Shane Ross

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Archive for March, 2005

Open the Gates: My Speech to the Seanad

Here is an edited version of my speech to the Seanad on 23 March
You can read the full debate, including Martin Cullen’s response, here

The lack of logic regarding the toll bridge plaza is staggering. If one goes out there at peak hours from Monday to Friday and stands on the southern side, when the majority of the traffic is going north, one can see miles of vehicles on one side of the gates and empty space on the other. A simple solution would be to open those gates to the traffic. National Toll Roads, NTR, and the Government have decided that this is not the optimum solution. (more…)

We should not put up with the Bullying Tactics of France and Germany

The Senators who spoke about the serious developments with regard to the breach in the Stability and Growth Pact in Europe deserve to be heard. There must be a hearing because, as Senator Dardis said, Ireland received a serious ticking off for breaching the rules. Why should we put up with the bullying tactics of France and Germany? (more…)

Deporting Olunkunle Eluhanla Morally Unjustifiable

Speaking before the reversal of the decision to deport Olunkunle Eluhanla, I argued in the Seanad that this was a humanitarian issue.

Senator Mooney has broken the silence on the Government benches regarding the unfortunate plight of the 19 year old Nigerian boy. It is important that a message goes out from the House that this is a humanitarian issue. (more…)

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Mr. Walsh: Please Come Back!

The chief executive of Aer Lingus has left these shores because he did not find the conditions in which he works particularly welcoming to or suitable for the enterprise culture.

There are two important reasons for Willie Walsh’s departure from Aer Lingus and the Minister for Transport should come before the House to discuss the matter. The first of these is the semi-State culture. Mr. Walsh could not work within this culture because it was not enterprising enough and, unfortunately, he left as a result for an equivalent but larger airline in the UK. We could well do with Mr. Walsh returning to Ireland.

Would the multinationals invest in Aer Lingus if the Labour Party’s friends in the trade unions decided who was on the board and who would be chief executive?

Are we Running Riot with EU Rules?

This week funding for the expansion of Intel’s Leixlip plant was withdrawn by the government after the EU expressed its opposition to the plans. I argue that we need to discuss the intervention of the EU in Ireland’s international competitions for investment.

We may generally be running riot with EU rules and I am not sure whether that is good or bad. Intel is not the only case of this kind which has given rise to concern at the Commission in the past week. It is about to intervene to say that RTE is abusing its position with its use of the licence fee in a non-competitive way. The Commission is concerned with the public sector as well as the private sector.

We should have a serious debate on this issue and the Government’s attitude to it, by inviting the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment to the House. It is stunning to see that the Government appears surprised at the EU Commission’s decision. It withdrew quickly in the face of this opposition which could have serious long-term consequences for inward investment. We might need to reconsider our economic direction. It would be useful to have a serious debate on this before the end of next week.