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Taoiseach a Ainmniú - Nomination of Taoiseach (20 Feb 2020)

Martin Kenny: I also was going to thank the Ceann Comhairle and congratulate him on his election. I am sure the Acting Chairman will pass on my congratulations. I also thank and congratulate the people of Sligo-Leitrim for the huge vote they had for Sinn Féin. The people of north Roscommon and south Donegal came out in their thousands and voted for change. Change has become the byword of this...

Ceisteanna (Atógáil) - Questions (Resumed): Ministerial Travel (18 Dec 2019)

Martin Kenny: The rationale put forward by the Taoiseach is clearly not appropriate. Using the Government jet to attend an EPP meeting does not stand up to scrutiny and nor does it wash with anyone. Even the most independent observer of the Taoiseach's decision to use the Government jet for this purpose would admit that it reeks of entitlement, which goes to the core of the matter. I understand from...

Ceisteanna (Atógáil) - Questions (Resumed): Cabinet Committees (18 Dec 2019)

Martin Kenny: I want to raise with the Taoiseach the issue of the relationship of Government with the plastics industry in particular. Last month, the Corporate Europe Observatory published a damning and in-depth article exposing the Government's close relationship with the plastics industry. Much of the information in the article came from freedom of information, FOI, documents secured by journalist,...

Ceisteanna (Atógáil) - Questions (Resumed): Cabinet Committee Meetings (18 Dec 2019)

Martin Kenny: With regard to agriculture matters being discussed by a Cabinet committee, farmers have come to Dublin again this week to protest. We have seen much of this around the country with protests at various large supermarket retailers and distribution units. This is a reflection of the real frustration among farmers, in particular, beef farmers, about the complete absence of a future for them....

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality: Access to Justice and Legal Costs: Discussion (Resumed) (18 Dec 2019)

Martin Kenny: I thank the witnesses for their contributions. It has been enlightening and interesting. With regard to complaints about fees and where that takes us, the witnesses made the point that the LSRA has a statutory system for complaints with a limit of €5,000. One of the flaws relates to when a legal process is going on. I have come across a situation where a person has a dispute with a...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality: Access to Justice and Legal Costs: Discussion (Resumed) (18 Dec 2019)

Martin Kenny: I just wondered if that was a slight contradiction. I will come back to what Deputy Chambers was speaking about earlier - no foal, no fee - which is a term that one would often hear. The problem here is more one of regulation than whether it should be a practice that we need. I refer to circumstances where a person with a strong case, wherever that might be, reaches an agreement with a...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality: Access to Justice and Legal Costs: Discussion (Resumed) (18 Dec 2019)

Martin Kenny: The issue here is not that the costs are not explained. The issue is that the costs are not relevant to the people concerned because somebody else will end up paying.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality: Access to Justice and Legal Costs: Discussion (Resumed) (18 Dec 2019)

Martin Kenny: From the perspective of the CCPC, has there been any examination of that issue or have there been instances, for example, where it has been seen that legal costs in those situations would be a certain degree higher than they would be if the client was at risk of making the payment?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality: Access to Justice and Legal Costs: Discussion (Resumed) (18 Dec 2019)

Martin Kenny: I am not suggesting cases may be in any way fraudulent. The fact, however, that the people taking cases know they will not have to pay for the legal services and that someone else will be paying means they will not be paying close attention to the level of services or resulting costs that will be incurred. That is because the people taking the cases have been guaranteed that they are not...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality: Access to Justice and Legal Costs: Discussion (Resumed) (18 Dec 2019)

Martin Kenny: That is fine. Turning to Insurance Ireland, a point was made regarding underwriters. Every time we hear of underwriters, they are outside the State, in London or somewhere else. Yet, there is this situation where competition from outside of the State seems to be something we cannot get around. Only one underwriter is going to cover the crèche and childcare sector. I am sure,...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality: Access to Justice and Legal Costs: Discussion (Resumed) (18 Dec 2019)

Martin Kenny: It is not necessary to be a member to access the data.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality: Access to Justice and Legal Costs: Discussion (Resumed) (18 Dec 2019)

Martin Kenny: Apart from Insurance Ireland, has anyone else got any views on that topic? Are there any views as to why there is a feeling that there are legal barriers or any other barriers? Insurance, as has been said, is one of the major factors in legal costs involved in people going to court, to take or defend cases, and engaging in the legal system. The limited availability of underwriters seems to...

National Surplus (Reserve Fund for Exceptional Contingencies) Act 2019: Motion (17 Dec 2019)

Martin Kenny: For many people, not least exporters in the Border region, it is already raining in respect of Brexit. The fear of a disorderly Brexit and the atmosphere that has grown around that have been damaging for many companies and exporters, and our agrifood sector, in particular, has been damaged and remains so. While I acknowledge that the €500 million to guard against that may be useful,...

Ceisteanna - Questions: European Council Meetings (17 Dec 2019)

Martin Kenny: Regarding the Taoiseach's discussions in Europe on future funding, every individual and business, particularly businesses in the Border region is conscious of the impact of Brexit. Even if there is a deal or process that works out before the end of 2020, which everyone doubts very much, contingency plans will need to be put in place. It would be quite unfair to require the Irish Exchequer...

Ceisteanna - Questions: Cabinet Committee Meetings (17 Dec 2019)

Martin Kenny: Drugs gangs operate in most of our deprived communities. This is a reflection of how the Government's policy has consistently fallen short. A recent report published by the EU drugs agency and Interpol indicates that the drugs distribution networks in Ireland appear to be structured in three layers. There is a small top layer of serious players who control the upper end of the market....

Ceisteanna - Questions: Northern Ireland (17 Dec 2019)

Martin Kenny: It is worthy to congratulate all those elected to parliament. People are pointing out that Sinn Féin did not get as many votes in this election as in previous elections. The reality, however, is that we stood back and did not run in three constituencies, South Belfast, East Belfast and North Down, because we had an agreement with other parties to have, insofar as possible, pro-Remain...

Ceisteanna - Questions: Northern Ireland (17 Dec 2019)

Martin Kenny: I point out to my Labour Party colleague, Deputy Burton, that the Dáil was set up as an abstentionist parliament. That is why we are here.

Racism Affecting Ethnic Minorities in Ireland: Statements (12 Dec 2019)

Martin Kenny: Tonight's statements on racism are very apt and are a positive opportunity for us to say something loud and clear and for those of us in public life to put ourselves into a leadership position. It is also important for communities that we make it clear that racism should not have any place in society at any level. People often point to the far right as being the problem and suggest that a...

Patient Safety (Notifiable Patient Safety Incidents) Bill 2019: Second Stage (12 Dec 2019)

Martin Kenny: I welcome the opportunity to speak to the Bill. I will speak to the various sections, starting with the overarching agenda of the Bill setting out the legislative framework for reporting notifiable patient safety incidents. Mandatory open disclosure has been a significant public concern for some time, not least since the CervicalCheck scandal. A policy of mandatory open disclosure of...

Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation (12 Dec 2019)

Martin Kenny: On the same issue, the community healthcare organisation, CHO, in the north west, namely, CHO 1, has received a small increase in funding under the winter scheme that is being rolled out to try to relieve the bed blockers in many of our hospitals. They cannot get out because no home help services are available to them in their homes. People are coming into my office - I am sure they are...

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