Category: xepjyuaqphwj

‘Increase Liberia’s Defense Capability’, Sen. Jallah

first_imgThe Senate Chairman on Internal Affairs, Governance, Peace and Reconciliation, Senator Armah Jallah of Gbarpolu County, is calling for increase in the country’s defense capability, though at high cost, but for the primary reason of using them to deter war and maintain the peace.Senator Jallah made the statement recently upon the return of a platoon size of members of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) from Mali at the end of a year-long peace keeping mission. He commended the peacekeeping contingent for the level of distinction, sacrifice and dedication exhibited during the course of their duty.The Gbarpolu Senator who is also a member of the Senate Committee on Defense, Intelligence, Security & Veteran Affairs, assured that with the impressive and disciplined representation made by the AFL in Mali, the Legislature will not hesitate to make available the necessary funding to help increase the force’s manpower and capability.The Senate’s Peace and Reconciliation Chair averred that such maximum display of professionalism by the men clearly expresses the country’s readiness to once again assume its peacekeeping role exhibited on the African Continent many decades prior to the unfortunate civil upheavals.Senator Jallah called on all AFL personnel constituting Liberia’s next peace keeping contingent, who have departed the country for Mali, to emulate the distinct and patriotic examples shown by their colleagues.It may be recalled that during the regime of late President William V.S. Tubman, a   reinforced company group of the AFL was sent to ONUC in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1960 on a peace keeping mission.In another development, the Gbarpolu lawmaker who has launched a campaign of supporting institutions, has underscored the need for budgetary support to the Press Union of Liberia. He stressed that with the level of work the Liberian media industry has performed and continues to perform in projecting the post-war reconstruction image and development efforts, needs  support just as is being done for other key institutions.   He pledged to lobby with his colleagues for their consent to consider budgetary allotment for the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) in the 2014/2015 National Budget.Senator Jallah is,  meanwhile, calling on all Liberians to continue to support the Government of Liberia as it continues its endeavors to build a more professionalized and civil-based armed forces and work assiduously to ensure a more responsible and free press during these critical times of the country’s democratic existence.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Court Throws Out ‘Stolen Ebola Rice’ Case

first_imgIn the ongoing Ebola rice theft case involving health workers, the Ganta Magisterial Court last Friday threw out the case indefinitely, because the prosecution filed in a motion to have the case declared “Nolleprosequi” due to the lack of sufficient evidence. Their motion was granted by the court.The clerk of the court said the prosecution had the right to re -file their claim, whenever they have their entire evidence ready. But, “for now this case is declared Nolleprosequi,” he said.Nimba Public Defense Attorney Menwaseh Paybayee argued that the case was thrown out due to the prosecution’s unpreparedness to bring their witnesses.“When the case started for the third time, the prosecution filed in a motion for a submission of Nolleprosequi meaning,” he said, “prosecution does not have sufficient witnesses against the accused so the accused must back off and resume their normal duties,” he said.“We are prepared at any time to fight this case whenever the prosecution brings in their witnesses and all relevant pieces of evidence to substantiate their case,” he said.He threatened to sue those who made accusatory statements, which implicated the accused, but did not call any name.Ganta City Solicitor Atty. James Boayou said: “I declare the case Nolleprosequi until the complainer can come and explain the details of the case to me.”“I cannot prosecute in the absence of the plaintiff, the County Health Services Director Ramsey Leesala, whose name was mentioned in the writ,” he added.One of the health officers who was in charge during the time of the incident and was frequently seen at the Sanniquellie Police Station when the truck containing the rice was arrested, Dr. Loraine Cooper, has now sought another assignment in Grand Cape Mount County as County Health Officer, making it very hard for the prosecution counsel to get plaintiff equipped for the case.Efforts to get Ramsey Leesala remain futile as his phone rang endlessly without any response.There is great concern across Nimba about how the government downplays such a high profile case almost one month after the incident occurred.Musa M. F. Kromah, a resident of Ganta said, “Government downplays such a high profile case by not sufficiently preparing to gather all the necessary pieces of evidence before going to court.”“We were hearing some speculations about some high profile county official being behind the rice saga, but the way the case was handled, how will we know the truth,” he asked.The issue regarding the stealing of Ebola rice really touched the minds of many Nimbaians, especially those living in Ganta which had been an Ebola epicenter in the county.The court room was always packed whenever the case was scheduled for hearing. The throwing out of the case has brought great disappointment to many residents.Exhibits of the stolen items, including a  bag of rice, a bag of beans and a container of other items  were seen in court as evidence of something legal minded people said was improper.“All of the items alleged to be stolen should have been brought to court as evidence,” said an on looker.The case broke out 1st October 2014, when the Ganta LNP Detail arrested a vehicle marked TP. 766 with 200 bags of 25kg rice, 15 five-gallon containers of vegetable oil and 10 bags of beans, which were alleged to have been a portion of the rice donated to Nimba by World Food Program (WFP) for Ebola- quarantined patients.The bags of rice were loaded on to a mini truck heading for Saclepea from Sanniquellie when it was arrested by police in Ganta allegedly without any waybill.However, the accused, C. Paul Nyanzee of the County Community Health Service Director, Var Bleh, Ware House Manager, Sarah Lawehyee, Kou Yelibor, County Mental Health Officer and businesswoman Kou Kouh of Saclepea have been exonerated by the court and freed to resume their civil liberties.They were charged by the Liberian National Police for criminal facilitation, criminal conspiracy and theft of property in the Ebola Rice Case.The case was presided over by Stipendiary Magistrate Nyan Meator Ben of the Ganta Magisterial Court.The prosecution had failed to present their witnesses three times, beginning Monday 27th,  until they finally asked for nulleprosequai on Friday 31st October bringing the case to what appears to be an end.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Taxi driver abandons car with over 100lbs ganja

first_imgRanks of the Custom Anti-Narcotics Unit are hunting for a taxi driver, identified as Anthony Carmichael, who abandoned his motorcar on Sherriff Street, Georgetown with more than 100 pounds of compress marijuana on Monday morning.Based on reports received, the motorcar bearing registration number PKK 1609 originated from New Amsterdam with the well wrapped packages of marijuana in the back seat and trunk of the vehicle.More details in Tuesday, April 17 edition of the Guyana Times.last_img

Brazil legend named new manager

first_imgBrazil legend Dunga has been named the Selecao’s new manager following Luiz Felipe Scolari’s resignation.‘Big Phil’ stepped down after his side’s home World Cup ended in humiliation, crashing out in the semi-finals with a crushing 7-1 defeat to eventual winners Germany, with the hosts eventually finishing in fourth place after a 3-0 loss to Holland in the third-place play-off.And 1994 World Cup-winning captain Dunga has now returned to the hotseat following an announcement on Tuesday afternoon, having already managed the side from 2006 to 2010.He led the five-time world champions to the 2007 Copa America and 2009 Confederations Cup crowns, and guided Brazil to the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals, but was sacked shortly after the competition.Dunga launched his second spell at the helm with an attempt at dampening expectations of the national side by stressing that Brazil always have a target on their backs.“I’m very happy for the opportunity the CBF (Brazil Football Confederation) have given me. We need to stop thinking we’re the best and work harder,” Dunga said.“Before the World Cup happens we sell to the public the idea we’re going to win, but we don’t know if we’ll win.“We need to be more modest. It’s important to compromise because our opponents always want to beat us because we’re Brazil.“The Brazilian shirt is very respected, but everyone wants to beat us. We have to be prepared for that.“We can’t think that we’ll pull on the Brazilian shirt and win the World Cup before it’s even started.“Nothing happens before the game starts. The most important thing is what happens during the 90 minutes on the pitch because that’s when you win or lose.” New Brazil boss Dunga 1last_img read more

Poll: Gary Neville or Phil Neville?

first_img Former Manchester City stars Gary Neville and Phil Neville Gary Neville to Valencia – now there’s one we never saw coming!The Manchester United hero, England coach and top class pundit stunned the football world by becoming the La Liga side’s new manager on Wednesday.His move to Spain means he is reunited with brother Phil, who has been coaching at Valencia since June.And the Drivetime lads want to know which Neville brother gets your vote – so let us know in the poll below! 1last_img read more

‘Reminds me of Essien!’ – Chelsea fans want reported target at Stamford Bridge

first_img1 Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan Chelsea are in talks to sign Radja Nainggolan of Roma, Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio claims.Antonio Conte, who is set to take charge of the Blues this summer, is a big fan of the midfielder, and he wants to make him his first signing at Stamford Bridge.Nainggolan, 27, is an energetic presence in the middle of the park, renowned for his tackling and ball-winning abilities. Yet, he still offers an attacking threat, chipping in with three goals in 29 league appearances this term.Chelsea fans were delighted with the news when the rumour broke, as they believe Nainggolan is a player who can bring world class quality back to West London.We collect some of the best reactions to the news that the Blues are in talks to sign the midfield star this summer…last_img read more

EARAGAIL ARTS FESTIVAL HOPING YOU HAVE A ‘FIESTA’ THIS SUMMER

first_imgPictured at the launch of Earagail Arts Festival are Failte Ireland’s Joan Crawford, Festival Chairman Dessie Larkin, Patricia Mc Bride, Festival Director, Paul Brown, Meabh Conaghan and Shaun Hannigan. Earagail Arts Festival is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Donegal County Council.It’s all systems go as Earagail Arts Festival launches a jam-packed, fun-filled festival programme and members of the public are invited to be a part of it. Volunteers play a key role in the success of the Festival and organisers are holding two volunteers’ information sessions in the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny on Wednesday 11th June at 7pm and Saturday 21st June at 2pm.Those interested in finding out more about volunteering for EAF this year are welcome to attend. In addition to the volunteer effort, the support of local businesses in the county plays a major role in the festival’s success.The Station House Hotel in Letterkenny is the festival’s accommodation sponsor and Marketing Manager at the hotel, Siobhan Barrett-Doherty said, “Once again, we’re delighted to come on board as accommodation sponsors for this year’s festival.Joan Crawford of Failte Ireland and Siobhan Barrett Doherty, Sales and Marketing Manager, Station House Hotel, which is the premier accommodation sponsors for this year’s Festival. Also pictured is Festival Director Paul Brown and venue sponsor representative, Ann Marie Mc Manus from the Clanree Hotel Letterkenny.“The partnership is a natural fit for us because The Station House Hotel is about giving our guests a warm Donegal welcome and Earagail Arts Festival is an excellent way to experience that welcome at its very best.The festival’s centrepiece production is ‘Fiesta’, a new play celebrating one of the finest dance halls in Ireland. Running from Saturday 12th to Monday 14th July. ‘Fiesta’ is a not-to-be-missed celebration of the music, memories and stories that made the Fiesta Ballroom in Letterkenny so unique.At the programme launch, and in honour of the Fiesta Ballroom, the Earagail Arts team dressed in their finest vintage frocks, with hair styled in beautiful 1950’s fashion by the Patrick Gildea Hairdressing team.Another key event in the festival programme is “I Do”, an exciting piece of site specific theatre by UK based Theatre Company Dante or Die, which delves into the emotional twists and turns of the morning of a wedding.The venue sponsors, Clanree Hotel, will host this thrilling event, while Evolve Menswear will be sending out a very special invitation to the wedding.Commenting on the association, Aileen McCloskey, Marketing Manager, Evolve Menswear said, “As a local business, Evolve Menswear is delighted to support Earagail Arts Festival. Donegal is one of the most beautiful places in the world and Earagail Arts Festival attracts people from all over to visit our lovely county to experience the magic that the festival represents.In honour of the festival’s centrepiece production “Fiesta” the Earagail Arts team went vintage with hair styled courtesy of the Patrick Gildea Hairdressing Team.Additional sponsors of the festival include John McGinley Luxury Coach Travel, Inishowen Motors, Watson Hire, Letterkenny Credit Union and LYIT, whose contribution and support helps festival organisers deliver an enriching and unrivalled cultural experience every year.Now in its 26th year, Earagail Arts Festival takes place from Saturday, 12th – 26th July and is one of the flagship Donegal events along the Wild Atlantic Way.This year’s festival has something for everyone, from family and outdoor events to theatre, comedy, art, workshops and music from all corners of the world. Hosting a vibrant and varied programme throughout Inishowen, Letterkenny and west Donegal, Earagail Arts Festival features the best of local and international performances.Volunteering is one of the best ways to experience all that the festival has to offer, so come along to the volunteers’ information sessions and start planning your summer of festival fun.For full details on the Earagail Arts programme visit www.eaf.ieEaragail Arts Festival is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Donegal County Council.EARAGAIL ARTS FESTIVAL HOPING YOU HAVE A ‘FIESTA’ THIS SUMMER was last modified: June 11th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BusinessErrigal Arts FestivalFeaturesnewslast_img read more

DONEGAL GAA 5K IN BALLYBOFEY THIS SATURDAY

first_imgCalling all runners, joggers and walkers to don your local GAA club colours and join the Donegal GAA 5K fun run/walk to take place in Ballybofey, this Saturday, April 6th, at 11am.From elite athletes to leisure strollers, all are welcome to come along, take part and show your support in raising much needed funds for all our county teams, both adult and underage.Registration begins at 9.30am at Sean McCumhaill’s GAA Centre, Ballybofey. Sponsorship cards are available from all local GAA clubs throughout the county. Non GAA Club members will be required to pay a €5 entry fee on the day.So grab your club jersey, a teammate, a family member or a friend and come along to what will be a great morning out in support of our boys in green and gold. Prizes for the top times recorded will be up for grabs.Please also note that the official launch of Club Tír Chonaill’s Donegal GAA Training Centre Fund for 2013 will take place on Sunday 7th of April in the Villa Rose Hotel, Ballybofey at 5pm (immediately after the Donegal V Dublin Allianz Football League Game in MacCumhaill Park Ballybofey).All are welcome to attend to learn more about the development of the state-of-the-art Donegal GAA training and development facility underway in Convoy. For more information log onto: www.donegalgaa.ie or contact Chairman of Club Tír Chonaill Cieran Kelly on 087 2450505. DONEGAL GAA 5K IN BALLYBOFEY THIS SATURDAY was last modified: April 4th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DONEGAL GAA 5K IN BALLYBOFEY THIS SATURDAYlast_img read more

TICKET ALLOCATION FOR DONEGAL V TYRONE ULSTER CHAMPIONSHIP CLASH ANNOUNCED

first_imgGAA NEWS: The ticket allocation for Donegal’s Ulster championship clash with Tyrone on Sunday, May 17th has been announced.  The game is expected to be a sell-out as Donegal make their first championship appearance since the departure of Jim McGuinness. Good news for Donegal supporters is the news that the ticket allocation has increased in contrast to the same fixture in 2013. Donegal County Chairman Sean Dunnion announced at the meeting of the County Committee the allocation of tickets for the Donegal V Tyrone Minor & Senior Ulster Football Championship clash.Dunnion said, “Donegal Clubs will have a total of 6,074 tickets of which 200 will be for the Seated Stand and 5,874 will be for the Terrace. “Club Allocations will be with the club tomorrow morning.“The allocation sees the clubs with 88% of ticket allocation up from 86.94% for the same fixture in 2013.“Donegal has 14,397 Adult Members as of the 6th April 2015.“Between Donegal & Tyrone we have 2,407 season tickets holders. Club tickets for the stand will see 304 tickets for both ends of the stand.TICKET ALLOCATION FOR DONEGAL V TYRONE ULSTER CHAMPIONSHIP CLASH ANNOUNCED was last modified: May 6th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalGAAnewsSportticket allocationTyroneUlster Championshiplast_img read more

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY’S SPEECH TO MacGILL SUMMER SCHOOL

first_imgTAOISEACH Enda Kenny has delivered a wide-ranging speech at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties this evening.He revealed that the government is working on new legislation against political corruption which could see members of the Oireachtas face jail terms of up to 10 years if convicted.Mr Kenny said the government had accepted the principle of a recommendation in the Mahon Tribunal to define ‘politically exposed persons’ who could face tough new sentencing. You can read his full speech here:On this day, 23 July 1929 the Fascist government in Italy banned the use of foreign words.And indeed in the governance and workings of our Irish Republic over the last several years there were words that were not just foreign but alien.Words such as: responsibility, ethics, probity, duty, heart, conscience, ancestors, light, spirit… My first time addressing the Dáil as Taoiseach I used some of those foreign, those alien, words.But I’m as adamant now as I was then that to reform our country, to rebuild our fragile and precious, our still-young, Republic we must rehabilitate those alien words.  We must restore those exiled and disregarded qualities, those previously-disgraced empathies and sensibilities, to our public and our national life.The man from up the road Seamus Heaney says, ‘you have to try and make sense of what comes’.I believe there was national shock and disbelief at what headed our way in recent years.How to make sense of: Parents standing mute at airports watching their newly-adult children pack their degrees in beside their bitter disappointment and head for Australian cities where it was already tomorrow.Hardworking men and women wishing the ground would open and swallow them as they queue for the dole.But Seamus Heaney also said, ‘remember everything, and keep your head’.That’s exactly what this new government did. In the midst of the worst crisis to hit our country since the Civil War.We kept our head.And we kept faith with the people who elected us to make the tough decisions to do what they knew was going to be hard and uncomfortable and uncompromising.Because they knew, as we did, that it was the right thing to do.They knew it, they felt it, because their lives and hopes and dreams had been crushed by the actions of a broken banking system, by their bonus culture, by generations of the kind of politics where the cutest hoors of 50 years ago would look today by comparison as new and shiny as a class of Junior Infants on their first day at school.Yes – we remembered.And we kept our head.Which is why we can make the necessary, tough decisions to rescue our economy, to restore our reputation, to rebuild our country.But we know that to achieve even half of what we want to, for our people, for our country, we must do it through reform.Reform of our public services.Reform of our legislature.Reform of our political system.I have said before that to guarantee the kind of change Ireland needs, it is no longer sufficient to do what is correct.Rather, we must do what is right.And for Fine Gael and the Labour Party, reform is the right and urgent thing to do.Being able to do more with less.Achieving better, higher-quality services with lower budgets, fewer personnel.Giving people a new pride and hope and confidence in the political process itself.Because a Republic – Res Publica – is always and must be always about the public and their affairs.And in addressing these public institutions, there is no time to waitIn fact the reforms are already under way.Economic ReformOn taking Office 16 months ago, the government gave our immediate attention to our economy and took decisive action to stop the decline.The scale and speed of the economic collapse had exposed the inadequacies of politics and our financial institutions.Those tasked to be in charge failed to anticipate to the risks.It was clear to us that reform of the economic model was vital.Competitiveness – that Celtic Tiger orphan – had to come in from the cold.The Action Plan for Jobs has become the Government’s reforming strategy for restoring competitiveness.It has a range of actions supporting companies and entrepreneurs to increase exports and trade, to enhance productivity, and to engage in research, development and innovation.We’ve had too much of what I call the Briathar Saor in Irish political leadership and for too long, so in keeping with our urgent reform agenda I chose to take personal charge of the implementation of this ‘Action’ Plan.We are determined to reform the previously ‘sheltered ‘sectors of the economy so we can address high business and consumer costs.We’re in the process of introducing new legislation to open up the legal and medical sectors to more competition and transparency when it comes to pricing.Of course, there are those who want and need the status quo.Where change is required no one sector or body will be exempt from the reforming zeal of this Government.We will not allow special interests to set the national agenda.We began by tackling government-imposed business costs, reducing red tape, beginning to restore business confidence and certainty to Ireland.Recent statistics show our early efforts are successful.Ireland is now back in the world top 20 for competitiveness.Public Service ReformThe crisis also exposed the urgent need to reform our public services to make them fit for the 21stcentury’s challenges and demands.This government does not have the luxury of an endless pot of money to fund all and sundry. We inherited quite the opposite, we have to do more with less.  However, through the dedication and professionalism of our public servants we will succeed in creating a more modern and responsive public service.It will involve the necessary and difficult task of looking at all Government entities and judging whether they can continue to stand alone.We are also overseeing the downsizing of the public service to 282,500 by 2015 while protecting front line services as best we can.Last week saw an important change to sick pay arrangements for the public service that will result in increased productivity, reduced absenteeism and a significant reduction in the costs.Also on the agenda is pension reform. Our Programme for Government commits to capping taxpayer subsidies for all future pensions – public and private – that deliver income in retirement of more than €60,000.It will be a matter for the Government to consider over the coming months how this is best achieved and phased in.These measures should be seen as stepping stones along the way to the delivery of a new universal, national pension system that is seen by the Irish public – men and women, public and private – to be fairer, more sustainable and more effective at supporting people in their retirement.Our health and social services too are commencing a programme of transformation.We’ve reinventing our welfare system with Pathways to Work. We’re ending passive welfare payments and moving to a new service of work activation, to better support and encourage job seekers back into the work force. By removing welfare traps we’re committing ourselves to the national idea that is always better to go and do a good day’s work than to be dependent on welfare.In Health, we’ve responded with some clarity to the mandate we got from the people to radically reform our health services.We want to build a single-tier health service supported by universal health insurance to guarantee equal access to the best possible medical care based not on what money the patient has but on the treatment they need.Publishing the HSE Governance Bill last week was the first step in the major and long-overdue health reform to be undertaken.Political ReformIn terms of political reform it’s a case of ‘physician, heal thyself’.To drive the scale of reform for which we have such passion and hope and commitment we must begin by reforming the political system itself.Because I believe our political system has failed and abjectly so to live up to the vision and the ideals of its founders of this State.This day three years ago, here at MacGill, I stood before you and stated that ‘our political system is broken. Our political culture is discredited. We cannot fix our economy or create a just society unless and until we also fix our politics.’Ireland needed A New PoliticsDuring the election people kept faith with us.With our reform agenda we now show we are keeping faith with them.With our reforming zeal we show them that the finer qualities, the high standards of their own lives will be demanded and reflected and enshrined at the heart and in the heart of their Government.Because the government, that I lead, believes that corruption is not a victimless crime.It ruins lives livelihoods a country’s standing reputation.It was the same attitude to power and governance that left Ireland utterly incapable of dealing with the crisis that headed its way over those bleak midwinter days in 2010 when talk of the IMF was like a game of chicken played across Merrion Street by people who should know and who were tasked to know and to do so much better.Since coming to power, as a reforming government, we have been developing further, direct action, to tackle corruption.Last week new legislation was passed to bring greater transparency and accountability to the political funding system.Under this government, there is now an effective ban on corporate donations above €200 unless corporate donors register with SIPO.Political donations to political parties and individuals are also being significantly reduced across the board.The anonymous donation threshold is being reduced to €100.There is now transparency. There will be no more doubt, no more suspicion in the relationship between business and politics.As for corrupt politicians themselves, the days of ‘getting away with it’ are over. Minister Alan Shatter is working on innovative legislation which will include provisions for the conviction of Ministers, TDs and civil servants. If convicted of a corruption offence, Oireachtas members could be subject of a court order to forfeit their Office and be excluded from seeking office again for up to 10 years.This government is cleaning up politics. We are delivering on our promise to make the institutions more transparent and accountable to the Irish people.Included in this pathway to transparency and accountability is:Comprehensive legislation on the protection of whistleblowers and on the registration of lobbyists.Enhanced Central Bank regulatory powers including strengthening its ability to impose and supervise compliance with regulatory requirements and to undertake timely interventions.The separation of civil and criminal aspects of cases by RevenueThe Mahon Report confirmed our own political instinct the need to act swiftly and decisively to ensure a fully accountable, fully transparent political and planning system.Last week the whole-of-Government Response was published summarising all the actions on each of the 64 recommendations.In short, 43 recommendations already have or will be implemented, partly or fully, while 18 recommendations remain under consideration as Government considers new policies and reforms in these areas, and only three recommendations are not proposed to be implemented at this time.Public trust is a fragile and precious commodity and is something that has been missing from Irish politics in recent years.  I am determined to restore faith, hope and trust in our political institutions through the programme of reforms being pursued.Dáil & Seanad ReformThe Tribunals and the collapse of the economy showed the governed, that those who did the governing, were unfit for office, their systems unfit for purposeA sorry state of affairs for our Republic.We’ve done the most important thing of all here in our reform of the political system – we’ve made a start.Small steps on Dáil Reform.To make day-to-day practice of politics more real and accountable.Such as overhauling the committee system and introducing Friday sittings.I am certain that we can do no less than any of this if we are to stop the further pollution of our societyRe-establish a moral code and proper order to public lifeRestore public confidence in politics and government, in what is means to be a real ‘citizen’ of a ‘real Republic’.This Government has committed itself to holding a referendum on the abolition of the Seanad; a referendum which will give the Irish people the final decision on whether Ireland should have a second house.Some have argued that the citizens of our Republic should not be allowed to take this decision. That the only choice they should be given is between the current Seanad, which even its defenders acknowledge is not working, and some type of reformed second house.I respectfully disagree.The political system has been talking about Seanad reform for seventy-five years. And nothing has happened.It is time for the Irish people to be consulted.Reform of the Seanad has not occurred for many reasons. In my view the key reason is this: There is simply no consensus in our country about what role a second house might play.Some argue that it should be fully elected with greatly extended powers.Others that it should be a non-elected expert chamber with more limited powers, populated with people from outside the political system.Still others propose that the Seanad should be some form of Citizens’ assembly.The difficulty with all of these suggestions, of course, is that they are mutually incompatible.It is precisely this lack of consensus which means that reform never happens.All across this country people are being asked on a daily basis to make sacrifices. To do more, much more, with less.I believe the political system must do the same.It is time for the Irish people to be asked whether we really need a second house.Next Steps in Reform AgendaWe must remember to tread with care and purpose if we are stay on our reforming path.Back to Seamus Heaney: remember everything and keep your head.Just five years ago, the Fianna Fail/Green/PD programme for government contained worthy promises to improve local government, to foster civic participation, and to pursue electoral and political funding reform, by establishing an electoral commission.Reforming promises are not enough. Reforming action is what is required.Constitutional ConventionWhich is why we have already announced the beginning of the work of the Constitutional Convention, where ordinary Irish citizens and politicians from north and south, come together to discuss constitutional reform – a new concept in our country.It is much more than fostering civic participation. The Constitutional Convention will be an influential adviser to government.We will be guided by its advice and recommendations.This is the people’s year in terms of political and constitutional participation.I would like this Convention to move from Dublin to Cork or Galway on occasion so that geographically our commitment to the Constitution is seen and felt more widely as a living, real thing.The Convention will discuss six issues minimum and will make recommendations to government on whether referendums on these issues are required or not.Given that the government has already committed to a referendum on Child Protection and the abolition of the Seanad, the possibility of six more may require the government to reconsider the concept of a Constitution Day – a symbolic day to recognise the work of Irish citizens in remoulding the Irish Constitution to take account of the values and changes of 21st century Ireland.Local GovernmentOur local government system has seen no major reform since the just after the Famine.We are adamant that we will make local government a viable and trustworthy organ of the State and an integral part of a reformed political system.We must because local government impacts our people in almost every aspect of their lives.Right now in Ireland, local government is lost.But we can’t blame local government itself.It has languished while successive governments ruminated over reports promising reform as opposed toactioning reform.Our citizens became disillusioned with and disconnected from their councils.And no wonder. Because are local communities best served by having 114 local authorities, 1,640 Councillors, 8 regional authorities and 2 regional assemblies?It’s time to radically reform how local democracy works, how services are delivered.Key to this is consistency, and connection with the community, the citizen.It’s time to address the democratic anomaly whereby local authorities are responsible for services and rates that have a huge impact on local businesses but have no direct responsibility for helping local business to develop.We must move to the situation where local government sees local businesses as integral… productive parts of the local community not merely as taxable entities.With new responsibilities will come new methods and levels of accountability which will be greatly enhanced by the sweeping changes in national legislation on corruption, ethics and reporting.Local government has serious potential to bridge the gap between people and politics.I’m excited by the democratic possibilities here. It is right that the party that founded the State, declared it a Republic, should now be instrumental in breathing new life into government at local level.ConclusionReform and rebuilding suggest a modern, a lean – and for the times – a somewhat astringent approach to our national life.As we reform and rebuild and renew our country, we look to our political DNA, to our political ancestors, the men and women who founded this State, directly out of the real possibility of there being no shared sense of a ‘national’ life at all.15 years after his father John A Costello declared this Irish Republic, his son Declan Costello published his Towards a Just Society.“We have, it is true, achieved freedom from foreign rule for most of our country, and our citizens enjoy freedom from arbitrary arrest, but freedom is much more than the absence of tyranny . . . it only becomes real when economic and social conditions permit the full development of the human personality.”After too many years of too much Fianna Fail, the self-styled republican party, we are again in a battle for our freedom, for our sovereignty, this time, economic.Reclaiming and re-establishing the economic sovereignty of this Republic is a key priority for this government.Because it is only then that we will see again the social conditions that allow all our citizens to flourish.Nothing less than flourishing is what our proud people deserve.Reform, rebuilding, renewal are central to this objective.TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY’S SPEECH TO MacGILL SUMMER SCHOOL was last modified: July 23rd, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY’S SPEECH TO MacGILL SUMMER SCHOOLlast_img read more