Thursday, 16 April 2015
Order of Business
I join others in extending our heartfelt sympathy and support to the Buckley family from Mourneabbey in County Cork on the tragic death of their beautiful daughter, Karen. It is an awful time for the family and we must commend the police in Glasgow on the amazing speed with which they brought a conclusion to the case.
I support all of Senator Paul Coghlan's comments about the terms and conditions under which the councillors of Ireland work, and it is time we had some discussions with the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Deputy Alan Kelly, about the issue. Councillors have an increasing and significant workload, especially as town councils have been abolished.
Throughout Europe today, there is a 24-hour crackdown on speeding, and the House should acknowledge and support the campaign, which is designed to reduce the number of deaths across Europe by 15% by 2020. Of all road deaths, 40% are caused by excessive speed, and we need to keep the issue highlighted and to the forefront of our minds. The other 60% of deaths are caused by other factors such as drink-driving and driving under the influence of drugs. The rising number of road deaths is something we should all be deeply concerned about and I hope today is the first of many days in which we will see a major crackdown on speeding.
On a happier note, I extend sincere congratulations to a young Roscommon man who has achieved national office by becoming the national president of Macra na Feirme. The man is Mr. Seán Finan from Ballinlough, Castlerea, County Roscommon, who is a young beef farmer and a project engineer with Sisk. Macra na Feirme is an organisation that advocates for young people and it has developed many community leaders through the years. Many people in politics gained their knowledge, experience and proficiency in public speaking through Macra na Feirme. I congratulate Mr. Finan and his family. Many Senators may be aware his uncle is Councillor Tom McHugh from Tuam.