Monthly Archives: April 2015

KDYS Strategic Plan 2015-2018 ‘Brighter Futures Together’

22.04 KDYS Strategic Plan Event

On Wednesday 22nd April, the Kerry Diocesan Youth Service (KDYS) published their Strategic Plan 2015-2018 ‘Brighter Futures Together’. The plan sets out its goals and outcomes for the next three years in contributing to the importance of investing in our young people by supporting local communities, families and its volunteers to achieve its vision of making the South-West a prosperous place to grow up.
CEO Tim O’ Donoghue (pictured) outlined the importance of continued support and investment from the organisation’s funders and partners, as well as from the local communities via volunteering and financial support. With this collective support, the KDYS strives to continue providing this vital service in empowering young people to grow to their full potential by enabling them to acquire the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary for their well-being and for the enrichment of their communities.

Click here for the KDYS Strategic Plan 2015-2018.

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‘E.U Higher Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini should resign’ said Senator Mark Daly at today’s Foreign Affairs Committee meeting.

photo Migrants

Federica Mogherini has presided over the withdrawal of rescue resources, and therefore bears some responsibility for the tragic losses at sea.

Senator Daly attended the Inter-Parliamentary Conference for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) in Rome last November 2014.

As far back as November 2014, Senator Daly was highlighting the worsening situation in the Mediterranean. Unfortunately calls for the reinstatement of ‘Mare Nostrum’ by Senator Daly were not heeded by Ms Mogherini who was at the conference. Consequently, the migrant death toll is thirty times higher this year than for the same period last year. This statistic was tragically illustrated last Monday the 20th of April with the death of 900 migrants.

Over its lifespan ‘Mare Nostrum’ saved 100,000 shipwrecked refugees – an incredible number considering it was only operational for twelve months. The operation which covered 27,000km2 was ran at the cost of nine million euros a month. The mission involved the use of five naval vessels, helicopters, five aircraft, and two submarines and was staffed by 900 personnel. Replacing ‘Mare Nostrum’ was an initiative called ‘Triton’.

In stark contrast to ‘Mare Nostrum’ the focus of ‘Triton’ has been the protection of European borders. ‘Triton’ only patrols within 30km of the coast and has a budget of three million euros– less than a third that of Mare Nostrum. Frontex (the European parent body of Triton) operations director Klaus Rosler has said ‘the first priority would be ensuring effective border control and monitoring of criminal networks in Northern Africa’. Roberta Pinotti, the Italian minister for defence has voiced similar sentiments, she has accepted that ‘Italian assets in the Mediterranean has decreased from nine million euros to three million euros, from five ‘big ships’ to one ship… and three smaller patrol boats’.

This scaling back of rescue capabilities is an affront to humanitarian well-being in the region. The result of this decision has been a proliferation of the crisis. Since the start 2015, 1,750 migrants have lost their lives on the perilous journey to Europe. This represents a clear abdication of a duty of care which European states have for migrants attempting to enter their borders. The situation has a certain tragic irony, in that many of the countries from which migrants are fleeing – Eretria, Libya, Syria, and Somalia included – were in fact colonised by European nations in the 19th century. Senator Daly, who has been monitoring the situation, has explained ‘European inertia has had drastic effects in terms of loss of life’

The only short term solution to the crisis is the reinstatement of an initiative similar to ‘Mare Nostrum’ with an emphasis on search and rescue rather than border protection. If this crisis is ignored further it will worsen and the necessary response will be more costly, and the death toll will rise exponentially.

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Irish Overseas let down again on voting rights for Seanad election – Daly

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Irish Overseas and Diaspora Senator Mark Daly has accused the government of utterly failing Irish citizens living abroad.

The diaspora will have not an opportunity to vote in the next election for Seanad Éireann despite the Taoiseach’s promise of a “democratic revolution”.

Senator Daly said: “This is another big disappointment for Irish citizens living abroad.  They should not be treated as second-class citizens and should be given a vote and a voice in the election of Senators at the time of the next election.  Unfortunately this government has completely disenfranchised this group of people because reforms will not be enacted in time and instead will only apply to elections held after the next Seanad members are voted into office.

“Following the last general election the government committed to increasing the voice of the Irish diaspora.  The Constitutional Convention, which Fianna Fáil was extremely supportive of and participated in, was tasked with examining the possibility of extending voting rights to the diaspora.  The convention decided in September 2013 voting rights should be extended to our diaspora.  This was a strong a positive step forward because the members of the convention were drawn largely from the public themselves.

“In the French Senate there are 12 senators elected to represent French nationals living abroad.  In an Irish context a reformed Irish Senate is one way to ensure that Irish citizens who live abroad and in the North have a voice in Leinster House.

“I am urging the government to expedite the reforms needed to secure voting rights for Irish citizens living overseas.  Quite frankly they have been waiting long enough and the government should step up to the mark.

“Unfortunately this government has taken little or no action and shown little interest in progressing this.  Fianna Fáil recognises the important contribution our diaspora makes towards Irish life.  In our reform proposal for Seanad Éireann published in 2013 we committed to ensuring that the diaspora would be directly represented in Seanad Éireann.  This would be an important first step to give our diaspora the recognition that they deserve.”

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Senator Mark Daly calls on Taoiseach to Intervene in Case of Ibrahim Halawa.

Today the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade will vote on a motion tabled by myself as follows, ‘That this committee requests the Taoiseach to contact the President of Egypt in relation to the Ibrahim Halawa case’. Ibrahim, an Irish citizen was arrested during the political turmoil in 2013. Amnesty International has described his trial as a ‘mockery of justice’ and has stated that his life is in ‘grave danger’. Ibrahim’s sister, Somaia has come in to support the motion. Since his arrest Ibrahim has had to endure conditions described psychological torture by Amnesty International. Ibrahim, was imprisoned in a section of the Egyptian prison previously inhabited by prisoners who were sentenced to death and subsequently executed.

Australian Prime Minster Tony Abbott held a meeting with Egyptian President seeking release of Australian citizen Peter Greste, who was released imprisoned for 400 days. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has personally raised the case of Canadian citizen Mohamed Fahmy and has secured his bail after over 400 days incarceration. Ibrahim Halawa, an Irish citizen, has been held in deplorable conditions for over 600 days, Senator Daly has stated ‘After 600 days the time for quiet diplomacy are over’. The motion did not receive adequate support to be call on the Taoiseach to intervene. However it was progressive in that the Committee will now write to the Taoiseach and express it’s desire for the successful precendet, as demonstrated by the Australian and Canadian Prime Minsters be replicated.


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