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2 July 2010

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Around the Oireachtas

Ex-Taoisigh and Sindo exposed

A REPLY to a Dáil Question to the Taoiseach from Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has exposed the fact that the taxpayer is paying four ex-Taoisigh – Bertie Ahern, Albert Reynolds, Garret FitzGerald and Liam Cosgrave – to employ two secretaries each for five years after they retire and one each after five years!
This is on top of their pensions, state cars and Garda drivers.
They are all entitled to a car with full-time Garda driver for life.
On June 20th, the Sunday Independent ran this story without mentioning that it was Ó Caoláin who revealed it. They even carried comments from Fine Gael and Labour but none from Sinn Féin. In contrast, the Irish Mail on Sunday credited Ó Caoláin with the story and carried his comment.

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Head Shops Bill won’t work

THE ‘Head Shops Bill’ is unworkable, Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has said.
The Criminal Justice (Psychoactive Substances) Bill was published on June 18th.
The Dublin TD said:
“So-called legal highs are being invented at a rate of one per fortnight but with this Bill the Government are proposing to assign to Gardaí the role of identifying each of them. In reality, this job requires expertise and input from science, the medical profession, pharmaceutical industry, addiction treatment services, the community and Gardaí. Assigning this task to Gardaí alone is simply not feasible.”

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Audit the auditors

AFTER a meeting of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance and the Public Service with the Governor of the Central Bank, Patrick Honohan, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Arthur Morgan TD said the investigation into the state’s auditing and accounting firms needs to happen as a matter of urgency.
“The audit and accounting process failed to disclose the shortcomings of the Irish banking system. Indeed, auditing firms that were subsumed in the financing debacle at Anglo Irish and culpable of financial misrepresentations are an integral part of the NAMA process now. Patrick Honohan was right that these firms needed to be investigated further but I do not accept that this investigation can be deferred.”

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Ferris on ‘pints and paninis’

THE Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights, Martin Ferris TD, has accused the Government of hypocrisy over the different ways in which it treats people on social welfare and those who were responsible for the current economic mess.
Speaking in the Dáil on the Social Welfare Bill, Deputy Ferris said many big business people had piggy-backed on genuine economic growth “by charging us exorbitant amounts for everything from mortgages to rents to pints of lager and paninis, at the same time ensuring that they paid as little tax and wages as possible.
“And these are the patriots whose bacon the so-called republican party is proposing to save by imposing a massive drop in living standards on the decent people of this country.”

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Doherty defends Donegal hospitals

DURING a Seanad debate with Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney, Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty warned against the threatened closure of community hospitals such as the Lifford and Rock hospitals in County Donegal:
“I am calling on you here today, Minister Harney, to make a commitment to the people of Donegal that the much-speculated closure of Lifford and Rock hospitals will be stopped in its tracks.
“People are rightly concerned about moves to close these hospitals and have been engaged in massive protest rallies and campaigns against any such move.”

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