Tag Archives: committee

Senator and senior counsel Michael McDowell

This afternoon.

Ahead of the Dáil meeting at 2pm today during which Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Health Minister Simon Harris and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe are scheduled to answer questions…

The Irish Times reports:

Independent Senator Michael McDowell has called for the Dáil to establish a Covid-19 Oireachtas committee to monitor the State’s response to the coronavirus crisis amid what he claimed was growing public unease.

…Mr McDowell said there was a growing sense of public unease with the quality and clarity of official pronouncements, despite the best efforts of the media.

The problem is that extremely opaque and general language has been used to deal with issues such as what is actually happening to residents of nursing homes and other residential facilities,” he said.

…The former tánaiste and attorney general said there had to be more clarity and accountability. “That requires the ability to question and be answered in public.”

Earlier: The Reporting of Deaths

Coronavirus: McDowell claims ‘growing public unease’ with official responses (The Irish Times)

Previously: A Refusal To Hold Themselves Accountable [Updated]


This afternoon

A report carried out by the Oireachtas Committee on Communications has recommended that the broadband network infrastructure remain in public ownership.

The Government has said the contract for the National Broadband Plan will be awarded to Granahan McCourt later this year.

[The report says Granahan McCourt will recoup its money within seven to eight years and retain full ownership, while at the same time the State will have invested almost €3 billion with no ownership rights]

In the report, the committee has recommended that the Government commission an external, independent review on whether its proposals and the costs are the only viable option.

It also says a new cost-benefit analysis should be carried out before the final national broadband contract is signed.

The committee also says the Government should re-engage with the ESB to examine the best model for delivery of a new plan through the ESB.

The report concluded that the original terms of the tender were too narrow.

Committee recommends broadband network remain in public ownership (RTÉ)


David McCourt with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at a Science Foundation of Ireland event in New York, March 2018

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment is sitting in private session today to discuss the National Broadband Plan and vote on a number of proposals in respect of the same.

It follows the committee carrying out an investigation into the plan and, in May, the Government awarding preferred bidder status to consortium Granahan McCourt, led by US businessman David McCourt.

Journalist Aisling Kenny told RTÉ’s News at One that chair of the committee, Fine Gael TD Hildegarde Naughton wants the committee to support her recommendation that the Government press ahead and sign the contracts as soon as possible.

Ms Kenny reported:

“She [Naughton] says there is no evidence to indicate any reliable, cheaper alternative to the National Broadband Plan.”

Ms Kenny also reported that other proposals include recommending that the State own the broadband infrastructure – after it spends €3billion on the plan.

Currently, it’s planned that, in the end, Granahan McCourt will own the infrastructure.

Ms Kenny reported that the committee’s final conclusions should be made public later this afternoon.

Committee vote due on State ownership of broadband network (RTE)

Listen back to News at One in full here

Previously: “There Should Be Judge-Led, Public Inquiries Into The Broadband Plan And The National Children’s Hospital”

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Mark Dennehy writes:

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice is speaking with the new Garda Commissioner about the Policing Plan 2015. TD Finian McGrath interrupts to hold up a photo of a road sign that’s been shot at close range with a shotgun, says it’s been shot with a legally held firearm and the photo was sent to him by a constituent in Fingal and does the Commissioner think this is a serious problem? Problem is, it’s a UK road sign. The Irish road sign is a different shape, colour and design. And neither the TD, nor the Garda Commissioner, nor anyone else in the Committee notices.