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

Paddy Burke: I welcome the Minister to the House and wish her well with the passage of this important Bill. I congratulate her on the tremendous work she has done over a difficult period in recent months. I support Senator Craughwell in what he said regarding Oireachtas Members. I would add that while we pay PRSI at the K class, which is the same rate as an S class, there are no benefits to us from...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (9 Dec 2020)

Paddy Burke: I ask the acting Leader to arrange the attendance of the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Deputy Eamon Ryan, for a debate in the near future on the issue of energy. It is a very important and exciting area. As Members are aware, the cost of generating energy from fossil fuels depends on the price of the fuel and the cost of the power plants that use those fuels,...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection: Pandemic Supports to the Islands and Rural Ireland: Department of Rural and Community Development (9 Dec 2020)

Paddy Burke: I welcome our two guests to the meeting. It is most important that communities be kept alive, not only for the communities themselves but also from the point of view of tourism, and I think the witnesses touched on that. It is very important that services be kept going. If we do not have services in communities, we will not have any tourism business in those communities either because they...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection: Pandemic Supports to the Islands and Rural Ireland: Department of Rural and Community Development (9 Dec 2020)

Paddy Burke: I would like to develop a point I made. The Western Development Commission, Mr. Parnell said, is co-ordinating this. How does it do so? Mr. Parnell mentioned that the Western Development Commission co-ordinates either the rural initiative or the person himself or herself, a private individual who wants to develop something. Secondly, what is the advantage of the Atlantic corridor in all...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection: Pandemic Supports to the Islands and Rural Ireland: Department of Rural and Community Development (9 Dec 2020)

Paddy Burke: On the report brought out by Pat Spillane a number of years ago, has that been consigned to the dustbin? He said that much of it was like confetti being spread all over the place. Has there a been a more concentrated effort in doing bigger projects? What has happened with that report?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection: Pandemic Supports to the Islands and Rural Ireland: Department of Rural and Community Development (9 Dec 2020)

Paddy Burke: Has the Department got any feedback from LEADER companies where projects that were due to go ahead may not now go ahead because of Covid-19? Perhaps the bank has gone cold or the project is out of date, or whatever. Has the Department seen any of those sorts of problems through the LEADER companies, where some projects could be in difficulty and may not go ahead even though the funding will...

Seanad: Finance Bill 2020: Second Stage (8 Dec 2020)

Paddy Burke: I welcome the Minister of State to the House. I welcome the Finance Bill and wish the Minister well with it. I highlighted an issue concerning redundancies to the Minister of State, Deputy English, at a previous debate in the Seanad. There is a problem for small family-run businesses that are sole traders or self-employed and that employ people. The Redundancy Payments Act 2003 introduced...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (2 Dec 2020)

Paddy Burke: I raise an issue that has been raised a number of times, namely, cases involving multinational utilities companies, such as Eir and Sky, where people try to break a contract or stop making payments for one reason or another. On telephone services, I have been contacted by someone who has a number of mobile phones and is trying to eliminate some of the mobile contracts but cannot get through...

Seanad: Planning and Development Bill 2020: Report and Final Stages (2 Dec 2020)

Paddy Burke: It is a long-term strategy that will be in place. To address the amendment, it is necessary to read the original Act in conjunction with the amendments. This Bill is amending the original Act. The original Act planned for public meetings anyway, so this Bill would only add meetings that are online. This Bill, which has been brought forward to amend the existing Act, is going to introduce...

Seanad: Planning and Development Bill 2020: Report and Final Stages (2 Dec 2020)

Paddy Burke: It is important how the message is communicated to the public if there are going to be online meetings. How will that message be communicated? In some areas, we have local radio and newspapers. In other areas, there are few means of communicating that these public meetings are going to take place. The Minister might address that point.

Seanad: Technological Universities Agenda: Statements (2 Dec 2020)

Paddy Burke: I welcome the Minister of State. As Senator Murphy stated, this matter is in good hands with him and the Minister. I have no doubt that they will bring this to fruition in the not-too-distant future. I was the recipient of the free education and school transport introduced by the then Minister for Education, Donogh O'Malley, in 1967. That was the first year it was available and it was my...

Seanad: Technological Universities Agenda: Statements (2 Dec 2020)

Paddy Burke: I would like to discuss governance. I can speak about governance because the Mayo campus of GMIT was at a huge disadvantage for quite a long time. When the ETBs were changed, local authorities put members on their governing bodies. Mayo County Council appointed members to the Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board, but the board responsible for GMIT was the Galway and...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection: Rural Hubs, Broadband and Mobile Phone Coverage in Rural Ireland: Department of Rural and Community Development (2 Dec 2020)

Paddy Burke: I thank the witnesses for their presentation. On hubs, who is responsible for setting standards in respect of toilets, heating, lighting and that kind of thing? In some of the areas where hubs are located, it is left to communities to take care of that, but they do not have the finances to do so. They do not get assistance from the local authority. In some cases, those resources are very...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection: Rural Hubs, Broadband and Mobile Phone Coverage in Rural Ireland: Department of Rural and Community Development (2 Dec 2020)

Paddy Burke: In other words, they have to send a plan for what they-----

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection: Rural Hubs, Broadband and Mobile Phone Coverage in Rural Ireland: Department of Rural and Community Development (2 Dec 2020)

Paddy Burke: I have just one brief question on the hub and keeping order. If everybody was on a Zoom call, for example, in a small space like the one we have here, who would be in control of the whole thing?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection: Rural Hubs, Broadband and Mobile Phone Coverage in Rural Ireland: Department of Rural and Community Development (2 Dec 2020)

Paddy Burke: Who would be in control in the community centre, for example?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection: Rural Hubs, Broadband and Mobile Phone Coverage in Rural Ireland: Department of Rural and Community Development (2 Dec 2020)

Paddy Burke: If they are all speaking at the same time would that work out?

Seanad: Reopening Ireland (Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment): Statements (26 Nov 2020)

Paddy Burke: I welcome the Minister of State to the House. I concur with everything that has been said about this great debate and I wish the Minister of State well with all of the proposals that have been made today. I have a different issue to raise with the Minister of State. I think it is partly in his area of responsibility but it mainly pertains to the Department of Social Protection. It is an...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (25 Nov 2020)

Paddy Burke: I again raise the issue of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018. This was debated at great length in the House a number of years ago. This month, a number of provisions of the Act were commenced in law. There was great division among Members and great debates when the Bill was going through the House. Ultimately, the Bill was passed. One matter every Member agreed on was minimum unit...

Seanad: Planning and Development Bill 2020: Second Stage (25 Nov 2020)

Paddy Burke: I welcome the Minister back to the House. I wish to share my time with Senator Currie unless she gets time herself.

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