National maternity services in Ireland – Health Committee hearing

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I thank Dr. Fitzpatrick. That was a fantastic, passionate presentation. I have seldom been as impressed by or as proud of a professional colleague sitting in that chair as I am of him right now, calling it as it is. However, I am not overly confident that all the things he has said will actually … Continue reading

Legislation to Appoint New Clerk of the Dail

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[Speaking in the Seanad during Second Stage of the Electoral (Amendment) (No. 4) Bill] I am not really a politician. What I do here comprises approximately 45% of my life. I still think of my day job as the big job. However, I revere democracy and the process of democracy. One does not have to … Continue reading

Health Service Executive (Financial Matters) Bill

[Speaking in the Seanad during Second Stage of the Health Service Executive (Financial Matters) Bill 2013] This is obviously an important way-station in the process of health care reform and, as such, I support it. We were in a situation whereby a largely unanswerable bureaucracy had been given the outsourced job of operations management of … Continue reading

Alcohol Consumption

[Speaking in the Seanad during Second Stage of the Fianna Fail Bill – Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Fund Bill 2014] Cuirim fáilte roimh an Aire Stáit. I was just doing a quick mental inventory of the number of people I know personally who have taken their lives over the years, and I could make … Continue reading

HSE – wasteful expenditure and silencing of medical journalists

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I request the Deputy Leader to get a commitment from the Department of Health that a report card will be submitted to us on the results of this very expensive – and I believe utterly wasteful – management consultancy exercise that Professor Robert S. Kaplan conducted on … Continue reading

Questioning the priorities of the HSE

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I am fairly upset about two health administration related issues which have come to light during the break. One was the announcement that the HSE was sponsoring a symposium by Professor Kaplan of Harvard for 300 assorted HSE employees on the question of value for money, and … Continue reading

Water charges; Universal Health Care

[speaking in Seanad Eireann during Order of Business…..] I propose an amendment to the Order of Business that the Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, Deputy Fergus O’Dowd, come to the House to clarify the position on water tax. I am not naive; water is not free and, … Continue reading

Delay to health/tobacco control legislation

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I propose an amendment to the Order of Business to request one of the health Ministers to come into the House today to comment on the discrepancy in the way health-related legislation is dealt with across the two sovereign jurisdictions on either side of the Irish Sea. … Continue reading

Protection of Children’s Health from Tobacco Smoke

[Speaking in the Seanad during Committee Stage of my Bill – Protection of Children’s Health from Tobacco Smoke Bill 2012] As sponsors of the Bill, we have taken the unusual step of bringing forward Committee Stage amendments that reflect two issues. First, we are cognisant of the public and welcome the support the Minister gave … Continue reading

Protection of the Public Interest from Tobacco Lobbying Bill

[Speaking during Second Stage of my Private Member’s Bill – Protection of the Public Interest from Tobacco Lobbying Bill 2013] Cuirim fáilte roimh an Aire. I am delighted to have an opportunity to present this Bill this evening. I am honoured that the Minister has come to the House to deal with this legislation. I … Continue reading