Dáil Issues

Archive for the ‘Dáil Issues’ Category

Crisis in Pensions

Nov
2016
24

Dáil Issues, Leaders Questions, National

 

Dáil Issues, Foreign Affairs

To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the discussions he had with US Secretary of State John Kerry on 30 October 2016 regarding the situation in Yemen; his views regarding whether the use of Shannon Airport by the US military was also discussed at the meeting; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Clare Daly.
For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 23rd November, 2016.
Ref No: 36090/16 Lottery: 13 Proof: 27

REPLY
I met with Secretary of State Kerry on 30 October, in advance of him being awarded the 2015 Tipperary Peace Award. Most of the discussion focussed on Brexit and the Northern Ireland Peace Process, but we also spoke about other matters, including a brief discussion about the situation in Yemen. We discussed the prospects for political negotiations, to bring an end to the fighting.
There have been some reports, in recent days, of parties to the conflict indicating their willingness to engage with the peace roadmap set out by UN Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed and his team, although reports of continued fighting are also widespread. As I have said before, the only solution to this conflict is a political one and, for the sake of the civilian population who continue to suffer the longer this war continues, I hope that the parties embrace this latest opportunity to broker peace.
Secretary of State Kerry and I did not discuss Shannon airport, its use by the US military or otherwise.
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Dáil Issues, Social Welfare

To ask the Minister for Social Protection the consideration he has given to a review of the provisions of the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2013, including single insolvencies and their effects on pensioners
– Clare Daly.
* For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 22nd November, 2016.

R E P L Y

In Ireland, occupational pension schemes are generally set up under trust and are maintained by the employer on a voluntary basis. The trust deeds and rules of a scheme differ from scheme to scheme, and as with any contractual situation, reflect the level of obligation of the parties involved. While the Pensions Act provides a framework for the regulation and supervision of occupational pension schemes, it does not impose any requirement on an employer to fund scheme benefits or maintain an existing scheme.
The Social Welfare and Pensions (No.2) Act 2013 provided for a fairer and more equitable distribution of scheme assets in the event of the wind up of an underfunded scheme. It also facilitated a greater sharing of the risk between all the beneficiaries when a scheme is underfunded, while still providing for priority protection of pension benefits. Prior to the introduction of this Act, pensioner benefits were given priority over the benefits of active and deferred scheme members which meant a situation could arise whereby pensioners received all or almost all of the pension fund and members who had contributed but not retired received considerably less than expected.
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Children and Youth Affairs, Human Rights

Please help me find my missing brothers

An open letter to the Irish Government.

I am writing this letter out of pure desperation. It is 2 am Irish time and I feel I’m at my wits end. I have done absolutely everything I can think of to find my missing brothers; I have written over 200 letters and emails and I have gotten nowhere. My kitchen has turned into an office, I am a one woman show, I have boxes and folders with every single letter copied and filed as proof of my search. This is my last-ditch attempt to try and find any shred of evidence regarding my brothers. Somebody, somewhere must know who they are and what happened to them. They are two of Ireland’s longest missing children, but very few people know that. I don’t know anyone who knew them. I am an only child. I don’t have a photo of them. All I have is certificates, and that’s it, that is all there is to prove they existed. I have created more paperwork writing to every Government Minister involved in the mother and baby homes scandal, every Garda Commissioner, the Attorney General, you name it. And what have I got in return? “Sorry we can’t help you”.

My brothers are attached to the 796 children who died in the controversial St. Brigid’s Mother and Baby home in Tuam, Co. Galway which was run by the Bons Secours nuns from 1925 to 1961. There has been a Commission established into the Mother and Baby homes, but I am not involved with them, and anyone I approach for help, directs me to the Commission, everyone is hiding behind the Commission which in my personal view is not doing enough to establish where my brothers and all the missing children are. Did the pied piper dance his way into Tuam over a forty-year period and take away 796 children never to return to their families? Did no one seen him spirit these children away without anyone raising a red flag? Or did the children die in the home and are they buried all over the land under a housing estate? Who knows? If the children are buried on the grounds, where are they? No one sat down and spent years writing up Death Certs unless children died or were illegally adopted.

Let me tell you all I know about John Desmond and William Joseph Dolan. They are my brothers, but we have never met each other, if they are alive, they don’t know about me, they may not even know about each other. They may not even know they were adopted. If they are dead, I don’t know where they are buried.  I know there is a “small children’s grave at the back of the former mother and baby home in Tuam” where I was directed by Sr. Marie Ryan with the Bons Secours nuns when I wrote to her in 2013 but I don’t know where exactly their alleged plots are. They are known as the “Tuam brothers” while I am known as the “Dolan sister”. I will not identify myself at this stage, but I am willing to go anywhere at any time to meet anyone who has any information about them because the Irish Government and Police simply cannot or will not give me any answers.
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