Betting (Amendment) Bill 2013
Wednesday, 24 September 2014

During a Seanad debate on the Betting (Amendment) Bill 2013, I said: I welcome the legislation which has taken a long time to get here; it is overdue. The essential element is extending the 1% betting duty to online and telephone bets, which I understand. It also updates - this is much needed - the 1931 legislation which states that unless there is horse racing, betting shops must close at 6.30 p.m. from September through to March, a stipulation that rather surprised me. At the same time online betting websites are available 24 hours a day. Obviously, we need to update the legislation to address such issues and I am pleased to see that the Minister has done this...

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Medical Practitioners (Amendment) Bill 2014
Wednesday, 24 September 2014

During a Seanad debate on the Medical Practitioners (Amendment) Bill 2014, I said: Credit must go to Senator Burke for his hard work over the years on this legislation. It is perfectly sensible to make it compulsory for medical practitioners to have insurance and it surprised us that this was not in place already. While his name is not on the Bill, I reckon Senator Burke should get great credit for the Bill before the House. In this respect, I am pleased to see another clear tranche of law that aims to improve the lives of citizens coming from the Seanad...

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‘Feargal Quinn: Supermarket Revolutionary’ (TV3 Programme)
Wednesday, 10 September 2014

"Nora Owen delves into the life of Superquinn founder, Feargal Quinn, by interviewing the man who revolutionised the Irish supermarket landscape."

To watch ‘Feargal Quinn: Supermarket Revolutionary’ via TV3's 3Player, please click here.

 
Vital need for Construction Contracts Act to become law - Feargal Quinn
Thursday, 04 September 2014

There is a vital need for the Construction Contracts Act to enter into force as quickly as possible which will bring much needed protection to building contractors...

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Situation in Gaza and Ukraine
Thursday, 31 July 2014

During a Seanad debate on the situation in Gaza and the Ukraine, I said: I was born in 1936, a long time ago. I have lived in an Ireland that, with the exception of Northern Ireland, has not had a war in all that time. We have been able to stay out of it for various reasons. Ireland joined the European Union in 1973 and there has been no war in the European Union since, although there have obviously been wars outside. Peace does not happen by accident. It happens because many committed, dedicated and determined people say they will make it happen and work hard to do so...

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Electoral Amendment (no.4) Bill
Thursday, 17 July 2014

During a Seanad debate on the Electoral Amendment (no.4) Bill, I said: I am opposed to the Bill. Senator Byrne explained his concerns very well in respect of it. Why has the position of Clerk of the Dáil remained vacant for over a year? I just cannot understand why that is the case. Now, we are changing the law. The Minister has explained why the latter is happening but he did not indicate why the position of Clerk of the Dáil, which was previously held by Mr. Kieran Coughlan for quite some time, has remained vacant...

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Environmental Protection Agency
Wednesday, 16 July 2014

During a Seanad debate on the Environmental Protection Agency, I said: The Minister was present to hear the contributions by Senators Whelan and Landy. Senator Whelan spoke with such vigour, courage and concern about the experiences he has had. Senator Landy spoke about his experience with the Hanrahan farm in his area. It is a reminder of what those who are close to these things have to do and also of their concern about the EPA...

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Eye Care
Wednesday, 16 July 2014

During a Seanad motion on eyecare, I said: the most interesting word in this motion on sight loss is "avoidable". This is the real challenge we have in health. If it is avoidable, the question is what do we have to do to make sure it is avoided. Those of us who have good eyesight are inclined to forget the problems that exist for those who do not have good eyesight...

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Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland Bill 2014
Monday, 14 July 2014

During a Seand debate on the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland Bill 2014, I said:  One of the queries I have about the Bill relates to whether it targets start-ups. I accept that it is targeting successful businesses. Any lender will consider the position of an existing and successful business and lend money to it. What we need to do, however, is encourage start-ups. I am not sure how we will do this, but I would like to rest assured that we have the means at our disposal to measure what is required...

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National Children's Hosptial / Situation in Gaza
Thursday, 10 July 2014

During the Order of Business in the Seanad, I said: Yesterday, Senator Mary Ann O'Brien made a strong case for re-examining the plans for the new national children's hospital. The day before, her husband, Mr. Jonathan Irwin, enclosed a letter to all of us from a mother who made a strong case also. I hate the thought that we will delay this matter for any longer, but we saw what happened when it was going to be located on the Mater site...

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Need for Website to check where taxpayers money is spent/ Job Situation
Wednesday, 09 July 2014

During the Order of Business in the Seanad, I said:  I would love to have a debate on the introduction of some form of online information whereby each citizen could see where his or her taxes are being spent. This is available in other countries, where one simply gets that information online. I raised this issue last year and the Minister, Deputy Howlin, stated it was already available. However, that is not the case as not even the information is available...

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