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

Gerard Craughwell: I wish the Leader of the House a happy birthday. I agree with everything Senator Norris said this morning. We are the one workforce in the country that has no representation anywhere. They can change our terms and conditions of employment and we have nowhere to go, which brings me on to another issue. About two weeks ago there was a newspaper article about a very senior civil servant - I...

Seanad: Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Statements (26 Jan 2021)

Gerard Craughwell: I thank the Minister of State for coming to the House today to represent the Minister for Health at this important debate. The HSE is being overstretched in the responsibilities that have been placed on it by the Government. It is responsible for the general healthcare of the public as well as testing and tracing and now it is responsible for the roll-out of the vaccine. There should be a...

Seanad: Report of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation: Statements (Resumed) (26 Jan 2021)

Gerard Craughwell: I, too, recognise the Acting Chairperson's position today both as the leader of my group and as somebody who has been brave enough to put his personal life in the public domain. I welcome the Minister to the House. It took five years to produce this report and I am sure those who produced it believed it to be a considered and complete report, but I agree with most other speakers who said...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport: Customs Checks Post Brexit: Discussion (22 Jan 2021)

Gerard Craughwell: For four years prior to Brexit, at the Joint Committee on European Union Affairs, I regularly asked if we were wargaming the ultimate outcome of Brexit. Were customs officials and Revenue working with the road hauliers? Had they done trial runs with trucks? It seems to me that if it was wargamed, it was not wargamed correctly. If it was not wargamed, why not? There was a feeling around...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (18 Dec 2020)

Gerard Craughwell: I join all my colleagues in particularly thanking those who work in the background in Leinster House and make this House work like a well-oiled machine. I wish the Cathaoirleach and the Leader a very happy Christmas. Senator Bacik has blown me away today. I congratulate her on her marriage. This year will stand out in my mind for the coronavirus and everything that goes with it. What...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (18 Dec 2020)

Gerard Craughwell: They already know that.

Seanad: Appropriation Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (18 Dec 2020)

Gerard Craughwell: I will be as quick as I can. I brought this issue up on Inchydoney Island in 2015. I said that no government was going to increase the pay of councillors and, to date, I have been proven correct. How does any government or political party dare to treat these people in the way they have treated them over the five years I have been in this House? These are the foot soldiers for political...

Seanad: Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill 2017: Second Stage (18 Dec 2020)

Gerard Craughwell: I welcome the Minister of State. This is the first time I have addressed him since his elevation and it is great to see him here. I was proud to step aside and let the Labour Party take the slot, given the debt of gratitude that is due to Deputy Howlin, the party and, indeed, Senator Bacik, for bringing this legislation forward. It has been a long and arduous journey. I wish to tell...

Seanad: Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill 2017: Second Stage (18 Dec 2020)

Gerard Craughwell: I was just ahead of the smoke signals.

Seanad: Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill 2017: Second Stage (18 Dec 2020)

Gerard Craughwell: I moved from Morse code in high frequency, through to very high frequency and later mobile phones and on to the Internet where we are today. In that short space of time, I have seen how communications have been used as a weapon to pull people into line. I know this Bill deals with online communication but we must also look at bullying in the workplace and the classroom but particularly the...

Seanad: Social Welfare Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (16 Dec 2020)

Gerard Craughwell: I move amendment No. 1: In page 3, between lines 8 and 9, to insert the following: “ “Act of 2010” means the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2010;”. The Minister is welcome back to the House. I acknowledge her as a decent and hard-working Minister who has done a great deal for this country since the pandemic hit and before it in her previous ministerial...

Seanad: Social Welfare Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (16 Dec 2020)

Gerard Craughwell: The Minister has brought forward a fine Bill and I am sorry that my two amendments are the only ones. I sincerely hope that they do not overshadow the fantastic work that the Minister and her officials have done in the horrendous times in which we live. I have no regrets about bringing forward this amendment because the matter has to be debated. I am honoured that all of my colleagues in...

Seanad: Social Welfare Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (16 Dec 2020)

Gerard Craughwell: I will finish quickly. Senator Lombard is right that we need to get young people in here. In doing that, we need to ensure that we give those young people a career path that offers them alternatives. I thank the Minister for taking the time to listen to this debate. I am not going to press the amendment. I believe the point is made and that we, as politicians, will be big enough to step...

Seanad: Social Welfare Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (16 Dec 2020)

Gerard Craughwell: I move amendment No. 2: In page 3, between lines 21 and 22, to insert the following: “Contributions by Public Office Holders 3. Section 14 of the Act of 2010 is repealed.”.

Seanad: Social Welfare Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (16 Dec 2020)

Gerard Craughwell: I want to make a point about amendment No. 3. It is important for those who think-----

Seanad: Social Welfare Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (16 Dec 2020)

Gerard Craughwell: It is out of order because it involves a charge on the Exchequer. I need people to know that what I was trying to do was to bring in a social welfare charge that we would pay.I was not trying to make Deputies and Senators exempt from paying social welfare contributions.

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (15 Dec 2020)

Gerard Craughwell: I support Senator Wall on the commission for defence. If the terms of reference does not include the Department then I do not know what the function of the review or the commission will be. It is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get it right so we need everything, including the Department, involved. I know the Cathaoirleach is deeply concerned, as am I, with community employment...

Seanad: Social Welfare Bill 2020: Second Stage (14 Dec 2020)

Gerard Craughwell: I welcome the Minister to the House and join colleagues in congratulating her, her predecessor and her officials. Without doubt they have taken on a mammoth task and performed above and beyond the call of duty. It was amazing to hear the Minister outline the figures. Figures tend to baffle people, and we tend to switch off when we hear them, but today she delivered them well, and they give...

Seanad: Social Welfare Bill 2020: Second Stage (14 Dec 2020)

Gerard Craughwell: I called for a rapporteur's report to be prepared by the committee.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence: Developments in Georgia: Engagement with Ambassador of Georgia (10 Dec 2020)

Gerard Craughwell: I welcome the ambassador and thank him for his comprehensive presentation. He stated that the Middle East is an extremely complex area. I sometimes wonder, and I am not sure the ambassador will respond to this, if it would be a better and more peaceful world if the powerful countries in the west took their noses out of the Middle East and allowed the Middle East to find its own equilibrium....

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