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Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (10 May 2021)

Gerard Craughwell: The Irish Examinercarries a story today about members of the Defence Forces who are not Irish by birth and who are unable to get a passport without paying €1,000 for it. It is horrendous that somebody who is prepared to stand on that wall, and look after us while we are in our beds, is denied a passport while in service. It is not uncommon for those who arrive in the United States to...

Seanad: Future of Banking in Ireland: Statements (10 May 2021)

Gerard Craughwell: I welcome the Minister to the House. It is the first time I have addressed him since this Government was formed. I welcome the reopening of the country as it is happening in a clear, managed way. The calm manner in which the Minister has dealt with questions on live media over the past 12 months about the state of the economy and the damage Covid is doing to it has been remarkable. It...

Seanad: Carer's Allowance: Motion (10 May 2021)

Gerard Craughwell: The Minister of State is welcome to the House. This is my first time to address him in this House since his elevation. I congratulate him on that. There is no better man for the job, and I can honestly say that. I thank Senator Seery Kearney for bringing this motion to the House. The first part of it is extremely informative in setting out the number of people who are tied up as carers...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport: Report of the Covid-19 Rapid Testing Group: Discussion with Science Foundation Ireland (5 May 2021)

Gerard Craughwell: I thank Professor Ferguson for being here today. The scientific dogs in the street have been screaming about antigen testing for some time. Noted broadcasters have been screaming about it. We have raised it in this committee and I have raised it in the Seanad. There has been antigen testing throughout Europe for several months. There has to be a gate blocker; there must be somebody here...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport: Report of the Covid-19 Rapid Testing Group: Discussion with Science Foundation Ireland (5 May 2021)

Gerard Craughwell: I have a final brief question. The issue of pilot testing arose here this morning. Pilot testing has taken place in most European countries and in the UK at this stage. Can we not just bite the bullet now and go for it? Pilot testing will only delay us even further.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport: Challenges Facing Travel Agents and the Aviation Sector: Discussion (5 May 2021)

Gerard Craughwell: I thank the gentlemen for their presentations this morning. My heart goes out to the members of the ITAA. We have seen one of the biggest travel agents go and it was synonymous with Irish travel for many years. Having lost a business many years ago, I can say that it was my fault. For those who are going out of business in the travel industry at the moment, it is not their fault and the...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport: Challenges Facing Travel Agents and the Aviation Sector: Discussion (5 May 2021)

Gerard Craughwell: If I may interject, one of the things that concerns me is that this green certificate we are speaking about will require a database which will underpin the data flowing into it. I have a niece in Galway who has been called eight times to be vaccinated. She is a front-line worker and is actually full vaccinated. This week she got an eighth phone call inviting her to come in to be...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence: Foreign Affairs Council and UN Security Council: Engagement with Minister for Foreign Affairs (4 May 2021)

Gerard Craughwell: I thank the Minister for being here. There has been some discussion on TRIPS. I heard a very interesting discussion which suggested that releasing intellectual property is simply not 100% the answer. Moderna, as the Minister pointed out, is looking for partners and that is the way forward. We need to encourage these manufacturers to seek partners in developing economies to manufacture the...

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

Gerard Craughwell: I join with my colleague with respect to May Day. It is rather ironic that he brought up the issue of workers' rights and how workers are treated in this country. One of the worst employers in this country, if you get on its wrong side, is the State. I have brought many examples to this House of the denial of pension rights to community employment, CE, supervisors and various other issues....

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (26 Apr 2021)

Gerard Craughwell: After speaking about the vaccine and my concerns on Friday, I went and took the vaccine yesterday and I am still alive. Most of the people I spoke to in my age group felt hard done by insofar as they were offered AstraZeneca and nothing else. One person said it was as if they bought a load of this stuff and need to give it to someone, so they are giving it to us. I compliment the people in...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (26 Apr 2021)

Gerard Craughwell: He is on Twitter.

Seanad: EU Regulations (Europol): Motion (26 Apr 2021)

Gerard Craughwell: I welcome the Minister of State to the House for this small but vital motion. Any blow against organised crime is welcome. Large-scale organised crime is not something that happens far away removed from the lives of ordinary people, it happens here and victimises people in a direct and painful way. The threat of terrorism is also something that must be answered. We are no strangers to...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (23 Apr 2021)

Gerard Craughwell: I welcome my two new colleagues, Senators Horkan and Byrne, and congratulate them on their re-election. I expect we will have a tough time with Senator Horkan in the Chair again in the not-too-distant future but I am delighted for him. I endorse what my colleague, Senator Boyhan, said but I am not going to go back over that ground. I am one of those who was able to register for the vaccine...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence: Commission on the Defence Forces: Discussion (20 Apr 2021)

Gerard Craughwell: I thank Mr. O'Driscoll for coming before the committee. I will not ask any questions on the likely outcome of the commission's deliberations. I welcome as well the members of the commission, who are watching. I am aware of the onerous task the commission has ahead of it. A total of 520 submissions is quite a response from the Republic and I am delighted there has been that response. ...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence: Commission on the Defence Forces: Discussion (20 Apr 2021)

Gerard Craughwell: I thank the Chair. I apologise to Mr. O'Driscoll for coming back in. I refer to the statement in the terms of reference that, "All recommendations by the Commission or the successor body and their implementation must be consistent with national public sector wage policy", and that that means the commission can make recommendations on pay, once they are consistent in that regard. Would Mr....

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (19 Apr 2021)

Gerard Craughwell: Earlier on "Morning Ireland" we heard two young ladies talk about their experience of stalking. They asked that we amend legislation to make stalking a criminal offence in its own right. The two perpetrators in this case ended up being jailed for seven years each with two years suspended. As one of the young women said, the guy who stalked her will be out in three years. I cannot begin to...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (29 Mar 2021)

Gerard Craughwell: I support the plan for rural resettlement. I hope it comes to fruition. It is a pity the old scheme was done away with because the rural resettlement scheme was a success in its own small way but I wish the new plan well. The Leader will not be surprised I am on my feet once again because of the Defence Forces. Ireland has a responsibility beyond its borders. We are a member of the...

Seanad: Reports on Department of Health Policy in RTÉ Investigates Programme: Statements (29 Mar 2021)

Gerard Craughwell: I welcome the Minister of State. She is only just in office. Unfortunately, part of her role is to take on issues like this. When I started teaching, I had a wonderful principal by the name of Jack Griffin. His advice to the teachers he hired was, if they placed the student at the centre of everything they did, they would never have a problem with him. A caring State would place the...

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