Groundbreaking Bill to Protect Some of Our Most Vulnerable Citizens

Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill, 2013

Below is a speech delivered by Senator Keane as part of a debate in Seanad Éireann on November 10th, 2015.


“This Bill is a welcome piece of legislation which advances and defends the rights of some of our state’s most vulnerable citizens: those with reduced capacity to make decisions: including those with disabilities, those with mental unwellness, and some of the elderly. Regrettably, our state has a less than admirable history of understanding and treating these citizens. This Bill aims to put an end to that sad tradition, and to recognise in our law the significant progress made in our society’s understanding of those with reduced capacity. I welcome this bill for what changes it makes, but also for the part that it plays in this Government’s clear goal of bringing our most archaic laws in line with our social progress. Continue reading

Senator Keane Leads Climate Change Debate in the Seanad


Since the 1950’s the scientific community has become increasingly aware of global climate change, and increasingly united in its stating that “these changes are, in a large part, caused by human activities”. The reality of climate change effects everyone on this planet.

Current rates of change would mean a very clear and forced shift in the lifestyles of those who live in developed countries like ours. There is massive risk to human life and to the progress of our nations in the near future.

In the more immediate present, climate change effects the lives of millions of the world’s most vulnerable people in the developing world. But many of our countries have too easily side-lined climate change as something academic and of no relevance to the lives of ordinary people today. This is not the case.

We should be careful today that, while debating this issue, we do not see it as a lull in an exciting budget week. Legislation around climate change is the basis on which we will be judged by future legislators and by future generations.

It is our job in this House and the other place to take care of the future: we are careful every day to look at the effects legislation that makes sense today has on the future. The job of climate change legislation is the other way around. We focus on what the future demands of us, obviously keeping in mind the needs and demands of today. The focus though has got to be what is right for future generations.

With all of this as background, it is a great sign of progress that we debate the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill, 2015, today.

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Children and childcare a real priority in Budget 2016 – Keane

Fine Gael Dublin South West Senator, Cáit Keane, has said that children and childcare are a real priority in Budget 2016.

“€85 million in childcare measures were announced yesterday in Budget 2016, making children and childcare a real priority for the budget. These measures will reduce costs for hard working parents, helping to make work pay, as well as improving the quality of the care available to their children.

“A significant boost to gender equality was found in the Budget in the shape of the first ever paid paternal leave, to start from next September. While two weeks paternal leave for fathers is not a very lengthy period, it sets a precedent for how families are understood in this State. We have come a long way from the marriage bar and I hope this is just a first step towards longer paid paternal leave in the future. Continue reading