Mick Wallace Would be good if #mainstreammedia held #FiannaFail + #FineGael to account for voting for a terrible #CAP that aband… https://t.co/RFUXVmKnea
Mick Wallace The #EU needs to do more to stop the Collective Punishment of the people of #Tigray - This is a form of Genocide b… https://t.co/G5c6hiCa2q
Mick Wallace RT @wallacemick: The lack of concern shown by the #EU for the people of #Venezuela has been shocking and says much about their so called 'E…
Mick Wallace RT @wallacemick: #EU says they're interested in Dialogue - So why don't they talk to #Syria ..? They say they're interested in Rule of Law…

Dail Diary

Dáil Diary no 40 – 30 May 2015

New Terrorism Bill will do more for Arms Industry, than Peace…

On Tuesday of this week, we debated the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Bill in the Dáil – A Bill that ignores the causes of Terrorism and one that will do nothing to promote peace. It was disappointing that only Clare Daly and myself debated the issue with the Minister present – clearly, it is perceived that there are no votes to be got from discussing this subject. Here’s a shortened version of my Dáil contribution. –

“I mean no disrespect to the Minister of State, but, once again, the Minister, Deputy Frances Fitzgerald, has blanked us. She must not like us.

I am supposed to attend an under-18 match in Wexford tonight. My team is playing a Leinster championship quarter final match against St. Kevin's. It is only the second under-18 knockout game that I will have missed in 25 years because it is my job to challenge legislation and I am disappointed that the Minister is not present to participate in the debate.

I fear that the Bill and the principal Act may be used, as similar legislation has been used elsewhere, to restrict and clamp down on civil rights, freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of movement, while simultaneously embedding institutionalised racism in the criminal justice system. My amendments all have to do with section 4 on public provocation to commit terrorist offences, in particular the use of the word "encourage" in the section. In this context, it is extremely broad in its scope and ramifications. It even deviates from the European Union approved wording as laid out in the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism which is to be found in Schedule 2 to the Bill. The new section 4A on public provocation to commit a terrorist offence states that it means "the intentional distribution, or otherwise making available, by whatever means of communication by a person of a message to the public, with the intent of encouraging, directly or indirectly, the commission by a person of a terrorist activity". The Council of Europe uses the word "incite" as opposed to "encourage". This word is much tighter, less open to interpretation and reasonably narrows the scope of what is already very broad-ranging and wide-ranging legislation.

To quote the work of Dr. Cian Murphy of King's College, we are moving towards a criminal justice system that enforces pre-emption rather than prevention, which is a sure-fire formula for repression. Dr. Murphy argues that pre-emption involves taking intrusive action against potential threats based on at best mere suspicion. It is evident in policy documents such as the action plan for combating terrorism, the preambles to various legislative Acts and the operative texts of these Acts. EU counter terrorism measures seek to eradicate any space in which violent politics could develop. Key enactments put in place the common European crime of terrorism and systems of targeted sanctions and financial, travel and telecommunications surveillance. Although the targets of EU counter terrorism measures are those who incite, finance, support and carry out acts of terrorism, the entire population is affected by the law. The European Union did not adapt the rhetoric of a war on terror, yet many of the dangers posed by US counter terrorism measures in that state can also be seen in the European Union. In particular, EU counter terrorism measures have seen the centralisation of power and the adoption of legal Acts to the detriment of the rule of law and fundamental rights.

At the centre of this debate should be the issue of a balanced relationship between security actions and fundamental human rights. Instead, the Government is blindly implementing laws crafted in Europe by a legislative process that primarily comprises the puppets that are the European Heads of State and their neoliberal advisers, without a discussion of what the reality of their implementation would be on the ground. Do we really need more counter terrorism laws in Ireland? Are they proportionate to the threat? That there is a particularly low level of threat in Ireland has been admitted and even emphasised by Ministers and the Garda. We are clamping down on a threat that is barely there and, in the process, passing laws that affect everybody. Ironically, it is comparable to the United States bombing the living daylights out of citizens in Baghdad in its 2003 shock and awe offensive in order to take out Saddam Hussein whom we knew had no weapons of mass destruction, an action some clear-sighted thinkers argue was central to the long, unnecessary and bloody road that has created the unstable situation that has us discussing this legislation in the Dáil today. That same provocation and what I regard as terrorist activity on behalf of the United States and the so-called coalition of the willing is fundamental to so many of the problems we are seeing in the Middle East today. The Middle East is a failed part of the world and the seriousness of the problem is unimaginable. We could not have dreamed ten years ago that it would get this bad. Aside from what we saw happen in Palestine last summer, what has continued in Iraq and Syria, the development of ISIS and the conflict in south Yemen are atrocious.

Most rational people have to admit that the invasion of Iraq was at the core of the destabilisation of the Middle East. I do not believe fair-minded people will deny this. The militarisation of so much of the world has been detrimental to millions of people. Over 60 million people have been forced to move from their homelands, of whom 33 million are people who have suffered as a result of acts of war. We are dealing with different crises such as, for example, the refugees in the Mediterranean, but when will we admit that dropping bombs creates serious problems? We allow Shannon Airport to be used to facilitate the dropping of bombs in the Middle East by the Americans and their fighter planes. We allow 2.5 million troops to move through the airport and the result has been devastating. I have to remind the Minister of State that in opposition the Labour Party was adamant that military aeroplanes should be searched because they were not supposed to be carrying arms. The number that pass through the airport in one week is phenomenal and now nobody wants to search them. That does not stack up.

The progress of counter terrorism legislative measures since the 11 September 2001 attacks has led us to a situation where there is overly broad use of criminal provisions that could be seen as breaching the principle of legality and the presumption of innocence under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The sad truth is that, even in the absence of a direct threat to Ireland, we will be faced with even more intrusive laws down the line. The Commission is discussing further moves, including stiffer border controls, better intelligence sharing, access to flight passenger registers and even the establishment of an EU security agency.

The sharing of air travel records has been a highly contentious issue for EU law makers who have blocked it since 2013. If enacted, it would mean that millions of EU travellers would have their personal data kept on file for years.

 The fact that France has some of the stiffest anti-terrorism decrees in Europe did not thwart the Paris attacks. US and British security agencies are carrying out surveillance of their own citizens on a scale that was, until recently, something we associated only with George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. He was not exaggerating, but he was behind the curve. To make matters worse, in July 2013 John C. Inglis, deputy director of the US National Security Agency, admitted in testimony that, at most, one plot might have been disrupted by the mass collection of telephone records of millions of Americans. Not even when one collects everything from everybody all the time does this anti-terrorism legislation work.

 There are ways to discourage people from engaging in terrorism, other than the criminalisation of the direct or indirect encouragement of terrorism or terrorist publications. We need positive instances of cross-cultural dialogue on terrorism. Prosecutions that target speech would be a divisive strategy that could confirm fears that anti-terrorism efforts were based on hostility to Islam as opposed to condemnation of violence. Recently in America there was a gun attack in Dallas, Texas at a contest to draw cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Priyamvada Gopal, writing in The Guardian last week, drew parallels between this attack and the shootings in January at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. She noted that, at the same time the shootings in Dallas occurred, the French magazine was due to pick up a Freedom of Expression Courage honour awarded by the literary group PEN and wrote:

 

    When six writers pulled out of the ceremony in protest, Salman Rushdie accused them of cowardice and condoning terrorism. The six argue that the award validates “selectively offensive” racist and anti-Islamic material.

The last person to be fired from Charlie Hebdo was a person who had created an anti-Jewish cartoon, while nobody has been fired for creating anti-Islamic cartoons there. Ms Gopal posed a vitally important question surrounding the situation, namely, "what sorts of speech make the defence of freedom of expression truly worthwhile?" She wrote:

    Free speech is most precious when it genuinely questions power, when dissent challenges and undermines an unacceptable status quo. Meaningful dissent makes the invisible visible. While the openly tyrannical are obvious targets, in formally democratic contexts free speech is truly only a weapon when it sets its sights upon insidious norms and received ideas rather than sanctioned enemies.

What makes the Bill a particularly bitter pill to swallow is the fact that the organisation that will have primary responsibility to carry out the provisions contained in the Bill, An Garda Síochána, is organised in such a manner that when somebody exercises that most precious form of free speech and questions the structures of power within the force, the person concerned is treated with contempt. Human rights have yet to be enshrined in the Garda code of conduct. I raised some of these issues with the Minister today at Question Time. We find the way the two Garda whistleblowers, Mr. Keith Harrison and Mr. Nick Keogh, have been treated as bordering on unbelievable. We have to sit back and think about it for a while, question it and check it over and over and ask ourselves whether it could possibly be true. The way they have been treated is horrendous. People think we like to come into the House and just give out about the Garda. I would so much like to think the energy we have put into challenging how it operates is reaping fruit and that things will be different from now on. It would be a great acknowledgement of the energy we had put into it. However, sadly, I cannot say that yet.

 When the Government defends the actions of the US military or our trade partner, Saudi Arabia, does this not encourage the commission by a person of terrorist activity? Aside from US bombs being instruments of terror, what more powerful encouragement is there to become a terrorist than the completely unwarranted destruction of one's village by a faceless and unaccountable aggressor? This reasoning is too unacceptable a truth to entertain. We are the ones who protect freedom, justice and democracy. We are so fond of these values that we are not prepared to invade other countries and help these values take root by the use of billions of dollars worth of tanks, guns and bombs. The law will be used only to undermine the free speech of those whom it is politically expedient to criminalise by holding a monopoly of the definition of the word in order that terrorism is something in which only others engage, not us. The Bill is built on a false, unjust and hypocritical premise. We ask why they treat us like this, why they do not like our democracy. While they do not dislike our democracy, they do not like bombs landing on them in the middle of the night, killing their women and children. They do not like this very much, but they have no problem with our democracy. The fact that every sane person accepts that terrorism is bad and the fact that the wording of the Bill is opaque makes the Bill difficult to oppose in any systematic manner. 

 That anti-terrorism legislation has been used to clamp down on human rights and very little else is uncontested by civil rights groups the world over. My amendment is an attempt to stem this abuse in a small way and, within the scope of the legislation, tighten the wording surrounding who can be accused of being a terrorist and seems to be one of the few routes by which we can do this. The real problems with the Bill are not restricted to its wording but rather what surround it. The context of the drive towards counter terrorism and mass surveillance is a toxic development. I abhor all forms of violence by everybody and do not take sides with any of them. Peace is wonderful and we should do our maximum to encourage it and refuse to facilitate anyone who wants to settle any dispute or argument using military means. One small step towards this would be stopping arms, munitions and troops passing through Shannon Airport."

Mick Wallace.

Good heartiness is a result of proper nutrition and hygiene. How can medicaments hels up? Circumstances that can influence your choice when you are buying medications are varied. Below are basic reasons about cialis vs levitra vs viagra which one is better. Surely there are also other momentous questions. Choosing the perfect treatment variant for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the advantages and disadvantages of the existing treatment methodologies. When you buy remedies like Cialis you have to remember about levitra vs cialis vs viagra. The most significant thing you must look for is which works better viagra or cialis or levitra. A long list of prescription drugs can lead to erectile dysfunction, including many blood stress medicines, pain remedies, and most of antidepressants. Sometimes the treatment options may include erectile dysfunction remedies or hormone treatments.

Dáil Diary no 39- 29 May 2015

Aer Lingus / Dunnes Stores Workers – Government show their True Colours…

I don’t believe that many people in Ireland like the idea of Aer Lingus being sold. The notion of State bad, Private good, and that Bigger is better, may with comfortable with those of a Neo Liberal persuasion, but so well with the people who believe that the State should work in the best interest of its citizens, rather than those of big business. Not everyone thinks that it was ok for the State owned Bank IBRC to sell Siteserv to Denis O’Brien at a massive discount, when it appears that they could have go more elsewhere. The State is now selling its share in our only airline for 335 million – a sum that the State has received from Aer Lingus in dividends alone over the last 5 years. Clearly the decision to sell now is more about the Government’s Neo Liberal approach, than about the amount of money they’re getting.

That same Neo Liberal approach goes part of the way to explaining why Dunnes Stores can treat their workers so poorly. Insecure hours of work is a method of control on the part of management – imagine, 20 years ago, 80% of Dunnes workers had full time jobs, now, 80% are part time – a race to the bottom for workers’ rights and conditions. Here’s my Dáil contribution on the issues from Wednesday –

“The Minister said this morning that, as a small carrier competing against larger companies in a changing European environment, Aer Lingus faces difficult challenges and risks. Its board and senior management recognise that and see the IAG proposal as a means to address those and enhance the company's opportunities to grow and develop. He will be hardly shocked to hear me say that this is a very good deal for IAG, its shareholders and anyone who chooses to invest in it, but it is not such a good deal for the Irish people. Aer Lingus, and it is something most of us are proud of, has served the people well. It is financially viable and it makes a great deal of sense that we would keep it rather than give it to someone else to make money from it.

  A few days ago I read an article by Paul Sweeney of TASC in which he stated: "the current push to sell Aer Lingus shares is a result of lobbying by IAG and those who would benefit from the sale, and is not motivated by what is in Ireland's or Aer Lingus' best interest". He went on to state: "Aer Lingus has many strengths and that consolidation into a major airline group is not [remotely] necessary to ensure its survival". Sadly, it does not appear that this is a good business deal for the people. This is a good deal for IAG. It is a neoliberal, ideological move, which is not based on good business practice.

  There seems to be a notion that state is bad and private is good, and that is after the worst economic crisis this country has ever seen where so much of the private sector collapsed. However, as happened when the banks were not worth dust and we bailed them out, the Irish people paid for their problems and now that they are worth something again it appears we will sell them again. When something is profitable and other people can make money from it we do not keep it for the State. We sell it, but when something is no good, the State takes it on. It does not stack up.

  The sale of so much property to foreign investors will create a huge problem in the future. The example I have given in the House on several occasions is the houses, apartments and sites being bought by American investment funds. They are not even selling them on. Many of the developments were brought into NAMA at fire sale prices. It has sold them on and made a fortune in the process but, very often, it is one investor selling to another, and the taxpayer has been the loser on each occasion. Those investors have come here and bought huge developments of apartments and houses, which they are renting. They have now developed a cartel in the rental market that has seen the price of a two bedroom apartment on Dominic Street increase from €1,000 a month to €1,400 a month in two and a half years. It is little wonder there is a housing crisis.

  We boast that this is an even better country in which to do business, but we are eroding workers' rights. It is a dumbing down process - a race to the bottom. Why are we becoming the best little country in the world in which to do business? Alain Supiot explained it very well in the project called Doing Business, a programme of the World Bank that we are so proud to score high in. This is the programme about which we boast that we are high up the ladder in terms of it. He states:
...[It] is the official guide to countries for corporations and businesses who want to face no censure for ignoring workers rights and pay little or no taxes. In the Doing Business report, the comparative table of all the labour regulation in the world includes the following indicators: difficulties in hiring; difficulties in extending or reducing working time; difficulties in making a worker redundant; employment rigidity; and the costs of hiring and firing.
One could not make that up.

  A few weeks ago, 6,000 Dunnes Stores workers went on strike because 80% of them are on temporary work or zero hour contract arrangements. Why is that the case? Julien Mercille pointed out lately that when Margaret Heffernan took over the company in 1993, 80% of Dunnes Stores workers were full-time. Today, 80% of them are part-time or are guaranteed only 15 hours a week.

  Only last week, Dunnes Stores in Gorey closed its doors. It had opened a door onto the car park, thereby breaking their lease arrangements. It created a situation where the customers were coming straight from the car park into its shop, bypassing the 17 other shops in the unit which were losing out dramatically. Dunnes Stores broke the legal arrangement. Why? Because it can, and it put the jobs of 100 workers at risk and put the workers in an insecure position. Dunnes Stores told the workers that their jobs were secure. One of the workers asked them if they could have that in writing, and they would not give it to her. That was interesting.

  How long more are we going to bring issues to this level? It is getting worse. Workers' conditions are disimproving under this Government. Things are much different from what they were in the past. Inequality is rising. Why is the Government not able to protect workers in that situation? Why can the likes of Dunnes Stores terrorise the living daylights out of their workers? Why has it not been pulled up in that regard? How can it get away with breaking a leasing arrangement, locking its doors and saying it will reopen them when it gets its way? Why do we not have a mechanism at Government level for dealing with large businesses which treat Irish people like that? Will the Minister not agree with me? I would like him to answer that question. There is something seriously wrong in that regard”

Mick Wallace

Good soundness is a result of proper food and hygiene. How can medicaments hels up? Circumstances that can influence your choice when you are buying medications are different. Below are basic reasons about cialis vs levitra vs viagra which one is better. Surely there are also other momentous questions. Choosing the ideal treatment variant for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the advantages and disadvantages of the existing treatment methodologies. When you buy remedies like Cialis you have to remember about levitra vs cialis vs viagra. The most significant thing you must look for is which works better viagra or cialis or levitra. A long list of prescription drugs can lead to erectile dysfunction, including many blood tension medicines, pain remedies, and most of antidepressants. Sometimes the treatment options may include erectile dysfunction remedies or hormone treatments.

Dáil Diary no 38- 28 May 2015

Wexford Mental Health Crisis – Government in Denial, All Spin, No Substance…

I asked Minister Kathleen Lynch if there were any plans to establish an acute mental health unit in Wexford, and what solutions she could offer to the crisis in mental health services in Wexford at the present time. There are no acute beds, not enough community based services, and nowhere to go for people in serious crisis, except A&E. Mental health funding as a proportion of the overall health budget in Ireland has traditionally been low relative to other countries, and between 2006 and 2013 cutbacks saw it fall from 7.2% to 5.3%. Back in 2006, A Vision for Change was predicated on 8% of the health budget being spent on mental health.

The HSE seems to rely on voluntary services to pick up the slack as budgets for mental health are cut. ‘It's Good to Talk’ is a low cost counselling service based in Wexford, staffed by 28 volunteers. It opened in 2012, and since then they've facilitated 10,000 or so counselling sessions. They can have up to 24 sessions a day in the service. The then Minister for Health James Reilly officially opened the service in April 2012. At the opening ceremony, he told the crowd assembled that the HSE was just delighted to fund the service –it never has. But the HSE are perfectly prepared to refer patients to the service. The service is in desperate need of funding, and has repeatedly sought some, but none has come.

The Government seem to be able to find billions to give to failed banks. The Government-owned NAMA has had no problem selling distressed assets to foreign investment funds at fire sale prices, at the taxpayers’ expense, inflating the rental market in the process. But somehow they can't find the money to fund mental health services, and they can't find the money to do anything about the deprivation that so often has a serious impact on people's mental health. People are dying, now, across the country and in Wexford; collateral damage of this Government's policies. These people don't have the time to wait around for a trickle down of wealth that will never come. Wexford needs more funding, and more services, and it needs them now.

The Minister’s response to my questions was deeply disappointing. To be honest, I have usually found Minister Kathleen Lynch to be good, but I was taken aback with her response and attitude on this occasion. She answered none of my queries and was brutally dismissive of the glaring problems relating to mental health in Wexford.

When I put it to the Minister that Wexford’s suicide rate was double the national average, unemployment was at 23% compared to the national average of less than 10%, and that we had one of the highest levels of teenage pregnancy and illiteracy – she replied that she wasn’t responsible for the other pieces. This brought home for me the stark reality that there is a serious absence of joined-up thinking in this Government.

The Government are in denial, they are not being honest, and it just isn’t good enough. Here’s the full transcript of our exchanges in the Dáil today-

Mick Wallace: “ I accept putting patients in acute mental health beds is not ideal or seen as best practice. When A Vision for Change, a good document, was published in 2006, it looked away from locking up people behind walls and drugging them to their eyeballs. The plan, however, was that the acute bed units would not be done away with until there was enough support and facilities in the community to replace them. This has not really happened and A Vision for Change has remained just that, a vision.
Deputy Kathleen Lynch:  The HSE Waterford-Wexford mental health service serves a population of nearly 280,000. The executive is continuing its approach to develop integrated mental health care across both counties.
The significant funding provided by this Government is enabling Waterford-Wexford mental health services to implement the recommendations of A Vision for Change, to move from a traditional hospital-based model to a more patient-centred and community-based care.
In 2010, the acute mental health unit in St. Senan's Hospital, Enniscorthy, County Wexford was amalgamated with Waterford mental health services to provide a 44-bed acute inpatient mental health unit in University Hospital, Waterford. In addition, arrangements are in place whereby service users who live in north Wexford, and who attend Tara House mental health services in Gorey and require acute inpatient admission, have access to Newcastle Hospital, County Wicklow. Overall, 49 acute inpatient beds are available in the area which meets the requirements set out in A Vision for Change. Development of community mental health services include day hospitals and associated services at Wexford, New Ross, Enniscorthy and Gorey.

In addition, mental health services covering Wexford include Tara House in Gorey, Carn House in Enniscorthy, Summerhill in Wexford, Maryville in New Ross and a suicide crisis assessment nurse service available in Wexford. The latter provides a skilled mental health nursing service for those in suicidal or self-harm situations. This is based at the emergency department in Wexford General Hospital where there is a liaison nurse-led, seven-day service. In July 2014, a new purpose built crisis respite unit opened in Enniscorthy, providing ten respite beds for service users referred through a community mental health team, for respite care.

The Deputy will be aware that the Health Service Executive has statutory responsibility for the planning and delivery of services at local level, and that any new service or capital development proposals can only be considered and prioritised in the context of the annual HSE national service plan, and the multi-annual health capital budget. I understand that the HSE has already supplied the Deputy with a more detailed response on 28 April 2015 to his recent parliamentary question on this matter.

Mick Wallace: There are day hospital services in Wexford, as the Minister of State has listed, but they are closed after 5 o'clock in the evening. To gain access to those services people need a referral letter from their general practitioner. What is a family supposed to do if a family member is in acute crisis and suicidal? The person has to go to an accident and emergency department and sit in a corridor or on a trolley waiting to be assessed. As there is no consultant psychiatrist in Wexford General Hospital, the psychiatric liaison nurse will have to ring Waterford hospital to consult a psychiatrist there. If it is decided that the person in crisis needs to go to an acute bed in Waterford, they are sent off and will have to go through the accident and emergency department in that hospital also. Therefore, a Wexford patient will have to go through two accident and emergency departments. It has happened in the past that people sent to Waterford hospital from Wexford General Hospital were sent home, having travelling all the way there while in acute distress. It is all a bit mad. It is not a good service.
Back in 2009, Susan Lynch, the HSE manager of mental health and elderly services, said that an acute ward in Wexford General Hospital was more than a proposal, that it was in the HSE's south capital plan, but it never happened. It fell off the lorry. Why did it not happen?

Deputy Kathleen Lynch:  I am responsible for many things but I am not responsible for what happened back in 2009.

Mick Wallace:  I did not say that the Minister of State was responsible.

Deputy Kathleen Lynch: I do not know what happened to that proposal. I speak not only to HSE people but to the people who deliver the service on the ground and I speak to one person in particular in Wexford on a regular basis. An investment of more than €18 million has been made in Wexford. A Vision for Change was published in 2006 and I believe it needs to be updated, but I have to say that if I listened to every request for an acute hospital I would reopen every psychiatric hospital in the country. On the other hand, I have a magnificent new unit in Cork in which people will not work, which is illogical in regard to psychiatric services. Wexford is well served with day hospitals, as the Deputy rightly said. There is a respite unit, crisis houses and an assessment nurse which many other places do not have. Also the ECD who runs the service in Waterford is an incredible man. When I ask him questions such as the one the Deputy has asked, and I will inquire about it with him, he tells me there has never been a case where somebody needed to be admitted who was not admitted. There may be instances where people need to be assessed and returned to their own community and I have no doubt that happens. I will make further inquiries on foot of the Deputy's parliamentary question.

Mick Wallace:  People have died because they were not admitted. People have committed suicide in Wexford. The Minister of State has said that Wexford and Waterford are well served, but, according to the HSE's mental health division plan for 2015, spending per capita in the mental health area in the region is €148. That compares to €223 in Carlow-Kilkenny, €198 in south Tipperary and €206 in Mayo. The average number of acute beds per thousand of population across the country is 0.21 and it is 0.16 in Waterford-Wexford. People in Wexford who have to go through two accident and emergency departments are at a disadvantage to people in Waterford who only have to go through one accident and emergency department. Also, people in Wexford have to travel to Waterford and Wexford is one of the poorest served areas. This area has a suicide rate of double the national average and an unemployment rate as of today of more than 23% while the national average is now below 10%. That is incredible.

It has one of the highest levels of teenage pregnancy and one of the highest levels of illiteracy. The service is not good enough. I am serious about this.

Deputy Kathleen Lynch:  I am only responsible for the mental health end of it, as the Deputy will know, I am not responsible for the other pieces.

Mick Wallace: That is the knock-on effect.

Mick Wallace

 

 

Good soundness is a result of proper nutrition and hygiene. How can medicaments hels up? Circumstances that can influence your choice when you are buying medications are various. Below are basic reasons about cialis vs levitra vs viagra which one is better. Surely there are also other momentous questions. Choosing the ideal treatment edition for a racy disease can get really confusing considering the advantages and disadvantages of the existing treatment methodologies. When you buy remedies like Cialis you have to think about levitra vs cialis vs viagra. The most significant thing you must look for is which works better viagra or cialis or levitra. A long list of prescription drugs can lead to erectile disfunction, including many blood pressure medicines, pain remedies, and most of antidepressants. Sometimes the treatment options may switch on erectile dysfunction remedies or hormone treatments.

Dáil Diary no 35 - 8 May 2015

Mainstream Media Stays Silent - As Government use 'Terrorism' to undermine Civil Liberties...

It’s unlikely to come as a surprise to anyone that the mainstream media have refused to report any opposition whatsoever, to the Government’s Criminal Justice Terrorist Offences Amendment Bill 2014, passing through the house at the moment. Hardly earth-shattering news to anyone.

It is ironic that at a time when Ireland and Europe are looking to increase surveillance in the name of the so called fight against terrorism, the US Court of Appeals, only yesterday, ruled that the bulk collection of telephone metadata is unlawful, first revealed to the US public by NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013 – a landmark decision that clears the way for a full challenge against the American National Security Agency. The Irish Government is now looking to introduce legislation that is more designed to challenge civil liberties than to seriously challenge terrorist action around the globe – after all, most Independent analysis agree that the US Military bear more responsibility than anyone else for acts of terrorism, and yet, we allow that same Military Machine pass through Irish territory unchecked and unhindered. So much for , Frances Fitzgerald, ‘failed’ to turn up for. I miss Alan Shatter… 

"In January, in the wake of the Paris attacks, the Taoiseach stated in the House that: "The comprehensive international approach that is needed should tackle the underlying causes, prevent radicalisation, share information more effectively, deter and disrupt terrorist travel and bring the perpetrators of terrorism to justice." Before we continue a conversation about terrorism, we need to consider the definition of "terrorist activity" as set out in the principal Act. A terrorist activity is defined as an offence that is committed with the intention of:
(i) seriously intimidating a population,

(ii) unduly compelling a government or an international organisation to perform or abstain from performing an act, or

(iii) seriously destabilising or destroying the fundamental political, constitutional, economic or social structures of a state or an international organisation;
In March, a report authored by the Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Global Survival and the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War concluded that in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan alone, the US-led war on terror has directly and indirectly killed, at the most conservative estimate, a possible 1.3 million people since 2001. They note that the total number of deaths in the three countries is probably in excess of 2 million.

  The US and its coalition of the willing have led a war that is killing people at a rate that is encroaching on some of the greatest horrors of the 20th century, and they show no signs of slowing down the carnage. This Government refuses to see this action and its complicity in it for what it is - terrorism, plain and simple. We are participants in the largest terrorist organisation on earth. Ireland, by allowing munitions, military aircraft and almost 2.5 million troops through Shannon, is complicit in this mass slaughter of so many innocent people. We have supported a regime that seriously intimidates populations by flying drones over their heads and that bombs their villages, infrastructure, schools, hospitals, farms, roads, weddings and lives to dust. We support and instigate the radicalisation of those who survive the carnage, those who can no longer tolerate their humiliation, pain, anger and sorrow.

  The Taoiseach says we have to deter and disrupt terrorist travel and yet the army that is responsible for the deaths of so many people and the destruction and destabilisation of vast swathes of the Middle East, travels freely and unchecked though our borders. The Minister of State refers to bringing the perpetrators of terrorism to justice. However, when we name the US President for what he is, which is a war criminal, the Government does not want to know. The man is ordering the execution, without trial, of thousands of people, including hundreds of children, and yet he faces no consequences nor censure.

  In theory, the wording of the Bill is sound and sections of it could possibly be supported if the intentions of its authors were not dripping with hypocrisy. The crimes of Islamic State are horrific and it should be brought to justice but the same goes for the terrorist activities of Assad, Putin, Netanyahu, the US Administration and its allies. The same goes for Irish Government personnel who have facilitated the murder of innocent civilians by allowing Shannon Airport to be used as a forward military base for the US war machine.

  The Saudis are as fond of beheading people as ISIS, while pouring money and arms into terrorist organisations. The Irish Government does not seem to have any problem with them. This week, the Saudi Arabia-led coalition has been condemned by Human Rights Watch for dropping banned cluster bombs manufactured and supplied by the US on civilian areas in Yemen. Ireland signed and ratified this treaty in December 2008. We are widely considered to have been a driving force in the advancement of the treaty and we are held up as an example of international best practice in our implementation of the treaty. Only two weeks ago, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade reaffirmed his commitment to the implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the Arms Trade Treaty.

He went on to state: "The commitment of Ireland to the promotion and protection of human rights is a foreign policy priority for the Government." This stance is perplexing in light of the fact that the Government has repeatedly refused to bring up human rights concerns with Saudi or US officials when it has had the opportunity. This situation simply serves to underscore the poverty of the Government's foundation when it speaks about human rights. What Administration could be taken seriously when its members pat themselves on the back for having legislation that protects human rights, such as the cluster bomb munitions treaty or the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, while the National Pensions Reserve Fund has investments in a number of companies that manufacture nuclear weapons, including Boeing, Honeywell International, Jacobs Engineering, Larsen & Toubro, Rolls-Royce, Safran, Thales, Rockwell Collins, Airbus, Fluor, Leidos, ThyssenKrupp and Babcock and Wilcox, to which AIB provided a four-year revolving credit package valued at $700 million in 2010? I wish the bank had been as good to me.

  The Taoiseach once berated Bertie Ahern for not raising the issue of India's refusal to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty on a trade mission. Now, the State invests in an Indian company that manufactures weapons, Larsen & Toubro. The official line, to use the words of the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Deputy Bruton, seems to be that trade missions are not the place to raise human rights issues effectively.

  I fear that apart from highlighting the dishonesty, duplicity and double standards of this Government, the Bill and the principal Act may be used to restrict and clamp down on civil rights, freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of movement - similar legislation has been used in this way elsewhere - while simultaneously embedding institutionalised racism into our criminal justice system.

  The inclusion of a series of new terrorist offences and the qualification that they need not necessarily be committed to be crimes is bewildering in its broad scope. For example, the proposed section 4A defines the public provocation to commit a terrorist offence as "the intentional distribution, or otherwise making available, by whatever means of communication by a person of a message to the public, with the intent of encouraging, directly or indirectly, the commission by a person of a terrorist activity". If this meant that every time the Taoiseach or a Minister was held to account for trying to justify American warmongering, then I might consider it. Sadly, however, this law will only be used to undermine the free speech of those whom it is politically expedient to criminalise. By holding a monopoly on the definition of the word "terrorism" to the effect that terrorism is only something people other than us undertake, the Bill is built upon a false, unjust and hypocritical premise.

The great Nigerian-American novelist, Teju Cole, wrote in the wake of the Paris attacks:
A tone of genuine puzzlement always seems to accompany terrorist attacks in the centers of Western power. Why have they visited violent horror on our peaceful societies? Why do they kill when we don't?
This puzzlement is the product of a situation where the West, particularly the USA, "has consolidated its traditional monopoly on extreme violence". Accordingly, when the US and their Allies "commit torture or war crimes, no matter how illegal or depraved, there is little expectation of a full accounting or of the prosecution of the parties responsible". Some weeks ago Gary Younge of The Guardian framed the situation perfectly, stating that the West "promotes itself as the upholder of principles it does not keep, and a morality it does not practise".

  At the crux is the fact that we are discussing the extension of terrorism laws handed down from the planners of the great fortress that is Europe. We close our borders, monitor our citizens, police our waters and build walls to keep out the threat of violence.

  At least six children under the age of ten were among a reported 25 people killed in Saudi Arabian-led airstrikes in the Yemeni capital Sana'a early one morning a month ago. What protections did these children have from our trade partner, Saudi Arabia? Where are their border controls, defence systems and anti-terrorism legislation? What recourse do the remaining family members of the 14 demolished houses have to attain justice against the powerful US-supported Saudi Arabia? What structures are in place to prevent the surviving members of the family from being killed and maimed by the US-made cluster bombs that now scatter their countryside? What incentive is there not to become one of our feared terrorists? We need to tackle the root problem that this Bill is trying to address, not simply the symptom.

  Last night, the Minister said there was no doubt that this was significant and timely legislation, particularly in view of the deplorable terrorism witnessed in Europe and beyond in recent times. We agree that terrorist acts are terrible, but as long as we continue to ignore the fact that the US military machine has created more damage in this area than anyone else and that we are complicit by allowing the US Military machine to continue to use Shannon Airport, then how in God's name can we say anything about human rights? What can we possibly say in defence of people who suffer at the hands of terrorism when we stay silent and remain complicit? It is too bad. Are we going to ignore the reality forever? When is an Irish Government going to stand up, behave like a neutral country and call a spade a spade? Let us call the truth for what it is."

Mick Wallace.

 

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