Statistics (Heritage Amendment) Bill 2011
Tuesday, 15 October 2013

During a Seanad debate on the Statistics (Heritage Amendment) Bill 2011, I said: There has been a great deal of reference to the 1993 legislation and Dr. Manning. I voted in the Seanad that day and remember it well. There was much enthusiasm for what we were trying to do. We certainly had the impression that the Minister of the day, a County Meath man, would do something about it, but it never happened...

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Restoring Competiveness / Tenant Protection
Monday, 14 October 2013

During the Order of Business in the Seanad, I said: Figures published at the weekend show that Irish small and medium-sized enterprises are paying three times the credit rates being charged to German companies. The focus in our discussion of today's budget must be on how we can get the economy back on an even keel, restore it to health and ensure it is competitive...

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Budget 2014
Monday, 14 October 2013

During a Seanad debate on Budget 2014, I said: We were not sure what was going to happen in this budget. There was a great deal of talk in recent weeks, but we were not sure where it was going to go. I must say I was concerned when I heard the Minister, Deputy Noonan, speaking about creating jobs. I have a real fear when Governments feel they should create jobs...

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An Appreciation of the Life and Work of Seamus Heaney
Wednesday, 02 October 2013

During Statements regarding the Appreciation of the Life and Work of Seamus Heaney in the Seanad, I said: I think today, Marie, is a day to celebrate rather than to look back on the occasion of what happened a few weeks ago. I cannot claim to have been a friend of Seamus but feel as though I knew him as a friend, as I think did everyone else. We knew him through his words and through his personality. I would prefer to touch on his personality at this stage, as well as his words, because I have heard so many stories over the years...

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Upward Only Rent (Clauses and Reviews) Bill 2013 by Senator Feargal Quinn
Tuesday, 01 October 2013

On 2nd October 2013, I introduced the Upward Only Rent (Clauses and Reviews) Bill 2013 in the Seanad to help business deal with the problem of upward-only rent reviews. I said:

I have been concerned about the matter with which the Bill deals for some time and I had understood that Government legislation was to be introduced in respect of it. That is why I waited until now to bring forward the Bill, which is worthy of consideration. The problems posed by upward only rent reviews for businesses, particularly small businesses, are well known. The reality is that many businesses are trapped in certain kinds of leasing arrangements. The rents attaching to their properties are more reflective of the fact that land and property were massively overvalued in 2006 than they are of the position which obtains in 2013...

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County Enterprise Boards (Dissolution) Bill 2013
Tuesday, 01 October 2013

During the second stage Seanad debate on the County Enterprise Boards (Dissolution) Bill 2013, I said: I welcome the Minister and the Bill. I believe we will get involved in many opportunities to enable us operate successfully. I wish to speak about SME access to funding. Access to funding is a massive problem for SMEs, an issue to which Senator White referred earlier. The Government is providing additional back-up funding for people who have been turned down by the banks and other lenders through its new micro-finance service...

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Organ Donation Legislation / Food Provenance / Seanad Reform
Tuesday, 01 October 2013

During the Order of Business in the Seanad, I said: The Joint Committee on Health and Children yesterday decided to accept a proposal to have presumed consent for organ donation. I mention it because we should urge the Government to move on that legislation as quickly as possible. That is a matter that was introduced in this House almost five years ago. It has come back on a number of occasions and is a reminder of the work that goes on in this House and that continues on that basis...

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Protected Disclosures Bill 2013
Tuesday, 24 September 2013

During a second stage debate in the Seanad on the Protected Disclosures Bill 2013, I said: I welcome the Bill and agree with the comments just made by Senator Higgins. I welcome any Bill in the area of whistleblower protection. I particularly welcome the fact that workers who are victimised for whistleblowing could receive up to five years pay in compensation under new legislation. However, what goes unsaid in many whistleblower cases is that employers can come to settlements behind the scenes with employees who want to whistleblow...

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Need for movement of availibility of Defibrillators legislation
Tuesday, 24 September 2013

During the Order of Business in the Seanad, I said: I will follow up on Senator Noone's comments on defibrillators, and she has described a perfect example of what can take place. We have passed First and Second Stages of the appropriate legislation in this House and I ask the Leader to urge the Minister to see if there is any reason we cannot move on with that Bill...

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Need for Pre-Budget Debates
Monday, 23 September 2013

During the Order of Business in the Seanad, I said: I have the same feeling as others that this House should be debating the budget prior to the budget and prior to the making of the decisions before it is announced. I do not understand why, to the best of my knowledge, we have never had that debate. I imagine the Minister for Finance, no matter what party he comes from, has never wanted to have that debate take place beforehand, and we have never been able to achieve it...

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Keep the Seanad: Senator Feargal Quinn insists Upper House IS working
Monday, 23 September 2013

However, he admits it could be improved - starting with cutting salaries to €45,000 a year

Senator Feargal Quinn has insisted the Seanad IS working – but admitted there’s room for improvement.

The veteran Independent politician has joined the chorus of voices calling for voters to defeat the government in next month’s crunch referendum and give the green light for Seanad reform...

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