Monthly Archives: October 2013
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’
Seanad reform can begin with Government accepting Fianna Fáil Bill on EU Scrutiny and Transparency in Government drafted by Senator Mark Daly
Chances are 50-50 that comprehensive immigration reform could happen
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.
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.
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.