Shane Ross


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    Archive for the ‘Childcare’ Category

    Farewells and the feelgood myth

    LAST weekend I met a weeping widow. The middle-aged mother of three had just returned from Dublin Airport. She had bade farewell to her last daughter, heading for Australia. There was no job for her daughter in Ireland, so she was following her two siblings Down Under.

    More Charitable Misdeeds will Blight the Nation

     PERHAPS Paul Kiely, the big beast from the Central Remedial Clinic, was watching Friday’s Late Late, Toy Show. Kiely earned €236,000 last year for looking after the needs of disabled kids. If he caught the programme, he would have seen eight-year-old Domhnall O Confhoala from Galway enjoying a moment of happiness.

    Noble Vision Hijacked by FF Cronies

    Did Charlie Haughey save the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC)? In 1987 Lady Valerie Goulding, CRC’s great founder, declared that “but for Charlie, we’d have no centre today”.


    Educate Together

    I raised the issue on Thursday in the Senate of the need for the Minister for Education and Science to expand educational development to increase the numbers of non-denominational schools in Ireland, thus avoiding the reinforcing of sectarian divides by separating children according to denomination during their core school hours.


    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:


    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:


    Ó Cuanacháin Decision Could Lead To Withdrawal Of Other Meritorious Cases

    Yesterday in the Seanad chamber, I raised the High Court’s decision in the Ó Cuanacháin case. I have met Ms. Ó Cuanacháin, and was most impressed by what she had to say. I argued that if the House was to remain relevant, it should be debating this case, given its immediacy. I proposed an amendment to the Order of Business to do exactly this:


    Budget Should be used to Tackle the Issue of Childcare

    This week I have once again submitted a pre-budget submission to Minister for Finance Brian Cowen. I will continue to put pressure on the government to address the problem of childcare and to put in place a strategy for solving the problem and give parents more choice and a better standard of living.

    Below is a summary of some of my main proposals. To read my submission in full click here: chilcare-submission-2006.pdf

    Childcare: A Pre-Budget Submission

    You can now download my pre-Budget submission on the subject of Childcare to Minister for Finance Brian Cowen by clicking here: childcare-and-the-budget.pdf

    Seanad Debates my Motion on Childcare

    As Budget 2005 approaches, I am calling for greater resources for childcare, to give parents real choices about whether to rejoin the workforce or to care for their children themselves. I secured a Seanad debate on childcare on Wedndesday 26 October. The debate was responded to by Michael McDowell, the Minister for Justice.

    While the Seanad has already debated problems with creche facilities and the cost of childcare, I wanted also to emphasise the value of parents who give up work or work part-time in order to take care of their children. It’s clear that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to childcare. (more…)