In Maia Dunphy’s RTE Documentary ‘What Women Want’ she explored increased benzodiazepine use amongst women in Ireland. She interviewed me as part of her documentary which you can watch on RTE Player here.
Water fluoridation and the use of appropriate fluorides is a major plank of public health policy in Ireland in the prevention and management of tooth decay. This policy has been subject to recent debate. Evidence-based research proves that water fluoridation is a safe and effective public health policy.
On Friday people have an opportunity to improve our democracy, to reform our government and legislature, and to change the way our politics works.
For those three reasons it is vital that people use their ballot and get out in numbers and vote Yes for the abolition of the Seanad.
It is telling that there are no voices calling for retention of the Senate in its current form. Even those who say we should keep the Senate appear to accept that it is fundamentally flawed, forcing them to ground their campaign on contradictory, and largely unworkable proposals for “reform”.
Labour Party TD for Dublin South and Minister of State for Primary Care, Alex White, will be Labour’s Director of Elections for the two upcoming referenda to abolish Seanad Eireann and to establish a Civil Court of Appeal.
by Alex White TD – Irish Independent
One hundred years ago this week, the 1913 Lockout began – a titanic struggle between capital and labour; class and power. Many in Dublin lived in squalor in tenement city slums. Work was often of a casual nature, doled out on a daily basis and given to those willing to work for the lowest wage. For those in steady employment there was little to protect their basic rights. Coupled with desperate social conditions, there was no protection for people against the vagaries of the market. While the strikers of the 1913 Lockout were defeated, their legacy of decency, social solidarity and struggle for the right to engage in collective bargaining lived on for the benefit of our nation.
Address at the 3rd International Public Health Nursing Conference, NUI Galway.
Thank you for the invitation to address the 3rd International Public Health Nursing Conference being held here in NUIG this week. I would like to take the opportunity to welcome the delegates from Ireland and from all around the globe to the wonderful city of Galway and I hope and trust that you will find time to enjoy the hospitality that the city and its people offers you.
Alex White, TD for Dublin South, has sent his best wishes and congratulations to the Class of 2013 who will receive their Leaving Certificate results tomorrow.
“It can be a daunting time for students and parents when the Leaving Certificate results are released.
It really has been tremendous to see people enjoying the weather over the summer and getting out in the fresh air and being active. The good weather creates a positive atmosphere, which is beneficial for us all.
I hope people are aware that there are some excellent free events taking place throughout August. There will be free outdoor movies screenings in Marlay Park on Saturday August 10th and Sunday August 11th.
Twenty-one years after the X case, the enactment of the Protection of Life legislation is a significant landmark.
That said, what the Oireachtas has done tonight is no more than should be expected of us:
I thank all the Deputies for their contributions throughout this very good and extensive debate, which was very respectful to all the positions that have been articulated. I did not hear any attacks by any colleagues on the character of others who have taken a different view, as was suggested earlier. All the contributions have been measured and there has been a very good analysis of the Bill and the constitutional context in which we operate. T
I welcome the announcement by Minister Ruairi Quinn that an additional 6,000 free part-time higher education places are being made available under the Springboard programme to provide re-training opportunities to jobseekers.
Opening Address at the EU CELAC Co-ordination and Co-operation Mechanism on Drugs
I am delighted to have the honour to address you today as co-chairperson of this 15th High Level Meeting of the EU CELAC Co-ordination and Co-operation Mechanism on Drugs.
It is a particular pleasure to be here in the beautiful city of Quito, one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
I look forward to our interactions over the next few days and to learning more about Ecuador, and about Latin America and the Caribbean.
Since I was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Health last October, many have asked me whether I felt I had been handed a “poisoned chalice”, or indeed a “hospital pass”?
A previous minister for health is said to have referred to his department as “Angola”, on the basis that it was filled with unexploded landmines.
Health is neither Angola nor a poisoned chalice.
At its meeting today, the Government approved the drafting of the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013.
It has agreed to refer the General Scheme of the Bill to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children and to request that it should review the Scheme and report on its deliberations to the Minister for Health.
I welcome the opportunity to address the House to summarise the main points on this important issue from the Government’s perspective. First, and most importantly, the Government has given its support to the passage of Deputy Ó Caoláin’s Bill.
Speech delivered at the opening of Alcohol Forum Conference
I don’t need to tell the people here about the damage that problem drinking can do. It does not only harm the individual drinker, but also harms the lives of those close to them – their partners, their children and their friends.
It is right that so much emphasis is placed on individual responsibility.
Minister of State for Primary Care Alex White T.D has today addressed the 56th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna. Minister White, who has responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy, spoke on behalf of the EU Presidency.
I welcome the new guidelines brought forward this week by my Labour colleague, Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn TD, that could see significant savings for parents of children in schools operating a book rental scheme.
Textbooks are one of the most costly aspects of sending a child to school.
I am pleased with the news this week that 2,000 additional places will be available on the Community Employment (CE) programme. These new places announced by Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D., will bring the total number of CE places to 25,300 this year.
Today (18 December 2012) I announced the conclusions of a review of Drugs Task Forces undertaken by the Department of Health.
Drugs Task Forces were set up in areas experiencing the highest levels of drug misuse, particularly heroin, in the late 1990s.
Today I approved the allocation of €100,000 from the Drugs Initiative Fund to support the Community Safety Fora in Tallaght and Clondalkin next year.
€50,000 in current funding, which has been earmarked for the Community Safety Fora, will be made available to Tallaght Local Drugs Task Force and Clondalkin Local Drugs Task Force respectively in 2013.
The Bill before the House is a genuine attempt to give legislative effect to the Supreme Court decision in the X case. Deputy Daly’s interest and commitment on this issue is clear, and it is a commitment that is shared by many in this House and outside. It is a pity to have to acknowledge that this whole debate essentially has been forced upon us by a judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the A, B and C case. In any event, we are now having the debate, at last, and we are progressing towards a resolution.
Today I announced additional funding of €100,000 per annum for Coolmine Therapeutic Community, which provides residential and community services to help people end their dependence on drugs.
I am delighted to have been proposed by An Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore for appointment as Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for Primary Care.
The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure & Reform will consider today’s Central Bank report on bank lending to SMEs when it meets in September.
I took part in a discussion entitled “A Broad Agenda of Reform for the Constitutional Convention” at this year’s MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Co Donegal. Below are my opening remarks to the School.
“I welcome publication by the Public Accounts Committee of an analysis of options for the holding of a parliamentary inquiry into the banking collapse.
Deputy Alex White welcomed today’s imminent passing of the Joint Labour Committee legislation as further proof of Labour delivering on its commitment to justice and fairness.
The overnight EU summit agreement constitutes a significant step towards resolution of the Irish and European sovereign debt crisis. The effect of this agreement will be to unshackle massive banking debts from sovereign liability – an essential ingredient for recovery.
Labour TD Alex White has welcomed the announcement of 100 new jobs at a cloud computing company in Sandyford.
In the Dail Private Members debate on proposed changes to the cultural institutions, Labour TD Alex White has said we need to ask how we can improve, enhance and protect our cultural heritage, rather than talking about change for change sake.
Following the Yes vote in last week’s Fiscal Stability Treaty referendum, the Dáil debated the European Communities (Amendment) Bill 2012. You can read the Tánaiste’s speech by clicking here. Below is my own speech.
Deputy Alex White has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., of 6,000 new part-time higher education places for unemployed people, as part of the Springboard initiative.
Last week, the Dail debated the Fiscal Stability Treaty and I told the House that solidarity is the key to recovery. Below is a transcript of my speech.
Alex White TD today applauded the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., who has announced the establishment of a new scholarship scheme for higher education. As part of Budget 2012, the Government committed to abolishing all existing scholarship schemes, and replacing these with a new set of bursaries, aimed solely at students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Speaking after the launch of this year’s Sports Capital Programme, Deputy Alex White today welcomed news that the new scheme will be open to far more clubs and groups than ever before, because a strict requirement on landownership has been relaxed.
Speaking at the conclusion of an inter-parliamentary committee meeting in Brussels where he represented, as chairman, the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy White said, “This is a truly decisive moment for Ireland in Europe: do we join others in addressing the flaws in the Euro currency or do we go our own uncertain way? I say we opt for solidarity, while pressing for growth and investment.
“Those who say ‘no’ should level with the Irish people on where they want the country to go, and how.”
Alex White has called for a change in the tone of the current debate on legislation to reform legal services in the State. Speaking in the Dail Alex said:
“The tone of the debate in recent months has been unfortunate. There has been overstatement on the part of the professions as to the implications of some of the Bill’s proposals….but there has also been overreaction to that overstatement… including references to cabals, and allegations of people trying to stay in the nineteenth century. A change of tone in the debate is required in the coming weeks and months when decisions will have to be made regarding the final content of the legislation. We need to lower the temperature of this tense debate….so that we come to the best possible outcome – not for any one interest group, but for the citizens we represent.
“As a practising lawyer and a member of the Bar, I have been disappointed by the slowness of reform and an unwillingness in the past on the part of the professions to embrace or promote change. This has led to a situation whereby people now feel they are victims of change, instead of themselves taking the opportunity, when it is there, to advance proposals for change to the way things are done.
“For example, there is a need to address the question of equity within the legal professions, and in particular the distribution of work at the Bar, to facilitate younger barristers coming into the profession – people who are willing and well able to work. That has not been done but it is an area that should have been addressed and still requires to be addressed. People have been slow to embrace that.
“The independence of the legal profession is critical in any democracy. It is actually a test of the strength of a democracy. All litigants – rich or poor – are entitled to be represented by absolutely fearless advocates, who are never threatened by any attempts to trample their independence. They must not have any concern about repercussions, either from the Government or elsewhere.
“This issue is also related to economic rights. Prospective foreign investors need to understand and appreciate that we have a fully independent legal profession that is beholden to no one, be it the Government or anyone else. It is therefore absolutely vital that that independence should be protected.
“It is not a formalistic matter. I have heard people saying that there is nothing in the Bill that undermines the independence of an individual practitioner. It is a bigger issue than that, however. One must consider carefully the proposed new Authority, for example. The method of appointing the Authority is essential to ensuring the independence of the profession and it is not an incidental question. Nor should the raising of this issue be taken as a criticism of the Minister or the Government. It has to do with the manner in which people perceive that Authority. They need to be sure that it is entirely at arm’s length from the Government, and that it is independent not just in the operation of its functions – which one would assume – but in every way. There should be no sense on the part of any Authority members that they are beholden to the Government, even where is no such intention on the part of the Government.
“The Minister is open to amendments on the means of appointment to the Authority. It is necessary to amend the provision. There are many ideas on how this can be achieved. Other professions, including the medical profession, have a good statutory regime for the appointment of the independent regulator in their cases. These are the parallels we should be looking at”.
A delegation from the Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform will visit the Bundestag in Berlin tomorrow as part of a working mission to meet counterparts in the German Budgetary and European Affairs Committees.
Committee Chairman Alex White, TD: “The purpose of our visit tomorrow is to establish direct working relationships with parliamentary colleagues in the Bundestag, and to discuss areas of mutual interest, including the current treaty negotiations on the proposed fiscal compact. At a time of great uncertainty and concern about the future, it is essential that a line of contact and exchange should open up between elected parliamentarians across the European Union. We are looking forward to positive, frank and open discussion, and will also take the opportunity to reflect on the controversy about Irish budget details being revealed in the Bundestag, before they came before the Dáil last December. I hope this is only the beginning of a much-needed process of discussion, debate and mutual understanding.”
The official delegation will be led by Deputy White and includes Liam Twomey, TD; Michael McGrath, TD; Pearse Doherty, TD; and Richard Boyd-Barrett, TD. Four other Committee Members will accompany the delegation at their own expense.
The Delegation’s Programme includes:
Meeting with Berlin based Irish business community representatives
Working breakfast with members of the German-Irish Parliamentary Friendship Group of the Bundestag
Meeting with Petra Merkel MdB, Chair of the Budgetary Committee of the Bundestag and selected Committee Members
Working lunch with Budgetary Committee
Meeting with Chair, Gunther Krichbaum MdB, Chair of the European Affairs Committee of the Bundestag and selected Committee Members
Briefing and exchange of views with the Organisation of German Taxpayers
Briefing and exchange of views with the German Institute for Economic Research
Meeting with Prof. Helmut Anheier, Dean of the Hertie School of Governance
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.