Calling for Local Government Reform

Recently my colleague Shane Cassells TD brought a Bill into the Dáil which would allow Town Counicls to make a return. The benefits to the local community is one key incentive to having town councils and their merits considered once again. You can read my full contribution to the debate here.

There was no public consultation on the abolition of town councils when Fine Gael abolished them with the stroke of a pen despite many objectors. Continue Reading →

Parnell Summer School

Parnell_SchoolI was delighted to attend the Parnell Summer School recently. At the Summer School I gave a speech on the echoes of 1916 and patriotism in the modern era. Below is a transcript of that speech.

Nationalism cannot become the sole preserve of an exclusionary, closed borders rhetoric. A positive force for national self-confidence and assertion of fraternity; a recognition that between the models of material individualism and xenophobic supremacy lies a third way.

Communitarian, egalitarian and continually evolving, true patriotism embraces diversity and recognises the nation as a state of mind and cultural connections as much as a physical entity bound by borders and barriers.

The progressive and open nationalism of the Catalans, the Scottish and indeed the Irish must be championed and distinguished from the narrow and often false flag patriotism of the new cheer leaders and charlatans of the 21st century. Continue Reading →

FG Silence On Constitutional Crisis Deafening

Dail EireannFine Gael silence on the parliamentary privilege issue is deafening. The right of elected parliamentarians to make statements in the house without fear of litigation is absolute. Article 15.13 of our constitution enshrines that right and it is a pillar of modern democracy, not just here in Ireland, but across the common law world. If there are abuses of it, and that can happen, the answer is not to injunct half the national media, but to tackle it in the proper manner, through the internal procedures of the house. This is an absolute right and only the citizens of Ireland can alter that in any way through referendum. It is an assault on parliamentary democracy and on our constitution to even humour any other scenario.

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Proposal for Live Streaming of Council Meetings

live streamAt the Kildare County Council meeting on Monday 28th July, I made a call for live online streaming of all future council meetings. I tabled the motion requesting that the council explore streaming meetings of the council live over the web and requested that both district level and full council meetings should be accessible.

My view would be that any meeting where a public gallery exists should then be open to live streaming. The technology is there to do it and it’s a basic thing. Council meetings are still held during the day time which precludes a lot of people from attending. This proposal brings transparency and accessibility to local government.

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Naas Convention Speech

This is a copy of the speech I gave at the Naas Fianna Fáil convention held at Townhouse Hotel, Naas on 2nd October 2013.

Chair, Cllrs., most importantly party members, today is a very proud day for me and my family. It is an honour to have been selected here tonight as a Fianna Fáil candidate for the 2014 local elections.

Thank you for your support and special thanks my own Sallins cumann, the Kill cumann, and also all the individual members who nominated me from different parts of the Naas area.

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