Monthly Archives: October 2013

President of the United States begins to address US on immigration reform

1385014_10201546060906945_2121918844_n (1)

Comments Off on President of the United States begins to address US on immigration reform

October 24, 2013 · 2:59 pm

Senator Mark Daly to attend White House announcement by President Obama on Immigration Reform

The Foreign Affairs committee has been on a week long series of meetings with Congressmen and women discussing the plight of the 50,000 undocumented Irish in the US.

Senator Daly who is the Senate Spokesperson for the Irish Overseas and the Diaspora said that ‘we had some positive meetings with congressmen and women from all parties and we impressed upon them the importance of immigration reform to Ireland’.

The delegation was accompanied by the newly appointed Irish ambassador to the United States Anne Anderson.

Senator Daly said ‘ we impressed upon the congressmen and women how important this issue is for Ireland. It is estimated that 1 in 9 households in Ireland are effected by by having a loved one or family member who is undocumented in the United States’

Comments Off on Senator Mark Daly to attend White House announcement by President Obama on Immigration Reform

Filed under Active Citizenship

Seanad reform can begin with Government accepting Fianna Fáil Bill on EU Scrutiny and Transparency in Government drafted by Senator Mark Daly

 This morning at 11.45 the Government are allowing the first stage of debate on legislation which will give a new and distinct role for the Seanad.
The law titled ‘EU Scrutiny and Transparency in Government Bill’ was drafted by Fianna Fáil Senator, Mark Daly…. It would require Government Ministers to bring all EU legislation, in draft form, before the Seanad prior to Ministers signing them into Irish Law. ‘The sheer number of EU laws being introduced without any proper oversight or scrutiny by the Dáil and Seanad is staggering’ said Senator Daly. Dr. Brian Hunt’s Oireachtas study, The Role of the Houses of the Oireachtas in the Scrutiny of Legislation, highlights the growing percentage of laws that Government Ministers introduce without any degree of scrutiny or oversight. In particular, the report highlights the prevalence of Statutory Instruments, EU Regulations and Directives among all laws implemented in Ireland. ‘If you added up all the statutory instruments, EU Regulations and Directives they can accounts for 90% of the laws that come into effect annually in Ireland.’
When the numbers are examined, they shows the scale of our national democratic deficit.  In 2012 there were 53 Acts of the Oireachtas. This is compared to 590 Statutory instruments, (SI) 52 EU Directives and 1270 EU Regulations. SI and EU directives  are completely controlled by and within the powers of Ministers. Most of the time they are never referred by Ministers for scrutiny or debated in the Dáil and Seanad before the Minister signs them into Law.
Senator Daly stated that Labour party whip Emmet Stagg TD is on the record as having said, “the scrutiny of statutory instruments simply does not take place at all and this suits the Government” ‘This cannot be allowed to continue’ said the Senator Daly.

Comments Off on Seanad reform can begin with Government accepting Fianna Fáil Bill on EU Scrutiny and Transparency in Government drafted by Senator Mark Daly

Filed under EU Scrutiny and Transparency in Government Bill 2013, Transparency in Government

Irish delegation pushes immigration reform on Capitol Hill

Chances are 50-50 that comprehensive immigration reform could happen


Image of the Statue of Liberty crying held up by a protester at Capitol Hill. Irish politicians visit US Government officials to lobby for Immigration Reform

Image of the Statue of Liberty crying  held up by a protester at Capitol Hill. Irish politicians visit US Government  officials to lobby for Immigration Reform
Chairman Pat Breen is leading a delegation of the  Joint Oireachtas (Irish parliament) Committee on Foreign  Affairs and Trade on a  visit to Washington D.C. today. The group is holding a series of  meetings with  influential members of Congress in the hope of  encouraging comprehensive immigration  reform in the U.S.

According to the Irish Embassy in Washington, the  Irish Ambassador to the United States Anne  Anderson will also accompany the delegation at each of their high levels  meetings with predominantly Republican Congress members.

Breen told the Irish Voice: “It’s an opportunity to  lobby our U.S. counterparts to garner bipartisan support for the immigration  reform legislation.

“We’re targeting Republican  Congress members because at the moment there is a high degree of uncertainty  among them as regards their capacity to engage in immigration issues,” Breen  added.

“This is why we’ve assembled a strong team from the  Irish parliament to go out, a cross party delegation from the foreign affairs  committee, because we feel we want to target the key players here.”

The cross party delegation includes Deputies Sean  Crowe (Sinn Fein), Gerald Nash (Labour) and Senator Mark Daly (Fianna Fail) as  well as Chairman Breen (Fine Gael).

Breen says he’s well aware of the positive impact  the reform of U.S. immigration laws could have on the tens of thousands of Irish  men and women who are currently in the country undocumented.

“We will have a broad discussion with many of the  U.S. Irish lobby groups like the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR)  before we have a meeting with Congress members on Wednesday. They will fill us  in on the feeling out there at the moment. What I’m hearing is there is a window  of opportunity. We have to grasp that opportunity.”

The delegation have scheduled a series of meetings  with key figures from the House of Representatives including Congressman Paul  Ryan, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, Congressman Trey Gowdy, Immigration  Sub-Committee Chair Congressman Luis Gutierrez, Immigration Subcommittee Member  Congressman Mark Amodei, Immigration Subcommittee Member Congressman Jim Jordan,  Immigration Subcommittee Member Congressman Mick Mulvaney, Congressman Peter  King, Congressman Richard Neal, and Friends of Ireland Caucus Congressman Chris  Smith.

“One of the major players is Paul Ryan, who has  indicated his support for immigration reform. We will make a strong case about  why immigration reform is so important for Ireland.”

The Irish delegation hopes that it can persuade the  predominantly Republican members of Congress to support legislation to legalize  the estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish and create a new E3 visa to allow 10,500  Irish to work legally in the country every year.

Read more: Follow us: @IrishCentral on Twitter | IrishCentral on Facebook

Comments Off on Irish delegation pushes immigration reform on Capitol Hill

Filed under Active Citizenship

Seanad Adjournment Debate, RE: Derelict property from previous years of the NPPR

16th October 2013

To ask the Minister for Environment and Local Government to ensure county councils issue a Certificate of Discharge and Exemption so people will have certainty that no liability arises in relation to derelict property from previous years of the NPPR.

-Senator Mark Daly


Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): 

The Local Government (Charges) Act 2009 broadened the revenue base of local authorities by introducing a charge on non-principal private residences. The charge was set at €200 and liability for it has fallen, in the main, on owners of rental, holiday and vacant properties. The charge has operated on a self-assessment basis and 2013 is the final year of operation of the charge.

  The 2009 Act places the charge under the care and management of the local authorities and application in particular circumstances is a matter for the relevant local authority. Interpretation of the legislation may be a matter for legal advice in individual cases and, ultimately, may be a matter to be decided by the courts.

  Under the 2009 Act, as amended, “residential property” is defined as a “building that is situated in the State and that is occupied, or suitable for occupation, as a separate dwelling”. As such, a property which is not suitable for occupation does not fall within the definition of residential property and is not, therefore, liable for the charge. There are a number of indicators as to what makes a property suitable for occupation for the purposes of determining liability to the charge. The indicators include the structure of the property, whether it has a roof, whether it is so affected by dampness as to render it unsuitable for habitation and whether it has sanitary facilities, including a water closet and water supply.

  It should be noted that certificates of exemption and certificates of discharge are issued solely in respect of residential properties, as defined by the Act. Therefore, a local authority is not in a position to issue a certificate of discharge in respect of a property which is derelict such that it is deemed to be uninhabitable on a given liability date for the charge.

  If there is uncertainty as to the potential liability of a property to the charge, the owner is advised to contact the relevant local authority to determine liability.

Naturally, if informed by an owner that an otherwise liable property has been uninhabitable, a local authority should require evidence demonstrating the condition of the property on the relevant liability dates for the charge. If a local authority is satisfied that a property was uninhabitable, it is open to that local authority to provide written confirmation to the property’s owner stating that no non-principal private residence charge liability is outstanding in connection with that property.

Comments Off on Seanad Adjournment Debate, RE: Derelict property from previous years of the NPPR

Filed under Active Citizenship