“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
Welcome to my website. I hope that it can be a useful resource in staying up to date with my work on your behalf in Seanad Eireann as Deputy Leader of Fianna Fáil and Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, the Irish Overseas and Diaspora.
If you have any queries, questions or ideas please do not hesitate to contact me.
Is mise le meas,
Senator Mark Daly
Seanadóir Marcus O’Dalaigh
The first ever report to look at the issues, policies and planning required for the peaceful unity of Ireland and her people by a committee of the Dáil or Seanad was written by Senator Mark Daly and adopted unanimously in 2017 by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. This report was entitled ‘Brexit & the Future of Ireland Uniting Ireland & its People in Peace & Prosperity’.
One of the key recommendations of that report was to ascertain the true level of the income and expenditure for Northern Ireland.
There are few economists in the world with first-hand knowledge and experience of Re-unification. Gunther Thumann is one such individual; he worked as a senior economist at the German desk of the International Monetary Fund at the time of German reunification. This provided him with the analytical understanding of the complex economic developments as they happened. In the second half of the 1990s, he had several opportunities to talk privately with Chancellor Helmut Kohl about his assessment of the politics of German Re-Unification.
On the 14th of June 2018 Senator Mark Daly proposed to a meeting of the Joint Committee on the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement that he and Gunther Thumann compile a report on the true income and expenditure of Northern Ireland in a reunification situation. They have compiled this research which also analyses Ireland’s place in the world in various global indexes and its performance since independence.
The research in full is available Research on Northern Ireland Income and Expenditure
Guidelines for using the national anthem and support for a formal Irish sign language version of it have been proposed by an all-party Oireachtas Committee.
However, politicians have stopped short of pushing for Amhrán na bhFiann to be protected in legislation-despite calls by families of the authors of the anthem among others.
The Seanad Public Consultation Committee on the anthem wants schools to improve the learning of it in Irish, English as well as in sign language.
The recommendations follow consultation and the involvement of groups, including representatives of the deaf community, school children and relatives of those who penned the anthem.
Launching the report, committee chairman Sen Paul Coghlan said:
“We have been strongly advised by officials in the department of finance to legislate for this [protections]. But the protocols will be as good as that.”
The committee also decided not to recommend penalties for inappropriate use of the anthem, despite the fact it has gone out of copyright and has been used in commercial advertisements.
“Legislation to protect it is not required at this stage,” said Sen Coghlan.
But Fianna Fail senator Mark Daly disagreed during debate on the report. He and others say legislation would have protected the anthem like the national symbol of the harp as well as the national flag. Relatives of those who authored the anthem agreed.
Conal Kearney, the grandson of Peadar Kearney, who wrote the English lyrics in 1909, wants it enshrined in legislation. Dublin Lord Mayor Niall Ring, whose great uncle Liam Ring, translated the Soldiers Song into Irish in Amhrán na bhFiann, also wants the national song protected in law.
“I hope this is a stepping stone,” he said at the launch today.
The Irish sign language version of the song was compiled by school children from Bishopstown Community School in Cork.
Disabilities Minister Finian McGrath has also said this should be protected in law.
The committee made a number of recommendations which it says will improve knowledge of, the use of the anthem as well as guidelines on when it is sung or signed.
A new Irish Sign Language version of the National Anthem has been officially performed for the first time by a deaf choir and a piper from the Defences Forces band.
The historic performance took place in Leinster House at the launch of a report that advocates protocols around the use of the anthem.
The rapporteur of the Seanad Public Consultation Committee report, Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly, explained: “Next year is the 110th anniversary of the writing of the national anthem by Peadar Kearney.
“In 2013 the National Anthem fell out of copyright protection so we looked at the issues around its proper to make sure it wasn’t used inappropriately. We have came up with protocols so all citizens are aware of the proper use and treatment of the National Anthem.”
The proposed protocols include the versions of the anthem in Irish, English and Irish Sign Language, as well as the musical notation provided by the Irish Defence Forces School of Music.
Senator Daly said: “Last December we passed the Irish Sign Language recognition bill for the deaf community. Alain Newstead, a student from Bishopstown Community School in Cork, came into the Seanad public consultation. He said he felt excluded as a citizen of this State and a member of the deaf community as there was no sign language version of the national anthem.”
It was from that student’s proposal that today’s historic rendition from the deaf choir and Corporal Anthony Kelly of the army band for the deaf community came about.
The Seanad committee found that the majority of Irish people want the existing wording of Amhrán na bhFiann/The Soldier’s Song to remain unchanged.
Conal Kearney, whose grandfather Peadar Kearney wrote the lyrics to the anthem, said his grandfather would have been hugely proud today “on such an historic moment.”
He added: “I believe it was a privilege to see for the first time the Irish Sign Language version of Ámhrán na bhFiann/The Soldier’s Song. It was a very proud and emotional moment.”
Mr Kearney said that he made a submission to the committee last December that the committee would be given the legal protection the anthem “so rightfully deserves, equal as a symbol of State to the harp and the tricolour. I believe that will happen. We are just at the start of a process.”
Today’s report advocates that every primary and secondary school should be provided with the National Anthem in Irish, English and Irish Sign Language to assist in the teaching and learning of it.
On the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, schoolchildren should be encouraged to hold events where the National Anthem could be performed in Irish, English and/or Irish Sign Language. These annual events could also include a celebration of our national flag and the anthems and flags of children of different backgrounds.
The chairperson of the Seanad committee, Paul Coghlan, said,”This is more than a first step as the National Anthem has been given a status that it did not have until now despite the great usage across so many sporting organisations.”
Responding to criticism that the protocols for the anthem will not be be enshrined in legislation, Mr Coghlan said: “The committee was unanimous in support for these proposals. It operates on the basis of consensus and we are proud of the report.”
Liam Ó Rinn translated the song into ‘Amhrán na bhFiann’ and the Irish version was first published in 1923.
The current Lord Mayor Dublin Nial Ring, the grand-nephew of Mr Ó Rinn was in attendance at today’s launch.