Monthly Archives: May 2012

Senator Daly calls for the NAMA and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Bill to be introduced to the Seanad

Senator Mark Daly: I hope my colleague will support my call for an amendment to the Order of Business that the House takes the NAMA and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Bill today.

An Cathaoirleach: Is the Senator moving an amendment to the Order of Business? Senator Mark Daly: Yes. Senator John Gilroy: Perhaps we should be discussing a transparent political posturing Bill.

Senator Mark Daly: I have raised this issue on a number of occasions and I have called on the Attorney General to come to the House, as I believe that NAMA is not selling its properties in accordance with the legislation passed by the Oireachtas. To date, the Attorney General has failed to reply to the questions I raised. NAMA is the largest property company in the world. Both Houses passed legislation that requires the agency to sell all its assets in an open and transparent manner.

 Senator Paul Coghlan: The Senator should welcome this morning’s announcement.

An Cathaoirleach: Senator Daly without interruption.

Senator Mark Daly: That is clearly not happening. Deputy Buttimer raised the issue of the sale of land in Cork. Other sales in London and further afield are taking place with the consent of NAMA but nobody knows the properties are for sale.

Senator Paul Coghlan: That is hearsay. Senator John Gilroy: That is hearsay. That is not an established fact.

Senator Darragh O’Brien: The sale in Cork is an established fact. The Senators should read the Bill. Senator Paul Coghlan: With respect, Senator Daly is waffling inaccurately.

An Cathaoirleach: Senator Daly without interruption. Senator Mark Daly: I am sure colleagues have read the newspaper reports, particular in the Irish Examiner, about a property on which a loan of €100 million had been secured which was sold for €7 million. Nobody, including adjoining landowners and farmers, knew the land was for sale. If that is selling State assets in an open and transparent manner, then my colleagues opposite are clearly delusional when it comes to selling something in an open and transparent manner. Senator Paul Coghlan: The Senator would want to look in a mirror.

Senator Mark Daly: As a former auctioneer, I am sure Senator Coghlan knows how to sell something in an open and transparent manner. I have moved an amendment to the Order of Business and I also ask the Deputy Leader to invoke Standing Order 56 to invite the Attorney General to come to the House to explain to us why NAMA is not following the laws it passed.

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Filed under NAMA and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Transparency Bill 2011

Senator Daly calls for time for the NAMA and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Transparency Bill to be introduced and discussed in the Seanad

Will the Leader allow time for a discussion on the NAMA and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Transparency Bill 2011 which my colleagues and I have published? This Bill allows the public to see the properties that NAMA is selling. Last week a property that was never on the market, but which was bought for €100 million, was sold for €7 million. Nobody in the area knew it was for sale and then it was gone. Under the legislation NAMA must sell all State assets under its control. Loans are State assets and NAMA is a State body and must sell them in an open and transparent manner in accordance with the sale of public goods, whether by tender or public auction. That is what NAMA is supposed to do, but it is not doing it. We, as Senator Coghlan who is a former auctioneer would know, are losing millions of euro as a result of a lack of transparency. I ask the Leader to allow time for the NAMA and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Transparency Bill to be introduced and discussed in the House?

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Filed under NAMA and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Transparency Bill 2011

More Kerry garda stations facing closure under second round of cuts – Daly

Shatter must confirm future of all garda stations in Kerry

Senator Mark Daly has said he is extremely concerned that more garda stations across Kerry are facing closure in the next few months after the Justice Minister Alan Shatter launched a fresh attack rural garda stations. Minister Shatter has confirmed that his decision to close Ballylongford, Moyvane and An Clochán stations in Kerry, along with dozens of others across the country, is just the beginning of sustained attack on community policing.

Senator Daly has called on Minister Shatter to immediately clarify how many stations he intends to shut down in Kerry and the savings he has identified from these closures.

“Minister Shatter went to great lengths last year to play down the extent of garda station closures and the impact this policy would have on local communities. He said the number of closures would be “very small” and there was no “reason for any community anywhere in the country to be alarmed”. But now it seems that the 39 stations Minister Shatter shut down at the weekend were just phase one of a larger plan to target local garda stations for severe cuts this year. The result is that there will be real fear in Kerry that yet more garda stations are facing closure.

“Minister Shatter has serious questions to answer about the real savings to be made from these closures. He has attempted to justify this as a purely a cost-savings exercise but he has yet to produce the actual cost of running Ballylongford, Moyvane and An Clochán stations and the other stations that he has earmarked for closure. People are struggling to understand how he can he decide which garda stations to close if he doesn’t how much each station costs to run?

“Minister Shatter’s latest threats of garda cuts are causing a significant amount of fear in communities. The Minister must now confirm the future of all garda stations in Kerry. In opposition, Alan Shatter himself called for extra gardaí in the community, claiming that areas of the country have become ‘lawless badlands’. He clearly understands the importance of a visible garda presence in the community and the serious long-term consequences of removing such a key local service.”

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Senator Daly urges the Seanad to play a role in the 2013 Gathering to commemorate President Kennedys visit to Ireland

This House has a role to play in a number of issues. The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport is organising the Gathering to commemorate the visit of John F. Kennedy to this country. The Seanad could play a role, whereby Members of the Westminster Parliament, the US Congress and the Parliament of Canada could be invited to come here to discuss issues of mutual concern, including to the Irish diaspora. Perhaps the Leader might take this suggestion on board.

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Downgrading of Kerry health services ‘a costly mistake’ – Daly

 

Kerry Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly has said he is deeply worried about the impact on patients of significant cuts to the health services in Kerry this year. Reacting to details of the HSE South service plan for 2012, Senator Daly has described plans to downgrade St Columbanus, Killarney and Listowel Community Hospital as a costly mistake.

 Senator Daly said: “St Columbanus home in Killarney is an excellent facility that plays a crucial role in our local health services. Shutting down 11 beds at this facility this year will have a ripple effect right across healthcare provision in this region. In addition to this, the Minister for Health James Reilly has approved plans to close 17 beds at Listowel Community Hospital and close a ward at Kerry General. This is an extremely short-sighted move that will end up costing our health services more in the long-run.

 “Reducing capacity at St Columbanus and other community hospitals and nursing home units will push elderly patients into the acute hospital system, which is already under severe pressure. The Health Minister James Reilly has approved plans to slash the HSE’s budget in the South by €208 million this year. This includes a cut of €9 million, or 4.5%, in the services for older people and a 4.5 % cut in home help hours. Meanwhile, dozens of beds in acute hospitals are also being closes. So we will have a situation where even more patients are in need of beds in the acute hospital system because community hospitals are being downgraded and home help services are being cut.

 “It isn’t difficult to see that patients, and particularly older people, will be the losers in this. People are genuinely worried that this is the thin end of the wedge for St Columbanus and Listowel Community Hospital. There is a real fear that the downgrading we will see over the next few months is the beginning of moves to wind down these facilities. Since Minister Reilly came into power, he has pursued an agenda of closing community hospital beds around the country and earmarking some facilities for outright closure. This plan will see up to 898 community hospital beds nationwide closing this year.

 “I am appealing to Minister Reilly to see the bigger picture here. The combination of downgrading community hospitals while closing beds at acute hospitals will cause chaos in our local health services,” said Senator Daly.

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