Seanad Contributions
Cross-border Trade
Thursday, 17 December 2015

During the Order of Business in the Seanad, I said: It is interesting to see the change in the direction of traffic to Northern Ireland. Some eight years ago, streams of cars were going to Newry from the South to buy as a result of the exchange rate. Now, it is the opposite. Dundalk is thriving due to the stream of cars coming South...

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Prosecuting Foreign Fighters including so-called 'ISIS' fighters
Wednesday, 16 December 2015

During the Order of Business in the Seanad, I said, Iwish to ask the Leader whether anything is being done about the jihadists who are returning to Ireland after going to the Middle East to fight for ISIS. I believe there is a need to ensure there is a massive disincentive for those who live in Ireland to go abroad to fight and then take an Aer Lingus aeroplane back to Ireland. I read recently that a number of people in Cork were refused, but, to the best of my knowledge, we do not have a penalty for them. I believe it is necessary to prosecute those who try to recruit these people online...

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Finance (Tax Appeals) Bill 2015
Wednesday, 16 December 2015

During the second stage debate on the Finance (Tax Appeals) Bill 2015 in the Seanad, I said:  I welcome the Bill and I hope it means that customers, that is, citizens, will benefit from a more transparent and efficient tax system. However, there are a few issues, one of which was raised by Senator O'Brien. The removal of the right to appeal to the Circuit Court is one of the more contentious parts of the legislation. For instance, sections 35, 36 and 38 delete references in the 1997 Act where a party can make an appeal to the Circuit Court. Unfortunately, amendments in the Dáil on Committee Stage to reintroduce the possibility of appeals to the Circuit Court were not accepted...

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Ibrahim Halawa / Flooding / Making it Easier to set-up a Business in Ireland
Tuesday, 15 December 2015

During the Order of Business in the Seanad, I said:  Senator Zappone spoke from the heart when referring to a crisis about which we must do something. Ibrahim Halawa has been in that jail for 800 days and there is no sign of a fair trial.

The crisis that Senator Mooney mentioned was that of the Shannon and the floods. After last weekend, we know that no single body is responsible for the Shannon. A Shannon river basin authority is necessary. It should be able to handle everything for the relevant local authorities, including flood relief, in the years ahead..,

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Fines and Imprisonment
Thursday, 10 December 2015

During the Order of Business in the Seanad, I said: Yesterday, the Leader said that instead of putting people in jail for not paying their fines, we should deduct the fine from their salary or social welfare payment. I remember this being proposed many years ago but I am not sure what happened to the proposal...

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