For Fine Gael to get in bed with Sinn Fein would be indefensible

Eamonn Farrell - Photocall Ireland

[As published in The Sunday Independent on 9 November 2014] SF’s tainted past shows it exhausted all the alternatives to democracy before adopting it. Two recent radio interviews troubled me. Vincent Browne predicted during the week that Fine Gael and Sinn Fein would, presumably after much ostentatious nose-holding, do business when we elect our next … Continue reading

The failures of An Taoiseach

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business, calling on the Taoiseach to come to the Seanad to discuss the long-overdue political reform of the Seanad, in light of the McNulty affair.] For people of my generation – those who thankfully grew up at a physical distance of 100 miles from but still very much … Continue reading

McNulty Appointment and the need for Seanad Reform

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I pay tribute to two extra-parliamentary political figures who have done the right thing in the past two days. Mr. Dale McDermott from Young Fine Gael correctly pointed to the incongruence between the Fine Gael Party’s pre-election commitment to political reform which was partially responsible for the … Continue reading

Appointment of John McNulty to IMMA Board

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] It is very regrettable we did not have an opportunity to ask all our questions yesterday evening and such questions as were asked were not answered. I refer to a couple of core questions which the Minister, Deputy Humphreys, needs to answer. Part of the qualification of … Continue reading

Honesty beat spin on Seanad vote… it’s now time for reform; The thoughtful electorate were troubled by Enda Kenny’s obstinate refusal to debate and the bullying of his party on future reform. There’s no time for sulking now… just action

As published in the Irish Daily Mail on 7 October 2013 THERE was a sense that the momentum was moving toward the No side in the days preceding the Seanad abolition referendum, but that perhaps it was too late. The turnaround on the day was, however, simply extraordinary, and I don’t think is entirely explained … Continue reading

It’s power to the party as Kenny purges refuseniks

The sound of cracking whips is being heard in the committees, as two rebel TDs discovered. SOMETIMES actions really do speak louder than words and the action of our Taoiseach in removing Fine Gael refuseniks from Oireachtas committees makes the case for political reform far more eloquently than any poor words of mine ever could. … Continue reading

Speaking on the Tribunal of Inquiry into Certain Planning Matters and Payments

The reality is that there is a perception, whether correct or not, that the practice of politics in this country is and has been for a long time somewhat corrupt, which is why the outbreak of rectitude and umbrage we are seeing in the wake of the various tribunal reports is being greeted somewhat sceptically … Continue reading

There is a tolerance within the system of the notion of corruption


I speak as both an insider and outsider in terms of the political process. I am an Independent Member and not associated with any political party. I have come in middle age to this part of my career with an outsider’s perspective, which is the position from which I will make certain observations. The reality … Continue reading

Corporate donations to parties simply not justifiable

Proposed changes to regulations governing political funding do not go far enough. THERE was justifiable concern when it was suggested that former property developers, people whose debts had become the financial responsibility of our citizenry via NAMA, appeared to be protecting their assets, which might otherwise have been used to fund hospitals and schools, by … Continue reading

Putting reform on the long finger will only cost us more

Reilly’s first 10 months in office have not delivered the radical change he promised. It is hard to imagine a more daunting set of political challenges for a novice minister than those facing Minister for Health Dr James Reilly when he bravely assumed office 10 months ago. With his ministerial seal, Dr Reilly inherited a … Continue reading