Sunday, February 07, 2010


We visit Dunshaughlin Community College

The Leader of the House, Donie Casssidy, made one of his (not unusual) slips of the tongue during the week on the Order of Business. The subject of the Jack & Jill Charity had been raised by several Senators. In response Donie referred to it as the “Jekyll & Hyde Foundation” A few of us picked up on it and corrected him.

Poor Donie, he was slated in the press for the following few days. He’s also doing something similar in the past – constantly referring to the LISBURN Treaty as opposed to the LISBON Treaty, and to LAMA rather than NAMA (LAMA is the representative organisation of councillors across the country – his electorate!). Sometimes I wonder if he makes these mistakes on purpose, because it’s guaranteed to get publicity.

I spoke a number of times during the week. I brought up the issue of the increase in the applications for CAO places, I brought up the delays in bringing in legislation to regulate management companies (people in Ashbourne, Dunboyne and Ratoath were on to me about this) and I spoke on Lessons to be learned from the extreme weather in January. I also spoke with Minister Sean Haughey about the Dunboyne College of Further Education – I put videos of both of those speeches on my website.

I also got around to setting up my twitter account. So, from now on I am going to try and tweet at least 3 times a week. I’ve been warned against overdoing it - let’s see how it goes.

On Friday I was in Dunboyne Community School with local MEP Nessa Childers and local Councillor Niamh McGowan. It was the first time I can remember when there was an address by the local Labour MEP, the local Labour Senator and the local Labour Councillor in the same place. It shows how far the party has come in Meath in the last few years.

The students were great and asked some interesting questions. We had a bit of a debate about the benefits / disbenefits of nepotism in politics. Myself and Niamh have no family histories in politics, and Nessa does, so there was a range of opinion on this one. We also dropped into the staff room. I was shocked about the cramped conditions that the teachers have to put up. The room was far too small for the amount of teachers working in the school. I was glad to hear that there are plans to extend facilities at the school in the near future.

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