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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The Echo News: Springfield breaks ground for 1916 garden

The Irish Echo, January 6 -12, 2016.

the irish echo jan 6 -12 2016

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The Irish Independent: ‘We are all guardians of the values of the 1916 Proclamation’ ideals

As a nation we should remember those who fought for its ideals, writes Senator Mark Daly

“I haven’t time but for a few hurried lines…..all that I now say is that you must not worry about me….I may have been more conscientious in my service of Ireland than in God’s, but the service of both are so closely identified that I trust in His Mercy for forgiveness…..I feel that I have done my best in both capacities and hold no vain regrets…… the three other lads are splendid. Anybody looking in would hardly believe that we will be with God in a couple of hours from now.”

Letter from Commandant – General Charlie Daly to his father on the morning of his execution

My cousin Charlie’s letter hangs in my office in Leinster House he was 26 when he wrote it. Every time, I read this letter, the calmness of his words strike me. The bravery of his generation shines even facing death on a grey March morning in 1923.

In Easter 1916, we had lost so many of our young people fighting a global power to secure independence. By 1923, many more young people, like my cousin, were again dying for the future of our new nation. Every time I read his words, they remind me that many of them, our greatest generation, gave their short lives and poignant deaths to the nation I now serve. As such, we are all guardians of the values of the 1916 proclamation. “The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities of all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally”


Senator Mark Daly at the republican monument near Kenmare in County Kerry. Photo: Don MacMonagle 

What we should also remember is that what we are commemorating this year is what we were trying to achieve, not who we were struggling against to achieve our nations full potential. Those aims and objectives of the 1916 proclamation are timeless and universal. Today, Nations and peoples all over the world still struggle to attain those aims and have those responsibilities as contained in our proclamation. The ideals and those responsibilities with in the proclamation are as relevant to our nation, our society and our world today as they were when Pearse first read them aloud.

In 2016, our society has been reshaped beyond the comprehension of Pearse and the other participants of the Rising. The lesson of 1916 for today is that once Pearse and his fellow signatories wrote those words they both challenged and directed future generations to retain these ideals when facing a world they couldn’t imagine. This year we must celebrate but also benchmark ourselves against the standard set in 1916.

This important opportunity was largely missed on the 75th anniversary of the Rising in 1991. Some took the view that our greatest generation should not be honoured for fear the Troubles in the North would drown out the important messages of 1916.

I was doing my leaving certificate that year and, instead of study, my good friend Conor Murphy and I rose at 6.30am on Easter Monday morning to organise the remembrance. We hung seven Irish flags my grandmother made on Main Street, Kenmare. Previously in the week along with others we had cleaned the memorial to Lieutenant Denis Tuohy who was captured and killed after the Headford ambush. My view then and now remains that as a nation we should remember and honour the members of our greatest generation who fought for the ideals of the 1916 proclamation.

25 years later, I’m honoured to be able to play a part in the 100 year commemorations for 1916 rising as a member of the Government’s All Party Consultation Group on the Decade of Commemorations.

This group is also exploring how to remember other young Irish men who lost their lives in World War 1. In the words of Sean Lemass in 1966 ‘they were motivated by the highest ideals’. To my mind, in prioritising who and how we celebrate those who fought and died for causes, we should remember that while there is no hierarchy of victims there is a hierarchy of ideals and causes. Those who died in Easter 1916 for the aims of the proclamation are rightly considered the pinnacle of this hierarchy in Ireland.

I expect local communities will mark the celebration of 1916 in their own way. Diarmuid Gavin, the world famous landscape artist and I worked together, in the design of 1916 Gardens of Remembrance for the occasion. These Gardens can be installed easily and inexpensively by communities, councils and indeed our diaspora and have three common elements; a granite stone replica of the proclamation, a flag pole for the tricolour and seven trees to signify the signatories.

The tricolour will be an integral part of the 1916 celebrations. The flag’s creator, Thomas F Meagher, created an elegant and enduring symbol where peace (white) unifies the nationalist (green) and unionist (orange) communities in Ireland.

On 7th March 2016, working with the Thomas F Meagher Foundation, led by Church of Ireland Reverend Michael Cavanagh and the Department of An Taoiseach we will present every secondary school with an Irish tricolour that has flown from 33 the Mall in Waterford, the building Meagher first flew the tricolour from. As part of ‘Flag-week’ 10th – 17th March all schools across Ireland will be invited to raise funds for projects that benefit their communities. Awards will recognise students, teachers and schools and seven universities will provide scholarships for outstanding students.

President John F. Kennedy once said:

“A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also the men it honours, the men it remembers”.

I hope our efforts to celebrate 1916 honour those men and women of our greatest generation, who gave us our state. We must never stop trying to meet the standard they set – no matter what the challenge.

PUBLISHED: 21/01/2016 by The Irish Independent

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Order of Business 28/1/16

“Yesterday, we proposed a number of amendments to the Order of Business on Bills that were on the Order Paper, one of which was the EU Scrutiny and Transparency in Government Bill 2013. Unfortunately, the Members opposite did not see fit to make time for that Bill to be debated.  We also put forward a Bill which had been proposed by the Law Reform Commission corporate manslaughter in respect of entities and people in charge of entities taking responsibility for their inaction or actions in respect of consequences for people who rely on their services.”

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  “There were cases in the past regarding the Irish Blood Transfusion Service when people knew contaminated blood products were being given to women but there were no consequences for those who did not take action. That should have been accepted yesterday when it was on the Order Paper. I do not see it on the Order Paper today.

  The Deputy Leader yesterday agreed to the proposal to take Second Stage of the National Anthem (Protection of Copyright and Related Rights) (Amendment) Bill 2016 today. What happened to that? The national anthem needs protection. It went out of copyright in 2012. The Minister for Finance said he would bring in legislation to protect it. I understand some attempts were made to start that but four years on, in the year of the hundredth anniversary of the 1916 Rising there is a Bill, all on one page, 23 lines long, which we could have passed by this evening while the other House could do it on Tuesday, if it so wished. Will the Leader allow time for that? We will table an amendment to the Order of Business to take the Bill today. I remind Members opposite that we circulated this Bill two weeks ago for comment. We were open to ideas or thoughts on it but none came back and we published our Bill.

  There is a motion on the Order Paper in respect of cystic fibrosis. It is important that a message goes out from this House to those who could rely on a drug that would transform their lives. All parties should support the motion.”

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Order of Business 27/1/16

I propose an amendment to the Order of Business. I know the Leader will be supportive of the publication of the national anthem copyright and related matters (amendment) Bill. I would like that item to be taken before No. 1 to give leave for it to be published. I spoke about the matter previously. It is important that anything to do with the State and nation be protected and the national anthem is one of those. I ask for an amendment to the Order of Business in that regard.

27 1 2016 seanad

I support my colleague, Senator MacSharry, on the banking inquiry report. Many of its findings will make for uncomfortable reading in European Union institutions – its findings in that regard are strong and forthright – but also among the commentariat which had a singular view as to who was responsible for the banking crisis. The narrative needs to change in that regard. In reality we now find that the regulator, the Central Bank and most importantly the banks lied to the people. The banks misled the Government and did not tell the truth. If the truth had been told at the time and if the proper information had been given to the late Minister, Brian Lenihan, and the previous Government, then different decisions would have been made and there would have been a different outcome. The blackmail to which the previous Government and the Irish people were subjected as a result of the treatment visited upon them by the EU will be remembered in Ireland. Members should bear in mind that a day will come when there might be another referendum on the EU and the Irish people will have long memories in that regard. They will not forget our treatment by the EU and there will be long-term consequences because people in this country have lost faith in the European Union as a result of its treatment of us. We were treated as a very small player in a very big financial crisis.



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Order of Business 26/1/16

The Minister for Health has dismissed a report which rates emergency care waiting times in Ireland as the worst in Europe. Ireland ranks alongside Macedonia, Croatia and Slovenia in the provision of emergency services. However, as Senator John Crown pointed out last week, when one is closing an entire surgery department to accommodate and cater for patients in the emergency department, one knows one has a crisis.  The Minister does not appear to be aware there is a crisis, although he is very good at commentating all of the time, as if he was not the Minister for Health.

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Last week I raised the issue of the victims of child abuse and the fact the Minister has been attacked because she is trying to minimise the State’s liability for the payment of compensation to the victims of abuse. The Irish Timeshas stated that the State has gone to the courts to seek protection to minimise its liability because it is being sued by the victims of child sexual abuse. In that High Court case, the State is trying to minimise its liability and to seek protection from being sued, along with the Christian Brothers. We all know about the Louise O’Keeffe case and the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights. To date, on the basis of that ruling, 350 cases for compensation are pending and only six cases have been settled by the State.

Unfortunately, in this job, we come across some horrific cases of people who have been the victims of child sexual abuse. We also hear about some of the victims who have gone to the courts and secured criminal convictions. When those victims have sought compensation from the religious orders, including the Christian Brothers, they have been pursued and blocked at every turn by the religious orders. That has happened despite the fact the victims have secured a conviction against the Christian Brothers in the criminal courts. Victims of abuse have asked me where the State was when they needed protection. The orders are now seeking protection through the courts to minimise their liability. Worse than all of that, when one asks those in the Christian Brothers why it is going to court to try to minimise its liability, even though a member of the organisation has been found guilty in a criminal court, the answer one receives is that it wants the courts to decide the level of compensation. When a member of the Christian Brothers told me that, I asked, “Is that what Jesus would say to you?” If Jesus were here now, would he say that we should go to the courts?

A case in Florida, which was reported in the newspapers, was of a priest from Donegal who, in 2015, reported an allegation against a paedophile priest who was subsequently convicted. The priest who made the allegation was victimised by the church. He was locked out of his house and put on leave of absence by his bishop. The priest reported these matters to the Vatican but he has not received a satisfactory reply.

Despite all of the assurances given by the Taoiseach in the other House and his fine words about protecting and looking after the victims of child abuse in this country, we can see that the State is still seeking protection not for the victims but from the victims. We can also see that the church, as recently as last year, victimised the priests who were brave enough to report people who perpetrated child abuse. The priests who reported the abuse suffered consequences because of their brave actions. Will the Leader amend the Order of Business so that the Minister can come to the House and we can know why, despite all of the fine words about protecting the victims of child abuse, the State is going to the courts to seek protection from paying compensation to the victims of child abuse?

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