News From The Oireachtas

Towns like Cashel will be an excellent place in which to invest and create employment for young people as a result of the recent deal done on the Anglo-Irish debt, Fine Gael Deputy Tom Hayes told the Dáil. The significance of the deal done on the Anglo-Irish promissory note was comparable to when Michael Collins came back with the Treaty, he said.

Towns like Cashel will be an excellent place in which to invest and create employment for young people as a result of the recent deal done on the Anglo-Irish debt, Fine Gael Deputy Tom Hayes told the Dáil. The significance of the deal done on the Anglo-Irish promissory note was comparable to when Michael Collins came back with the Treaty, he said.

“It will have an impact that will greatly enhance their lives and our opportunities to create jobs and take responsibility back for the running of the country into our own hands,” he said. “The decision by the House to put Anglo Irish Bank beyond memory was courageous, tough and good for the people. I am proud to be part of a Government that took this action and stood up to the forces that had said it should not be done.”

Young people who are still at school and those who are unemployed will see the effects, he said. Above all, it will have a lasting effect on the many people forced to emigrate in recent months and years to Australia, Canada, America and all parts of Europe. The potential for the economy was great.

“I invite foreign direct investment interests to consider locations in Ireland such as Cashel in my constituency where an advance factory building has been vacant for the past two years,” he said. “Because of what happened last week in the Dáil and the agreement with the ECB, Cashel will be an excellent place in which to invest and create employment for young people. Ireland is the place in which to invest for those looking at Europe. We are managing the economy. This is regarded as a country able to look after its business. We are not afraid to argue against other viewpoints. The Government is running the country and making it an efficient place in which to do business.” However, he said the high level of unemployment, at 416,000, however, presents a challenge.

“In order to make the country a better place for the people concerned, we need to have an economy that is acceptable to foreign companies in terms of foreign direct investment,” he said. “Job creation and exports are the key to providing a good living for citizens.”

People convicted of serious crime cannot be taxi drivers -Kelly

A new Taxi Regulation Bill strengthens the existing legislative provision for mandatory disqualification of persons convicted of serious criminal offences from operating in the industry, Minister of State for Transport Alan Kelly told the Dáil.

Speaking during Question Time, he said the provisions of the Bill will ensure those with convictions on indictment for the most serious of violent crimes will be excluded from the industry.

“The specification of offences to which mandatory disqualification applies is based on the principle of ensuring the welfare and the safety of passengers, particularly in situations where a passenger is travelling alone in a taxi,” he said. “Because of the serious consequences of mandatory disqualification it can only be applied in narrowly defined circumstances relating to very serious crimes.”

Furthermore there are inbuilt safeguards in the Bill to ensure that the effect is not disproportionate, he said. Specifically, there is a right of appeal under which the appropriate court can review a range of matters pertinent to the suitability of the appellant to be a taxi driver.

He told Sinn Fein’s Dessie Ellis that he did not consider that it would be appropriate to include any particular reference to Good Friday Agreement in the Bill.

“The question of whether any measures relating to former prisoners should be provided for in law in arising from the provisions of the Good Friday Agreement is one that extends beyond the specific issue of taxi licences,” he said. “The Minister for Justice and Equality recently introduced the Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012 which has been passed by the Seanad and is now to come before this House. In any event, I am satisfied that the provisions of the Taxi Regulation Bill are fair and balanced.”