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Select Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence: Defence (Amendment) Bill 2020: Committee Stage (26 Nov 2020)

Cathal Berry: I move amendment No. 1: In page 6, between lines 28 and 29, to insert the following: "Amendment of section 3 of Defence (Amendment) Act 2006 8.The Defence (Amendment) Act 2006 is amended in section 3(1) by the substitution of "Defence Forces" for “Permanent Defence Force".". I am not sure how relevant this proposal is. What the Minister said is a very encouraging development....

Select Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence: Defence (Amendment) Bill 2020: Committee Stage (26 Nov 2020)

Cathal Berry: That makes perfect sense. The proposal the Minister made today will have a transformative effect on the Reserve Defence Force. The ability to deploy Reserve personnel at home and overseas from an operational perspective to augment the permanent Defence Forces would breathe new life into the Reserve Defence Force.

Select Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence: Defence (Amendment) Bill 2020: Committee Stage (26 Nov 2020)

Cathal Berry: That is correct. What the Minister is proposing has exceeded my expectations. I am very happy to do so.

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions (25 Nov 2020)

Cathal Berry: I would like to focus my questions on Ireland’s air-sea rescue capability. It was a service that was provided exclusively by the Irish Air Corps for decades up to the year 2002, when it was handed over and outsourced to a private company. Most members of the public will be familiar with the large red and white helicopters that sometimes fly overhead. What they may not be aware of is...

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions (25 Nov 2020)

Cathal Berry: I thank the Taoiseach for that very useful response. I fully appreciate, like everybody in the Chamber, that there is huge demand on the Taoiseach’s time currently. I also understand that he gets the occasional direct flight from Baldonnel airbase directly to Brussels, which is completely appropriate given his status as Taoiseach. Would he consider arriving an hour before his flight...

Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2020: Second Stage (Resumed) (12 Nov 2020)

Cathal Berry: I thank the Minister of State for coming to the Chamber to introduce this Bill. I welcome its publication. It is very important that it gets out there. In 49 days, whether we like it or not and whether there is a deal, our trade relations with our nearest neighbour will face a severe shock. It is very sensible and prudent to get our house in order as soon as possible, at least from a...

Finance Bill 2020: Second Stage (Resumed) (5 Nov 2020)

Cathal Berry: I welcome the publication of the Finance Bill. I know it is not a perfect document but there is quite a lot of good stuff in it and, on that basis, I am going to support its passage through the Dáil. In the time I have available, I want to focus on one specific provision at the bottom of page 11, the Naval Service seagoing personal tax credit, which is very important. I very much...

Written Answers — Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport: Transport Policy (5 Nov 2020)

Cathal Berry: 72. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position regarding securing additional capacity on direct sea routes from Ireland to continental Europe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34354/20]

Written Answers — Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Brexit Issues (5 Nov 2020)

Cathal Berry: 336. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the likely allocation to Ireland of the €5 billion EU Brexit Adjustment Reserve Fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34353/20]

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (3 Nov 2020)

Cathal Berry: Yes, as an Independent Deputy, I think the Government's concession of 16 minutes for Sinn Féin and 14 minutes for the other groupings is reasonable. That is a reasonable concession and compromise. We should run with that.

Select Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence: Estimates for Public Services 2020
Vote 28 - Foreign Affairs (Revised)
Vote 35 - Army Pensions (Revised)
Vote 36 - Defence (Revised)
(22 Oct 2020)

Cathal Berry: I might confine my comments to Vote 35. If there is more time, I might come back to Vote 36. I thank the Minister and his team for appearing before us. It was great to hear the news about the potential Baldonnel hospital, the terms of reference and the commission on defence possibly being sorted by next month. They are very positive. Regarding Vote 35, the defence sector is the only...

Select Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence: Estimates for Public Services 2020
Vote 28 - Foreign Affairs (Revised)
Vote 35 - Army Pensions (Revised)
Vote 36 - Defence (Revised)
(22 Oct 2020)

Cathal Berry: I thank the Minister for clarifying that. In summary, it is very useful to have a separate Vote. I wish there were not as many Defence Forces pensioners as there are and that there was no requirement to increase the fund. I would much prefer if it could be used on Vote 36.

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions (21 Oct 2020)

Cathal Berry: That is great. I thank the Taoiseach for that very useful information of which I was not aware. We are all conscious of cost in this Chamber. We are all familiar with the past history of pharmaceutical companies which may profiteer on pandemics like this one. In light of the global emergency crisis at the moment, has there been any discussion on perhaps the waiving of patents by...

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions (21 Oct 2020)

Cathal Berry: I wish to put on the record that I am generally supportive of and in agreement with the Government's decision to increase the Covid-19 restrictions to level 5 nationwide, as of midnight tonight. It is a prudent and sensible thing to do under the circumstances. As an individual who comes from a constituency that covers the Laois, Offaly and Kildare region, I am familiar with the additional...

Post Office Network: Motion [Private Members] (21 Oct 2020)

Cathal Berry: I welcome the Minister of State. I am proud to be present this morning, as a member of the Regional Group, to promote this important motion to protect the Irish post office network. As a number of speakers have said, it is timely due to the Grant Thornton report being released a couple of weeks ago. The report had devastating findings. There was an annual shortfall of €17 million,...

Financial Resolutions 2020 - Budget Statement 2021 (13 Oct 2020)

Cathal Berry: I thank both Ministers, Deputies Donohoe and Michael McGrath, for their positive engagement in the run-up to the budget. I valued their input and appreciated it. I am conscious of the limited time I have available. I will focus exclusively on the security and defence aspects of Budget 2021. I have only five points to make. Three are quite positive and only two points at the end are...

Written Answers — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Brexit Issues (6 Oct 2020)

Cathal Berry: 414. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the progress that has been made on securing additional direct shipping routes to the continent in order to circumvent the UK landbridge; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28905/20]

Written Answers — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: EU Migration Crisis (6 Oct 2020)

Cathal Berry: 415. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his position on the situation pertaining to the refugees in Lesbos; the number Ireland plans to accept; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28906/20]

Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation (30 Sep 2020)

Cathal Berry: I note that the HSE's winter plan says that it intends to build capacity for contact tracing. I also understand that earlier this year more than 72,000 people volunteered for the HSE's On Call For Ireland initiative. Has any thought been given to tapping into this great pool of talent, which has been completely underutilised, in order to fill contact tracing roles? If no thought has been...

Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2020: Second Stage (Resumed) (23 Sep 2020)

Cathal Berry: To begin, I wish to extend my very best wishes to the Minister of State and his family on his recent appointment in the Department of Justice and Equality. Law and order are significant priorities for me and my constituents and I very much look forward to engaging with him over the coming years in that regard. From the outset I am very happy with the legislation that is before us. It...

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