Seanad Contributions
Benefits of Sport
Wednesday, 22 May 2013

During the Order of Business in the Seanad, I said: the benefits of sport in many ways cannot be underestimated and last weekend, the tourism benefit arising from the two French teams playing in the rugby final gave much life to the city. Sport can also bring a benefit in peaceful co-existence in many ways, and I will make an example of what happened in Israel recently..

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Seanad Bill 2013 (Bill to Reform the Seanad by Senators Feargal Quinn and Katherine Zappone)
Wednesday, 15 May 2013

On 15 May, I introduced the Seanad Bill 2013 which is intended to introduced a large number of measures to reform the Seanad. It aims to reform the system of electing the elected members of Seanad by extending the right to vote to all persons entitled to vote in elections for the Dáil and to persons resident in Northern Ireland who qualify for Irish citizenship and to Irish citizens resident abroad; to provide for gender equality in the election of the elected members of Seanad; to make provision for the exercise by Seanad  of powers relating to scrutiny of EU legislative proposals and for the holding of enquiries and the receipt of citizens petitions. The full bill can be accessed here.

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Issue of people jailed for non-payment of TV License / Low-energy street lighting
Wednesday, 15 May 2013

During the Order of Business in the Seanad, I said: I refer to the number of people jailed for not paying their television licence fee. The number increased by 50% last year. I knew people did not pay their television licence as it has a 15% non-compliance rate. That 50% more people are going to jail for not paying their television licence fee means there must be a better solution than the one we have...

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Call for Construction Contracts Bill to be enacted
Monday, 13 May 2013

During the Order of Business in the Seanad, I said: My attention has just been drawn to the fact the Construction Contracts Bill passed Committee Stage in the Dáil yesterday. The Minister of State, Deputy Brian Hayes, said he hoped to bring it back to the Seanad after Report Stage. I urge the House to pass this Bill as quickly as possible. It was initiated in this House almost three years ago. It has now completed Committee Stage and must go through Report Stage in the next couple of weeks and I urge the Leader to find the time to get it through this House...

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Overseas Development Issues
Thursday, 09 May 2013

During a Seanad debate on Overseas Development Issues, I said: the title of the debate is particularly welcome. We are not talking about aid; we are talking about development, about which I am pleased. I am reminded of the old Oxfam quote: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for life."...

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