Dail Eireann

The Need for a Referendum on Abortion

The Need for a Referendum on Abortion

Posted December 17th, 2014

You can watch my contribution here.

Two years ago, on this same date in fact, we were debating the Report of the Expert group on the A,B,C judgements.

I spoke in that debate, and nothing I say now is different from what I said then.

We can talk about our own personal feelings on this issue. And people’s own personal viewpoints are important.

But do I have a right to force my views on another person?

Whether as a legislator or not, do I have a right to tell a woman what she must do with her body?

Does the state have that right?

I believe it does not.

Continue reading here.



BAI ss

Radio shows and marriage equality

Posted December 3rd, 2014

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s interpretation of the BAI’s code of fairness, objectivity and impartiality in news and current affairs (including rule 4.22).

-Draft remarks-

Minister we have a problem with the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

We have a problem with how it interprets its own Code of Fairness, Objectivity and Impartiality in News and Current Affairs.

We have a problem with how some recent rulings by the BAI under that code have led people to interpret those rulings not as Fair and Objective – but as Daft and Depressing.

Click here to continue reading or scroll down to see a video of my comments.

self employed pic

Our economy is dependent on entrepreneurs

Posted November 28th, 2014

Tax system must do more for self-employed – and soon

“Our economy is dependent on entrepreneurs. The businesses they create are fundamental to having a dynamic and competitive economy. And they create lots and lots of jobs, the taxation from which funds the running of the State. However our two tier tax and PRSI system is weighed in favour of PAYE workers. It does not sufficiently promote or protect the self-employed who take the risks to create the businesses on which our enterprise based economy depends.

Over 760,000 people, around 70% of the workforce are employed by SMEs in Ireland. These firms all came from simple beginnings. While some have gone on to become significant employers, most are low scale operations with a small number of employees. Many survive on a year to year basis and operate on tight margins.”

Click here to continue reading.


Irish Water update

Posted November 20th, 2014

The government has made mistakes in attempting to set up Irish Water.

I was very happy to see that the new proposals were given 14 hours debate in the Dail as part of a motion on Irish Water, which will provide for further time and debate in the Dail as the relevant legislation is brought through the House in later weeks. This is to be welcomed, though of course much greater reform of our parliamentary democracy is still needed.

All of the details about the new proposals can be found here.

And you can watch my speech in the Dail on the new proposals by clicking here.

You will note from my Dail speech that I have been, and continue to be, critical of certain aspects of Irish Water. But I still believe that this new utility is necessary. Living in Dublin, people will know first hand what underinvestment in our water infrastructure has meant to us in reality – water shortages due to inadequate supply, water shortages due to broken pipes in cold weather, and 40% of water we are already paying for leaking in to the ground. A single utility, raising money specifically for investment where none was available before, will improve our water infrastructure, making the provision of water cheaper and more efficient.


Fin man

PQs – Your questions answered

Posted October 30th, 2014

Educating our youth in financial management – click here.

Are the NPPR deadlines and fines reasonable? -Click here.

Are our private telecommunications accessed by the State? – Click here.

Freezing property tax rates until 2019? – Click here.



PM pic

Public Meeting – Tax Reform

Posted October 30th, 2014

I will be hosting a public meeting on Tax Reform on Thursday 6th November at 7pm in The Hampton Hotel (formerly Sach’s), Donnybrook.

Brian Hayes MEP will be addressing the international perspective and the Road Map for enhancing Ireland’s reputation, protecting our corporation tax rate and building a new regime.

Olivia Buckley from the Irish Tax Institute will be speaking about the recent changes to income taxation announced in Budget 2015 and where we go from here.

We look forward to seeing you there.

EM budget ss

Budget 2015

Posted October 24th, 2014

This week I had the opportunity to comment in the Dail on Budget 2015.

Click here to see a video of my speech here.

-Draft remarks-

I welcome the budget that was presented to us last week.

But, unfortunately, I cannot welcome the process around the budget.

Six years ago the country’s economy collapsed, and six years later nothing has changed when it comes to our national budget and the role of Dáil Éireann in that process.

Click here to continue reading.

During the debate on the Social Protection Bill I reiterated some of these points and you can watch the video here.

Noonan 3

Budget 2015

Posted October 14th, 2014

Today the budget for 2015 was announced in Dail Eireann.

The main measures for next year are detailed in this on-line document here.

To read the Financial Statement from the Minister for Finance, click here.

To read the Expenditure Estimates announcement from the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, click here.

For more detailed information, including breakdowns across departments and the exact changes to taxation and how they might affect you, click here.

If you are interested in watching the Taoiseach’s message on the budget, you can do so here, and for video messages from Ministers Noonan & Howlin, click here.


PQ’s – Your questions answered

Posted October 9th, 2014

Ireland’s bid to host The Rugby World Cup – click here.

Discussions on the future of the Irish Defence Forces – click here.

Dramatic fluctuations in numbers on illness benefit and disability allowance – click here.

How much does the interest on our national debt cost us? – Click here.


SI ss

Merging of Sports bodies

Posted October 3rd, 2014

The second stage debate on the most recent sports bill – Sport Ireland 2014 – provided an opportunity to speak on a number of areas.

I focused my comments on:

-Reforming quangos
-Tourism and economic benefits through sport
-Sports capital grants and support for clubs
-Ireland’s bid to host the Rugby World Cup
-The Sandycove to Sutton cycleway


Click here to watch my contribution.

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