Speech on the Adoption (Amendment) Bill 2016

This is not my first time speaking in the House but it is my first time to speak on a Bill and it is an honour to do so. I begin by congratulating the Minister on her appointment. I am not sure if she is aware that she is a constituency neighbour of mine as the steps of Killinarden run up to the hills of Kilteel as Kildare North and Dublin South-West border each other. As such, I extend my best wishes to her on her appointment and wish her continued success in the role.

In terms of the matter before us, Fianna Fáil as an opposition party will freely oppose the Government on issues when merited but equally, as a constructive party and mindful of the minority Government framework which can only work when all sides play their part, agree on areas of common ground. Continue Reading →

Irish Science Teachers Association conference held in Maynooth

Left to right: James Lawless T.D., Sheila Donegan, Prof Aidan Mulkeen Vice President Maynooth University and Eoin Gill.

Left to right: James Lawless T.D., Sheila Donegan, Prof Aidan Mulkeen Vice President Maynooth University and Eoin Gill.

I was delighted to attend the opening of the Irish Science Teachers Association (ISTA) conference held in Maynooth this evening. The annual meeting of Irish Science Teachers took place in the Glenroyal Hotel. The theme of the conference was ‘effective science communication’.

It is vitally important we support our teachers and in particular sciences teachers and those who focus on STEM subjects. We have evidence to support the fact that there is a growing need for graduates educated to the highest level in this area. The only way they gain that knowledge is from the excellent teachers providing them with this material. I was delighted to attend tonights conference to lend my support and let the organisation know Fianna Fáil will also support them.

School Transport from Northwest Kildare to Edenderry to be Investigated by Minister

8-news-bebs9I can confirm that Minister John Halliagan has given a promise to investigate the situation of school transport from Johnstownbridge, Kilshanroe, and the wider area to Edenderry’s St Mary’s and Oakland schools.

Following the fiasco which has left many without school transport last September I have this week met the Minister to lobby on behalf of parents who had been left driving or making other arrangements to get their children to school in Edenderry. If at all possible, this must be avoided for the upcoming academic year.
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Framework Needed to Regulate use of Drones

drone*A variation of this story was covered by the The Times. You can read their article here.

I intend to bring forward new legislation aimed at providing a regulatory framework for the use of airborne drones. There have been a number of recent incidents which have raised safety concerns surrounding the use of drones.

Drones present many interesting opportunities for both personal and commercial use. For example, they can be a useful aid for farmers who are looking to monitor crop growth and check for the presence of pests. They can also be used for recreational purposes, such as taking aerial photographs of scenic areas or hobby flying. Continue Reading →

Calling on Taoiseach and Minister to Publish Community Employment Scheme Report

I have called on the Minister for Social Protection to publish the long awaited report in Community Employment Scheme’s which was due in the summer of 2016. No reason has been given for the delay.


The Minister referred to a report that was pending on how CE schemes are and would be implemented. I am concerned that there is an ideological issue at play here. Some, including the Minister, see the CE schemes as a means to an end with job activation as the ultimate goal. Others see them as an end in themselves where individuals can contribute constructively within a structured format in their communities which is mutually beneficial to the individual and the host organisation. Continue Reading →