Monday, September 14, 2009


Think-in at Faithlegg

On Wednesday the Parliamentary Party travelled down to Faithlegg in Waterford for the annual "think-in ". Like the other parties, we hold these two-day sessions every September before the Oireachtas resumes. It gives the parties a chance to regroup and to talk about strategy in advance of the resumption of parliament.

This year's event was dominated by the two main issues on the horizon, namely the NAMA Bill and the forthcoming referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

We were lucky to have some key thinkers on both issues. Professor Karl Whelan gave a very stimulating talk on the NAMA Bill and its implication for the citizens of Ireland. Karl was an advocate of temporary nationalisation even before the Labour Party was, and he clearly spelt out to us why this policy is more preferable than that proposed by the governing parties.

(The previous day I had attended the launch of our strategy in Buswells Hotel,along with Eamon G and Joan B).

We also got a chance to discuss the emerging government approach to risk-sharing, which is something I reckon we are going to hear a lot more about in the near future.

At the weekend the Sunday Independent broke the story of Rody Molloy's pension payment from FAS. It was a subject that was first raised with me about four months ago by a constituent. I followed it up by talking with Roisin Shorthall. She raised a few questions about the matter in the Public Accounts Committee. As a result of that the SINDO journalist Daniel McConnell decided to write the story. It will be interesting to see where it goes from here. Here's a link to the story.

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