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Seanad: Order of Business (7 Feb 2008)

Ciarán Cannon: I would like to comment on the looming financial crisis that is faced by farmers, particularly those with small or medium sized holdings. Most farmers are awaiting their REPS payments. A recent EU directive stated that the REPS payment should be included with the single farm payment near the end of the year. As a result, farmers are now facing a serious cash flow problem. It is proposed...

Seanad: Order of Business (13 Feb 2008)

Ciarán Cannon: Hear, hear.

Seanad: Order of Business (13 Feb 2008)

Ciarán Cannon: My apologies for labouring the issue of the impending financial crisis hanging over the heads of many small and medium sized firms, which I also raised last week. The issue is not making the headlines, although perhaps it should. Approximately 6,000 farmers are awaiting payments for REPS 2 and 3, and the figure is increasing by about 4,000 every month. This crisis has beset farmers who...

Seanad: National Waste Strategy: Statements (Resumed) (14 Feb 2008)

Ciarán Cannon: I support every aspect of Senator Boyle's well-worded arguments against the concept of incineration. If we as a nation are ambitious, which we should be and I believe we are, in reducing and minimising our waste, I cannot understand how alongside that ambition we are also proposing to use the concept of incineration. It, by its nature, needs massive amounts of waste to remain viable. I...

Seanad: Schools Building Projects (19 Feb 2008)

Ciarán Cannon: Rarely in my relatively short career as a politician have I received such a number of telephone calls, e-mails or letters as I have on this matter. I have been in touch with a number of very concerned parents in Glenamaddy in north-east Galway about a commitment given by the Minister for Education and Science and her Department in 2001 that planning for a new community school in Glenamaddy...

Seanad: Schools Building Projects (19 Feb 2008)

Ciarán Cannon: I thank the Minister of State for his response. It is reasonably encouraging. I impress upon him the urgency of this matter as the planning permission runs out in the middle of this year. The planning process for serious infrastructure such as a new school is quite convoluted and the community of Glenamaddy would not like to have to start the planning process again. With regard to the...

Seanad: Order of Business (20 Feb 2008)

Ciarán Cannon: I ask the Leader once again, if I can beg his patience, to liaise with the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Deputy Mary Coughlan, for two reasons. First, I wish to congratulate her on her recent success in carrying out in-depth negotiations with the European Commissioner in the matter of speedy transfer of rural environment protection scheme payments to those farmers on REPS 2...

Seanad: Good Friday Agreement and Lisbon Treaty: Statements (24 Apr 2008)

Ciarán Cannon: I also welcome the Taoiseach to the House. I extend my best wishes and the best wishes of my party to him as he spends his last few days in office. As Taoiseach, he has used his unique and extraordinary political ability for the great benefit of our country. His political skill, dedication and hard work have delivered historic and permanent political agreement and peace to the island of...

Seanad: Schools Building Projects (24 Apr 2008)

Ciarán Cannon: I am sure the Minister is more than aware of the serious requirement in south Galway for the provision of a new second level facility. A very active and committed group of parents and staff in Seamount College has spent almost two years gathering an irrefutable raft of evidence which certainly makes a very strong case for such a facility. Her officials and staff have agreed that is very...

Seanad: Schools Building Projects (24 Apr 2008)

Ciarán Cannon: I thank the Minister for her response.

Seanad: Order of Business (14 May 2008)

Ciarán Cannon: I also congratulate Mr. Des Bishop on the highly enlightening and inspiring series of programmes he aired recently on television. I congratulate Senator Daly for inviting him to Leinster House to speak to the Irish class this morning. The beauty of Mr. Bishop's recent series was that it shows that with a virtually complete immersion in our language and culture, combined with a dedicated...

Seanad: Order of Business (14 May 2008)

Ciarán Cannon: Bíonn mé ag iarraidh caint leis i nGaeilge beagnach an t-am go léir, ach beagnach an t-am go léir níl sé in ann mé a thuiscint. Members must ask themselves why, after six years in our national school system, I cannot carry out a basic conversation in Irish with my son. He has reasonable competence, has had excellent teachers and Members must ask how effective is the system whereby...

Seanad: WTO Negotiations: Statements (Resumed) (21 May 2008)

Ciarán Cannon: I also welcome the Minister of State, Deputy Sargent, to the Chamber and congratulate him on his recent re-appointment. He has a very interesting and challenging role and I am sure he will do an excellent job. I make this contribution today in the full knowledge of what is unique and valuable about Irish rural life and the economies that sustain it. I was raised in a rural part of east...

Seanad: Health Services: Motion (28 May 2008)

Ciarán Cannon: I second the Government amendment to the motion and welcome the opportunity to contribute to this important debate on the management and operation of our public health service. This is a matter of concern not only to all public representatives but to all members of our society. I agree with the Minister that the Labour Party's motion was tabled in that spirit of concern. The fundamental...

Seanad: National Drugs Strategy: Motion (18 Jun 2008)

Ciarán Cannon: I second the motion. I have not consulted Senator O'Malley on this matter because I did not have the opportunity to do so. However, I also have a major difficulty with the way the Opposition drafted its amendment to the motion, which was framed in such a way as to allow all Members to air their views on this issue. I am somewhat disappointed it has not been taken in that spirit. One of the...

Seanad: Mental Health (Involuntary Procedures) (Amendment) Bill 2008: Second Stage (25 Jun 2008)

Ciarán Cannon: I welcome the Minister of State, Deputy John Moloney, to the Chamber, congratulate him on his appointment and wish him well in his role. It is unfortunate that several other Members were not here to listen to his contribution. He spoke with an in-depth knowledge of the challenges that lay ahead for him, and with a passion to resolve those challenges quickly and effectively. I congratulate...

Seanad: Credit Institutions (Financial Support) Bill 2008: Second Stage (1 Oct 2008)

Ciarán Cannon: I welcome this opportunity to speak on the decisive action taken by the Minister for Finance in moving to restore confidence in the banking sector and, in particular, to improve liquidity. We cannot expect Irish business to be able to flourish in an environment where there is no liquidity and where banks would have no choice but to turn off the taps on entrepreneurial effort. The Government...

Seanad: Credit Institutions (Financial Support) Bill 2008: Committee Stage. (1 Oct 2008)

Ciarán Cannon: I echo the sentiments expressed by previous speakers. This is an historic occasion, not only in the context of the hour at which we are concluding our business but also in respect of what the Oireachtas has achieved during the past 48 hours. Effectively, we have secured the Irish banking sector and also the economy. The Minister made a bold and decisive move and the support the Bill has...

Seanad: Schools Building Projects (2 Oct 2008)

Ciarán Cannon: I welcome the Minister of State, Deputy Seán Haughey, and thank him for taking this matter. There is a long-standing and proud tradition of second level education in Kinvara in south Galway. It is almost two years since the Sisters of Mercy, who operated a facility for 150 years, announced to the community in south Galway that they were no longer in a position to continue to operate it....

Seanad: Harbours (Amendment) Bill 2008: Second Stage (8 Oct 2008)

Ciarán Cannon: I welcome the opportunity to speak on the legislation, which has been drafted to enhance the long-term viability of the ports around our island nation. Our long-standing maritime tradition is one aspect of the economy that is often overlooked and the legislation shines a badly needed spotlight on the sector. It seeks to allow harbour authorities the flexibility and autonomy to operate in a...

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