Senator Mark Daly’s Project Updates June 2012

Senator Daly continues to press for further transparency in NAMA with Bill before Seanad
Last week I brought legislation before the Seanad seeking further transparency in the workings of the National Asset Management Agency.
Speaking during the debate, I commented that “This is to ensure transparency for the taxpayer – there needs to be a website where everyone can see what is for sale otherwise the Irishtaxpayer will continuing to lose money on a daily basis and not millions or tens of millions but hundreds of millions of euro”. The recent Cork case where 450 acres of land originally bought for 100 million was sold for 7 million without ever going on the open market is an example of the necessity of such legislation.
It is crucially important that the public have more confidence in the way the state bodies run their operations.
The bill was defeated in the Seanad on a vote 17 to 24 ,but I will continue to work to ensure transparency in NAMA’s operations.

Protecting Local Garda Stations
I have highlighted my ongoing concerns for the future of local rural Garda stations, and welcome the recent meeting organised by the Sneem Community Alert on the issue. It is important to inform people of the importance of their local stations in protecting the elderly, those living alone and the wider community.

Block work on Kenmare Hospital to be Completed in July
Caherdaniel native JP McAllen was awarded the block work contract for the Kenmare Hospital in March of this year and has made rapid progress to date. McAllen Construction are currently employing over 20 locals on the site, which is a welcome addition to the local shops and businesses in these difficult economic times. Over the lifetime of the construction of the hospital it is estimated that up to 200 workers will be required. The total amount spent on the entire project as of the beginning of June is now over 5 million euros. All the necessary block work will be completed within the next 3 weeks which will allow for the erection of the steel frame roof.

EU Commissioner urges Bonane to submitt Information Regarding the Council’s Non Compliance with Habitatsi Directive. 

Responding to representations which I made to the EU Commissioner for the Environment about the objections of Bonane Community Council to the Kerry County Council proposal to use the River Sheen as a source for the Kenmare Water Supply, Commissioner Potočnik has stated that “should you have any specific issues regarding the compliance with the Water Framework Directive or the Habitats Directive and feel that they were not addressed within the permitting procedure, the Commission will examine these where new information is made available to them.”
Along with the Bonane Community Council,  I would prefer to settle the matter by reasonable debate with the County Council. Foremost among objections is that Kerry County Council  did not carry out a full EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment).  Bonane Community Council have received legal opinion that in areas as sensitive as the Sheen Valley and Kenmare Bay, with so many SAC’s likely to be affected, a full EIA should be required. An Bord Pleanala were clearly concerned at the proposal, and placed restrictions on the extraction order. I feels that this was another occasion when it would have been appropriate to initiate a full EIA.

A similar recent case in Cork, in which the County Council was required to carry out an EIA,  substantiates legal advice and creates a precedent for the Bonane case which has been highlighted with the intention of resolving the matter without recourse to the Courts.

Travelling Abroad – Passport Guidelines
If you or your family are planning to travel abroad this summer for holidays, work or travel, it is highly recommended that you ensure all your passports and travel documents are in  date, and that you apply for them early. A nine step simple guide to the process can be found HERE If you have any problems with your application for passports or visa requests, don’t hesitate to contact my office at mark.daly@oireachtas.ie.

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