Only a year ago the Taoiseach said the toll plaza would not be bought out, that the State could not afford it. It would be very useful to have a debate on that U-turn and why it happened. It would also be useful to look at the history of this contract. I will not give a history lesson but Fianna Fáil should stop rewriting history. It keeps saying it was a coalition Government that produced this contract but it was signed by two very well known people, Mr. Pádraig Flynn, who could not wait to sign it —and Mr. George Redmond who also could not wait to sign it. (more…)
Archive for January, 2006
Described by The New Yorker as ‘one of the greatest minds of the 20th century’, Noam Chomsky gave the 2006 Amnesty International Lecture in association with TCD in the RDS on January 18th. The theme of his talk was ‘The War on Terror’. (more…)
In the Seanad, I called for a debate on Northern Ireland. The problem of Northern Ireland is developing into a problem of crime. Out of the recent welcome outbreak of peace has sprung an incredible amount of cross-Border racketeering, money laundering and co-operation among the former criminals who have committed violent acts and who have diverted their energy into criminal activities of a different sort.
The Seanad should recognise the scale of that and not brush it under the carpet. I refer to pubs, hotels, bookmakers’ shops, cash businesses — diesel, springing up all over Ireland on both sides of the Border. If we ignore this we do so at our peril. I hope there is no consent or turning of a blind eye to such activities among officials of the Irish establishment.
I was a participant in the “Prime Time” programme which was broadcast recently and I was staggered by the evidence of a cartel operating in the car industry.
While the price fixing in that industry is bad enough, it has been suspected for a long time. However, the additional operation of a system of enforcement among these car dealers may not have been noticed or highlighted quite so obviously. (more…)