Mick Wallace The situation in #Venezuela is very difficult and people are leaving in their droves - but conditions are directly… https://t.co/2XAdoIn1dY
Mick Wallace Palestinian Authority still talks of a 2 State Solution for #Palestine despite the extent of illegal settlements. I… https://t.co/RrH6sq8hHz
Mick Wallace @SoySeanTio Yes, my mistake. Thanks..
Mick Wallace The #US does nothing for world peace by reneging on the #JCPOA with #Iran - The totally irrational decision by US… https://t.co/67Csu7Aee1

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The Government's response to the removal of the two Roma children can only be described as short-sighted, defensive and, sadly, entirely predictable in view of the long-held policy of ethnicity denial and cultural assimilation towards Traveller and Roma peoples.

Minister Shatter's response was reactive, haphazard and focussed only on satisfying public opinion in the short term rather than on initiating a process that might result in real cultural change in the long term ;

Wednesday, Minister announced only that he was ordering an internal report by Gardai of Garda conduct that he would not be making public, and that Minister Fitzgerald was ordering a similar HSE report.

Thursday, the Ombudsman for Children implied that she had decided of her own volition to examine the matter [She can only examine practices of HSE]. The Minister confirmed in the Dail that he would be forwarding the HSE and Garda reports to the Ombudsman to compile a a report of those reports.

Friday, the Minister announced his intention to appoint the Ombudsman under Section 42, Criminal Justice Act 2007 to carry out full inquiry, to include the role of the Gardai. He did not confirm terms of reference nor whether he would publish this report. Although the Ombudsman has committed to “conduct an independent impartial investigation from first principles,” she may encounter serious difficulties investigating the Garda Siochana.

Given GSOC’s experience in dealing with the “blue wall of silence”– which led in May to an unprecedented public airing of their frustrations – their involvement could be of considerable assistance. Inexplicably however, the Minister has not considered this, although GSOC have demanded a copy of the internal report. GSOC's hands are tied however as - unlike the Ombudsman for Children - GSOC cannot initiate their own investigation into practice and procedure unless the Minister orders them to. [Neither Ombudsman can award compensation or impose sanctions.]

In a further demonstration of this confused and contradictory position, the Minister declared towards the end of last week that he has “no doubt that the Gardai acted in this instance in good faith in the intervention that took place” in contrast to his earlier admission that the “international backdrop” of the case in Greece may have had “some undue influence in the decisions that were made”.

Will the Minister have the courage to commit to the following;

1. Broad terms of reference to include a proper examination of ;

(i) all Garda protocols, policies, powers and procedures [IHRC & Professor Walsh has long lamented that we cannot assess whether these are human rights compliant as they are not public]

(ii) the functioning of the Ethnic Liaison Officer system [which has plummeted from 600 ELOs in 2010 to 322 only out of a force of 14,000]

(iii) Garda Siochana relationship with media and practice of leaking

(iv) racial profiling within the Garda Siochana [Already confirmed by ECRI report Feb 2013 & UN CERD]

2. Involvement of GSOC on a joint basis

3. Commitment to publish in full all parts of the 3 reports (with consent of families and any necessary redactions)

Mick Wallace.

  See my article in village magazine regarding same; Follow link: http://www.villagemagazine.ie/index.php/2013/10/ombudsmans-roma-inquiry-too-narrow-to-precipitate-cultural-change-in-garda-by-mick-wallace-td/  

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Shatter again takes offence over calls for independent oversight- What's he afraid of...? Follow link below for video http://goo.gl/Uic23k
Friday, October 24th 2013 Yesterday Ministers’ Questions turned into a farce, as the Ceann Comhairle decided to take a dictatorial approach to proceedings – applying the letter of the law, which Standing Orders permit him to do, allowing six minutes only per oral question, refusing others in the chamber an opportunity to contribute to the debate on the issues raised. I have attended most sessions of Ministers’ Questions in the last two and a half years, and this was the first time that I was not allowed to come in on oral questions which were submitted by other members. We have never been allowed to come in on priority questions, but are generally allowed on orals. Yesterday, I was refused on four occasions to come in on orals and several other members present were also refused. Is this in the new version of Dáil reform? Would the Ceann Comhairle prefer if the chamber was even more empty than it is? If so, he’s going the right way about it. For most of yesterday ‘s session there was nobody there from the government parties, apart from two ministers taking questions. Surely, the idea of facilitating the opportunity for the opposition to hold the Ministers to account would represent some semblance of democracy, and would be politically healthy. Yesterday, the Ceann Comhairle chose to use his powers in order to prevent some of us from holding the Minister for the Environment to account. Is this democracy in action?   Mick Wallace, T.D.

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Mick Wallace: Budget 2014 Penalises Certain Social Groups Again

Mick Wallace, TD for Co. Wexford, today responded to Budget 2014, announced by the government this afternoon. Commenting on the reduction in Jobseekers' Allowance for the under 25s, and the increase in maternity benefit taxation, Wallace said that “this Budget continues the legacy of the government’s fiscal policy, which does not address inequality and poverty in Irish society. Rather than deal with the huge levels of youth unemployment, the government prefers to let the young people of this island know that they are simply not welcome here.”

According to Wallace, “the government has yet again disproportionately disadvantaged certain members of our society, including working mothers. The phasing-out of the mortgage interest supplement benefit is hitting those struggling to keep a head over their roofs, while investors are invited into the country through REITs to buy up property cheaply and contribute nothing to our society in return. Older people and people with long-term illnesses and disabilities will also be disappointed, given the promises to universal health care that have now not been fulfilled.

Again, then, the government has proven that despite its rhetoric of protecting the most vulnerable, it actually has no intention of doing so.”

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namaleaks

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Mick Wallace Budget 2016 Speech.

Mick Wallace discussing Ireland's response to the current Refugee crisis.

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