Anti-social behaviour in Ennis

The Justice Minister says there’s no link between the failure to adequately police the streets of inner city Dublin and last week’s rioting and looting. I disagree. One leads to the other. I pointed out the growth in anti-social activity in Ennis of late and called for it to be tackled by Gardaí.

University Hospital Limerick

People are afraid to go to University Hospital Limerick (UHL). Lives will be lost because of the fear but, equally, lives will be lost because that fear is justified. While celebrating being republicans this government has perpetuated huge disparity in healthcare across Ireland.

Consultation needed to lessen pressure on GP and other essential services from refugee and asylum seeker accommodation

Clare Independent TD Michael McNamara has called for ongoing consultation with communities hosting refugees and asylum seekers, in particular for the Government to outline its plans to address the increased strain placed on GP services as a result of the arrival of Ukrainian refugees and international protection applicants, citing his hometown in East Clare as an example.

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Wastewater Infrastructure in coastal communities

Developing wastewater infrastructure in unsewered settlements is neither the responsibility of local authorities nor Irish Water. Therefore, despite the environmental and economic necessity and a budget surplus, communities all over Ireland have little prospect of a resolution.

In the Dáil today, I raised the plight of Clare coastal communities such as Carrigaholt, Doolin, Spanish Point, Miltown Malbay and Quilty.

Our Health is Our Wealth – Time to invest in electronic health records nationally, MAUs and LIUs at Tier 2 Hospitals, and Medical Officers at Nursing Homes  

That Dáil Éireann:

recognises that:

–  University Hospital Limerick was the most overcrowded hospital in the country (18,028) followed by Cork University Hospital (12,439), University Hospital Galway (10,150), Sligo University Hospital (8,136) and St Vincent’s University Hospital (7,513); and

–   67,000 patients waited at least a day in their Emergency Departments before being admitted during 2022.

–  584,600 patients were waiting at the end of 222 to be seen at an outpatient clinic for the first time by a consultant; and

– Waiting list numbers reduced by 4% in 2022, significantly lower than the government’s waiting list reduction target of 18% for the year.

– Ireland remains a laggard in Europe for digitisation in the health system and the introduction of electronic health records

            – the use of such technology could significantly reduce triage times in emergency departments

– There remains a lack of a specific national structure or control for clinical oversight of the care of people admitted to nursing homes and they have difficulty accessing treatment by primary care teams

– the lack of such oversight and care can result in unnecessary presentations at Emergency Departments


  • The creation of an additional 7,176 patient slots per year across the UL Hospitals Group following the recent introduction of a seven-day service at MAU’s in Nenagh and St. John’s;
  • The ongoing recruitment by UL Hospitals Group for additional doctors, nurses, health and social care professionals and administrative staff; and
  • The changing of HSE protocols to allow non-emergency department doctors assess patients in the ED where there is a significant risk due to delay.
  • The Government allocating €350m under the Waiting List Plan in 2022 to reduce active waiting lists.
  • The European Investment Bank loaned the State €200 million to implement electronic health records more than three years ago
  • On 14 May 2021, the HSE was the subject of a major ransomware cyberattack, the most significant cybercrime attack on any Irish state agency and the largest known attack against a health service computer system.
  • Local Injury Units (LIU) deliver efficient, expert treatment to tens of thousands of patients with minor injuries every year and have been of crucial assistance in relieving pressure on Emergency Departments during the pandemic.
  • Medical Assessment Units (MAU) play an integral role in Emergency Department avoidance, providing a vital and timely service to GPs and patients; with approximately 10% of MAU cases may require admission to the hospital, and the majority will be discharged, with a follow-up review in the unit within 48 hours.

calls on the Government to:

  • Expand Medical Assessment Units (MAU) at Tier 2 hospitals to 24-hours, 7-days-a-week;
  • Expand Local Injuries Unit (LIU) at Tier 2 hospitals to 24-hours, 7-days-a-week
  • Appoint a designated medical officer in every nursing home and ensure that patients in nursing homes can access treatment by primary care teams
  • Procure or deliver an electronic health system to replace paper-based health records without further delay.
Overcrowding at UHL

Micheál Martin and his government failed the people of the Midwest by refusing to tackle the mounting problems at UHL. Leo Varadkar must now intervene.

I was shocked that the only proposal from the Government representative on today’s show was to call for mandatory face masks and “other restrictions”, and to call for young doctors and nurses to be forced to work in a chronically mismanaged health system.

Funding boost for Kilrush

I am delighted to learn that €3.5m has been allocated for the redevelopment of a vacant building on the marina in Kilrush into a new Maritime Training Centre.

I have raised this project repeatedly with the Minister for Rural and Community Development and her officials, and I have engaged locally with Cllr Ian Lynch and Clare County Council project officer Brian McCarthy. This project will establish Kilrush and West Clare as an important maritime centre on the west coast of Ireland.

Shannon Heritage funding

Contrary to what the Taoiseach told me yesterday about the proposed transfer of Shannon Heritage sites to Clare County Council: “the Minister is working on this with all the stakeholders to try to get this resolved”, Councillors were told this morning that the Council was informed on Budget Day that the required funding was being refused. This is no way to treat the workers there.

Pursuing quarry operators

Quarries that made huge profits from selling defective concrete blocks will be let off the hook by the Government today. A law will be rammed through by Government party TDs transferring the remedial cost to taxpayers, without even considering amendments that will ensure those quarries that provided defective blocks are pursued.

105 people on trolleys at UHL

Clare TD Michael McNamara today raised the issue of overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick with Taoiseach Micheál Martin in the Dáil today.

Speaking after the debate, Deputy McNamara said, “It is very disappointing that the Taoiseach tried to wash his hands of overcrowding in UHL today, having previously told me he’d “come back” to me with details of the expert group sent there and their terms of reference.”

Northern Distributor Road

The Government’s decision not to proceed with the second phase of the Northern Distributor Road lacks strategic vision. The Clare side of the University of Limerick campus needs to be developed for the benefit of the university, Clare, Limerick and the wider region, and sustainable travel links should be central to that development. The Government has sadly neglected these imperatives.