Shane Ross

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Archive for February, 2008

Money, Money, Money, Must Be Funny, In The NRA’s World

DO you still doubt the hidden talents of all those sluggish state agencies?

You do? Go straight to the National Roads Authority (NRA) for reassurance.

Next, invoke the name Maurice O’Connell, the doyen of Irish economic folklore.

Last week a report ordered by the National Roads Authority (NRA) was leaked.The topic was the latest penal hike in toll charges at the M50. And what was in the report? (more…)

Governments Complacency on Broadband Fails Economy

The Governments economic policies are smug and very aspirational. An extraordinary complacency has sunk into the body politic, those running the economy, the Department of Finance and others. They feel that somehow, because we were successful when times were good, our economic success will extend for another five or ten years. I do not feel this is the case. I think we are running into trouble and are refusing to recognise this.

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Autism, The Pharmacies And Adoption Of Foreign Children End With The HSE

 

It is crucial that the Senate are readily able to question ministers, after all that is the purpose of checks and balances. When it comes to debating relevant issues, there is a very important procedure in the Senate which does work in terms of bringing in Ministers, namely, the Adjournment but that takes place at the end of the day when nobody notices anything happening. We need to reform our processes.
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Seanad Needs To Respond To Medias Relevant Questions

Some of my colleagues have lamented being lambasted by the media of late. I was the butt of one of those pieces and I sent the journalist a short e-mail saying I did not know he was writing for The Sunday Business Post. The way to deal with this is not to respond in a sensitive way if we are confident about what we are doing. I wanted my fellow senators to give serious thought to the questions raised by the media on our relevancy.

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Foreign Adoption System Is Slow And Bureaucratic

On Tuesday, I debated the issue of foreign adoptions. This processis a slow and bureaucratic one, and causes extreme pain, difficulties and sadness to a large number of families in Ireland. I am struck by the number of people who have approached me on this subject who were frustrated by a system that works badly and could be improved quickly. Here’s what I told Minister Maire Hoctor, who was representing the Government:

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Watch My Appearance On Prime Time With Minister Eamon Ryan Here

To watch my duel on Prime Time last night with Minister Eamon Ryan about the state of our broadband infrastructure, click here. Of course if you don’t have broadband you won’t be able to watch, so I hope to post a transcript of our debate shortly.

Read My Broadband Infrastructure Bill Here

To read the text of my Broadband Infrastructure Bill 2008 in full, click here: bi-bill-2008.pdf. For a summary of the Bill, click here: memo.doc. I will present the Bill to the Seanad this Wednesday.

The government seems intent on setting up more talking shops, steering groups, and forums to ask questions about broadband. But we already have the answers! Minister Ryan will soon be announcing the formation of the National Advisory Forum, or NAF. This NAF idea is just another example of the failure of the government to ACT on this vital issue.

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Listen To My Interview With Eamon Dunphy Here!

Recently,  I was interviewed by Eamon Dunphy on his Saturday morning radio show. Listen here to find out about how I entered politics, my meetings with the late Joe Dolan in a Carrickmines shop, the turmoil in the world markets, my views on broadband, and what music I chose!

O’Leary’s Sixty Grand Bruni Bargain

Michael O’Leary has had a wonderful week. He lost €30m personally; Ryanair bombed by half a billion in value; profits tanked by 27 per cent; earnings per share dropped by 24 per cent. Even better, O’Leary issued a shock profit warning: the worst was yet to come.

Best of all, the President of France defeated him in a bizarre court case.

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Seanad Should Debate Relevant Issues Like Auctioneering, Autism, and Broadband

It is remarkable that the Seanad is talking itself into a situation where it never debates anything relevant. Time is not allocated to topical items, and we seem to debate subjects that are at times utterly irrelevant. It is not that we do not have major issues to discuss which demand time – the Broadband Bill; legislation to regulate the scoundrels in the auctioneering industry; the issue of autism. This is what I told the House during the Order of Business:

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