Senior Legal Counsel confirm article 9(4) water charges derogation is still available to Ireland.
I will be voting no confidence in this Government for a number of reasons. It is now clear that senior gardaí were systematically intimidating whistleblowers. False accusations of sexual misconduct made to Tusla was the first leg of that operation. The second leg of that operation was the dissemination of these allegations through pet crime correspondents who are dependent on gardaí for information to do their jobs. In this way, these allegations were disseminated to other journalists, politicians and opinion formers. The Taoiseach has refused to say when he first learned about this operation. I am satisfied that he and the Tánaiste knew about it. They tried to cover it up and to confine the inquiry to a cosy secret investigation but Sergeant McCabe pulled the plug on them. They were caught out. It is time for the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and the Garda Commissioner to resign. I believe that a criminal investigation by an external police force chosen by this Dáil should begin immediately in parallel with the tribunal of inquiry.
The Committee of Public Accounts will shortly report that €220 million was lost on the Project Eagle sale and that it was not appropriate for the Minister for Finance, Deputy Noonan, Department of Finance officials and NAMA to meet senior Cerberus representatives in the days prior to that sale. This is but the tip of the iceberg. Massive Irish assets are being sold off at knock down prices to the Government’s international financial friends. People in need of health care are being criminally neglected and hundreds are dying needlessly according to our medical consultants.
At the same time as the Irish super-rich make massive untaxed asset gains – the value of their assets is now significantly higher than at the height of the boom – tenants, mortgage holders and farmers are being evicted by banks and vulture funds, including banks owned by this State.
With regard to housing, the Government has refused to declare a housing emergency and to implement adequate measures to house the homeless and the 100,000 on the housing waiting list. Recent Governments have surrendered all Irish economic sovereignty under the fiscal treaty. Despite what I would describe as a begging letter, the European Union is now refusing to allow the Government to borrow money to put a roof over the heads of our citizens. The wheels are coming off the policy of privatising State companies, combined with the over-reliance on foreign direct investment. The interests of the Irish people have been put completely in the hands of foreign agencies, foreign companies and foreign governments. I say to this Government tonight: go now.
Seamus Healy TD – 0872802199
Seamus Healy TD: I fully support the Tesco workers on strike tomorrow. Tesco make €250,000,000 in profit every year and refer to their Irish Business as “treasure island”. They have committed to paying dividends to their shareholders later this year whilst attempting to cut pay and conditions for their longest serving employees in Ireland by up to 20%. Please show your support for the workers and don’t pass the pickets. This strike is incredibly important for all workers in Ireland, if Tesco can set a precedent by effectively tearing up contracts of employment without agreement then no worker is safe.#TescoStrike #SupportTescoWorkers
Waiting Lists – Statement in the Dáil 09 February 2017
Seamus Healy TD:
The recent “RTE Investigates” programme told us what we have all known for many years. The nation was rightly shocked. It put the human face of pain and suffering on the figures. The public has been misled. The term “alternative facts” comes to mind. The public is entitled to, must be told and know the truth. The long waiting lists are the result of cuts to services by successive governments, for example, 2,000 beds have been taken out of the system, there is overcrowding in accident and emergency departments, posts are not filled and there is a moratorium on posts. I have been raising these issues for some time.
I recently raised the issue of the urology waiting list at University Hospital Waterford. A letter received by one of my constituents puts the case very plainly:
We are writing to inform you that you have been placed on … waiting list. We will forward you an appointment in due course.
You have been prioritised as: URGENT.
You should expect to be seen within 48+ months.
If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us.
The constituent must wait more than four years. The reply from the HSE and the Minister, which I received only yesterday, confirms that there is a major problem at University Hospital Waterford. It states, “The clinical risk for the Urology Services is on the Corporate Risk Register and is rated high risk.” The management at the hospital has applied for additional resources, two consultant urologists, support staff and funding to provide a proper service to the hospital. Those resources have not been provided. Will the Minister provide those resources not just for University Hospital Waterford but for all those from the south east, including Tipperary, using the services at the hospital?
Evidence given by Scottish and Welsh Water to the Joint Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services in Ireland identified €500million was wasted by Irish Water in installing domestic water meters.
I have as promised continued to follow up regarding the Urology Services at Waterford University Hospital where the waiting list is now 48-plus months. I asked Minister for Health Simon Harris what proposals he has to rectify the situation. He has referred my question to the HSE for reply. The HSE have forwarded the following reply.
“PQ *2541/17 “To ask the Minister for Health, in view of the fact that the Urology Outpatient Waiting list at University Hospital Waterford is now 48 months plus, the proposals he has to rectify the situation. [Seamus Healy].
The Health Service Executive has been requested to reply directly to you in the context of the above Parliamentary Question, which you submitted to the Minister for Health for response. I have examined the matter and the following outlines the position.
The total number of referrals to the Urology Service has increased by 90% since Urology commenced in University Hospital Waterford in 2015.
The management of the unprecedented demands faced on the Urology Service in University Hospital Waterford (UHW) is of high priority for UHW Executive Management Board and the Group Leadership Team of the South/South West Hospital Group SSWHG).
The clinical risk for the Urology Services is on the Corporate Risk Register and is rated high risk.
A number of possible solutions within South/South West Hospital Group are being explored including the possible availability of additional day case capacity in South Tipperary General Hospital STGH). It is planned that additional capacity for Urology day cases will become available in STGH in the 2nd quarter of 2017 following the opening of additional day case capacity in STGH.
UHW has also sought additional capacity within the SSWHG however the backlog of patients will require a special initiative.
In order to develop a sustainable solution UHW will continue to seek additional resources including Consultant Urologists and supporting services through the Estimates process. This will include additional cystoscopy and Outpatient Department sessions to ensure that the full presenting need will be met.
Following the approval and recruitment of additional Consultant Urologists, additional OPD, Operating Theatre and bed capacity will be required.”
I will continue to follow up and keep you updated.
Seamus Healy TD
Yesterday Deputy Healy continued to raise issues at the Joint Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services.
- Following up from previous meetings where he was informed that the metering programme would cease on 31 January 2017 I asked Irish Water for confirmation that the water metering programme had stopped and that contractors had been instructed to stop installing meters as of yesterday?
- He asked why Irish Water has no local offices or officials that the public can engage with directly?
- He asked why the public weren’t being notified re interruptions to water supply or planned maintenance by way of radio advertisements or leaflet drops?
- He also asked why Irish Water were cutting off supply to premises without notice or why they are cutting off supply at all?
He will as always keep you updated.