Back to the Future day

14-09-23 John Screen Grab

I bring to the attention of Members that yesterday was Back to the Future day. It was the day depicted in the famous 1985 movie starring Michael J. Fox, following the intervention of Christopher Lloyd and a DeLorean encapsulated time machine. If Marty McFly had been Dr. Marty McFly and had been transported from the … Continue reading

Introducing my new legislation to tackle the threats of defamation cases by public bodies and to allow more open and healthy criticism of public bodies

[Speaking in the Seanad during Second Stage of a Bill which I published – Defamation (Amendment) Bill 2014] In summary, the aim of my Bill is to provide for limiting the damages certain public bodies may receive in defamation actions so as to protect public discourse from public bodies using the resources of the State, … Continue reading

Government’s Dismal Progress in Political Reform – We Need to Move Away from sheepdog-like behaviour

[Speaking in the Seanad during Committee Stage of Seanad Bill 2013] I am stunned at the effrontery of the Government side in trying to be so utterly obstructionist about every aspect of this Bill. Those Members were elected on the promise of political reform but have split themselves asunder on the issue of abolishing the … Continue reading

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

Political Reform

[Speaking during Order of Business in the Seanad] It is timely that we would ask the relevant Minister, who, in truth, would probably be the Taoiseach, to come to the House at some stage for a broad-ranging debate on political reform. At the time of the Seanad referendum last year substantial and welcome attention was … Continue reading

Statements on the current state for our health system, to Minister Varadkar

Health Care Reform

[Speaking in the Seanad during ‘Statements on Health Services’ debate] I welcome the Minister. I wish him the best in his efforts to try to reform the health service. The Minister does not need my advice in this regard but I urge him to remain firm and steadfast in respect of the national children’s hospital. … 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

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

Leo now stands at a major crossroads

Health Care Reform

[As published in the Sunday Independent on 14 September 2014] Minister can avoid Reilly’s fate to be the face of health reform instead of re-election puppet. There was a rich symbolism in the release of a video of former Health Minister James Reilly being drenched in the Ice-Bucket Challenge, in the same week that it … Continue reading