As FF spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, I spoke during the Second Stage of the Communications Regulation (Postal Services) (Amendment) Bill 2015 about how Fianna Fáil welcomes this bill but has serious concerns with the new Eircode system, including the proposed non-sequential code design, safety issues, spiralling costs, and the tendering process.
The new code will be non-sequential, which means houses close by each other will not have similar postcodes. This, according to freight companies and emergency services, would lead to mass confusion.
Freedom of Information documents revealed that the Department of Communications ignored the advice of a private consultancy company and a State-appointed postcode board when it approved the design of Eircode. The new Eircode system has not been sufficiently tested and the random nature of postcodes is a serious problem for such a new structure.
We would hope that the Government has learned from the Irish Water mess by addressing these issues immediately.
I spoke in the Seanad’s Order of Business raising concerns on further austerity in Greece and highlighted how the Gardaí knew that Fr Brendan Smyth was abusing children as early as 1973.
As Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Energy, and Natural Resources, I spoke in the Seanad at the Second Stage of the Petroleum (Exploration and Extraction) Safety (Amendment) Bill 2015.
I raised the concern on whether there has been any regulatory impact assessment carried out in relation to safety and regulations as promised to be undertaken by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in the Programme for Government.
I also raised the concern of the decommissioning of oil and gas platforms and the lack of an entity to chase companies that may decide to cease operations in Ireland. Fines and accountability also need to be reassessed. A bonds system needs to be in place to ensure that finances are available to pay for decommissioning of oil and gas platforms should a company operating in this area cease to exist in Ireland.
Speaking at the Seanad’s Order of Business today on the Fianna Fáil motion that calls on the Government to reinstate funding to the Rape Crisis Network of Ireland. The Government does an injustice to the most vulnerable people in our society and they will continue to suffer if funds are not reinstated to the Rape Crisis Network. The motion was voted down but my colleagues and I will keep working to ensure a satisfactory resolution to this matter.
Speaking today at the Foreign Affairs Committee on Ibrahim Halawa and suggesting to approach his case as Canada did for a Canadian citizen in a similar position as Ibrahim, where in this case the Canadian journalist, Mohamed Fahmy, was released on bail in February.
I also spoke about the importance of arranging a joint meeting with a relevant committee in Westminster in relation to the release of files on the Dublin-Monaghan bombings, where we can effectively voice our concerns and bring our demands to the British Government in resolving this issue on achieving justice for the victims.
Watch my speech here: