Shane Ross

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Update: Glenalbyn Swimming Pool

Since the closure of Glenalbyn Swimming Pool in December 2013, both Minister Ross and Inde
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Road safety measures are about saving lives – nothing else.

Speaking in the Dáil on 25th April 2018 in relation to the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill
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Archive for 2007

ESRI Figures Cast Doubt On Budget Figures

The ESRI released a report on the state of the economy last week. The overall figures that were produced are in marked contrast to the forecast produced by the Government only two weeks ago. In every single case they are more pessimistic than the figures produced by the Government. I do not refer to the growth rate alone but also to employment, housing and many other figures which are benchmarked figures for the economy. This is what I told the Seanad last week:

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She Hasn’t Gone Away You Know!

EBS chairman Mark Moran and his house-trained hit squad thought they had quelled the rebellion of EBS members. The well-heeled EBS board, who all profess to love mutuality, have been quietly plotting a peaceful AGM in April.
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Wounded by the 2006 outing – an awkward little exercise in democracy – they have been cooking up a concoction. No effort has been spared to prevent another debacle like last year’s bruising bash in the Burlington.

There are two words Mark and his wealthy cronies dread: the two words are ‘Ethna’ and ‘Tinney’.

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Seanad Votes 24 To 19 Against Universal Broadband Provision

Last week, I put down the following motion for debate in the Seanad: “That Seanad Éireann deplores the failure of the Government to ensure broadband access in every home and business in Ireland.”

During a heated 2 hour debate, addressed by 2 Ministers, I told the House that I am staggered by the lack of interest, alarm and urgency of Members when confronting the problem of broadband provision. It is an absolutely essential part of the infrastructure of a modern state, and it is disgraceful that we remain at the wrong end of every league table in terms of broadband penetration.

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Government To Maintain Motorist’s Misery On M50

It seems that from next August, tolls on the M50’s Westlink will be raised from €1.90 to €3 for occasional users – a whopping 60% increase! I had thought that the battle had been won and that the State had bought out NTR for €600 million, €50 million per year until 2020. I thought that this had been done to let traffic flow freely and to relieve the misery of the motorist on the M50.

However, what has happened is that the government has bought out NTR’s interest so that the motorist, having been screwed by one monopoly, will now be screwed by the State in an even more crucial and acute way. The government should instead be concentrating on providing public transport alternatives to motorists. Here’s what I told the Seanad:

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The Great Irish Bank Robbery

Someone should write a thesis about Jim Flavin’s antics. His staggering survival act deserves a doctorate. But he is unlikely to cling on for much longer. No one would write it better than Liam Collins, my colleague in the Sunday Independent. Liam has just penned a humdinger about banking. The title: “The Great Irish Bank Robbery.” The robbers are, of course, the banks. Liam tells the story of how some of the top characters in Irish banking never noticed massive tax evasion on their watch. Half the nation was on the fiddle and the directors of the banks concerned were apparently sleepwalking.

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Stockmarket Can Make Monkeys Of Us All

It seems that the carnage on the stockmarket just won’t stop. The Iseq has sunk below the 7,000 mark. Great news for Robbie Kelleher, head of Research at Davy stockbrokers. He is not alone in making a monkey of himself on the markets.

A few months ago I foolishly boasted in print that I had sold Vodafone shares at £1.47 and was holding onto BofI as they soared all the way up to €18.65. The switch was showing a healthy profit at the time. Hubris. Today Vodafone stands at stg£1.92 while Bank of Ireland have nearly halved at below €10.00.

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Luddites In Leinster House Are Blind To The Lack Of Broadband

Last week, I was guest speaker at the Irish Internet Association’s (IIA) ‘net visionary’ awards in the Mansion House. It is a sell-out. These guys are at the coalface of Ireland’s economic boom. There are billions of euro sitting at the dinner tables.

I launch a broadside against Ireland’s broadband deficit. Why are we so behind the rest of Europe on broadband? Well, Leinster House is laden with Luddites. Its IT system is antedeluvian and no one in Government gives a toss. Half our TDs do not seem to know how to open a laptop.

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Eddie Responds To “That Person!”

Will Eddie Hobbs never go away? After the Corkman got a right of reply in last week’s Sunday Independent to some fairly robust revelations about his current property product, Brendan Investments, he sends a message: there is nothing personal about our exchanges over his attempts to raise as much as €250m. A generous gesture? An olive branch? I am beginning to feel quite guilty about the lumps I took out of the guru. But the guilt hardly lasts 24 hours. I am surprised when a friend contacts me saying that Hobbs himself has been on the blower to him.

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EU Treaty Our Opportunity To Play Hardball

It would be appropriate for a national dialogue on the new EU treaty to begin at an early stage. There exists a widespread assumption that all parties and persons are in favour of passing the treaty, which may or may not be true. However, the EU is not treating Ireland very well at present. Some member states are continually trying to undermine the basis of Ireland’s economic success – our corporation tax rate of 12.5%. So we must use what leverage we have to defend our interests. Here’s what I told the Seanad:

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Irish Aid Must Not Be Used To Prop Up Corrupt Regimes

It is commendable that Ireland’s aid level is approaching the goal of 0.7% of GNP, and that we are giving €800 million towards developing countries. However, when the Minister came to the Seanad to discuss Ireland’s aid strategy, it was depressing that he made no reference to how the Government distributes that aid. Poverty relief is important, but beyond this it is vital that funds go into the hands of those who are committed to democracy, and not to propping up corrupt regimes in Zimbabwe and Uganda. This is what I told the House:

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