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June 27, 2018 1 comment

28-year-old Bernie Sanders volunteer, “Democratic Socialist” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, rocks US Democratic Party primary by beating 10-term congressman-Journal.ie   https://wp.me/pKzXa-16v

Just months ago Ocasio-Cortez was still working as a server in a restaurant.

THE US DEMOCRATIC Party was rocked to its core last night as establishment congressman Joe Crowley – seen as a potential standardbearer – was ousted by a 28-year-old far-left political novice.

Crowley, a 10-term incumbent representing New York’s diverse 14th district and the number four Democrat in the House of Representatives, had been considered a possible successor to Nancy Pelosi as party leader and even speaker, should Democrats reclaim the majority in November’s midterm elections.

Instead the 56-year-old Crowley, chairman of the Democratic caucus, suffered the biggest shock upset to date in the 2018 political season, losing his primary to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Bronx-born Latina activist and Bernie Sanders supporter who has never held elected office.

According to a detailed profile this week in Vogue, just months ago Ocasio-Cortez was still working as a server in a restaurant. She identifies as a Democratic socialist.

Her impressive 15 percentage point victory could spell a leftward shift for the party that is squaring up against President Donald Trump’s Republicans in the fall.

Her campaign’s Facebook page highlights her political positions — expanded Medicare for all and tuition-free college — that are similar to those put forward by Sanders, a Vermont socialist who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The implications of Ocasio-Cortez’s primary victory are profound.

It highlights the Democratic Party’s surging progressive wing as it grapples with its identity in the Trump era and in the run-up to November’s midterm elections when Democrats are aiming to reclaim the House.

“What you have shown is that this nation is never beyond remedy. It is never beyond hope,” Octavio-Cortez told her cheering supporters.

“We are going to rock the world in the next two years.”

 

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Categories: Uncategorized

Discussion-United Ireland Must Be Independent and Sovereign

Discussion-United Ireland Must Be Independent and Sovereign

Before 1921 Ireland Was United Within the Union With Britain. But it wasn’t INDEPENDENT!!!

Could Ireland Become United within the EU after Brexit but not INDEPENDENT or SOVEREIGN?

Note that Europe Will Soon have Its Own Army which Could enforce its wishes even on Members of the Proposed European Federation

I carry Here 2 relevant articles from Sunday Business Post April 1, 2018 Articles

1)Interview With Mary Lou McDonald, President of Sinn Féin

“There have been suggestions that instead of having one parliament in a future United Ireland, the Stormont Assembly would be left in place to run the North – while the Dáil would continue to have jurisdiction over the South.

McDonald says that this is something she will not rule out at a time when the prospect of a United Ireland is coming on the table as a real conversation.”

2) UNITED IRELAND (UNDER EU FISCAL TREATY?)  DRAWING NEARER ???

Kevin Meagher   SB POST   APRIL 1 ,2018

UNIONISTS BEWARE: MAY WILL PUT BRITAIN FIRST

“No, we are entering the endgame where realpolitik will trump abstract symbolism. And the narrow interests of the DUP will be sold out faster than half-price iPods in the Argos sale.”

Kevin Meagher was special adviser to former Labour Northern Ireland secretary Shaun Woodward. He is author of A United Ireland: Why Unification is Inevitable and How it Will Come About

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Interview With Mary Lou McDonald, President of Sinn Féin

“There have been suggestions that instead of having one parliament in a future United Ireland, the Stormont Assembly would be left in place to run the North – while the Dáil would continue to have jurisdiction over the South.

McDonald says that this is something she will not rule out at a time when the prospect of a United Ireland is coming on the table as a real conversation.”

Reaching out to unionists

In her opening address as the new president of Sinn Féin, McDonald pledged to reach out to the unionist community. That was something that Martin McGuinness did by shaking the hand of Queen Elizabeth II. Nelson Mandela acted similarly by greeting the South African rugby team – the ultimate symbol of Afrikaner culture – on the pitch before they beat the All Blacks to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

So would McDonald be prepared to march in an Orange Order parade to show that she was willing to accept a key part of unionist culture?

“I’m not sure they would want me on one of their marches,” she says. But she goes on to say that she does want to meet officially with the Orange Order.

“I think for Sinn Féin to officially meet with the Orange Order – what harm can it do? I think these discussions and these dialogues at a minimum achieve the very positive thing of people showing the respect to each other of sitting down with each other,” she says.

But while McDonald says she feels liberated as a new leader to make “big gestures” to unionists, her use of the IRA’s ‘Tiocfaidh ár lá’ slogan on becoming party leader last February did not help her case. Her repeated warnings – most recently in a speech at Queen’s University Belfast last week – that unionists are going to be outnumbered by nationalists could further alienate them.

McDonald says she has raised the demographic trends many times because it is a “fact”.

“It’s an electoral fact that the unionist vote dipped beneath the 50 per cent margin both at the last Westminster and the last Assembly election. The reason that’s significant is that the Northern state is constructed on the notion of an inbuilt unionist majority – but they never thought it would get that tight,” she says.

McDonald says she does not want to be seen as “lecturing unionism”, but adds that they have to start “thinking for themselves”.

“My option is Irish unity, but we don’t live in that reality. For almost a century, we’ve had a partitioned Ireland. We’ve had to come up with Plans B ,C, D, E and F, even if they weren’t always very good plans. I think it’s necessary for unionism to start thinking that way,” she says.

There have been suggestions that instead of having one parliament in a future United Ireland, the Stormont Assembly would be left in place to run the North – while the Dáil would continue to have jurisdiction over the South.

McDonald says that this is something she will not rule out at a time when the prospect of a United Ireland is coming on the table as a real conversation.

“It’s at a point now where people can intervene and say: ‘Hang on a minute, this is what we think, or let’s consider this.’ I think all of those ideas – I’m not going to discount or rule out anything because that is not the way you have an open or respectful conversation with people,” she says

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UNITED IRELAND (UNDER EU FISCAL TREATY?)  DRAWING NEARER ???

Kevin Meagher   SB POST   APRIL 1 ,2018

UNIONISTS BEWARE: MAY WILL PUT BRITAIN FIRST

“No, we are entering the endgame where realpolitik will trump abstract symbolism. And the narrow interests of the DUP will be sold out faster than half-price iPods in the Argos sale.”

Kevin Meagher was special adviser to former Labour Northern Ireland secretary Shaun Woodward. He is author of A United Ireland: Why Unification is Inevitable and How it Will Come About

Unionists beware: May will put Britain first

Realpolitik will eventually give us a wet border – in the Irish Sea – and if that makes unionists feel less British, they’ll have no option but to put up with it

By Kevin MeagherApr 1, 2018

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One size fits all is generally the way in which sovereign nation states go about their business. But the United Kingdom is not an arrangement of equals. Britain’s unwritten constitution and tradition of muddling through – with a combination of ambiguity and asymmetry – has become a defining aspect of our political culture.

Scotland, for instance, has its own parliament, but Wales only gets an assembly. As for the North, well, it’s anomalous in all sorts of ways.

Just last week, Labour MP Conor McGinn introduced legislation to permit same sex marriage in the North – now the only part of these islands without such a provision.

Similarly, it’s been the DUP pushing to lower the North’s corporation tax rate, dropping Britain’s 18 per cent rate to match the 12.5 per cent found in the South. “Lord make me equal,” to paraphrase St Augustine, “but not yet.”

When it comes to finally reconciling the question of post-Brexit border arrangements on the island of Ireland, a bespoke solution – ‘special status’ – for the North is the obvious move.

It’s a decision that cries out to be made so we can nail down the all-important question of Britain’s future trading relationship with the EU.

For the moment, British ministers cling to the fiction they can split the difference with some technical wizardry that affords two customs arrangements, but doesn’t result in checkpoints and watchtowers and other ‘infrastructure’ to police the demarcation. They have been sold a con, or are trying to palm us off with one.

Not just my view, you understand, but that of the House of Commons Northern Ireland Committee. In a report published last week, MPs made clear there was “no evidence to suggest that there is currently a technical solution that would avoid infrastructure at the border”. All the more damning for ministers given the committee is dominated by unionists and Tories.

Whitehall’s fundamental mistake was assuming the border question was the easy bit. So much so, that British prime minister Theresa May simply glanced over it in her Lancaster House speech in January 2017 setting out her approach to implementing Brexit, saying: “Nobody wants to return to the borders of the past, so we will make it a priority to deliver a practical solution as soon as we can.”

We are still waiting.

The assumption – casually made – was that the Irish would simply “get with the programme”. Even now, there is a focus on the trade and tariff arrangements without any appreciation of the security and symbolism of a hard border and the damage this potentially does to the Good Friday Agreement settlement.

It is part of a wider pattern of ill-preparedness that has dogged the British approach since triggering Article 50. David Davis, the Brexit secretary, is an open and honest man, even if, like most arch-Brexiteers, he remains a self-indulgent romantic nationalist.

His cavalier admission last December that ministers have not commissioned economic impact assessments about Brexit serves as a perfect illustration of the point.

But time is fast running out and the British government needs to get real. Although Theresa May is reliant on Arlene Foster to augment her lack of an overall majority in the House of Commons, the prime minister must recognise she cannot have the unionist tail wagging the British dog.

For unionists, the issues at stake are purely symbolic. As they see it, remaining in the customs union and even the single market makes them less British and more obviously Irish. Too bad.

May must not accommodate their rarefied sensibilities at the expense of the wider national interest. The North accounts for only 3 per cent of the UK’s population and just 1.5 per cent of its GDP. As on so many issues these days, unionists simply don’t have the right numbers to dictate terms.

When the unicorn option of a digital border is finally ruled out, it will dawn on unionists that their Conservative allies have now agreed to implement the European Commission’s ‘backstop’ option of keeping the North in the customs union and single market and effectively redrawing the border in the Irish Sea. (Not so much a hard border as a wet one.)

They will huff and puff in their inevitable style, but the DUP are in no hurry to bring down the Tories and risk putting Jeremy Corbyn in Number 10. If Theresa May is trapped by bad options, so is Arlene Foster.

The risk of no deal on the border and a hard Brexit, with all the uncertainty it would engender, is economically ruinous for Britain. Not just that, but there is no way the prime minister can sell that sort of outcome to her own party, let alone the country.

Not when a recent poll for radio station LBC found that more than two-thirds of Brexit voters thought leaving the EU was more important than keeping the North in the UK.

No, we are entering the endgame where realpolitik will trump abstract symbolism. And the narrow interests of the DUP will be sold out faster than half-price iPods in the Argos sale.

Kevin Meagher was special adviser to former Labour Northern Ireland secretary Shaun Woodward. He is author of A United Ireland: Why Unification is Inevitable and How it Will Come About

 

Categories: Uncategorized

LEO  “THE LICK”-Supported by Fawning Finnian and Hollow Halligan

March 20, 2018 1 comment

Remember that pressing the delete button does not remove data from a computer hard drive! The data can be retrieved!

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Varadkar Licking Up To Trump

Michael Clifford, Irish Examiner: Varadkar gaffe was to find common cause with Trump   https://wp.me/pKzXa-13g

“The reality is Mr Varadkar made one major boo-boo which was finding common cause with Mr Trump.”—“ Criticism of any of these (journalistic) matters is perfectly legitimate if done in a proper context and with the purpose of generating debate on standards and solutions–When it is framed in finding common cause with Mr Trump it takes on a dark hue. The US president does not believe in a free press. He believes in Fox News which acts as his unofficial cheerleader.”.—“ Perhaps the man(Leo) is just still smarting from the demise of his Strategic Communications Unit which was largely created to control the Government’s narrative and, by extension, arguably undermine the function of the media.        Irish Examiner Thursday, July 05, 2018 – 12:00 AM

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Following 12 Mobile Phones-

Nine laptops used by ex-Garda chiefs missing, tribunal is told

Irish Independent, Gerard Cunningham May 10 2018

Nine out of 11 laptops issued to former Garda commissioners Nóirín O’Sullivan and Martin Callinan used over a certain period of time have not been returned, the Disclosures Tribunal has heard.

The tribunal is looking at claims by former Garda press officer Superintendent David Taylor he was directed by Mr Callinan to brief the media negatively on whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe. Mr Callinan denies this.

Supt Pat Ryan, the head of the garda IT section, told the tribunal he had been asked in 2017 to identify all computer hardware used by Ms O’Sullivan from July 1, 2012, to May 31, 2014.

Supt Ryan said five laptop computers had been assigned to Ms O’Sullivan between 2006 and 2010, and these could no longer be recovered. A hard drive from an office desktop computer had been located.

No laptop was assigned to Ms O’Sullivan during her time as commissioner. Two iPads used by her had been located, although one had a fault.

Four out of six laptops used by Mr Callinan could not be located, and one machine had been rebuilt and redeployed.

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Leo Promised “Ethical” Leadership as Taoiseach-Women Have Died Because of Unethical Behaviour of Authorities which Should be Accountable to the Irish State

“I’ll demand of myself and my own Government what, in the past, I insisted of others.”-Varadar

Irish Examiner  05/05/2018

“Mr Varadkar said as much when he made his maiden speech in the Dáil upon being nominated as Taoiseach last June.

He said he wanted a Government that was strong on ethics, adding: “I’ll demand of myself and my ownGovernment what, in the past, I insisted of others.”

“Is it not time for change? For accountability, for leadership, and responsibility?

But you cannot have good ethics without accountability.”

12 Top Garda Mobile Phones Missing!

The Disclosures Tribunal has heard that only three out of 15 mobile phone handsets used by former commissioners Martin Callinan, Nóirín O’Sullivan and former head of the garda press office, Superintendent David Taylor, have been recovered and handed over to the inquiry.

A total of 12 phones, used in the period of interest, have gone missing and cannot be located.

Superintendent Michael Flynn of the Garda telecommunications unit gave evidence this morning that because of the missing handsets, the content of some text messages cannot be recovered.

However, details of phone calls and outlines of texts sent to particular numbers are available.

He said the “billing event” of a text was available but not the content of the text itself.

The inquiry is examining the telecommunications usage of the three individuals during the period when Supt Taylor was head of the press office from July 2012 to May 2014.

One of Ms O’Sullivan’s six phones was found, two of Mr Callinan’s six phones and none of Supt Taylor’s three handsets.

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LEO  “THE LICK”-Supported by Fawning Finnian and Hollow Halligan

VARADKAR  in Cringe-making display of forelock-tugging to TRUMP-Fintan O’Toole ,Irish Times

(Forelock Tugging To Merkel to Continue to-day in Germany -Brexit break-up with UK means Varadkar needs to woo Merkel-Derek Scally, Irish Times-see further down)

https://wp.me/pKzXa-13g

“The Taoiseach speaks for a country that is being forced by Donald Trump and Brexit to think deeply about its place in the world and how it negotiates its most crucial international relationships: those with the United States, Britain and the European Union.

Instead, we got from the Taoiseach a cringe-making display of forelock-tugging sycophancy. His message was that Ireland should be loved in Trump’s United States because Ireland is really, truly American: US ’R’ Us.”-Fintan O’Toole 

Fintan O’Toole: No, Taoiseach, Irish values are not American values

Fintan O’Toole Irish Times  Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Leo Varadkar does not often give set-piece speeches about Irish public values. Perhaps it is just as well.

Last Wednesday he gave one in Washington DC. It was outstandingly silly even by the standards of the boilerplate banality typical of gala dinners. For this speech comes when Ireland is at a very important juncture in its modern history.

The Taoiseach speaks for a country that is being forced by Donald Trump and Brexit to think deeply about its place in the world and how it negotiates its most crucial international relationships: those with the United States, Britain and the European Union.

Instead, we got from the Taoiseach a cringe-making display of forelock-tugging sycophancy. His message was that Ireland should be loved in Trump’s United States because Ireland is really, truly American: US ’R’ Us.

Before we come to the speech’s silliness we must acknowledge its gutlessness. An Irish leader speaking in the United States cannot avoid the subject of immigration. The test of basic decency is whether this address extends to today’s immigrants, who are under attack from a president who makes cynical and relentless use of the same nativist hatreds that were turned on the Irish in the 19th century.

Varadkar failed this test ignominiously. He hailed the US as “a country that welcomed migrants from all over the world – Jews, Catholics, Irish – and so many more who were drawn to your beacon of hope”. This is doubly evasive and therefore doubly shameful. The use of the past tense evades the present. And those weasel words “so many more” render invisible the Mexicans, the Muslims, the real people who are the current objects of Trump’s abuse.

Leo Varadkar’s parents met through, and continued to cherish, the most un-American institution in the world, the British National Health Service

This spinelessness is the context for the rest of the speech. The core of what the Taoiseach had to say was that Irish values are American values, plain and simple. This matters because it goes beyond toadying. Varadkar’s point is not merely that the United States is great. It is also that Ireland has no values of its own, that it takes nothing from its long pre-Christian and Christian cultures, nothing from Britain, nothing from Europe – but everything from the US.

US president Donald Trump and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during the Speaker’s Lunch at Capitol Hill in Washington DC, during the Taoiseach’s St Patrick’s visit to the US. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

No one would deny that the United States has been a major influence on Ireland, just as Britain has been a major influence. But imagine the Taoiseach had said that Irish values are British values, that everything we aspire to and hold dear is British. If you can do that you can begin to appreciate how self-abasing this speech was.

Here is the Taoiseach’s core point: “American ideas and American values that spread around the world meant that a young boy growing up in Ireland, with an Indian father and an Irish mother, could dream of one day becoming the leader of his country, believing that the time would come when people would be judged on their principles and their ideals, on the content of their character and the quality of the work, and not on their sexuality or the colour of their skin. These are our Irish values today . . . These were American values before they were ours.”

Almost everything in this is nonsense. Leo Varadkar’s parents met through, and continued to cherish, the most un-American institution in the world, the British National Health Service. Varadkar himself benefited from another un-American value: a cheap medical degree. (The annual cost of medical school in the US is between $35,000 and $59,000.) It was not American values that made it possible for a privileged, highly educated son of the Dublin professional classes to become Taoiseach: we’ve created those privileges of class and gender all by ourselves.

Does the Taoiseach really not know that it was the European Court of Human Rights, in the Norris case in 1988, that forced Ireland to decriminalise homosexuality?

As for not judging people on the colour of their skin being an American value before it was an Irish value, it is hard to know which is worse: the ignorance of modern US history and the contemporary realities of racial oppression, or the implication that we Irish were all racist savages until the Americans showed us how to respect black people. And as for American values making it possible for gay Irish people to be treated as equal citizens, does the Taoiseach really not know that it was the European Court of Human Rights, in the Norris case in 1988, that forced Ireland to decriminalise homosexuality? Who does he think drafted the European Convention on Human Rights? Richard Nixon?

All of this could be written off as a mere embarrassment were it not a return to a previous ideological template: Mary Harney’s claim in 2000 that, “spiritually, we are probably a lot closer to Boston than Berlin”.

There is ideological method in this daftness: we are to understand ourselves as rugged individualists in the American mythological mould, not as soppy Europeans whose self-reliance has been sapped by luxuries like public healthcare. Varadkar actually claimed that American “individualism” “inspired Irishmen and women to fight for freedom” – a ludicrous travesty of the collectivist national and social ideals for which they actually fought.

But at a time when we are in effect choosing a European destiny his imprinting of the Stars and Stripes on the Tricolour is even sillier than Harney’s. Just as we take a decisive turn to Europe the Taoiseach tells us that we are nothing if not American.

© 2018 irishtimes.com

 

Forelock Tugging by Leo “The Lick” To Continue in Germany To-Day

Brexit break-up with UK means Varadkar needs to woo Merkel

Derek Scally Irish Times Tuesday, March 20, 2018,

Last Friday, as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar tilted at imaginary windmills in Washington, Berlin rocked its way into St Patrick’s Day. In the legendary Berghain club, the peeling gold paint on the ceiling quivered as Ireland’s Candice Gordon delivered a knockout set.

Like Joan Jett fronting Thin Lizzy, she bellowed:”You know my time has come . . . Destiny hold me closer/It’s inevitable/It’s only you.”

Timely thoughts for Varadkar on his inaugural Berlin visit today to begin his wooing of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

As Ireland’s decades-old political and policy dependency on London comes to a sudden end in Brussels, Ireland is nursing a mighty Brexit hangover.

We need new partners in Europe and Germany, Dublin has decided, is to be one of them. The key question now is: why should Germany – or Merkel – care?

It’s a good sign that Merkel, scarcely a week into her fourth term, will welcome Varadkar with full military honours for a working lunch.

Derek Scally Irish Times  Tuesday, March 20, 2018,

Last Friday, as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar tilted at imaginary windmills in Washington, Berlin rocked its way into St Patrick’s Day. In the legendary Berghain club, the peeling gold paint on the ceiling quivered as Ireland’s Candice Gordon delivered a knockout set.

Like Joan Jett fronting Thin Lizzy, she bellowed:”You know my time has come . . . Destiny hold me closer/It’s inevitable/It’s only you.”

Timely thoughts for Varadkar on his inaugural Berlin visit today to begin his wooing of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

As Ireland’s decades-old political and policy dependency on London comes to a sudden end in Brussels, Ireland is nursing a mighty Brexit hangover.

We need new partners in Europe and Germany, Dublin has decided, is to be one of them. The key question now is: why should Germany – or Merkel – care?

It’s a good sign that Merkel, scarcely a week into her fourth term, will welcome Varadkar with full military honours for a working lunch.

Brexit is far less present in German minds or media than in Britain or Ireland

Varadkar is anxious to make his own the close ties to Merkel he inherited from Enda Kenny, both as Taoiseach and as head of Fine Gael head, a sister party to her ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

Post-Brexit refrain

As transatlantic trade ties tense up, he can give her his readout on last week’s meetings with US president Donald Trump. At a joint press conference, meanwhile, he will reiterate Dublin’s post-Brexit refrain that Ireland is not leaving the European Union and will remain an active partner.

Amid ongoing London procrastination on the Brexit border question, where a solution remains uncertain despite Monday’s announcements in Brussels, he hopes Merkel will reiterate – in public and in private – her insistence that Dublin’s concerns are Berlin’s concerns.

Brexit is far less present in German minds or media than in Britain or Ireland. But whenever it comes up the real risks to prosperity and peace are teased out fairly in radio reports, newspaper features and, as recently as last week, a packed panel discussion on an icy Berlin evening. Dublin is pushing here at an open door.

Beyond Brexit shadow-boxing with Britain, meanwhile, lies the growing EU future reform debate as pushed by French president Emmanuel Macron.

On this Varadkar is likely to echo a recent warning by eight northern European finance ministers, including Paschal Donohoe, that talk of a euro finance minister is wishful thinking until everyone – read France – meets existing – read budget deficit – rules. Such talk goes down well with Merkel’s conservative backbenchers, wary of reforms that would cost their voters more money.

Speaking of money, Berlin has in Dublin a rare ally: another capital that has expressed readiness to step up and pay more into the EU budget to fill the hole left by London.

But the Irish recovery – a welcome good news story in Germany – changes the game. Tax avoidance is a poisonous political issue in Berlin

Varadkar knows he needs to build up goodwill in Berlin given another looming challenge. Merkel’s new coalition agreement – carrying the fingerprints of her Social Democratic Party (SPD) partners – vows to take on “tax dumping” and namechecks as prime offenders Facebook, Google and Apple – all with European headquarters in Ireland.

Ireland insists it will not bow to external pressure but its tax regime is a growing blot on its copybook here and is even now a joke in a new Berlin musical that premiered last week.

A Berlin government spokesman insists there is no “link in substance” between tax and Brexit, but well-placed watchers here say the political link cannot be wished away. A decade ago, Merkel rebuffed Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to exploit crisis Ireland’s dependency on the EU to force changes to its corporate tax regime.

Berlin accepted Irish arguments that it would undermine the already enfeebled economy. But the Irish recovery – a welcome good news story in Germany – changes the game. Tax avoidance is a poisonous political issue in Berlin. With France, Germany is working on bilateral corporate tax convergence plans which, a finance ministry officials says, “should cross-fertilise the wider EU corporate tax debate”.

The tax issue is now in play – see Wednesday’s European Commission plans for a “digital tax” on EU turnover. Moving with, and shaping, that debate, rather than tilting at fiscal windmills of yesteryear would indicate in Berlin that Ireland means business.

Three things needed

To do the business here, though, you need three things: ideas, money and the German language.

Minister for Education Richard Bruton returned from his St Patrick’s Day visit here with good ideas that must now become priorities in Dublin. In particular, Ireland should leverage its unique selling proposition – as the only native English-speaking nation left in the EU – to boost school and research exchanges.

Extended school exchanges for Irish students here would complement their Stem skills with the German language and open an underexploited world of German universities, engineering giants and multibillion-euro German state research funds. To prove Ireland is serious how about, in return, a “shamrock fund” to finance German researchers who partner with – or research in – Ireland?

Culture is a way of framing new Irish engagement with Germany. But that will mean Dublin extending to Berlin the Irish taxpayers’ multimillion-euro generosity already enjoyed by the Irish Centre in New York and the Irish College in Paris.

A final, crucial sign that times have changed would be to retire the tired tradition of Irish taoisigh visiting Germany like it was a burning house in Berlin: grabbing what they can in a quick in-and-out.

A Taoiseach determined to wed his country to Germany, without spending any time here, looks like a father pushing a doomed, arranged marriage.

© 2018 irishtimes.com

 

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized

War of Independence and Civil War in Tipperary and West Waterford

February 18, 2018 Leave a comment

Important Reading on War of Independence and the Civil War and Lessons for To-day:  Book Ernie O Malley-The Singing Flame; Book C Desmond Greaves: Liam Mellowes and The Irish Revolution;  Book D.R. O’C Lysaght: The Munster Creamery Soviets  ; Book C Desmond Greaves: History of ITGWU; D.R.O’C Lysaght: Story of the Limerick Soviet;Paper Conor Kostick : The Irish Working Class and the War of Independence. Book Arthur Mitchel : Labour in Irish Politics 1890-1930-The Irish Labour Movement in an Age of Revolution. Case Histories  Brian Kenny: When Ireland Went Red;Also  Philip Ferguson   : https://theirishrevolution.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/the-working-class-and-the-national-struggle-1916-1921/

See also onthis Blog   Lessons of the Civil War for Today   https://wp.me/pKzXa-OT

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New Verse-The Galtee Mountain Boy

If one missed the third line of the first verse-“arrested by free-staters and sentenced for to die”, a person would be forgiven for thinking that the song was a war of independence song rather than an anti-free-state song. I hope my link verse 2(A) will clarify the meaning of the song. Can I ask somebody with much more song-writing ability than mine to rewrite the verse!!! Christy Moore please help! https://wp.me/pKzXa-12n

2(a) By Paddy Healy

Bound for Dubin City to Fight the Free State Foe,

To Join our Faithful Leaders, Liam, Rory, Dick and Joe,

But the Four Courts had surrendered, so home we had to go.

To Defend the Galtee Mountains and the Glen of Aherlow!

Galtee Mountain Boy by Patsy O’Halloran

(1)

I joined the flying column in19 and16
In Cork with Sean Moylan ,Tipperary with DanBreen
Arrested by free-staters and sentenced for to die
Farewell to Tipperary said the Galtee mountain boy

[2]
We went across the vallys and over the hilltops green
Where we met with Dinny Lacey,Sean Hogan and Dan Breen
Sean Moylan and his gallant men they kept the flag flying high
Farewell to Tipperary said the Galtee mountain boy

New Verse—by Paddy Healy

2(a)

Bound for Dubin City to Fight the Free State Foe,

To Join our Faithful Leaders, Liam, Rory, Dick and Joe,

But the Four Courts had surrendered, so home we had to go.

To Defend the Galtee Mountains and the Glen of Aherlow!

[3]
We tracked the Dublin mountains we were rebels on the run
Though hunted night and morning we were outlaws but free men
We tracked the Wicklow mountains as the sun was shining high
Farewell to Tipperary said the Galtee mountain boy

[4] By Christie Moore
I bid farewell to old Clonmel that I never more will see
And to the Galtee mountain that oft times sheltered me
The men who fought for their liberty and who died without a sigh
May their cause be ne’er forgotten said the Galtee mountain boy

 

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Over the Next 5 years, Irish People  Will be Commemorating The War of Independence and the Civil War.

I will be attempting to set out here the developments in County Tipperary and West Waterford in that period.

https://wp.me/pKzXa-12n

The first shots of the War of Independence were,of course, fired in Co Tipperary at Soloheadbeg.

But in addition to military engagements, these developments included:  election to the first All-Ireland Dáil, seizure of creameries by workers (“creamery soviets”), general strike against conscription , strikes in support of hunger strikers, seizure of land of big land owners, strikes of farm  labourers for better pay and conditions,  strikes of transport workers against movement of British troops and munitions etc.

I start to-day near the end of the Civil War in May 1923.

95 Years Ago To-day, on Feb 18, 1923 Tipperary Anti-Treaty Leader Dinny Lacey Was Shot and Killed By Free State Forces

In December 1921, his unit split over the Anglo-Irish Treaty. Lacey opposed the Treaty and most of his men followed suit. Lacey took over command of the Third Tipperary Brigade as Seamus Robinson was appointed to command the anti-Treaty IRA’s Second Southern Division. In the ensuing civil war (June 1922-May 1923), he organised guerrilla activity in the Tipperary area against Irish Free State (pro-Treaty) forces.

He was killed in an action against Free State troops at Ballydavid, near Bansha in the Glen of Aherlow on 18 February 1923. He was 33 years old.Over 1,000 Free State troops, under the command of General John T. Prout, with the intention of breaking up his guerrilla unit, converged on the Glen where he and four other men from his column were billeted. Lacey and one of his men were killed and others captured.

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Anti-Free State Ballad :The Galtee Mountain Boy-Video Below

‘The Galtee Mountain Boy’
(By Patsy Halloran)

Performed by John Breen
Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

I joined the flying column in nineteen and sixteen
In Cork with Sean Moylan, in Tipperary with Dan Breen
Arrested by free staters and sentenced for to die
Farewell to Tipperary said the Galtee mountain boy

We went across the valleys and over the hilltops green
Where we met with Dinny Lacey, Sean Hogan and Dan Breen
Sean Moylan and his gallant men that kept the flag flying high
Farewell to Tipperary said the Galtee mountain boy

(The ballad is set in Clonmel Jail as the Galtee Mountain Boy awaits execution by the Free State. Having attempted to relieve the Four Courts the South Tipp and West Waterford Rebels retreated southwards from the Dublin mountains where they had linked up with the anti-treaty forces led by Oscar Traynor. They had received word of the surrender of the Four Courts garrison. From the Dublin Mountains they travelled over the Wicklow Mountains back towards Clonmel .-Paddy Healy)

We tracked the Dublin mountains we were rebels on the run
Though hunted night and morning we were outlaws but free men
We tracked the Wicklow mountains as the sun was shining high
Farewell to Tipperary said the Galtee mountain boy

I bid farewell to old Clonmel that I never more will see
And to the Galtee mountains that oft times sheltered me
The men who fought for their liberty and who died without a sigh
May their cause be ne’er forgotten said the Galtee mountain boy

Categories: Uncategorized

Monitoring Defense Expenditure As Ireland Participates in Permanent European Structured  (Military) Co-Operation Organisation (PESCO) and Operation Sophia in Mediterranean 

February 1, 2018 1 comment

IRISH NEUTRALITY BEING FULLY PHASED OUT!!

See Taoiseach’s Reply To Seamus Healy TD on Purchase of New 200 Million Euro Military Ship Below

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Rescue ship carrying hundreds of migrants not allowed dock in Italy

Irish Times-A private rescue ship, owned by SOS Mediterranee, carrying 629 migrants remained on a northward course in the Mediterranean Sea after more than a day of not receiving permission to dock in either Italy or Malta. https://wp.me/pKzXa-11z

“To the east, Libya’s coastguard intercepted 152 migrants, including women and children, from two boats stopped in the Mediterranean off the coast of the western Zuwara district on Saturday. The migrants were taken to a naval base in Tripoli(LIBYA).

Human rights groups oppose returning rescued migrants to Libya, where many are held in inhumane conditions, poorly fed and often forced to do slave labour.

The United Nations says at least 785 migrants have died crossing the sea so far this year.”–Associated Press (AP) –Irish Times  Monday, June 11, 2018

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Budget 2018 (October 2017) To Budget 2019 (October 2018)

https://wp.me/pKzXa-11z

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Budget 2018

Fresh funding for new naval flagship vessel and military aircraft

Conor Gallagher

Irish Times: Tuesday, October 10, 2017, 19:07

The replacement of the Naval Service’s flagship vessel and several of the Air Corps’ aircraft are provided for in the defence allocation for Budget 2018.

Minister of State for Defence Paul Kehoe said there will be a “significant” increase of €25 million in defence spending next year, bringing the total Department of Defence funding to €946 million.

Over 25 per cent (€239 million) of defence expenditure will go on Army pensions, an increase of €10 million. There are currently 12,300 military pensioners and this number is increasing, Mr Kehoe said.

The Defence Forces will receive an extra €98 million in long-term investment. This will be used to replace the Air Corps’ five Cessna aircraft that date back to 1972 and two Casa Maritime Patrol aircraft which entered service in 1994.

The Cessnas will be replaced by three larger aircraft equipped for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance tasks.

The increase will also be used to begin the planning process for the replacement of the Naval Service’s flagship vessel LÉ Eithne with a new multi-role ship. A fourth naval ship, the LÉ George Bernard Shaw is due to be delivered in 2018 at a cost of €67 million.

The Army’s fleet of 80 Mowag armoured personal carriers is due to undergo a “mid-life upgrade”.

There is also funding for upgrading military computer and communication equipment and body armour for troops.

Mr Kehoe said the increase in expenditure will allow the Defence Forces to reach its establishment strength of 9,500. The Defence Forces’ current strength of 8,900 means it is struggling to carry out basic duties.

About 750 troops have been recruited so far this year but 200 of them left before completing their training. Meanwhile, about 700 experienced troops retired.

“I remain fully committed to achieving the establishment figure of 9,500 for the Defence Forces,” Mr Kehoe said.

He said the budget will also allow the Defence Forces to continue meeting its overseas commitments with the United Nations.

The 2018 capital funding allocation includes funding for the upgrading of several Army facilities including an ammunition storage facility in the Curragh Camp and the refurbishment of accommodation in Cathal Brugha Barracks.

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Reply to Seamus Healy TD in Dáil
Taoiseach Confirms Decision to Purchase Huge Ship With Helicopter Deck for Use Overseas—Irish Neutrality??? (See below)
Defend IrishNeutrality     https://wp.me/pKzXa-Ut

To: “Seamus Healy” <Seamus.Healy@Oireachtas.ie>
Subject: eReplies to your Parliamentary Questions for 30/01/2018
For Written Answer on : 30/01/2018
Question Number(s): 127 Question Reference(s): 4263/18
Department: Defence
______________________________________________
QUESTION
To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence further to parliamentary question number 286 of 26 October 2017, the estimated cost of the additional multi role vessel that is proposed for purchase for the Naval Service; if a decision to put the provision of the MRV out to tender has been taken in view of a news report (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied) Report From Irish Examiner Navy considers €200m multi-role ship – sent to Dept on 24/01/2018 @ 13:05

REPLY
The White Paper provides for the replacement of the current Naval Service flagship LÉ Eithne with a multi role vessel (MRV) which will be enabled for helicopter operations and will also have a freight carrying capacity. It is the Government’s intent that this new vessel will provide a flexible and adaptive capability for a wide range of maritime tasks, both at home and overseas.

Planning has commenced on this project and it is intended to hold a public tender competition in due course to cover the supply of the MRV. This, of course, is subject to the availability of funding within the overall Defence capital funding envelope. The cost of the MRV will only be known once the tender competition is concluded.

The acquisition of a modern vessel will ensure that the operational capabilities of the Naval Service, as the State’s principal seagoing agency, are maintained to the greatest extent and taking account of the overall policy approach in the White Paper on Defence

 


Government To Purchase Huge Ship From Which Helicopters Can Be Launched

Navy considers Buying €200m multi-role ship

From Irish Examiner- The naval base including the naval college is in Haulbowline , Co Cork

We could join Macrons proposed invasion of Libya with this ship. We could even put Irish soldiers ashore in landing craft. The Air Force could also participate from the helicopter deck!!!Will the 200 million or part thereof be in the October budget??

 

Irish Examiner, Thursday,  October 12,  2017   By Sean O’Riordan 

Navy considers €200m multi-role ship

“Not only could the vessel be used overseas……………The MRV could easily accommodate a whole infantry company and all its equipment, who could be launched onshore by landing craft. The ship would also have the capability to launch helicopters from its flight deck”

 

The Naval Service could have a new multi-role vessel (MRV) built and operational wthin the next three years.

A delegation is set to visit New Zealand shortly to look at a warship which could become a blueprint for the new ship — and could cost up to €200m to construct.

A small group consisting of Department of Defence officials and experts from the Defence Forces have been invited by the New Zealand government to inspect HMNZS Canterbury, which was designed by the New Zealand navy.

An MRV could measure up to 150m in length, dwarfing the navy’s largest vessel which is 90m long.

It is intended that it will replace the ageing LÉ Niamh as the navy’s flagship.

The MRV could easily accommodate a whole infantry company and all its equipment, who could be launched onshore by landing craft. The ship would also have the capability to launch helicopters from its flight deck.

Former taoiseach Enda Kenny referred to the need to purchase a multi-functional ship, which could also include a mini onboard hospital, when he commissioned LÉ William Butler Yeats last year.

Following the Budget, Paul Kehoe, minister with responsibility for the Defence Forces, said additional capital funding secured by the Department of Defence would allow it to commence the “process of procuring” an MRV.

The New Zealand ship has been deployed successfully on humanitarian missions, especially to providing help following natural disasters which hit neighbouring countries in recent years.

Once the inspection of the Canterbury is completed, representatives of the Naval Service, Army and Air Corps will sit down and come up with a design which is mutually acceptable for tripartite operations on the vessel.

Defence Forces sources said the ship will need to be adapted for flexible operations, which will include rapid deployment in crisis areas, be they military or humanitarian operations.

Not only could the vessel be used overseas, but it could be deployed for disaster relief here, as well as drug shipment interceptions and more routine duties such as fishery protection.

A source said a Canterbury-type ship was “very much along the lines of what we want”. The Naval Service is already at its most modern since its foundation in 1946.

The fourth new ship for the fleet, LÉ George Bernard Shaw, costing €67m, is currently being constructed at a shipyard in Appledore, Devon, and will be delivered to the Naval Service next summer.

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Government To Spend 250 million on 4 new Ships for Naval Service

Minister Replies QUESTION NO : 286  From Deputy Clare Daly

DEPUTY CLARE DALY.  FOR WRITTEN ANSWER ON WEDNESDAY, 25TH OCTOBER, 2017.

Ref No: 45237/17 Proof: 276

To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the reason existing Naval Service ships were not refurbished for a fraction of the purchase cost of new ships including multi role vessels the utility of which to the Naval Service is unclear in view of the almost €0.5 billion expenditure on new ships for the Naval Service over recent years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

REPLY

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Paul Kehoe, T.D.):

My priority as Minister with Responsibility for Defence is to ensure that the operational capability of the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service is maintained to the greatest extent possible so as to enable the Defence Forces to carry out their roles as assigned by Government as set out in the White Paper on Defence. Equipment priorities for the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service are being considered in the context of the lifetime of the White Paper on Defence as part of the capability development and equipment planning process.

In this context the principal aim over the period of the White Paper will be to replace and upgrade, as required, existing capabilities in order to retain a flexible response for a wide range of operational requirements at home and overseas. The Defence Capital envelope for the period 2018-2021 is €416m and this will enable investment in major equipment platforms, including the refurbishment and replacement of Naval Service Vessels.

The White Paper underpins the ongoing replacement of the Naval Service fleet. A significant investment over recent years has been on the procurement of new Off-Shore Patrol Vessels for the Naval Service. The third ship in the programme, LÉ William Butler Yeats, was commissioned in to service in October 2016. A contract for an additional sister ship was placed with Babcock International, a British company, in June 2016 bringing investment in the new ships programme to over €250 million since 2010. The fourth ship, to be named LÉ George Bernard Shaw is scheduled for delivery in mid-2018.

The acquisition of these modern new vessels, combined with an ongoing maintenance regime for all vessels within the fleet, and the continuous process of refurbishment, refit and repair, will ensure that the operational capabilities of the Naval Service, as the States principal seagoing agency, are maintained to the greatest extent.

The service life of a Naval Service ship is determined by the level of operational activity. It is normal practice in a ship’s life cycle to carry out a mid-life refurbishment programme so as to extend the useful life of the ship to thirty or more years. In that regard, the Defence Organisation has commenced planning for a mid-life refurbishment programme for the LÉ Roisin (built in 1999) and the LÉ Niamh (built in 2001). This structured mid-life refurbishment programme will future proof the vessels, allow for preventative maintenance and address obsolescence of equipment through capitalising on advancements in technology, thus ensuring reliability of the vessels for the next 15 years.

Three ships in the current flotilla are over 30 years old (LÉ Eithne and LÉ Ciara were built in 1984 and LÉ Orla was built in 1985). The White Paper provides for the replacement of the current Naval Service flagship LÉ Eithne with a multi role vessel (MRV) which will be enabled for helicopter operations and will also have a freight carrying capacity. It is the intention to hold a public tender competition in due course to cover the supply of the MRV subject to the availability of funding within the overall Defence capital funding envelope. The cost of the MRV will only be known once the tender competition is concluded. Future Naval Service capabilities are being planned as part of the White Paper project planning process which will determine the Defence Organisation’s maritime capability requirements.

Categories: Uncategorized

IRISH ELITE AND GOVERNMENT IMPLEMENT CRUEL LACK OF HEALTH CARE

January 13, 2018 Leave a comment

Over 500,000 waiting for hospital out-patient appointment (alone)

13 weeks prior to 29/12/2017:    495,318; 495,104; 495,557; 495,398 ;494,898 494,530; 495,956 ;496,357; 496,513; 497,721; 498,660 ;499,185; 498,362; 500,800.

https://wp.me/pKzXa-10V

LONGER THAN 1 YEAR AND 3 MONTHS WAITING For IN-Patient Treatment

HSE:Analysis of waiting lists by the NTPF, as of February 2017, identified that 38,991 patients will be waiting for in-patient or day case treatment greater than 15 months at the end of October 2017.

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WAITING LISTS

Martin Wall, Irish Times,: Friday, January 12, 2018, 18:23

There are now more than 500,000 people waiting for an out-patient appointment to see a hospital consultant, new figures show.

The National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) on Friday published figures showing that overall the number of patients on hospital waiting lists is continuing to rise.

There were 81,468 people on waiting lists for hospital in-patient or day case procedures at the end of December, up from 80,595 at the end of November.

The number of patients waiting for an out-patient appointment in December was 500,800, up from 497,721 in November.

Minister for Health Simon Harris said the out-patient waiting list remained “a big challenge that needs to be addressed”. He said the budget for the NTPF and to deal with waiting lists had dramatically increased .

He said he expected “ to see good progress in driving down waiting lists as we come into the spring”.

However, Fianna Fáil’s health spokesman Billy Kelleher said it was “absolutely appalling” that more than half a million people were now waiting for an outpatient appointment.

He argued that Mr Harris had “clearly taken his eye off the ball as he attempts, and fails, to grapple with emergency department trolley crisis”

“A total of 138,584 of these patients spent all of 2017 waiting unsuccessfully for an outpatient consultation. And half of these have actually being waiting since the middle of 2016,” he said.

“We should remember too that Leo Varadkar promised that no-one would be waiting more than 18 months by the middle of 2015. Delivery on that commitment seems further away than ever.”

Mr Harris said it was worth highlighting that the number of patients waiting more than 12 months was lower in December than at any point last year and there were marked decreases in those waiting for treatment for a number of specialities including cataracts; ear, nose and throat; urology and scopes.

“At present over 57 per cent of patients on the in-patient list wait less than six months, and over 84 per cent wait less than 12 months for their procedure. This is despite the additional demands on our hospitals,” he said.

“The out-patient waiting list remains a big challenge that needs to be addressed. It is worth noting that last year almost half a million (479,000) outpatients did not attend their appointment. This is something that must be tackled.”

Mr Kelleher said it was “ bitterly disappointing” that after four months of modest improvements, the numbers waiting on the inpatient day case list have edged upwards again.”

“Sadly the chaos we have seen in our emergency departments so far in 2018 means that we are likely to see a further increase in January,” he said. “It is critical that the Minister for Health publishes the bed capacity review as soon as possible and bring forward a costed plan for its swift implementation.”

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RTE:Almost 679,000 patients waiting for hospital care, new figures show

Updated / Friday, 6 Oct 2017 22:55

Over 101,460 were waiting for inpatient or day case treatment, down slightly on the August figure

Over 678,800 patients are now waiting for hospital care, according to the latest figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund.

The figures released this evening are up to the end of September.

While the overall figures represent an increase of about 19,000 on the previous month, some lists have seen reductions.

Of the 678,800 total, over 101,460 were waiting for inpatient or day case treatment, down slightly on the August figure.

19,100 were waiting for a gastrointestinal endoscopy check.

Over 495,300 were waiting to be seen by a consultant at an outpatient clinic, down slightly on the August figures.

A further 62,800 people were scheduled for follow-up care soon having had initial treatment already.

In August, the National Treatment Purchase Fund changed the way the waiting list figures are presented.

The figures now detail patients who have a date set to be seen, patients waiting for a date, and suspended patients – those who are temporarily unfit or unable to attend due to clinical or personal reasons.

The total number in the suspended list is 10,317.

Included in the suspended list are patients whose treatment is being outsourced to another hospital, possibly a private hospital.

The NTPF also publishes a list of what are called ‘planned procedures’ – a list of patients who have had an initial episode of care and who are waiting for further treatment.

Minister for Health Simon Harris has said he welcomes that there has been a reduction in the total number of patients waiting for both procedures and outpatient appointments.

In a statement, Mr Harris said: “This is evidence that the measures being taken to reduce waiting lists are beginning to work. We are seeing a downward trend and we expect that to continue. This is the second month in a row that we have seen a reduction in the number of patients waiting for Inpatient or Day Case procedures.

Mr Harris said that “good progress” was being made, before noting the long waiting list times faced by patients, saying: “I acknowledge that waiting times are too long and I am keenly aware of the burden that long waiting times for treatment places on patient and their families.

“That is why we now need to do more and that is why funding for the NTPT is to rise in 2018, so that more procedures can be carried out and more people can be treated.”

He added that the reduction of waiting times for patients and improving access to health services is one of his key priorities.

Mother waiting over two years for procedure

Serena Guilfoyle from Portlaoise is 34 years old and is the mother of four young children.

She was recently treated for breast cancer and has ongoing problems with her stomach and had part of her bowel removed.

Ms Guilfoyle is awaiting news on a possible diagnosis of coeliac disease.

 

She is on the waiting list at the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore for a stomach biopsy – with an appointment date over two years away.

She told RTÉ News she is terrified of the wait.

The Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore said it cannot comment on individual patient care.

The hospital said it is actively working with the HSE to ensure no patient is waiting more than 18 months and to meet targets set for those waiting less than 15 months.

It said it is committed to ensuring that those with the greatest clinical need are prioritised for treatment.

The Private Hospitals Association has called on the Minister for Health Simon Harris to convene a crisis summit over hospital waiting lists.

The Association said radical solutions are now required to drive down waiting lists and to keep them down for good.

Its Chief Executive, Simon Nugent, said it was like a chronic ‘Groundhog Day’ for hundreds of thousands of patients and their families who every month are being told that their wait must go on.

 

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Current hospital crisis will seem like picnic if more beds not provided in future – HSE

Martin Wall, Irish times,Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 11:07

The current level of hospital overcrowding will “look like a picnic” compared to what will happen in the future unless capacity is increased, the head of the HSE has said.

Tony O’Brien said the population was growing and ageing and people would need more access to healthcare. He said this meant the healthcare system would have to be “differently shaped and differently sized”.

He said he was pleased that there was now a political consensus about the issue.

Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, Mr O’Brien said if additional bed capacity was not provided, the healthcare system would face “an existential crisis” in the years ahead.

“We cannot go through the next five years without addressing this issue, because what we’re seeing today will look like a picnic if we don’t,” he said.

“If we continue with the healthcare system in the shape that it is, with only the number of beds that it has, with the population changing and increasing, the level of demand for emergency care will continue to grow with a static bed stock.”

Mr O’Brien made his comments after new figures compiled by nurses revealed there were 551 patients on trolleys in emergency departments or on wards awaiting admission to a hospital bed.

Mr O’Brien said he acknowledged that the experience for many patients in hospitals at present was not good.

He said the trolley figures for Wednesday were much too high but they were also clearly evident of the tremendous work being carried out by staff and the fact that some of the planning put in place over the last year had been effective in part.

Mr O’Brien said the Irish public health system was structured for a different time, as was its level of capacity.

He said bed occupancy in many of the country’s major hospital was running at well over 100 per cent.

“Last week in the UK, because it exceeded 85 per cent (bed occupancy levels) we saw the prime minister apologising for the cancellation of all elective treatment. If we followed that we would not be doing elective treatment at all.”

He said he was pleased that with the forthcoming report of the Government’s bed capacity review and the Slaintecare reforms “we are on the brink of changes which will mean in the future we will not see what we are seeing now”.

Not competitive

The Irish Times reported on Saturday that the review will call for the provision of an additional 2,000 – 2,500 acute hospital beds if planned healthcare reforms were implemented and up to 9,000 additional beds if the changes were not put in place.

Mr O’Brien warned, however, that increasing capacity in hospitals did not involve “going down to Bargaintown and buying a few beds”.

He said providing infrastructure in hospitals was a complex, long and expensive business.

He said additional staff would also have to be found and he acknowledged that Ireland was not internationally competitive in recruiting healthcare personnel.

New figures released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) said there were 43 patients at LetterkennyGeneral Hospital and 42 patients at Galway University Hospital waiting for a bed after being deemed by doctors to require admission .

The INMO figures suggest that the number of people on trolleys is down from the 575 recorded on Tuesday and the record levels of 677 reached last week.

The INMO figures show that in Dublin the largest number of people waiting for a bed was at Tallaght Hospital while 29 people were on trolleys or on wards awaiting admission to a bed.

Capacity

Meanwhile the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) urged the Government to acknowledge that the health service was experiencing a system-wide problem of lack of capacity and not just an emergency department or trolley crisis.

“ What we are seeing in our emergency departments is only the manifestation of the wider problems – and we are now seeing the same problems in other parts of our services as they struggle to cope with capacity and patient demand.”

“It is not sustainable to have solutions that:

*cancel elective procedures. In many of these cases the patient will simply present back in the emergency department and in all cases will add to the already unmanageable waiting lists.

*transfer patients from hospitals to private facilities. Continuing a policy of investing much needed resources into the private system with no corresponding investment in our public system will simply maintain the status quo – it is the same number of patients requiring treatment but we are putting taxpayers’ monies into a private profit based system.”

The IMO said all the problems being experienced centred around capacity:

“capacity with regards to the number of beds in both acute hospitals and the community setting; capacity with respect to the number of medical staff. We need to attract more consultants and capacity in general practice – we must deliver a wider range of services at GP surgeries .

“The unfortunate truth that Government seems to be avoiding, is that all this requires a seismic shift in the way we deliver and fund our health services and that costs money. It would be truly revolutionary to hear the Government saying not only have they decided on the priorities but they are actually going to fund them. As a society we cannot continue to simply give out about our health services, we need to agree on the solutions and agree that these will have to be paid for.”

Meanwhile the trade union Siptu called on health service watchdog HIQA to investigate the overcrowding being experienced in hospital emergency departments.

HIQA said it did not have the power to regulate acute general hospital services and had no enforcement powers.

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Population projections spell trouble for struggling hospitals

Peter Murtagh, Irish Times, Saturday, January 6, 2018,

Capacity problems currently facing hospitals, and evidently defying effective measures to resolve them, can only get far worse, if recent population and life expectancy projections come to pass.

Based on data from the 2016 Census, an Economic and Social Research Institute report, Projections of Demand for Healthcare in Ireland, 2015-2030, published last October postulated a population growth of up to 23 per cent, or 640,000-1.1 million extra people.

All of those people will, by definition, place additional demands on maternity and childcare services, with a proportion of them needing ongoing care. But it is the ageing nature of the population that will place a disproportionately greater burden on services.

The number of people aged 65 and over is expected to grow from its present one in eight to one in six. The number of people aged over 85 will almost double.

Older people’s dependency on support services and greater proneness to illness will probably translate into greater demands for elective operations, such as hip and knee replacements, and on care prompted by other ailments related to age such as oncology care, dementia and respiratory care, circulatory problems related to heart disease and strokes and, ultimately, home help and residential nursing home care.

The ESRI projected that demand for home help and for residential and intermediate care places in nursing homes and other settings would increase by up to 54 per cent.

Demand for public hospital services is projected to increase by up to 37 per cent for inpatient bed days and up to 30 per cent for inpatient cases; and demand for GP visits is projected to increase by up to 27 per cent.

The report’s authors suggested additional demand projected for the years to 2030 will give rise to demand for additional expenditure, capital investment and expanded staffing and will have major implications for capacity planning, workforce planning and training.

In public hospitals, they suggested demand for inpatient bed days would increase by 32-37 per cent by 2030, from 3.27 million in 2015. Demand for inpatient cases is projected to increase by between 24-30 per cent by 2030, from 510,000 in 2015.

Demand for day-patient cases is projected to increase by 23-29 per cent by 2030, from 1.01 million in 2015.

Private trends

Regarding private hospitals, which are often colocated with public hospitals and share staff, demand for inpatient bed days is projected to increase by 28-32 per cent by 2030 from 610,000 in 2015.

Demand for private hospital inpatient cases is projected to increase by 20-25 per cent by 2030, from 130,000 in 2015; and demand for private hospital day-patient cases is projected to increase by 24-28 per cent by 2030 from 460,000 in 2015.

The report projected that demand for GP visits would increase by 20-27 per cent by 2030, from 17.55 million in 2015; and demand for practice nurse visits is projected to increase by 26-32 per cent by 2030, from 5.94 million in 2015.

Demand for long-term and intermediate care places in nursing homes and other settings is projected to increase by 40-54 per cent by 2030, from 29,000 in 2015.

Demand for home help hours is projected to increase by 38-54 per cent by 2030 from 14.3 million in 2015.

Up to 9,000 additional hospital beds needed, review finds

Martin Wall, Sarah Bardon
Last Updated: Saturday, January 6, 2018, 03:00

Between 7,000 and 9,000 additional hospital beds will be required over the next decade or so if the existing model of healthcare continues, the Government’s long-awaited review of capacity requirements has found.

The review has concluded, however, that the number of additional beds needed could be reduced to 2,000-2,500 in the years up to 2030 if Sláintecare reform proposals, such as investing heavily in healthcare services in the community, are implemented.

In addition, the review recommends that a number of hospitals should be established to deal exclusively with elective or non-urgent cases. It argues this would assist in reducing waiting lists and emergency department overcrowding in acute hospitals.

Health service sources said this could involve a reconfiguration of existing services in some parts of the country including potentially closing some emergency departments.

Existing reform plans along these lines in Portlaoise have prompted strong criticism from local politicians and campaign groups in the midlands.

The bed capacity review also calls for dramatic increases in long-term residential places. This would assist in reducing the number of delayed discharge patients in hospitals; those whose acute phase of treatment has concluded, but cannot be sent home or transferred to other healthcare facilities.

The Minister for Health Simon Harris has repeatedly pointed to the forthcoming bed capacity review as the way to deal with the overcrowding and trolley crisis in public hospitals.

Trolley count

Nurses on Friday maintained that more than 2,400 patients had to spend time on trolleys in hospitals in the first few days of 2018 while waiting on a bed.

The number of people deemed to require admission to hospital by a doctor and waiting for a bed fell to 483 on Friday, from record levels of 677 experienced early this week. However doctors and health service administrators forecast that the numbers could rise again in the next week or so as the peak of the flu season hits.

The HSE said on Friday it expected non-urgent elective procedures would not take place in hospitals next week but maintained this would be considered on a hospital-by-hospital basis.

However, the HSE stressed hospital groups and individual hospitals were ensuring that cancer and other urgent elective procedures were continuing to be carried out.

“Other non-urgent elective work will be reviewed on a site by site on a clinically prioritised basis during the course of the next week. We expect that non-urgent elective procedures will not proceed but stress that this will be considered on a site by site prioritised basis.”

Community facilities

The bed capacity review is expected to be published within the next three weeks and will feed into the Government’s overall 10-year capital plan.

The provision of additional hospital beds along the lines of the recommendations in the forthcoming capacity review would cost hundreds of millions of euro.

The Department of Health told the Oireachtas committee on the future of healthcare last year that the construction and capital cost of providing an additional hospital bed was about €325,000.

On this basis it would cost in excess of €800 million to provide the 2,500 additional beds proposed by the capacity review as part of a reformed health service.

Mr Harris told The Irish Times in an interview prior to Christmas that thousands of additional beds in acute hospitals and community facilities would be required in the future and that the forthcoming review would set out specific numbers.

He said on Thursday that significant additional funding would have to be provided by Government to meet the cost of opening additional hospital beds.

Almost 680,000 on public hospital waiting lists, latest figures show

Mark Hilliard

Irish Times Friday, October 6, 2017, 20:55

Almost 680,000 people remain on public hospital waiting lists for various procedures, according to the latest published figures.

By the end of September, outpatients, the largest group of those awaiting treatment, has approached half a million, now at 495,318, figures from the National Treatment Purchase fund show. That compares to 497,300 at the end of August.

There were just over 83,000 existing or active inpatients awaiting treatment while a further 18,423 who had been given first appointment dates are also now among those listed.

Just over 10,000 patients had procedures suspended which can happen for a variety of reasons, whether through voluntary postponement of a previous appointment or because an individual is not well enough to undergo a procedure.

A further 62,874 people are awaiting follow-up appointments having completed initial treatment.

Simon Nugent, chief executive of the Private Hospitals Association, noted a welcome slight reduction of 909 inpatients awaiting treatment.

“Endoscopy waiting lists are up by 682 which is similar to the number of patients to be treated by [the Health] Minister’s endoscopy NTPF initiative announced in the last couple of weeks,” he said in a statement. “It looks like this will just address this one month’s increase. This is worrying.”

Specialist appointments

He also noted that while the out-patient total had dropped by 2,000, the number of those waiting for a specialist appointment for longer than 18 months has gone up by almost 1,500.

“We still need dramatic new thinking to stop tinkering with the numbers at the margin and to see real reductions,” he said. “That’s why the Minister for Health Simon Harris needs to convene an emergency summit bringing all players together to see what approaches could be most effective.”

In its own analysis, the Health Service Executive (HSE) said the number of patients waiting more than five months has fallen by 1,333 from 10,791 in August to 9,458 in September.

The total number of patients on the in-patient and day case list has reduced by 900 in the same month.

 

Fintan O’Toole: The A&E crisis is perfectly acceptable

Fintan O’Toole Saturday, January 13, 2018,

Exactly seven years ago this weekend, The Irish Times reported: “Waiting times for patients attending emergency departments in many hospitals earlier this month were unacceptable, Minister of Health Mary Harney told the Dáil. She said she had discussed plans with the HSE for ensuring that this situation did not recur.”

This week, the Minister for Health Simon Harris used that same word, declaring the current crisis in hospital emergency departments “unacceptable”.

It is a word that returns again and again in almost every discussion of the inadequacies of Ireland’s public hospital system. “Unacceptable” or its variants was used five times, for example, in the 2002 Acute Hospital Bed Capacity report.

In the foreword, the then minister for health, Micheál Martin, wrote of “cancellation of elective admissions, long delays in accident and emergency departments, waiting lists for elective procedures and unacceptably high bed occupancy levels in the major hospitals”.

It is time we admitted that “unacceptable” is a big lie. By definition, if a situation is unacceptable, it does not become an annual event, a kind of grotesque winter festival of suffering that is now as much a part of the calendar as Christmas and New Year.

National emergency

Each year, it is greeted with the same language: unacceptable, intolerable, “bloody awful” (Leo Varadkar, 2015) or even, as Harney declared it in 2006, a “national emergency”. (“People who need to be admitted will have beds, not trolleys, and the basics for human dignity. This will be put in place in the coming months. Anything less than this is not acceptable to the public, not acceptable to me and not acceptable to the HSE.”)

It took an outsider to tell the truth. Tracy Cooper, who came in from Britain to establish the Health Information & Quality Authority, spoke in May 2012, after a patient had died on a trolley, of the “persistent, and generally accepted, tolerance of patients lying on trolleys in corridors for long periods of time”.

‘Generally accepted’ is the honest description of the misery inflicted every winter on vulnerable, sick people. ‘Unacceptable’ is a self-serving pretence

“Generally accepted” is the honest description of the misery inflicted every winter on vulnerable, sick people, most of them elderly. “Unacceptable” is a self-serving pretence.

It sounds good. It suggests that there is a collective public and political shock at the realisation that something “bloody awful” is being done to real people. And it suggests that this will end simply because it must, that all stops are being pulled out, that loins are being girded, that this is the very last time. None of this has ever been true.

Because “unacceptable” is a lie, everything that follows it has to be regarded with extreme scepticism. What follows, invariably, is the firm purpose of amendment – the capacity review, the task force, the promise that this time it’s different.

Harris this week declared that 2018 would be the “year of reform”. Like, presumably, the year of reform that has been announced by every one of his predecessors since the late 1990s.

Acceptable cruelty

The UK home secretary Reginald Maudling got into trouble in 1971 when he spoke of “an acceptable level of violence” in Northern Ireland. But we have to confront the fact that there is an acceptable level of cruelty in the Irish healthcare system. Not acceptable to the patients or their families or the medical staff who are doing their considerable best to alleviate the suffering – but collectively tolerable nonetheless.

It is the price that must be paid if we are to maintain a refusal to create a rational national health service that allocates resources efficiently, effectively and above all fairly.

The underlying problem is not money. Ireland spends about €20 billion a year on healthcare, €8 billion of it on hospitals. This is relatively high, especially if we take into account that we have a young (and thus healthy) population. Per capita, it is about the same as Austria, Sweden, the Netherlands or Germany – all countries that seem to be able to avoid the scale of inbuilt cruelties that Ireland routinely inflicts on patients.

We spend enough on a current annual basis to have a decent healthcare system. (There is an obvious need, of course, for major capital investments.) So why don’t we have one?

There are many reasons, but the core problem is not the money itself. It is the way we raise it and spend it. The headline figures for health expenditure mask something that is quite distinctive about Ireland: the weird mix of public and private spending.

Our fragmented, illogical and inefficient health system is full of perverse incentives for hospitals and consultants to chase private money at the expense of public patients

Only 70 per cent of Irish health spending comes from Government revenues – a figure that has declined drastically since 2000 when it was nearly 80 per cent. The rest comes from private insurance and from out-of-pocket payments to GPs and pharmacists. This creates a fragmented, illogical and inefficient system, full of perverse incentives for hospitals and consultants to chase the private money at the expense of public patients. The private 30 per cent distorts the purposes of the public 70 per cent.

Why do we have this system? The answer is quite bizarre and it goes right back to the 1950s. This was the postwar era in which most European countries were creating national health services. But the Catholic Church and much of the medical establishment was ideologically opposed to the creation of a single, unified NHS in Ireland.

Irish compromise

An Irish compromise was reached – 85 per cent of people would be entitled to free care in public hospitals but the top 15 per cent of earners would buy private insurance, thus guaranteeing the consultants they could still have extra, “private” income and guaranteeing Catholic “voluntary” hospitals that they would not become State entities.

Weirdly, however, this “private” care would be provided in public hospitals. The two-tier system was born. And it got weirder over time: entitlement to public hospital care became universal in the 1990s but at the same time the number of people buying private health insurance rose from the initial 15 per cent to almost 50 per cent.

Nobody thinks this system makes any sense. It has many people paying twice for the same service and many other people being displaced because they can’t afford private insurance. It allocates resources chaotically and in ways that are hard to track, never mind justify.

On the one hand, highly efficient parts of the system, such as local general practice, are starved of resources, pushing patients into the emergency-department nightmare. On the other, highly skilled professionals are incentivised to treat people on the basis of money, not of need.

The absurdities multiply to the point where public hospitals are now putting pressure on patients who have private insurance to declare that they are “private patients” and thus cash cows.

But do we really want to change this system? Do we really want a coherent national health service that spends money where there is greatest need? Do we really want a system that starts by ruling out the “unacceptable” – a regular, predictable and “bloody awful” ritual of suffering – and works back from there?

Doing this would limit the incentives for professionals to chase private patients while drawing public salaries. It would also limit the ability of those private patients to skip ahead of the long queues for elective procedures. It would take away the sense of healthcare as a private commodity and make it a public good.

The annual A&E crisis reveals one brutal truth behind all the rhetorical reassurances: you can’t buy your way off a chair or a trolley and into a public bed. The public emergency departments are the arenas in which all are equal – and equally miserable. This truth waits for us all. The question is whether we want to change it before we have to experience it.

Categories: Uncategorized

Austerity in Education Provision

January 8, 2018 Leave a comment

Where is TUI On Pay Equality NOW???

INTO GET LABOUR COURT TO REFER NEW ENTRANT PAY TO EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE

Below is Article from Sunday Times-Ireland> Teachers take pay war to European court  https://wp.me/pKzXa-10P

 

> A claim by two primary school teachers that they were discriminated

> against by the state when they were recruited on lower salaries during

> the financial crash has been referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

>

> The referral by the Labour Court coincides with talks between the

> public service unions and the government about eradicating lower entry pay points.

> Paschal Donohoe, the finance minister, has estimated this would cost

> €200m if applied to the whole public service. Donohoe has said there

> can be no concessions on pay equalisation until after 2020, when the

> current public service pay agreement expires. Unions are demanding

> that some payments be included in this October’s budget.

>

>

>

> Donohoe has said there can be no concessions on pay equalisation until

> after 2020ROLLINGNEWS.IE

>

> Donohoe has already pencilled in €370m for increases in the public

> service pay bill next year, but this excludes the cost of recruiting

> teachers, nurses and gardai and any concession on pay equalisation.

>

> Should the ECJ support the teachers’ claim, the finance minister may

> be forced to increase the provision for public sector pay, reducing

> what he has set aside for tax cuts and spending increases in the third

> and final budget under the confidence and supply agreement with Fianna Fail.

>

> The Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) took the case on

> behalf of Claire Keegan and Thomas Horgan, two teachers recruited on

> lower salaries in 2011. The INTO told the Equality Tribunal that both

> faced career losses of

> €100,000 due to what it claimed was “unlawful age discrimination”.

>

> The tribunal rejected the claim on the basis that the government was

> facing a financial crisis at the time, and the 10% cut in entrants’

> pay, applied to all new public servants, “was objectively justified by a legitimate aim”.

> The INTO appealed the decision to the Labour Court, which has now

> referred some questions to the ECJ.

>

> According to a report in Industrial Relations News, the key question

> is whether the state “could have achieved equivalent savings by

> reducing the pay of all teachers by a significantly lesser amount than

> the reduction applied only to newly recruited teachers”.

>

> The Labour Court also told the ECJ that 75% of those affected were under 25.

> Teachers’ unions claim it has become difficult to hire teachers on

> current starting rates of pay, in part due to high rental costs.

>

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Numbers applying for teacher-training courses have “collapsed” by more than 60 per cent over the past five years, new figures show.-Irish Times

No overall problem with teacher supply, insists Department of Education

Austerity in Education   https://wp.me/pKzXa-10P

———————————————————–

Dáil Exchanges between  Seamus Healy TD and Minister Richard Bruton  on Pay and Pension Equality for New Entrant  Teachers and Problems in Teacher Recruitment

“I am again calling on the Minister to put in place real measures, including pay parity and a panel  to deal with this crisis that is not just immediate but is staring us in the face”- Seamus Healy TD

Austerity in Education   https://wp.me/pKzXa-10P

Teachers’ Remuneration   Dáil Report  Feb 1

5. Deputy Seamus Healy Information on Seamus Healy Zoom on Seamus Healy asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton his plans to end the unequal remuneration of new entrants in the teaching profession as a key step in addressing shortages of teaching staff; his further plans to end the teaching shortage; if all such measures have been agreed with the teaching unions concerned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4981/18]

Deputy Seamus Healy: Information on Seamus Healy Zoom on Seamus Healy All education stakeholders now acknowledge there is an unprecedented crisis in recruitment and retention of teachers. In fact, today at lunchtime, 15,000 members of the Teachers Union of Ireland in schools and colleges throughout the country will protest outside their workplaces demanding a change in Government policy. My question asks the Minister to face up to this crisis and to put effective measures in place to solve the crisis, including the introduction of pay parity for young teachers who commenced employment on or after 1 January 2011.

Deputy Richard Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Reduced pay scales for new entrants to the public service were introduced in 2010. I am pleased that, under the Lansdowne Road Agreement, together with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform I negotiated a programme of pay restoration with the teacher unions. Through this process, a 15% to 22% pay increase was negotiated for new teachers. The agreements to date have restored an estimated 75% of the difference in pay for newer teachers and deliver full equality at later points in the scale. As a result of these changes, the current starting salary of a new teacher is €35,958 and, from 1 October 2020, will be €37,692. This is a very competitive graduate salary, as the CSO reports today have confirmed.

I have successfully hired over 5,000 extra teachers in the last two years. We are hiring more teachers than at any other point in the State’s history.

Any further negotiation on new entrant pay is a cross-sectoral issue, not just an issue for the education sector. The public service stability agreement 2018-20 contains a commitment to consider the issue of newly qualified teacher pay within 12 months of the agreement’s commencement and that process has started. Also, the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017 provides that the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform will lay a report before the Oireachtas on the cost of, and a plan for dealing with, pay equalisation for new entrants within three months of the passing of the Act.

On the issue of teacher supply, the Deputy may wish to note that I have already announced a number of measures to increase the pool of teachers available to schools, in particular to fill short-term vacancies.

Deputy Seamus Healy: Information on Seamus Healy Zoom on Seamus Healy The number of applicants for the postgraduate courses which enable graduates to qualify to become second level teachers has fallen from 2,842 in 2011 to 1,068 last year. That means the number of applicants is now substantially less than half of what it was five years ago – in fact, there has been a collapse of 62% over that period. It is clear that a career as a teacher no longer has the attraction it had even five years ago. Clearly, the combination of salary scale, conditions of service and career prospects are deficient. This is exacerbated by the travesty of paying new entrants at a lower salary scale and providing a pension scheme which is significantly inferior to that enjoyed by their longer-serving colleagues.

Will the Minister, as a first step, equalise the pay scales of new entrants with their colleagues? The Catholic Primary Schools Management Association, which represents 2,800 schools, found that 90% of principals are having difficulties finding qualified or substitute teachers.

Acting Chairman (Deputy Eugene Murphy): Information on Eugene Murphy Zoom on Eugene Murphy Thank you, Deputy.

Deputy Seamus Healy: Information on Seamus Healy Zoom on Seamus Healy A panel is urgently needed to deal with this matter. The situation at third level is also significantly difficult and there has been a 32% increase in student numbers, a 10% reduction in staff and, not surprisingly, lecturing staff have an increased workload over and above their European colleagues.

Acting Chairman (Deputy Eugene Murphy): Information on Eugene Murphy Zoom on Eugene Murphy The time is up. The Deputy will have another minute.

Deputy Seamus Healy: Information on Seamus Healy Zoom on Seamus Healy This is damaging and restricting the contribution of institutes to the country.

Deputy Richard Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I assure the Deputy the number of students graduating as teachers is stable. There has been no fall in the number of graduates and what has happened is that we have dramatically increased the level of recruitment.

In terms of graduate supply from the master’s programme referred to by the Deputy, he is right that the number of applicants for that programme has fallen. However, the number graduating from the programme has not. By contrast, the undergraduate programme is massively oversubscribed. There are more than 5,000 seeking to join the undergraduate programme, for which there are only 500 places, and I announced last week that I plan to double the number of places on that undergraduate programme. Of course, that has the advantage in financial terms that a master’s fee does not have to be paid for people going that route. I have also announced that I plan to have quotas for particular subject areas where, as Deputies have pointed out, there is tightness and we need to have ambition, for example, the STEM programme and the foreign languages programme. I am establishing a teachers supply steering group which will work with all of the stakeholders to deliver these programmes. I made immediate changes in terms of the career break and the period that people could work on a career break. I have advised schools that they should not give a career break unless they can, as the circular requires, be assured it is in the best interests of children in the school and that they can fill the position vacated.

Deputy Seamus Healy: Information on Seamus Healy Zoom on Seamus Healy The Minister’s reply reminds me of that old adage: everybody is wrong except my Johnny. The ETBs, the Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools, the joint managerial bodies, the trade unions and everybody else have acknowledged there is a significant crisis in recruitment and retention of teachers and it is getting worse. The suggestion that restricting career breaks would help is not correct and would, in fact, worsen the situation and mean we have teachers emigrating.

We must continue to have the most able people teaching our children. The continuation of current Government policy will do lasting damage to the education system. Bad and all as the situation is now, official documents and official statistics show that, at second level alone, there will be an additional 85,000 students by 2025, which will require an additional 4,000 teachers.

Acting Chairman (Deputy Eugene Murphy): Information on Eugene Murphy Zoom on Eugene Murphy Thank you, Deputy.

Deputy Seamus Healy: Information on Seamus Healy Zoom on Seamus Healy I am again calling on the Minister to put in place real measures, including pay parity and a panel—–

Acting Chairman (Deputy Eugene Murphy): Information on Eugene Murphy Zoom on Eugene Murphy Deputy, please.

Deputy Seamus Healy: Information on Seamus Healy Zoom on Seamus Healy —–to deal with this crisis that is not just immediate but is staring us in the face.

———————————————

Ray Silke Criticises Minister Bruton

Salary scale unfair to young teachers

Irish Times: Saturday, February 3, 2018, 00:02

Sir, – Minister for Education Richard Bruton continues his ongoing assertion that the starting rate of pay for a new teacher is a “very competitive salary” (“Salary for new teachers ‘very competitive’, -says Bruton”, February 1st). From the perspective of fairness, integrity and transparency, he needs to clarify his point in saying that “the starting salary for a full-time teacher” is very competitive.

In my experience, very few young teachers get full-time positions for a number of years after qualification and many are teaching in excess of six and seven years and still do not have full hours.

Second, can the Minister please stop mentioning October 2020 as a time when a new teacher’s salary will be “very competitive”?

His reference point is two years and nine months from now, and that projected increase will not pay the rent for newly qualified teachers in the intervening 33 months in such cities as Dublin, Cork, Galway or Limerick. Newly qualified teachers know that buying a house in one of our major cities, or even aspiring to own one, is totally beyond their reach, unless of course the bank of mammy and daddy is well packed.

Finally, could the Minister also disclose the fact that the top of a newly qualified teacher’s salary is €67,025. However, please also mention, in the interest of clarity that it will take them – God willing and with good health – 35 years in their chosen profession to get to the top of their salary scale?

One wonders how many of their classmates from university in different roles who qualify with a degree, and a two-year masters (six years in college normally) at say 25 years of age, will work until they are 60 years of age to get to the top of their salary scale?

The Minster should consider shortening the existing 35-year salary scale rather than trying to encourage retired teachers to come back into the profession. – Yours, etc,

RAY SILKE,

Moycullen, Co Galway.

————————————————————————————————————————

Priority  Question from Seamus Healy TD  For Oral Answer at 10.30 AM, Thursday,Feb 1

Priority Question: To Minister For Education, Richard Bruton TD

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will immediately end the unequal remuneration of new entrants to the teaching profession  as a key step in addressing shortages of teaching staff and equality of treatment for teachers and

If he will outline what further measures he is taking to  end the teaching shortage and

If all such measures have been agreed with the teaching unions concerned ,

And if he will make a statement on the matter?

Seamus Healy TD   087-2802199

“All education stakeholders now acknowledge that there is an unprecedented crisis in the recruitment and retention of teachers,” said TUI president Joanne Irwin.

“However, it is regrettable in the extreme, and foolish, that the Government is still refusing to acknowledge or commit to the only guaranteed cure.”

Statement by Teaching Unions and Managerial Bodies Below

But Black Propaganda is the government Response!!!!

A spokeswoman for Minister for Education, Richard Bruton, said more than 5,000 extra teachers have been hired since he was appointed.

The Department of Education and Science noted that the salary of a newly qualified teacher straight out of college in January 2018 will be €35,958.

“This is a very competitive graduate salary,” said the spokeswoman. 

‘Collapse’ in numbers applying for teacher-training courses

Carl O’Brien, Irish Times  Monday, January 8, 2018, 01:00

Numbers applying for teacher-training courses have “collapsed” by more than 60 per cent over the past five years, new figures show.

The dramatic fall-off comes as concern mounts over the educational impact on students of teacher shortages in schools across key subjects.

Surveys and reports compiled by school management organisations and teacher unions – seen by The Irish Times – state that Leaving Cert students in some schools are being left with unqualified tutors for subjects such as maths and Irish for months on end.

At primary level, they note that special needs teachers are being redeployed as class teachers, resulting in reduced access to special education among pupils with additional needs.

In some cases, classes which do not have a full-time teacher are being taught by individuals with no qualifications, who may teach for a maximum of five days, under employment rules.

Substitute teachers

The Catholic Primary Schools Management Association – which represents about 2,800 primary schools – has found that 90 per cent of principals are having difficulties finding qualified or substitute teachers.

At second level, some voluntary secondary schools are now offering accommodation to applicants for key positions.

Shortages of teachers are most acute in subjects such as Irish, maths, European languages and science.

A report compiled by the Education and Training Board Ireland found that just one of four Irish teachers at one of its secondary schools was qualified to teach Irish.

The Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools, which represents 96 community and comprehensive schools, has also found in a survey that many of its schools are engaging unqualified personnel to teach key subjects.

It has found that there were no applicants for key positions, despite advertising and readvertising vacancies.

The Joint Managerial Body, which represents 374 voluntary secondary schools, says there has been “political drift” for too long over what it now a “crisis” facing many secondary schools.

One principal said: “Why is Irish a compulsory subject when it is almost impossible to find a substitute teacher for this subject?”

Schools also report curtailing sports, games and other extra-curricular activities due to shortages.

In response, a spokeswoman for Minister for Education Richard Bruton said more than 5,000 extra teachers have been hired since he was appointed.

“All of these positions have been filled or will be filled very shortly,” said the spokeswoman.

She acknowledged that some schools have reported shortages in recruiting teachers in specific subjects at post primary level.

The spokeswoman added that the Minister was considering a range of measures to resolve pinch points in certain subjects and that announcements on this were due shortly.

Worrying trend

Latest figures on applications for teaching-training courses at second level, in particular, however, show cause for concern.

The majority of applications are processed through the post-graduate applications centre.

The number of applications for these courses has fallen from 2,824 in 2011 to 1,068 last year, a 62 per cent drop.

Teacher unions say the trend is linked to a combination of factors such as difficulties for young teachers accessing full-time permanent posts and lower pay for new entrants.

The high cost of completing a new two-year professional master of education course – which has replaced the old one-year higher diploma – is also seen as a major issue.

The number of graduates has also fallen, down from 1,1116 to 818 over the same period, a drop of almost 30 per cent.

The department, however, noted that the salary of a newly qualified teacher straight out of college in January 2018 will be €35,958.

“This is a very competitive graduate salary,” said the spokeswoman.

© 2018 irishtimes.com


No overall problem with teacher supply, insists Department of Education

Carl O’Brien Irish Times: Monday, January 8, 2018, 19:50

The Department of Education has insisted there is no overall problem with teacher supply but has acknowledged there are “pinch points” across key subjects.

While school managers and teacher unions say there has been a “collapse” in the numbers applying to be teachers, the department says the numbers graduating at primary and post-primary have remained relatively steady.

“Over 5,000 permanent, full-time teachers have been hired since Minister Bruton was appointed, almost 2,400 in primary schools and just over 2,850 in post primary schools,” a department spokeswoman said.

“All of these positions have been filled. There is no overall problem with teacher supply. The official figures support this.”

She said Minister for Education Richard Bruton was committed to addressing pinch points in subjects such as Stem – science, technology, engineering and maths – and foreign languages through measures such as financial incentives.

However, the Teachers Union of Ireland said the “crisis” of teacher recruitment and retention will continue to worsen until the process of pay equalisation for those appointed since 2011 is accelerated.

“All education stakeholders now acknowledge that there is an unprecedented crisis in the recruitment and retention of teachers,” said TUI president Joanne Irwin.

“However, it is regrettable in the extreme, and foolish, that the Government is still refusing to acknowledge or commit to the only guaranteed cure.”

She said even if graduates were to be “lured” to a training course in a certain subject area, there was no guarantee they will end up teaching for any length of time, particularly when they will be “discriminated against from the get-go in terms of pay”.

Expense

Fianna Fáil’s education spokesman Thomas Byrne said a key factor in falling numbers of applications was the expense of a two-year master’s course, which replaced the old one-year higher diploma.

These can cost between €10,000 and €5,000 a year.

“The cost of training keeps increasing and more and more of a burden is put on prospective teachers. We need to examine how we can alleviate the cost, especially in the Stem subjects,” he said.

“The situation simply isn’t sustainable if we want to attract quality recruits to the profession. There is also an issue with the prohibitive skills requirements for perspective teachers and I believe this is something that needs to be addressed.”

Mr Byrne said Fianna Fáil has been pushing for measures to encourage people to apply for teacher training courses, including the restoration of postgraduate grants.

The Department of Education also played down the issue of unqualified and unregistered teachers being used in schools. It said they were employed as substitutes in just 3 per cent of cases.

These figures relate to primary level only. The department does not have up to date information on the number of “out-of-field” teachers at second level who are teaching subjects which they are not qualified for.

School managers say this is turning into a “crisis” and that it is difficult to source qualified teachers in Irish, European languages, maths or science subjects.

Categories: Uncategorized