Shane Ross

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Archive for February, 2006

Politicians Cannot Dictate who will Take their Seats

Fine Gael says that the Government should agree not to contest the seat if Fine Gael Senator and MEP Jim Higgins resigns. This is wrong, I argued in the Seanad: (more…)

How Independent is the Judiciary?

How independent is the judiciary? There was a strong reaction from Government benches this week when I posed the question:

Mr. Ross: Senator Jim Walsh raised the matter of the Judiciary on which Senators Norris and O’Toole and I tabled a motion some time ago. I refer to political appointments to the Judiciary and seek a debate on ending political appointments thereto. (more…)

NTR has Made a Monkey of the Minister for Transport

The Minister, in a fiasco of a statement last week, announced that the plaza on the West Link toll bridge would be opened. Apparently, we were all meant to applaud but why should we do so?

It will only be opened in two years’ time. The significance of the date is that it will be on the other side of an election and the Government hopes, by reassuring people at the hustings this time next year that the plaza will be gone fairly soon, it will be able once again to make monkeys of the electorate. What will happen during those two years? Everybody knows that NTR will continue to milk motorists and the M50 will get worse. The Government will merely whisper sweet nothings in the ears of big business and say, “Do not worry, it will be all over in two years.” (more…)

Oh No! Another 10 Years of Social Partnership!

ICTU boss David Begg, when he begins the partnership talks, will probably carry in his pocket, to be charitable to him, about 20% of the support of the Irish workforce. He represents approximately 30% of the workforce in a very vague way, or he can claim to, but that is even in dispute. How many of those support social partnership?

What about all those people who are not affiliated to ICTU? Where do the multinationals stand on this particular issue? Virtually none of their workforce is a member of a trade union.
On top of that none of them, as an employer, is represented at the talks Who does IBEC represent? IBEC’s paymasters are the big banks, AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank, the big monopoly, CRH, and who else? (more…)

There are Political Reasons for the Government Ignoring the Extent of Criminality

This country’s attitudes to Northern Ireland have moved on in the most encouraging way. The Leader [of the Seanad, Mary O’Rourke] stated that the Taoiseach’s great flexibility and the fact that he does not carry any baggage are assets. I endorse that view. We can sit back and criticise the Taoiseach for many things. However, on the issue of Northern Ireland he has a permanent place in the history of Ireland.

The reality is that whatever the setbacks, the situation improves by the day and the great tolerance the relative sides have of each other has improved immensely. (more…)