Public Meeting on FairCare

Fine Gael
Image via Wikipedia

A public meeting will be held on Monday 8th of March at 8:00pm in Silversprings Morans Hotel Cork on the the new Fine Gael Health Policy “FairCare”.

Speakers on the night will include Fine Gael Leader Enda Kenny TD, Fine Gael Health Spokesperson Dr. James O’Reilly TD and Fine Gael Seanad Health Spokesperson Senator Francis Fitzgerald.

Local elected representatives will also be in attendance. This is a good chance to find out more about the Fine Gael Health policy. I hope to be in attendance!

For more information on the policy see FairCare.ie

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Its time to go?

Enda Kenny
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Enda Kenny has been the leader of Fine Gael since 2002. In that time he has revitalised the party but he has failed to capitalise on the failures of Fianna Fail. Today’s resignation of George Lee is the final nail in the coffin for my support for Enda Kenny.

There needs to be a change of thinking at the top of the party, a change in how policy and where policy comes from. There needs to be more involvement of the grass roots in policy making. This includes actual debates happening at Ard Fheis and National Conference as I have called for in my response to a survey on the upcoming National Conference. (I will post that later)

Its time for Enda to put up or move on. He can bring us so close, but he can not take us over the line. Its simple, there is not going to be a Fine Gael government under the leadership of Enda Kenny. I have come to that realisation now.

I call on Enda to resign the leadership for the good of the party.

Facebook group

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ALF Forum 2010

Union for the Mediterranean
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The Anna Lindh Foundation Forum 2010 takes place in Barcelona from the 4th of March to the 7th of March. The Forum aims to give new momentum to the cooperation among civil society organizations committed to intercultural dialogue in the Union for the Mediterranean region and to enrich the activities of the forty-three National Networks of the Anna Lindh Foundation

The Forum is being  organised by the Anna Lindh Foundation in partnership with the European Institute of the Mediterranean, Head of the ALF Spanish Network.

The gathering of around 500 representatives of civil society organisations as well as high-profile speakers from the political, cultural and economic field from the entire Union for the Mediterranean region will also serve as inspiration for the development of regional cooperation and as a tool to influence policy-making in the field of intercultural dialogue.

The programme of the Forum is built on two key pillars: the ‘Agora’, which is dedicated to plenary debate and workshops with experts on the achievements and challenges of social and cultural cooperation in the regional framework, and the ‘Medina’, which brings together members of the Anna Lindh Networks and regional partners to share ideas and build new partnerships and initiatives.

The Agora is dedicated to plenary debate and workshops with experts on the achievements and challenges of social and cultural cooperation in the framework of the Union for the Mediterranean.

Specific debates which have been developed for the Agora include:

  • Education, Intercultural Learning and Youth: “Learning to live together in diversity”
  • Cultural & Artistic Collaborations: “Creativity for Dialogue”
  • Creating Spaces of Peace and Co-existence: “Restore Trust, Rebuild Bridges”
  • Cities, Migrants and Diversity: “Valuing Diversity, Understanding Migration”
  • Religion, spirituality and values: “Inter-religious dialogue and common values for action”

The Medina aims to bring together members of the Anna Lindh Networks, regional partners, networks and initiatives in order to share ideas and build new partnerships and initiatives.

Themes of the Medina workshops will consist of:

  • Intercultural Fair with presentation stands for members of the Anna Lindh Networks
  • Presentation of best practices with an insight to positive and challenges in the field
  • Spaces self-managed by members of Anna Lindh Networks and partners
  • Information sessions on subjects identified during the Forum preparation meetings
  • Artistic Exchange through exhibitions, audio-visual screenings and installations

There will be a part about blogging. Hence this post! A Bloggers’ Task Force is being set up to attend, which I have been asked to be part of! It is all very exciting. I will post more about this later in the week. Stay tuned!

See the website, facebook and twitter for more information about the Forum

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This is confusing me!!!

As you all know, I am blogging in the thinkaboutit.eu competition on Climate Change, well during the course of wandering through facebook, I came across a link to a BBC article (via Sam Bowman, thank you!) about how Global Temperatures are cooling.

Now this kind of goes against alot of what I was told in Copenhagen and from what a lot of books tell us about Climate Change and Global Warming. So I am utterly confused. Do we have more time do we think? Will oil run out before we melt all the ice? What role are the oceans playing?

Anyway take a look at the post I wrote over on thinkaboutit and please do enlighten me, if you can!

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Google ‘hope that California voters will vote no on Proposition 8’

Yes, that’s right, that evil company Google are taking a stance on Proposition 8 in California. For those of you who don’t know Proposition 8 is the following: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California”. Basically the proposition is to make In re Marriage Cases (2008) [76 Cal.Rptr.3d 683, 183 P.3d 384] (PDF), which made Gay Marriages legal in California, illegal again. Obviously if I had a vote in California I would be voting no, but as I live in Ireland I don’t. It is heartening though to see a big corporation, like Google, taking a stance on it.

What I wonder is will this backlash on Google or will it further cement their position? Only time will tell.


Official Google Blog – Our position on California’s No on 8 campaign

Tánaiste finally accepts Garda lack of resources after years of denial

FG electronic tagging proposals would have put Marlo’s 23 associates under 24 hour monitoringJustice Minister Michael McDowell has made a complete U-turn on Garda resourcing today by suddenly publishing an uncosted package of crime proposals (Tuesday), only days after he insisted that resourcing was not an issue, according to Fine Gael Justice Spokesman Jim O’Keeffe TD.

‘The problem of Garda resources is not a new one, but the Tánaiste is only now waking up to the scale of the problem. Fine Gael has been demanding increases in Garda equipment and manpower for years. Only last Sunday the Minister announced that Garda resourcing was not an issue, but the Minister has now undergone a miraculous Pauline conversion. Much of this proposed new spending is not contained in the Department of Justice’s Estimates for 2007, most notably the increase in the Garda Reserve and ‘unlimited’ investment in the Witness Protection Scheme. However, he has failed to put the Witness Protection Scheme on a statutory basis and it will continue its steady decline.

‘The most newsworthy element of the Minister’s ‘new’ proposals is that they closely mirror Fine Gael and Labour’s joint policing policy launched this week. The Minister has adopted Fine Gael’s proposals to further increase policing numbers, but has failed to make provision for future expansion in line with demographic changes. He has also followed Fine Gael’s lead on the need for more civilianisation. Last April I identified that 225 Garda positions in human resources, IT and the Garda Press Office could be civilianised overnight. Why did Michael McDowell wait so long before taking action? And why has he so consistently rubbished this idea, only to finally accept it?

‘The Minister is doing nothing to strengthen the bail laws, is making no provision for the Special Criminal Court to try lethal criminals, and has no plans to beef up the Criminal Assets Bureau. The Minister has rowed back on his criticism of the judiciary and will not accept Fine Gael’s common sense proposal to electronically tag persons on bail, which would have provided 24 hour surveillance of lethal criminals, including the 23 associates of the murdered ganglord Martin ‘Marlo’ Hyland.

‘Fine Gael will publish a schedule of offences that the DPP must consider for prosecution in the Special Criminal Court, increase the powers and the spread of the CAB, allow the DPP to appeal bail more readily, bring in new legislation for a statutory witness protection programme, and take a firm stand on organised and gangland crime the way we did in the aftermath of the murder of Veronica Guerin when last we were in Government.

‘The Fianna Fáil/PD Government has lost the plot on crime, changing its policies on a weekly basis, lacking any new initiatives, and refusing to implement sensible and effective opposition proposals. In the absence of any conviction for gangland crime since John Gilligan, Michael McDowell has yet to claim any significant victory against crime as Minister for Justice. Perhaps he should go back to the Law Library where his record is not so shameful.’

Policing Our Communities – A Joint FG/Lab Policy on Garda Reform


Just received this in an email from the Fine Gael Press Office.

Main Points

*Effective Community Policing
*Root and Branch Reform of the EU
*An Independent Garda Authroity
*Increasing Frontline Gardai
*Imporved Training
*Improved Diversity
*New Organisational Structure

From just leafing through the document, in the part about encouraging diversity one of the communities to be targeted is the Gay Community. I dont have time to give a full analysis so the link to the full policy is below.

Policing Our Communities – An Agreed Agenda on Garda Reform

YFG Cork policy

I posted this up on Forum UCC nand i thought their might be other YFG’ers who wanted to get on the act

Hey all,

I am currently writing a discussion document for YFG’s Policy for Cork City and Council. I would appreciate any input whatsoever.

I am currently looking at the Current area’s

Transport
Health
Education
Environment
Housing
Enterprise and Employment
Natural Heritage and Local Development
Planning
Community Development
Recreation
Justice and Crime

if you have suggestions for further areas or suggestions in general please dont hesitate to contact me at spiller2@gmail.com

Cork is going to me a major battle ground and I will be asking local candidates, councillors, TD’s and Sentaors for their input to it.

FG Defence Policy

From the Fine Gael website

Fine Gael is currently conducting an examination of the ways in which the Defence Forces might make an enhanced contribution to our society, in addition to the important roles which they currently hold.

The first matter being considered is whether the skills of the Defence Forces could be used to coordinate volunteers from civic society to carry out desirable projects in disadvantaged areas. The Defence Forces have a wealth of project management and logistical experience which may be of great assistance in work of this type.

The second area under consideration is whether the Defence Forces could provide an alternative for young juveniles who would otherwise be committed to prison for anti-social behaviour or other minor criminal behaviour. The Defence Forces is an organisation which sets clear boundaries, imposes discipline and infuses members with a clear sense of rights and responsibilities. It has experience in delivering structured training and developing interpersonal skills, and also has a physical infrastructure throughout the country.

With these points in mind, Fine Gael whould be very happy to receive any feedback from interested individuals or organisations on either or both of these matters. Feedback can be sent or directly to:

Billy Timmins TD
Fine Gael Spokesperson on Defence
Dáil Éireann
Dublin 2
email: billy.timmins@finegael.ie

below is my response to this.

Deputy,

I believe that the Irish Peramanment Defence Force (PDF) and Reserve Defence Force (RDF) have huge expeirence and ability that may not always availible in the private sector. I believe both the PDF and RDF personnal should be given paid leave to help out on emergency teams in conjunction with relief organisations.

On the issue of the defence forces been used as a ‘alternative for young juveniles’ would be a huge mistake. The PDF as a professional army is the best way it will sevre tha nation and puttin young people who do not want to be there in to it would be a huge mistake. I believe the RDF should be kept as a voluntary organisation as that best suits its purpose and will ensure that only those interested will be there.

I hope you will take my views on board

Green Party proposes tram service for Cork


Via Greenparty.ie

Well as I said this morning the Green Party have announced their policy for Transport in Cork

Green Party Leader Trevor Sargent TD said

“Transport 21 has left Cork pretty well out of the picture with regards to future high budget transport development programmes. Much of what is proposed for Cork under Transport 21 was either already underway or has been postponed indefinitely. Other projects such as the North Ring Route around the city and the badly needed bypass for Macroom have been delayed indefinitely as they are not Transport 21 priorities. Cork does not deserve this.”

On the issue of a LUAS type system for Cork, Green Party Cork South-Central TD Dan Boyle, said

“The Green Party proposes the development of a light rail system that would see a line connecting Ballincollig to Mahon via Cork City Centre. A spur line from Bishopstown incorporating the CIT and CorkUniversityHospital would join with this line. A second phase could see a light rail system being extended to Passage West and development of light rail for the Northside of Cork City. We have already seen the huge success of the Luas in Dublin and we believe Cork should see the next roll-out of this excellent public transport system.

Green Party Cork North-Central candidate Cllr Chris O’Leary called for a Harbour bus service to be introduced.

“Cork’s version of the waterbus could see it running from the lower harbour to the City’s main street and back again, servicing Ringaskiddy, Rochestown, Cobh and Mahon to name but a few. The environmentally friendly public transport system will also act to facilitate tourism in the area as well as providing a sustainable, workable and dedicated service in Cork.

Cork City Council are already conducting a feasability study into such a scheme.

On Local Railways,Green Party candidate for Cork East Sarah Iremonger said

“Local train links should not only go to Midleton but to Youghal and eventually onto Waterford. The existing rail link to Cobh should be upgraded with more trains running, more stops added, and train stations developed on the line with proper car parking facilities.”

Dan Boyle TD also called for more buses for Cork

“The Government’s recent provision of funding for 30 new buses for city bus services included 19 buses provided solely for replacement purposes. We need the same number of new buses again to improve the capacity of the service,” he concluded.