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Senator Mark Daly

Seanadóir Marcus O’Dalaigh

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Fianna Fail Senator’s criticism of Garda Commissioner sparks sharp exchanges

Kerryman Seanad 27th November

Criticism of the Garda Commissioner by Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly led to sharp exchanges.

Mr Daly said despite being an insider, it had been promised Nóirín O’Sullivan would sweep the force clean.

“Somehow or other, the commissioner saw nothing when so many penalty points were being quashed,” he said.

Cathaoirleach Paddy Burke intervened to say that his remarks were unfair to the commissioner’s reputation because she was not present to defend herself.

Mr Daly said there were issues raised at the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality with the commissioner present.

“She would be most welcome if she were to come to the House to defend herself,” he added.

Pat O’Neill (FG) called on Mr Daly to withdraw his remark.

Ivana Bacik (Lab) said she welcomed Ms O’Sullivan’s appointment, following a recommendation made by the Public Appointments Service, as the only suitable candidate.

Reform agenda

“It is important to note there was an open and transparent recruitment and appointment process,” said Ms Bacik. “It is also important that we would all support her in the ongoing important work of reforming the Garda Síochána.”

Ms Bacik said they were all conscious, after this year in particular, of the need for reform. She called for a Seanad debate on policing reform, specifically in light of the recent Garda Inspectorate report which threw up particular questions around the recording of crime statistics.

Ms Bacik said she had raised the issue in the House previously and suggested the debate be held in the new year.

Irish Times

Michael Regan

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Leading off in the Seanad Order of Business Senator Mark Daly discussed the reality and highlighted the plan’s of fiction being published by the Govenment

Senator Mark Daly: There must be an election in the air because three Departments have each made a major announcement in the past three days.
Senator Martin Conway: It is all par for the course.
Senator Pat O’Neill: We sorted out the country.
Senator Mark Daly: It is being sorted out all right.
Senator Martin Conway: We had to exit the troika programme first.
An Cathaoirleach: Please allow Senator Mark Daly to continue, without interruption.
Senator Mark Daly: The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Deputy Alan Kelly, stated last week that he intended to leave a legacy. While there is no doubt that he will be remembered, unfortunately, it will be for all the wrong reasons.
A new Garda Commissioner was appointed two days ago. Despite being an insider, we have been promised that she will sweep the Garda clean. Somehow or other, the Commissioner saw nothing when so many penalty points were being quashed.
An Cathaoirleach: The Senator’s comment is not fair to the Garda Commissioner’s reputation. She is not here to defend herself.
Senator Mark Daly: These issues were raised at the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality with the Commissioner present.
An Cathaoirleach: She is not here to defend herself.
Senator Mark Daly: She would be most welcome if she were to come to the House to defend herself.
Senator Pat O’Neill: The Senator must withdraw his remark.
An Cathaoirleach: I have ruled on the matter. Does Senator Mark Daly have a question for the Leader?
Senator Mark Daly: As I stated, the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Deputy Alan Kelly, wishes to leave a legacy, but he will make his mark for all the wrong reasons. The housing plan announced yesterday was a reannouncement of previous plans. It is, to a large degree, a work of fiction. The Health Service Executive’s service plan which will be published today will also largely be a work of fiction. Hans Christian Anderson would have been proud of it because the plan is way different from the reality. The reality we see on the ground is exemplified by the report of the Coroner’s Court in Limerick, as detailed in today’s newspapers. A critically ill man was brought to the accident and emergency department of Limerick University Hospital but never saw a doctor before he died. That is the reality on the ground. What we also see in emergency departments is paramedics arriving with patients on stretchers and having to stay there for hours before over-worked doctors can take the patients off their hands. The ambulances involved are not available during that time because the system is not working. That is the reality. Today there are 800 people in hospitals, taking up beds, who should not be there. They are there because the fair deal scheme has been cut. That is the reality on the ground. Whatever about the plan – which is a work of fiction to a large degree – the reality is entirely different.
In Kerry, the scandal —
An Cathaoirleach: The Senator should not display newspapers in the Chamber.
Senator Mark Daly: There are no service plans.
An Cathaoirleach: Does Senator Daly have a question for the Leader?
Senator Mark Daly: I ask the Leader to organise a debate on the HSE service plan. I will not push it to a vote on the Order of Business today because the plan has only been published but we should have a debate on the service plan next week to see how real it is.
I know a debate is scheduled for today on the situation in Ukraine and the Middle East. I ask the Leader to invite the Minister of State, Deputy Jimmy Deenihan, to the House, as the first ever spokesperson on the Irish overseas and the diaspora, to discuss President Obama’s executive order. Some of the 50,000 undocumented Irish in the United States will be assisted by it but I ask the Leader to encourage the Government to ensure that funding is made available to the Irish centres throughout the US. The Aisling Irish Community Centre in New York does great work, as do the Irish pastoral centres in Boston and San Francisco. However, they need assistance and funding. I would ask the Leader to urge the Government to look for a humanitarian visa for those who are not covered by the executive order so that they would be able to come home at times of bereavement. I would also like to see waivers being granted to those who have violated the terms of their visas in the past.
I wish to thank the Leader and Deputy Leader for facilitating the passing of a motion relating to Cumann na mBan. That motion is No. 8 on the Order Paper and I wish to move it today.

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Filed under America, Irish Overseas and Diaspora, Kerry, National Issues, Spokesperson for the Irish Overseas and Diaspora Certificate

Government must fund Irish Organisations throughout the United States to help the 50,000 Undocumented Irish following President Obama’s executive order on Immigration” Senator Mark Daly Spokesperson in the Senate for the Irish Overseas and Diaspora

Senator Mark Daly Spokesperson in the Senate for the Irish Overseas and Diaspora has called on the Government to fund Irish Organisations throughout the United States to help the 50,000 Undocumented Irish following President Obama’s executive order on Immigration Reform

Senator Daly commented “There are many brilliant organisations throughout the United States especially in cities with a large Irish population such as the ILIR (Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform) Irish Pastoral Centers in Boston, San Francisco and Chicago and the Aisling Center in New York. These organisation are dealing with countless queries from the Irish community. Their work load has increased enormously in the past few days but this will only increase further in the coming weeks and months as many of the 50,000 undocumented prepare to come out of the shadows and work with the US authorities to become legal.

President Obama himself referenced these people in his speech last night, saying “there are Irish in Chicago who do not have their papers in order”, I am calling on the Irish government to provide the essential funding these Irish Organisation will need to help many in the Irish community get their papers in order.

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Filed under America, National Issues, Spokesperson for the Irish Overseas and Diaspora Certificate

Senator Mark Daly a long time advocate for the Irish undocumented in the Irish parliament and senate welcomed the news for Immigration Reform

obama immigration reform

Travel to Ireland a key issue for Irish who qualify under Obama plan

Whether Irish undocumented who qualify for new work visas under Obama’s executive order will be able to travel to Ireland is still unclear.

The background briefing paper refers to hardship cases involving family emergencies which would involve travel back to country of origin.

The White House briefing statement says “Ensuring that individuals with lawful status can travel to their countries of origin. DHS(Department of Homeland Security) will clarify its guidance to provide greater assurance to individuals with a pending LPR (Lawful permanent residence) application or certain temporary status permission to travel abroad with advance permission (“parole”).

Irish organizations will anxiously await clarification on this background note.

Under current law an undocumented person is hit with a three or ten year ban if they travel back and reapply to come to the US

That seems to be about to change. “We expect to see some expansion of who benefits from the waiver of the three- and 10-year bar,” one senior administration official said.

That appears to imply that discretion can be used as is currently the case in at least one US consulate in Mexico when dealing with agricultural workers where the 3 and ten year bars are not imposed.

But whether the new working visa can also function as a travel document remains an issue to be explained further by the Obama administration.

Ciaran Staunton of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform welcomed the new proposals while expressing concern that immigrants without children are not included in the plan.

“This is a good day but we need to ensure that we continue to fight for those excluded and get clarity on issues such as travel,” he said.

The Irish government has welcomed President Obama’s executive action to give legal working papers to undocumented who have lived in the US at least five years and have American-born children.

Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan stated: “Today represents real progress, albeit with further important steps yet to be achieved. [The Government’s efforts] have been reflected in an outcome that should make a difference to thousands of our undocumented citizens there.

“At the same time, the Government will not become in any way complacent. Some will not benefit from these new arrangements and we will continue to make the case on their behalf.

“In terms of next steps, it is clear to me that on immigration reform, as President Obama himself has indicated, there is no substitute for legislative action by Congress,” the Minister said.

Speaking from Australia, Minister for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan said: “I visited the US during the last fortnight and I was able to engage directly with many of our undocumented and hear how difficult their situations currently are.

“Hopefully these measures will provide new hope for many of them and their families in their quest to regularize their status.

“There is more work to do, but the changes announced overnight represent a good start.”

Senator Mark Daly a long time advocate for the Irish undocumented in the Irish parliament and senate welcomed the news “This is the most positive news the undocumented Irish have received in years, these steps will allow some of them to finally come out of the shadows and live without the constant fear of deportation. One of the most important things for the Undocumented is the right to come home, many have missed countless Christmases, weddings and very distressingly for many families funerals. I look forward to the further details that will be announced today.

Irish Central

Niall O’Dowd

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Filed under America, Irish Overseas and Diaspora, Spokesperson for the Irish Overseas and Diaspora Certificate

Senator Mark Daly senate spokesperson for the Irish overseas and the Diaspora has welcomed President Obama’s executive order on Immigration Reform which may allow some of 50,000 Undocumented Irish to come home in times of distress

Irish overseas and the Diaspora Policy
Senator Mark Daly Spokesperson in the Senate for the Irish Overseas and the Diaspora and Chairperson of the Ireland America Association has welcomed President Obama’s announcement on Immigration reform last night. The President will today sign his executive order for US immigration Reform.
Senator Daly had previously called on President Obama to include ‘Humanitarian Visas’ in his Executive Order and has welcomed the initial outline by the president which may allow some of the 50,000 undocumented to come home in times of distress.
Senator Daly Commented “This is the most positive news the undocumented Irish have received in years, these steps will allow some of them to finally come out of the shadows and live without the constant fear of deportation. One of the most important things for the undocumented is the right to come home, many have missed countless Christmases, weddings and very distressingly for many families funerals. I look forward to the further details that will be announced today.

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Filed under America, Irish Overseas and Diaspora, Spokesperson for the Irish Overseas and Diaspora Certificate