Urgent Action is Required to Prevent the Collapse of the Defence Forces

By the end of September, the Irish Defence Forces (DF) will have reached an all time low. An all time low in numbers and in morale. Proud experienced Officers, NCO’s and enlisted women and men are walking away from the career they placed their hopes and dreams in. Young women and men who want to serve their country are opting for jobs in supermarkets or fast food outlets leaving behind careers destroyed by a failure of those in charge to understand their own mismanagement. The situation is I believe made worse by political interference forcing uniformed personnel to lower standards to present an image of an organisation with a plan.

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Statement on the Presidential Election 2018

In August 2017 I became concerned that the main political parties in Leinster House were working together to deny the citizens of this Republic the opportunity to select their next President by means of an election.
I feared that members of the Oireachtas and City and County Councillors would be prevented by the party whip from exercising their democratic right to nominate candidates and that the Presidency would simply be "rolled over" uncontested for another 7 years.

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Repealing the ban on Good Friday Alcohol Sales

Today in the Seanad I spoke on the Intoxicating Liquor (Amendment) Bill 2017 which was introduced by Senator Billy Lawless and co-signed by myself and other Independent Senators. I am delighted that this issue which has been raised on a yearly basis to no avail, has finally been introduced in the Seanad.  We know that Ireland’s relationship with alcohol dates to the stone age and like many other countries we have an ambivalent relationship with it. On one hand, excessive drinking is a serious social and health problem, on the other hand the pub, as a focus for drinking, socialising, and culture is an important part of our national identity. We therefore have a dual perception of alcohol as a problem to be managed and a pleasure to be enjoyed and our policy and legislative developments have reflected that ambiguity. As legislators, we are tasked with balancing the right of individuals to make their own lifestyle choices with the ethics of legitimate intervention in public health by the State.

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Are Vulture Fund Tax Losses the Tip of the Iceberg ?

Call for Commission on Taxation

Today I am calling for the establishment of a Commission on Taxation. A major question now is "Are Vulture Fund Tax Losses the Tip of the Iceberg"?

Following on from RTE's revelations on this weeks "The Great Irish Sell-off" I believe that it is time to establish a Commission on Taxation to review the structure, efficiency and appropriateness of the Irish taxation system.

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Senator Craughwell "Only one politician highlighted the potentially serious nature of the Planning and Development Act 2015" Sunday Times

Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2015

In the Sunday Times this weekend there was an excellent article on some of the problems surrounding policy making in Ireland. The article reiterated my own belief that the policy  advice and direction given by Senior Civil servants at national level is sometimes seriously flawed with serious consequences for citizens. The article refers specifically to  the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act passed in Dec which made Specific Planning Policy Requirements such as apartment size standards mandatory. I raised serious objections to this Bill in the Seanad as it gave the Minister considerable new powers to override Local Government and issue what are effectively mandatory guidelines.

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CraughwellI - Is the emergency over or not ? FEMPI Bill 2015

Speaking today on the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Bill 2015, Senator Gerard CraughwellI began by congratulating  Minister Howlin and the staff of his Department who successfully  negotiated the Lansdowne Road agreement giving benefit to some low paid cohorts in the Public Sector and the unions who  signed up to it.

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Defence Forces Show Craughwell Their Real Colours

Speaking today Independent Senator Gerard Craughwell former 1st Infantry Battalion Sergeant,  congratulated the Defence Forces under Chief of Staff  Vice Admiral Mellett on the graduation of 200 Defence Forces members at a conferring ceremony at the Institute of Technology Carlow.

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The Gender Recognition Bill 2014

Gender symbols. The pink is the female Venus symbol. The blue represents the male Mars symbol.


Speaking in the Seanad this week Senator Gerard Craughwell welcomed the Gender Recognition Bill which provides for the legal recognition of the preferred gender of Trans persons. However while applauding the Minister and the Government for finally publishing this legislation Senator Craughwell felt strongly that we should also acknowledge our collective shame that successive Governments have failed to act on what is an essential and basic human right for all citizens, the right to a preferred legal gender identity. 

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