Category Archives: Environment

My Seanad speech on the Government’s environmental protection policy, 9 July, 2014.

I welcome the Minister to the House. As was said, we must wake up to the problem. The Minister has been, and has been shown to be, very courageous and wide awake. He went into the Department with his eyes wide open and his actions have demonstrated courage. He could never be accused of not being courageous. He has been a very courageous Minister who took a stand where necessary and on issues where other Governments failed.

Today we are talking about the climate change Bill. Before I became a Senator I looked at things from the outside and had great faith and hope that something would done about climate change, particularly as the Minister at the time was John Gormley. Perhaps he got an anaesthetic and slept during his watch. However, I commend and compliment the current Minister, Deputy Hogan, on his assurances.

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My Seanad speech on the Radiological Protection (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2014, 9 July 2014.

I welcome the Minister of State. The Bill will enable Ireland to ratify the 2005 amendment. The previous speaker asked the Minister of State why it took so long; nine years is a long time. Ireland is one of only two EU countries yet to ratify it. However, in 2013 more than 60 countries had ratified the amendment and a total of 96 ratifications are required before it enters into force. I have also read that two thirds of the countries need to be signed up before it becomes effective. So although only two EU countries remain to ratify it, it needs another 36 before it enters into force. I ask the Minister of State to comment on that. Even though only two EU countries remain, will we be waiting for the other 34 non-EU countries before it comes into force in Europe? Continue reading

My Seanad speech on housing, 1 July 2014

I welcome the Minister of State to the House. She is doing Trojan work in her Ministry trying to resolve a very serious set of circumstances. There has been much misleading and grossly inaccurate information on the HAP. I am delighted the Minister of State has clarified once again in the Seanad today what the payment means. Representatives of various agencies have appeared before the Oireachtas committee, of which I am a member. Those representing the homeless are closest to my heart and that of the Minister of State. Very many people who cannot afford escalating rents are ending up homeless. Landlords do not want to take tenants receiving the HAP. The Minister of State has done some service by ensuring it will be easier for landlords to take on tenants in receipt of the payment and that they will not be fearful of non-payment of rent when the legislation is introduced. Continue reading

My draft submission on the Registration of Architects in Ireland February 19th 2013

Draft Proposals –prior to submission to the Draft Report from the Joint Oireachtas sub-committee Report.

Senator Cáit Keane representing the FG group on the Working Sub-committee established by the Joint Committee on the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht to evaluate & make recommendations on the Registration & Training of Architects in Ireland.

I am making this draft recommendation on behalf of the Fine Gael Group prior to submission to Sub-committees.
It analyses how we might go about assisting the process of a reasonable and fair assessment procedure at a realistic cost to enable the two classes of professionally trained architects to be considered for registration and training. This is a finite group of professionally trained architects. The solution that has been applied to this throughout Europe is that of a time-limited or self –extinguishing registration process which assesses acquired rights. In all cases the assessors should be independent, accountable and suitably qualified in the tasks. I note we do not have an Independent body in Ireland, it is under the control of Architects the RIAI.

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