Lockdown Decisions

It is clear now that some of the measures adopted in response to COVID were unnecessary, some were ridiculous, some were inhumane, some had a long-lasting negative impact that outweighed any benefit, and it was clear at the time.

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.

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. 

NEWSTALK – Irish healthcare system

With waiting lists increasing and positions remaining unfilled across our healthcare system, we need to be told what are the impediments to reform that led the Chairperson and Executive Director of the Sláintecare Implementation Advisory Council to resign having concluded “that the requirements for implementing this unprecedented programme for change are seriously lacking”.

Climate Action & Agriculture

When talking about reducing Carbon emissions from agriculture, we need to consider that the Irish national herd has scarcely increased since 1975, the specific impact of methane on global warming and the risk of displacing Irish produce with South American produce with far greater emissions.

We don’t even yet know the metric the Govt will use to measure greenhouse gas emissions in its Carbon budget, and the metric used will have a large impact on the targets to by met by various sectors, especially agriculture.

My interview on RTE Radio today.

Clare FM – Transfer of Shannon Heritage sites to Council

Speaking on Clare FM I said important details still need to be ironed out in relation to the proposed transfer of Shannon Heritage sites to Clare County Council.

Calls are being made for a government commitment to short-term funding for the sites and for the council to stipulate that future coach contracts to tourist attraction would require an overnight stay in the county.

Clare FM – Testing and aviation policy changes required to salvage Shannon and Cork operations

In response to the news that Ryanair is to close its bases in Cork Airport and Shannon Airport for the winter, I am requesting Government to introduce a system of rapid testing at airports in the short term and also develop a new State aviation policy to ensure international transit carriers do not fly exclusively into Dublin Airport.

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Sunday Independent – Telecoms providers and customer service

I cannot say for sure that Irish telecoms providers have the worst customer service in the world. But, to borrow a line from Brian Clough, they are in the top one.

I was not shocked by the thousands of interactions I received on a tweet sent earlier last week about the treatment of customers by Eir, Ireland’s largest telecommunications company.

I have experienced the frustration myself. If a week is a long time in politics, then attempting to switch from one telecoms service provider to another in this country can feel like a lifetime.

Special Criminal Court

We need to have a meaningful discussion about the Special Criminal Court and the need for safeguards around the non-jury trial process, not just another rubber stamping by the Oireachtas. I discussed the issue with Jennifer Carroll MacNeill TD and Sarah McInerney on RTÉ’s Today programme.