Varadkar must harness his aloofness, arrogance and self-regard to succeed

14-05 John speaking 3

[As published in the Sunday Independent on Sunday July 13, 2014] ‘Varadkar is sufficiently unmindful of his master’s bidding to ignore attempts to transform the department into an office of the Campaign to Re-Elect the Taoiseach’ Former transport minister has been the stand-out performer in Government so far. TWO apparently unrelated events this week might … Continue reading

Gagging Clause for GPs

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I have a very specific and technical parliamentary request to make of the Leader. I seek clarification in the aftermath of the vote yesterday that resulted in the insertion of a fairly harmless amendment in the Health (General Practitioner Service) Bill. It is nevertheless an amendment which … Continue reading

The accepting of my amendment re gagging clause for GPs providing free medical care for under 6s

[Speaking during Committee Stage of the Health (General Practitioner Service) Bill, on my amendment to remove a gagging clause on GPs. My amendment was voted through and will be part of the legislation.] I move amendment No. 1: In page 7, between lines 10 and 11, to insert the following: “6. To amend section 58C … Continue reading

Culture of the public sector highlighted through its treatment of whistleblowers

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] Link to video: I wish to make the case that we should have a special session in this House and invite Garda Wilson and Sergeant McCabe to address us. …… It is not plausible to me that the list of complaints and irregularities which were brought … Continue reading

Resignation of Minister Shatter and the treatment of whistleblowers

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I acknowledge Deputy Shatter’s true reforming zeal, the technical expertise and the enthusiasm he brought to the reform process in the Department of Justice and Equality. He showed skills in that area that could be learned by many others throughout government in this country. I think he … Continue reading

Investigation into An Garda Síochána

[ speaking in the Seanad on Commission of Investigation (Certain Matters relative to An Garda Síochána and other persons) Order 2014: Motion ….. ] I warmly welcome the Taoiseach to the House. The assistant commissioner, John O’Mahoney, reassured us there is no question of what has been described as a culture of non-enforcement of penalties … Continue reading

Whistleblowers – what protection do they have?


[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I am troubled by certain aspects of the emerging story of the intersection between the legislative branch that oversees the Garda and the various bodies that exist to ensure complaints from within and without the Garda can be handled and by the adequacy of the protection that … Continue reading

HSE hospital figures; Medical Cards; HSE threatening legal action

Eamonn Farrell - Photocall Ireland

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I propose an amendment to the Order of Business to ask the Minister for Health to attend the House today to address the issues that arose with respect to the letter by the Irish emergency medicine trainees that courageously highlighted some glaring deficiencies and some misperceptions that … Continue reading

Statement regarding St. Vincent’s Hospital

[Speaking during Order of Business in the Seanad} I make this statement with somewhat of a heavy heart but I would like in the first instance to express my support for the Committee of Public Accounts in its investigation into the activities of State-funded institutions, including my own hospital, St. Vincent’s Hospital Group. It is … Continue reading

Protected Disclosures Bill

[Speaking in the Seanad during Committee Stage] I do not for one second wish to imply that the Minister had anything to do with it, but in my early days in the country when the Minister, Deputy Howlin, was the Minister for Health, I started blowing whistles about deficiencies in cancer services at a time … Continue reading