.[Cullinane, David]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [128]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] Senator Cullinane to continue, without interruption.[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [129]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] Somebody mentioned fascism yesterday when Members were being interrupted. I remember it was a member of the Fianna Fáil Party.[Cullinane, David]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [129]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] With respect, when Fianna Fáil states it is in favour of a property tax but not just yet, this applies when it is in opposition, but if it gets back into government, all the content of its national recovery plan, including property taxes, water charges and cuts to socia...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [129]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] The Senator must be affected by the opinion polls. Sinn Féin is going down in the opinion polls and we are going up[Leyden, Terry]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [129]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] There has been no election called, as the Senator knows; therefore, we will wait and see.
On a related matter, a new survey by the Irish Dental Association shows that the changes made by the Fianna Fáil-Green Party Government to the free treatment under the PRSI and m...
Vol-219 Book-3 Page [129]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I am not going to try the patience or the courtesy of the Cathaoirleach by trying to squeeze in four or five items. This morning I received a very disturbing and alarming petition from the Mountmellick Business Association. On top of all the other difficulties those i...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [129]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I wish to raise the issue of the property tax and the impending budget next week. The domestic economy is in free fall. People are not spending money. Any shopkeeper will say that, at this early stage of the Christmas season, the Christmas trade is down on last year....Vol-219 Book-3 Page [130]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I will take no lectures from Sinn Féin because the Leader of Sinn Féin spoke of a figure of €800 million, another Deputy said it would yield €300 million, and I note that in the party's budget submission another figure is given.[Ó Domhnaill, Brian]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [130]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] Whatever works on the day is Sinn Féin policy. We will certainly not subscribe to that.[Ó Domhnaill, Brian]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [130]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] As our budget is pre-costed by the Department of Finance, they are not the only figures. I am intrigued to see that Sinn Féin is focusing on a party in opposition. Obviously, they are only focusing on the narrow agenda of political opportunism.[Ó Domhnaill, Brian]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [130]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] The Senator is over time. I am calling Senator Heffernan.[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [130]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] Before the budget next Wednesday we should have a debate in the House on the property tax.[Ó Domhnaill, Brian]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [130]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] It is interesting to see Members on the other side of the House bickering among themselves. There seems to be a turf war going on between Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin but I do not rise to speak about that issue.[Heffernan, James]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [130]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] Senator Heffernan to continue, without interruption, please.[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [130]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I wish to speak about the appalling scene that we witnessed last week in my local primary school. I am from Kilfinane in County Limerick and I could not believe that in the freezing cold and driving rain there was a stand-off between local parents, the school staff and...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [130]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] What Minister sanctioned those? Would he be a Labour Party Minister?[Ó Clochartaigh, Trevor]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [131]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I will not delay the House for too long but I wish to commend the school principal, Siobhán O'Flynn, her dedicated staff, the parents and gardaí for keeping their cool in a difficult situation.[Heffernan, James]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [131]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] This is too much detail. Does Senator James Heffernan have a question for the Leader?[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [131]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] That leads me on to the Construction Contracts Bill. Last May, my colleague, Councillor David Moloney, tabled a motion at Limerick County Council. I have a letter from the Construction Industry Federation saying that 125 days have passed since the Bill came through th...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [131]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I commend Senator Quinn for his initiative on this Bill. It is time to stop dragging our heels on this and to introduce this important legislation, if not before Christmas then shortly thereafter. The Minister should commit himself to introducing legislation giving co...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [131]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] When will the Leader invite the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Deputy Hogan, to the House to discuss the alleged reform in the local government document Putting Labour First? It is important that this document should be discussed. It is ...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [131]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I refer to the comments made earlier by Senator Leyden about the legal profession. I remind him that it was a member of the legal profession who identified the error that was made-----[Burke, Colm]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [131]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] -----or the deceit that occurred in this matter. If Senator Leyden applied the same rules to his own party as he seems to have applied to the legal profession this morning I do not think he would be talking that loudly about it.[Burke, Colm]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [131]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I agree that this matter should be reviewed. Even if the will was registered it would not have identified the changes that were made by the solicitor involved in it. Maybe we should come back to the issue of registration of wills.[Burke, Colm]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [132]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] Senator Colm Burke to continue, without interruption. Does he have a question for the Leader?[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [132]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] Senator Terry Leyden does not apply the same rules to the leader of his own party.[Burke, Colm]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [132]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] The issue of rates is extremely important, as is the way in which local authorities are currently managed. As regards the template involved, if one compares one local authority with another, are we getting the same value for money in different areas? People talk about...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [132]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] My question concerns having a debate on this issue, including not only the reform of local government but also about having value for money in each local authority area. We need to examine this quickly because I am not convinced that we are getting value for money, giv...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [132]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] Ba mhaith liom díospóireacht maidir lenár gcuid acmhainní nadúrtha. At a time when we are seeing serious fiscal restraint, many people, particularly along the west coast, are asking what we are doing about exploiting our natural resources. A report by the Oireachtas J...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [132]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] Before I raise another important issue, I want to support the call by Senator Ó Clochartaigh for a full debate on the viability of wind energy.
I wish to raise again the brutal murder of Fr. Niall Molloy in 1985. It is an issue that is gathering serious momentum at t...
Vol-219 Book-3 Page [132]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] Senator Darragh O'Brien referred to the budget and property taxes, but I think he is speculating on what might be in the budget. He will know the facts on 5 December.[Cummins, Maurice]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [133]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I was hoping the Leader would be able to say that with a straight face, but he has not managed to do so.[O'Brien, Darragh]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [133]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I can assure the Senator that he will know the full facts on 5 December, which is only a week away.[Cummins, Maurice]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [133]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] The Senator should not hold his breath as he will not have to wait for too long. The Government has taken many measures to assist people in mortgage arrears.[Cummins, Maurice]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [133]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I have outlined them on many occasions in the House. Last year's budget was a typical example where mortgage interest relief was increased for those who had bought their houses during the boom. That Government commitment was honoured. We will be debating the Personal...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [133]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] On a point of order, will the Leader clarify which public relations company has issued this statement on behalf of the hospital?[Crown, John]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [134]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I am issuing this statement now; it is a Government statement, if Senator Crown would like to listen to it. He was very fast to raise the issue, which is a very important one, and I am reading the notes I have on it. I will leave it at that if the Senator is not prepa...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [134]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I understand the Leader's tetchiness but we would all benefit if he would finish reading the note because it is such an important issue which a number of us have raised. I know that Senator Crown did not intend to offend the Leader.[Norris, David]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [134]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] The Leader should be allowed to continue, without interruption.[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [134]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] I will find out for the House what is happening with the Construction Contracts Bill. The delays are despicable and we should have acted on this matter by now. It has dragged on for far too long and I agree with Members who have raised this matter today.
Senators Le...
Vol-219 Book-3 Page [134]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] Steady now. The Leader should not lose the run of himself.[O'Brien, Darragh]Vol-219 Book-3 Page [135]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] Senator John Whelan referred to Garda resources in Mountmellick. The process of reducing Garda numbers to 13,000 has not yet concluded. The Senator also welcomed the decision to make provision for 212 new patrol cars and these will soon be introduced. I was not aware...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [135]
29/11/2012 [Order of Business (Resumed)] On a point of order, while we all appreciate the rapidity with which the Leader possessed himself of the information on cystic fibrosis patients, if he were to make a gracious gesture by circulating the full text to Members and Ms Orla Tinsley, I would not call a vote o...Vol-219 Book-3 Page [136]
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