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Seanad: Good Friday Agreement: Motion (10 May 2021)

Michael McDowell: I welcome the motion. I agree with everything that Senators Blaney and McGreehan have said to date. Mention was made of the Decade of Centenaries in which we are engaged now. In 1923, the Irish Free State Government passed a Bill of indemnity stating that its own forces were completely exonerated from civil or criminal actions in respect of anything that had happened during our Civil War....

Seanad Committee on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union: Customs Checks and Trade Flows in and out of Irish Ports: Discussion (10 May 2021)

Michael McDowell: I thank Mr. Harrahill, Ms Sheridan and Mr. Ryan for their presentations. My question is to Mr. Harrahill and is based on ignorance on my part. What are the actual mechanics of VAT payments on imports to Ireland from the UK now? Where is money paid and at what stage of the transaction is it paid?

Seanad Committee on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union: Customs Checks and Trade Flows in and out of Irish Ports: Discussion (10 May 2021)

Michael McDowell: Does that mean that if the importer has an arrangement with Revenue, the matter is resolved with payment being made on a bimonthly or other periodic basis and only those who do not have an arrangement with Revenue have to produce cash up front to secure the release of their goods? Is that the bottom line?

Seanad Committee on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union: Customs Checks and Trade Flows in and out of Irish Ports: Discussion (10 May 2021)

Michael McDowell: I thank the officials from Revenue. I understand the situation now. I was a bit in the dark about it.

Seanad: European Digital Green Certificate: Statements (7 May 2021)

Michael McDowell: I agree with what the Leader of the House has just said about the importance of addressing these matters urgently. The damage that has been done to the aviation and tourism industries is very substantial.The damage that has been done in other sectors is very substantial as well. It is true that we were rushed by some people into hotel quarantining on a kind of wave of public anxiety earlier...

Seanad: European Digital Green Certificate: Statements (7 May 2021)

Michael McDowell: By the way, I did not object to that Bill but I could see there were major problems with it, including no means of enforcement at all, and ridiculous scenes in the courts since then have confirmed everything I suspected of it. The reason Ireland has been most vulnerable is because our health system is most vulnerable. The reason it is most vulnerable is that we have, uniquely in Europe, the...

Seanad: European Digital Green Certificate: Statements (7 May 2021)

Michael McDowell: Sorry, that is the kind of infantile-----

Seanad: European Digital Green Certificate: Statements (7 May 2021)

Michael McDowell: I was not in government in 2009 when the first report came in.

Seanad: European Digital Green Certificate: Statements (7 May 2021)

Michael McDowell: Senator Buttimer is out of order but this kind of antagonistic stuff-----

Seanad: European Digital Green Certificate: Statements (7 May 2021)

Michael McDowell: I am not being antagonistic to anybody.

Seanad: European Digital Green Certificate: Statements (7 May 2021)

Michael McDowell: I am not. I am saying that we-----

Seanad: European Digital Green Certificate: Statements (7 May 2021)

Michael McDowell: I am simply saying, and the Senator has to take this on board, that our vulnerability lies in the fact our health establishment saw a problem and did nothing about it for ten years. That is the reality. It had reports saying there was a problem and it did nothing about it. It did other things. It built children's hospitals, or started to build children's hospitals. It did other things...

Seanad: European Digital Green Certificate: Statements (7 May 2021)

Michael McDowell: I was badly interrupted, so the Chair might give me another 20 seconds. It is important that we do not spend our time making futile statements to each other and that we deal with legislation, which is badly needed. Where is the Land Development Agency Bill? Where are all these measures?We need to get on with the work. The Houses, as the Legislature, need to be in a position to do their...

Seanad: European Digital Green Certificate: Statements (7 May 2021)

Michael McDowell: With the vaccination programme, we have a lot to be glad about, but we have a lot to learn from what went wrong in the past year in Ireland. We should not be clapping ourselves on the back too prematurely in the circumstances we now face.

Seanad: Business and Covid-19: Statements (30 Apr 2021)

Michael McDowell: I welcome the Tánaiste to the House, and I agree with him on congratulating Senators Maria Byrne and Horkan on their election. As the Tánaiste said, it is a long time since he has been in this Chamber physically and in the Seanad. There is unfinished business regarding Seanad reform, which we will return to another today. The roadmap outlined yesterday by the Taoiseach, and which...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Tax Compliance (30 Apr 2021)

Michael McDowell: I thank the Minister for coming to the House and the Chair for listing this Commencement matter. According to the tax and duty manual, under the capital acquisitions tax part 15 on insurance policies and in particular under sections 72 and 73 of the Capital Acquisitions Tax Consolidation Act, it is possible to put in place an insurance policy, the purpose of which is to meet the anticipated...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Tax Compliance (30 Apr 2021)

Michael McDowell: I thank the Minister of State for his reply. Perhaps the terms in which the matter was phrased were not specifically accurate enough to highlight the problem that I was speaking about. I note that he said that there is not a problem in theory with a child of a likely disponer taking out a life assurance policy providing he or she can show an insurable interest but there is this difficulty...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (30 Apr 2021)

Michael McDowell: On behalf of the members of the Independent Group, and I think I speak for everyone in the House in this regard, I wish to express sympathy to Senator Mullen on the death of his father. I want to mark what may not be generally known, which is how many years of devoted home care Senator Mullen and his family provided for the late Thomas Mullen. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. The exit...

Seanad: Personal Insolvency (Amendment) Bill 2020: Report and Final Stages (30 Apr 2021)

Michael McDowell: I move amendment No. 1: In page 9, to delete lines 9 and 10 and substitute the following: "11.Section 91 of the Principal Act is amended— (a) in subsection (1)(e) by the insertion of "or a confirmation of truth" after "statutory declaration", (b) in subsection (1)(g) by the deletion of "has made a declaration in writing declaring that he or she", and (c) by the substitution of...

Seanad: Personal Insolvency (Amendment) Bill 2020: Report and Final Stages (30 Apr 2021)

Michael McDowell: I proposed this amendment on Committee Stage and at the request of the Minister of State, I withdrew it and indicated I would consider what he had said in reply. I want to make the following observations. The Minister of State told the House the Insolvency Service of Ireland had advised that there was no history to date of people arranging their affairs to avail of a personal insolvency...

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