Shane Ross

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Archive for June, 2005

New Consumer Agency just another Toothless QUANGO

The Government is trying to give the impression it is doing something for the consumer while probably doing little. It is a smokescreen and one must wonder whether this strategy will work. We have had a series of what now appear to be failed State agencies and State appointments to protect the power of the consumer. An example is the Office of the Director of Consumer Affairs. That body is now apparently irrelevant and will be subsumed, along with its director, into the new agency. This indicates that this office was a busted flush. It did not work and we all know that to be the case. The simple reason is that it did not have any powers.

Government Should Protest against Detention of Zimbabwean MP Roy Bennett

I raise the case of Mr. Roy Bennett, MP, who is detained in Zimbabwe without trial in circumstances that are completely and utterly unacceptable under democratic rule. I raise the motion in the hope that the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Deputy Dermot Ahern will bring the matter to the attention of the Zimbabwean Government and make a protest on behalf of the people of Ireland.

Roy Bennett, an elected MP who had suffered great provocation and oppression from the Government of Mr. Mugabe, was speaking in parliament and was provoked by the Minister for Justice. Nobody suggests that there was no wrongdoing on the part of Mr. Bennett, but he pushed the Minister for Justice under great provocation from the Zanu-PF benches. (more…)

We have Behaved Appallingly in Allowing Drift Net Fishing to Continue

I have come across an extraordinary number of people who are concerned about this although I represent a constituency which is not near the sea, the sea fishing community or any vested interest group. However, I have been lobbied by many people; anglers, hoteliers and others in the tourism industry who say that what the Government is doing in allowing excessive drift netting of wild salmon is killing the tourism industry in certain areas and is also building up serious trouble for future generations. (more…)

Archbishop Tutu at the Phil

Archbishop Desmond Tutu was made an honorary Patron of the TCD Philosophical Society at the annual Inaugural Address.


Also in attendance were the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr John Neil, two former Taoisigh, Dr Garret Fitzgerald and Albert Reynolds, the American and South African Ambassadors, and many other figures from the worlds of business, academia and charity.

Morris must be debated in a Calm, not Hysterical, Manner

We have for a long time been happy to dismiss the difficulties, brutalities and wrongdoing of some members of the Garda Síochána as bad apples in a good force. The questions that must now be asked are, how many bad apples are there to be rooted out, how systemic this is, whether there really is a kind of disease within the Garda Síochána that must be rooted out and if it is ingrained or only a case of some bad apples? (more…)

Establishment Favours Constitution, but do the People?

The evidence on the European constitution so far is that with all the great conservative establishments being in favour of it, the people are not. We recently had a superb debate on Europe which is now, I suppose, to some extent already overtaken by events. The fact that we did have a very good debate might be an indication that we should do so again.

It is a cliché to say that Europe is in a crisis but it is an opportunity for Seanad Éireann to take a lead, especially given that Ireland was an author of the constitution which is causing so much controversy and difficulty throughout Europe. The date of the referendum is not fixed. Perhaps it would be useful if in the next few months, including after the summer recess, we were to take the bull by the horns on this issue.