Maternity Services

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I would like clarification from the Deputy Leader on a few issues. They are really the same issue, but they have different ramifications. As Members may remember, I introduced legislation earlier in this term which would have prevented Government agencies suing anybody, presumably including each other, in … Continue reading

Last debate on tobacco plain packaging legislation before President signs it into law

Watch video here: [Speaking in the Seanad during debate on Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Bill 2014: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages] The Minister deserves great credit for taking this cause on board. As we have heard repetitively, but correctly, Ireland has been a leader in this area, first … 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

Homelessness and the Death of Jonathan Corrie

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I add my sympathies to those being extended to Mr. Corrie’s family. Homelessness is a very sad reality in the city and it is a problem which has many facets. People may find themselves in settled employment one minute, with a home and family, and they may … 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

HSE and public relations

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I raised an issue last week which was not exactly dealt with. Given the torrent of issues that arose, it was one that was somehow skipped over but I would like to remind the Leader of it. A medical journalist and practitioner contacted me to state that … Continue reading

Regulation of Lobbyists

Speaking in the Seanad on the Register of Lobbyists Legislation: motion (Link to text of motion: ) I am pleased this motion has been introduced. It does not require amendment and deserves our support. I am not sure if it was inspired by events several weeks ago when it was reported that a high … Continue reading

Social Welfare Bill

(Committee Stage in the Seanad) I will not get involved in any recrimination, name calling or umbrage. I know the Minister is a caring person. I also know she is not an unthoughtful person. In the big spectrum of contemporary politicians she would be from a tradition that puts some thought and – to use … Continue reading

Expenditure on public relations consultants in the health system

I am not certain whether I wish to ask for a debate or clarification in respect of a particular matter. I refer to an issue which has been of great concern to me for some time, namely, the amount of money spent on public relations contracts at all levels – from hospitals up to the … Continue reading