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Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Rural Schemes (15 Feb 2024)

Martin Conway: The Minister of State is very welcome to the House. As his is a neighbouring constituency, he will understand where I am coming from on this matter. For the information of the House, the local improvement scheme, LIS, is where the State, through the councils, provides a certain amount of money to upgrade our roads. Local households also contribute. This usually involves a cluster of...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Rural Schemes (15 Feb 2024)

Martin Conway: Yes.

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Rural Schemes (15 Feb 2024)

Martin Conway: I thank the Minister of State for his reply and his understanding of the importance of the scheme. I wish the Minister, Deputy Humphreys, all the best in her engagement with the Minister, Deputy Ryan, because that is what should happen. There needs to be a once-off block grant to each of the local authorities participating in the scheme. It is not every local authority in the country. It...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (14 Feb 2024)

Martin Conway: I welcome the news today that the Taoiseach has written to the President of the European Commission, Ms Ursula von der Leyen, regarding the situation in Palestine and proposed some sort of economic sanctions against Israel. It is an example of Ireland and this Government standing up to Israel and showing leadership within Europe. I sincerely hope the Taoiseach's letter to the president will...

Seanad: Human Tissue (Transplantation, Post-Mortem, Anatomical Examination and Public Display) Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (14 Feb 2024)

Martin Conway: Now.

Seanad: Human Tissue (Transplantation, Post-Mortem, Anatomical Examination and Public Display) Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (14 Feb 2024)

Martin Conway: I concur with the Minister. This is an important Bill that will save lives. It should have happened a long time ago but it is happening now. I hope it will pass through the Dáil next week as quickly as it did here and that the President will sign it into law, allowing us to get on with the important business of enacting it. It would be remiss of us not to acknowledge the serious...

Seanad: Human Tissue (Transplantation, Post-Mortem, Anatomical Examination and Public Display) Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (14 Feb 2024)

Martin Conway: It was absolutely the right thing to do, however. I was here on the day. One asked why what was happening did not happen several years previously. It did not but it is happening now. It will save lives, and that is what this is all about.

Seanad: Human Tissue (Transplantation, Post-Mortem, Anatomical Examination and Public Display) Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (14 Feb 2024)

Martin Conway: No homework tonight.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Public Health and the Commercial Determinants of Health: Discussion (14 Feb 2024)

Martin Conway: The Minister of State is very welcome to the committee. I thank her for the comprehensive opening statement. It is very welcome that the percentage of people smoking regularly has been reduced to 18%. We have done quite well in leading the way at European level in terms of the smoking ban. I am concerned about the proliferation of vaping, however. I spoke to the Australian minister for...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Public Health and the Commercial Determinants of Health: Discussion (14 Feb 2024)

Martin Conway: I thank the Minister of State for her comprehensive response to all my questions. I wish everyone who is trying to give up smoking today the very best and encourage people to engage with the supports and the services available

Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport And Media: Transparency of RTÉ Expenditure of Public Funds and Governance Issues: Discussion (Resumed) (14 Feb 2024)

Martin Conway: I will say one thing to Mr. Bakhurst. Since he has taken over, I have been quite impressed by his candour, his straight talking and the fact that he does go on media and explain. I think this is important. Accountability going forward is extremely important. I have two specific questions. I will ask one question first and then I will have another one. Where are we with the sale of...

Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport And Media: Transparency of RTÉ Expenditure of Public Funds and Governance Issues: Discussion (Resumed) (14 Feb 2024)

Martin Conway: Moving from Montrose, then, is off the table?

Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport And Media: Transparency of RTÉ Expenditure of Public Funds and Governance Issues: Discussion (Resumed) (14 Feb 2024)

Martin Conway: From your engagement with valuers, etc., is there any portion of the site on the table that could be sold?

Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport And Media: Transparency of RTÉ Expenditure of Public Funds and Governance Issues: Discussion (Resumed) (14 Feb 2024)

Martin Conway: Sure. When is it proposed to put that on the market?

Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport And Media: Transparency of RTÉ Expenditure of Public Funds and Governance Issues: Discussion (Resumed) (14 Feb 2024)

Martin Conway: That is grand. My second question is surrounding the new contract and the gentleman who has taken over the 9 a.m. radio slot. If my memory serves me correctly, the deal that had been done with Ryan Tubridy was that he would do the 9 a.m. slot and a podcast. How come there is no podcast as part of Oliver Callan's arrangement with RTÉ?

Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport And Media: Transparency of RTÉ Expenditure of Public Funds and Governance Issues: Discussion (Resumed) (14 Feb 2024)

Martin Conway: Can Mr. Bakhurst give us a figure as to what the "Callan's Kicks" element of the work Oliver Callan is doing with RTÉ-----

Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport And Media: Transparency of RTÉ Expenditure of Public Funds and Governance Issues: Discussion (Resumed) (14 Feb 2024)

Martin Conway: Sure, but I will put it like this to Mr. Bakhurst. The presenters are contractors as well, and their figures are disclosed. I do not see the difference between a presenter's contract and the production company that produces "Callan's Kicks". It is funding the same people. Oliver Callan, clearly, is benefiting significantly from the contract his production company has with RTÉ for...

Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport And Media: Transparency of RTÉ Expenditure of Public Funds and Governance Issues: Discussion (Resumed) (14 Feb 2024)

Martin Conway: Finally, Chairperson, perhaps Mr. Callan might make the information available himself because we have started a new page and done so very well. This has been brought to my attention by a couple of people, and I committed to raising it here today. Clarity is needed in the interest of openness and transparency.

Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport And Media: Transparency of RTÉ Expenditure of Public Funds and Governance Issues: Discussion (Resumed) (14 Feb 2024)

Martin Conway: Absolutely. I am coming to that. I very much admired your stance that no one will earn more than the director general. Mr. Callan himself informed the nation that he is getting €150,000 on a two-year contract. What we do not know, and I think we need to know, is if RTÉ has entered negotiations with him in terms of "Callan's Kicks". I ask this because my understanding is that...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Schools Building Projects (13 Feb 2024)

Martin Conway: I too welcome Maggie and her family. I would also like to welcome two transition year students, Aoife and Conor, who are doing work experience with me and who are also in the Gallery. I hope they all have a very good day. This Commencement matter has been tabled as a result of a lack of clarity, communication and engagement from the Department of Education with Lisdoonvarna secondary...

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