Church and State

Naoise O’Muiri

This Galway Blazer is the brightest star in FG in Dublin City Council. He has the pace, temperament, ability and general education to be good for this country. He is in the Varadkar zone for IQ points as is Lucinda. Naoise is relatively unobtrusive and is very focused on whatever is his immediate target or objective. He is the sort of person that FG needs for government over the next 20 years because he is clearly competent.

He has always encouraged me to stick with Fine Gael and fight within for change. I like the way he respects other councillors like Christy Burke, Vincent Jackson and Mannix.

Naoise was very good as Lord Mayor except for the ghosts episode! Bring back Charles Dickens and the ghosts of Christmases past.

Fine Gael

Overall Fine Gael is doing a good job in government in my opinion. Over a year ago, I told Marc Coleman that it is necessary to wait until the Spring/Summer of 2013 to see the direction and the results. The country is still in the mire but there is evidence that the policy of steady as she goes is working slowly.

I am unhappy with many details but if I was in there myself, I would not be very different as regards the FG portfolios (except in health where I would make many different decisions but I’m not going to detail the reasons because James Reilly won the election and I was hammered.

However, I have no doubt that I would do things better and differently.

Hint – less administration, more co-operation, more medical and nurses voices, better hospital governance, less infections, (Oh! and Jimmy Sheehan would be on board), bin the consultant contract as against the public interest, TV in hospitals, licenced medical facilities and public institutions which would force change quickly, respect for GPs and primary care, and reallocation of the army of managers in the HSE.

In Dublin, the Mater must be split from Vincents and linked to Beaumont and Connolly. Connolly should be developed as a major Biomedical Campus and linked to all medical schools. Connolly should be a major A&E hospital on the M50 and Beaumont should be mainly elective which would massively increase efficiency.

The new IT system for hospitals should be country wide and PPS numbers should replace hospital numbers unless patients choose to opt out to safeguard confidentiality. Money should follow the patient when the IT system is live and only then.

I could go on and on and on.

Fine Gael councillor erects posters calling for No vote in Seanad referendum

Dublin City Councillor Professor Bill Tormey said there was never a vote in Fine Gael on abolishing the Seanad and is calling for a No vote next month.

The posters have been erected in parts of north Dublin

The posters have been erected in parts of north Dublin
Image: Picture provided to TheJournal.ie

A FINE GAEL councillor in north Dublin has openly defied his party’s position by erecting posters calling for a No vote in the Seanad abolition referendum next month.

Professor Bill Tormey, a councillor for the Ballymun Finglas area, erected the posters yesterday in the Glasnevin, Drumcondra and Finglas areas of north Dublin on the same day that Fine Gael launched its campaign for a Yes vote.

The posters refer to him as ‘Cllr. Prof. Bill Tormey’ and urge voters to ‘Please Vote No’ but do not state in which referendum with two being held on 4 October.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Tormey said that there was a never a vote within the party on the decision to abolish the Seanad and said he is in favour of reforming the upper house.

“It was decided centrally,” he said of the party’s decision to abolish the upper house – first announced at the Fine Gael presidential dinner in 2009.

He added: “To just say Yes or No is lazy politics. It’s reform but reform doesn’t mean improvement of the situation.”

Noel Rock, a Fine Gael candidate for the local elections in the area, criticised Tormey, saying: “It’s disappointing: he doesn’t even make it clear which referendum he’s opposing.

“It just looks like opposition for the sake of opposition, and an attempt to get himself some publicity.”

Fine Gael said it is policy not to comment on internal party matters and added it would not be in a position to comment until it has spoken to Tormey.

‘Absolutely absurd’

Tormey also criticised the party’s arguments for abolition saying the claim that one per cent of the population elects the Seanad is “absolutely absurd”.

He explained: “The Taoiseach is elected by 166 TDs, a witheringly small number of individuals in the country.

“To say one is perfectly alright and ignore and pillory the other situation (in the Seanad) where someone is elected by a proxy vote, by councillors is absurd.”

Tormey also disagreed with the Yes campaign argument that other countries of a similar size to Ireland have only one parliamentary chamber. “I am Irish, I am not a Dane, I am not a Swede,” he said.

He confirmed that he did not use party funds to produce the posters, saying he paid for them himself but declined to say how many he has put up.

On the possibility that Fine Gael might ask him to the posters down he said: “I will deal with that as it comes.”

Tormey, a specialist in chemical pathology and general internal medicine, has been a Fine Gael councillor since 2004 and unsuccessfully contested the last two general elections in Dublin North West. He also failed to get elected to the Seanad in 2011.

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Ivan Yates – Welcome back. You have no stain in my firmament. FTB Ivan!

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With Garret FitzGerald on good terms

Why did almost no one realise that Anglo Irish was not just illiquid but insolvent?

Government pledged €440bn without knowing the nature of the banks’ crisis

Finance minister Brian Lenihan: Was there not an onus on him and Brian Cowen to assure themselves as regards the gamble they were taking that the problem with the banks was not a solvency one? Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons Finance minister Brian Lenihan: Was there not an onus on him and Brian Cowen to assure themselves as regards the gamble they were taking that the problem with the banks was not a solvency one? Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

First published: Wed, Jun 26, 2013, 12:00

   

There is understandable fury over the giddy amusement of Anglo Irish Bank executives on the concealment from the financial regulator that the bank would need in excess of €7 billion to rescue it. But the real horror of the revelations is that these executives knew by September 18th, 2008, 12 days before the bank guarantee, that the bank was insolvent, and that the problem was not liquidity.


Read more

Enda Kenny wants to abolish the reflection chamber while guillotining bills routinely in Dail Eireann.

He should be sent packing on this as the quality of analysis and inquisition in the Dail is not good enough. If Kenny is correct, then amendments from the SEnate would not be acceptable to the government. That is simply not the case so the Taoiseach’s deductions and rationale are faulty and wrong.

Seanad has not reformed in 75 years, Enda Kenny tells senators
Updated: 16:43, Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Taoiseach Enda Kenny addresses the Seanad
Taoiseach Enda Kenny addresses the Seanad

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has delivered a speech in the Seanad about the referendum to abolish it.

Mr Kenny said the proposal to get rid of the Seanad would create a new political landscape in this republic.


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Extract from Gerard Howlin in the Irish Examiner 28 May 2013. NO ACCOUNTABILITY for the nomenklatura

“What the Government is following too is the tradition accumulated through decades of social partnership of a mutually unaccountable cartel of power between government and the senior management of the public service. If pay is being cut across the board, accountability has not in any meaningful way been increased. The public service is not effectively accountable to government, government is certainly not effectively accountable to parliament and our ineffective parliament is about to be emasculated rather than reformed. The proposal to abolish the Seanad is symbolic of the deepest impulse of the Taoiseach to preserve power intact rather than risk it’s dispersal through amendment. But the problem for the Taoiseach is that while he is being true to himself, he is being untrue to the electorate to whom he promised radical change. Yes, he promised abolition of the Seanad, but abolishing the Seanad and leaving power concentrated in an unreformed Dáil and unaccountable public service management is calculated to be just enough change to allow things stay as they are. “

Shattered

The Taoiseach has pledged his support for the Justice Minister.

Alan Shatter is to face a Fianna Fáil motion of no confidence in the Dáil next week as the controversy over his breathalyser continues.

Enda Kenny has revealed this evening that the Minister made two attempts to blow into the bag when he was stopped at a garda checkpoint sometime in 2008 or 2009.

Alan Shatter said that he could not complete the test because of his asthma and was waved on after telling gardaí he was on his way home from the Dáil.

However the Taoiseach stopped short of stating the Minster had his 100% support, but he said that government will fight what he has called Fianna Fail opportunism.

“The government will refute strongly a political opportunism by Fianna Fáil in terms of a private members motion,” he said.

“Minister Shatter has set out the most reforming agenda for the legal system in this country in the past 200 years

“The government look forward indeed to dealing with the motion of no confidence when it comes forward next week.”

24/05/2013 – 18:15:21
Independent TD Mattie McGrath is still questioning whether the Minister for Justice was stopped at a Garda checkpoint in 2011.

The Tipperary Deputy asked in the Dáil yesterday whether Alan Shatter provided a breath sample after being stopped between the general election of that year and being appointment to Cabinet weeks later.

The Minister admitted last night that he was stopped in either 2008 or 2009 and was unable to complete a breathalyser because of his asthma.

Alan Shatter’s statement explained that he was then waved on by gardaí after explaining that he was returning home from the Dáil.

However this evening Mattie McGrath said that he will stand corrected when he see’s all the documentation relating to the incident in question.

Shatter(ed)

Hands up those who consider Minister Shatter correct in outing a finger waving tut tut by a Garda to Mick Wallace TD for the henous crime of yapping on a mobile phone. Mick may be a hypocrit but how did such a trivial incident get to Minister Shatter. – via Commissioner Callanan? How did such a tiny incident get to Callanan’s ear? The Gardai seem to be increasingly party political.

Enda’s advisors’ must remember about digging in a hole when it is pouring rain!