Patriotism, as I understand it, is a combination of love of country, pride in its history, traditions and culture, and a determination to add to its prestige and achievements” -Lemass

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Is mise le meas,

Senator Mark Daly

Seanadóir Marcus O’Dalaigh

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Govt Slashes Over 450 Medical Cards for Over 70s in Kerry– Daly

Over 1,300 medical cards in Kerry Cut in One Year

Figures released to Fianna Fáil have revealed the full extent of cuts to medical cards in Kerry with over 1,300 cards cut in 12 months, over 450 of these for over 70s.

The number of medical cards in Kerry has been cut by 1,354 from 61,303 in September 2013 to 59,949 last September, this includes a reduction in the number of over 70s medical cards by 470 (from 13,219 to 12,749).

Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly has condemned the cuts.

He commented: “These are appalling cuts and have had a major impact on people’s lives in all parts of Kerry. I have consistently pointed out that the Government was engaged in a deliberate and disgraceful attack on people with medical cards, which it denied for 18 months before being shamed into admitting this was a deliberate policy. We now have clear evidence of the scale of the cuts. In one year alone over 1,300 medical cards were taken off people in Kerry alone – all at the hands of Minister James Reilly. Over 470 of these were medical cards for people over 70 years of age.

“For two years the Government ignored the issue and denied that there was a deliberate policy to cut medical cards for people serious illnesses and disabilities and the over 70s. It took the loss of hundreds of council seats to make the government sit up and listen.

“However despite claiming to stop these cuts and to begin restoring medical cards the Government is still taking cards away from people desperately in need of them. I am dealing with cases every week of people having their cards withdrawn and then being denied their cards again on appeal. It is astonishing that thousands of families are still enduring so much anguish, hurt and expense at the hands of this Government.”

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The Irish Daily Mail and Senan Moloney call it like it is on the Budget ‘THAT’S HOW YOU BUY AN ELECTION’

Irish Dail Mail

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October 15, 2014 · 4:58 pm

The Minister Said there is Something for Everyone in the Budget. There is Pain for the Poor and Fear for the Elderly

Leading off for opposition in the Seanad today, I discussed the Budget the Government produced yesterday. Stephen Donnelly correctly described the budget as politically strong but economically weak this morning on Morning Ireland. In essence this budget is the first shot by the Government of the next General Election.

 

Senator Mark Daly:  Yesterday the Minister for Finance promised something for everyone in the budget and he certainly delivered in that regard. He ensured pain for the poor, more cuts for the squeezed middle and more fear for the elderly. Deputy Donnelly in an interview on “Morning Ireland” this morning said that the Government has introduced a politically strong but economically weak budget and he was right.

Senator Pat O’Neill:  Who said that?

Senator Mark Daly:  An article in the Daily Mail today made reference to buying an election and that is what this Government is doing. All of the commentators are saying that the Government is buying votes with borrowed money.

Senator Paul Coghlan:  That is not what all of the commentators are saying.

(Interruptions).

An Leas-Chathaoirleach:  Please allow Senator Daly to speak. Members will have their opportunity to respond.

Senator Mark Daly:  It is buying votes with borrowed money and that is a fact. The Government is also helping what could be seen as Fine Gael core voters, but not Labour Party core voters. Those who are earning €70,000 per annum are four times better off in cash terms than those earning the minimum wage although I am sure the Labour Party would like to see the latter group voting for them in the next general election.

Senator Pat O’Neill:  Who are the Fianna Fáil core voters? I ask Senator Daly to define them for us.

Senator Mark Daly:  Those earning €17,500 will be worse off than those earning €70,000 and that is before we take water charges into account.

Senator Pat O’Neill:  There are not many Fianna Fáil core voters left.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach: Does Senator Daly have a question for the Leader?

Senator Mark Daly:  Before Government Senators get too excited about the budget they should wait until they go home.

Senator Maurice Cummins:  We will be welcomed home.

Senator Mark Daly:  When they arrive back in their constituencies they will meet those people who will be worse off.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach:  Does the Senator have a question for the Leader?

Senator Mark Daly:  I would like the Leader to organise a debate on what was not in the budget. The promise to get rid of prescription charged was not kept in the budget.

Senator Paul Coghlan:  There was no promise.

Senator Mark Daly:  We are all looking for the pen Deputy Ruairí Quinn used to sign the piece of paper that said he would abolish college fees.

Senator Pat O’Neill:  Old news.

Senator Mark Daly:  College fees will be €3,000 next year. The much lauded 1,700 extra teachers are not extra teachers but just keeping up with the growth in pupil numbers. There will be no reduction in the pupil-teacher ratio.

Senator Maurice Cummins:  Do we not need extra teachers to do it?

Senator Mark Daly:  The Government continues to steal money from private pensions. So far, €2.2 billion has been stolen from private pensions and the theft will continue.

Senator Ivana Bacik:  Rubbish.

Senator Pat O’Neill:  The Senator had better go back for a briefing.

Senator Mark Daly:  I would like a debate on corporate tax policy. The Government has announced it will get rid of what is known as the “double Irish”. Europe is delighted, however the countries that were complaining about our corporate tax policy continue to have the Channel Islands, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. The Dutch have a corporation tax and copyright policy that is the shame of the world. Luxembourg was highlighted last week. Our Government has got rid of the double Irish despite the fact that EU treaties state that every country is entitled to its own corporate tax policy. The Government has introduced this new knowledge development box, subject to EU approval – terms and conditions apply of course. It is talking double Dutch while getting rid of the double Irish.

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1916 Relatives Association criticises lack of centenary plan

 

Irish Times

Divisions between the Government and relatives of 1916 combatants were deepened yesterday when a meeting heard a promise to have commemoration plans for the centenary provided by a deadline last month had not been kept.

Heather Humphreys, the recently appointed Minister for Arts, declined an invitation to attend yesterday’s inaugural special general meeting of the 1916 Relatives Association in Dublin, a decision which drew further ire from members.

The association, which has accused the Government of the “utmost ineptitude” in planning the 2016 events, was set up this year in part to ensure the families’ participation in whatever ultimately takes place.

‘Disappointed’

“We are extremely disappointed that we find ourselves in a situation where we now have to fight to ensure that people whose sacrifice and bravery led to the birth of our nation are even simply remembered, let alone honoured,” group secretary Una MacNulty told a crowd of about 250 attendees.

She said the former minister for arts, Jimmy Deenihan, in a meeting last July, had committed to giving them an outline of plans by mid-September.

“To date we haven’t been presented with any plans, nor have we been able to get a meeting with the now Minister for Arts, Heather Humphreys.”

Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly, a member of the all-party working group on the decade of commemorations, said the Government’s existing database on relatives who could expect invitations amounted to just 427, whereas the estimated number of descendants runs to at least 150,000.

A statement from the Minister said she was happy to meet with the association but was unable to attend yesterday’s event.

A draft programme for 2016 commemorations is being finalised and will be put out to public consultation “as soon as possible”.

Guest speaker

The association is, in the meantime, planning its own event to be held at Kilmainham Gaol or at Richmond Barracks with ambitions to secure either Bill Clinton or a member of the Kennedy family as guest speaker.

Once again, the question of a potential British royal family invitation to the centenary was raised, with guest speaker historian Dr Shane Kenna saying such a move would be inappropriate, a view met with vocal support from the floor.

Casey McNerthney, who travelled from Seattle with his father Patrick, said his grandmother Lily Kempson was believed to have been the last surviving veteran of the Rising and died in 1995.

“I didn’t actually realise how difficult it was for the families to be recognised until we came here,” he said.

“I know many of my family would like to come here [for the centenary].”

Mark Hilliard

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Kenny rejects McNulty Seanad seat claim

The Irish Times

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has dismissed Fianna Fáil claims that he promised businessman John McNulty the Seanad byelection seat during a meeting at Lissadell House in Co Sligo four months ago.

Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly raised the ongoing controversy in the Seanad during a debate on the arts and culture.

Mr Daly said: “On the 20th June this year, the Taoiseach visited Sligo for the opening of Lissadell House. And during that visit I believe Mr McNulty met him with a delegation and that the issue of the Seanad byelection was discussed.

He asked for confirmation of the meeting and if Mr McNulty “was assured, despite the many torturous interviews that were held and the many people that were lobbying for the job and if at that particular meeting on the 20 June in Sligo, that the Taoiseach promised Mr McNulty this Seanad byelection seat for him”.

But dismissing the claim a spokesman for the Taoiseach said Mr Kenny attended Lissadell House on June 20th, “where he met and shook hands with many of the hundreds of guests in attendance”.

Maire O Halloran

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