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Archive for the ‘Billy Timmins’ Category

Billy Timmins Dail questions

speaker:Billy Timmins : 4 Written Answers



There are more results than we have shown here. See more:



Written Answers – Travel Documentation: Travel Documentation (16 Jun 2010)


Billy Timmins: Question 142: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs

the position regarding the case of a person (details supplied); and if

he will make a statement on the matter. [25980/10]


Written Answers – Telecommunications Services: Telecommunications Services (16 Jun 2010)


Billy Timmins: Question 168: To ask the Minister for Communications,

Energy and Natural Resources the position regarding the provision of

broadband in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow;

and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25710/10]


Written Answers – Grant Payments: Grant Payments (16 Jun 2010)


Billy Timmins: Question 171: To ask the Minister for Agriculture,

Fisheries and Food the position regarding an application in respect of

a person (details supplied) in County Carlow; if same will be awarded;

and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25711/10]

We need a change from This !

Dick Roche
(Minister of State with special responsibility for European Affairs, Department of Foreign Affairs; Wicklow, Fianna Fail) Link to this

I acknowledge that Deputy Timmins made suggestions with a view towards helping. However, escalating the conflict with the trade union would not necessarily help. I agree with him that the union should give serious consideration to reviewing and reversing its position on overtime and the taking in of temporary staff. Many of the temporary staff are people who have been employed over the years in this capacity. It is strange, to put it no stronger than that, for a trade union, at this particular time, to take a view that employing additional staff is a wrong thing to do.

I do not agree with Deputy Timmins that simply blaming the paycut policy of the Government is a solution. This is a reality which we all face. Of course, I have no doubt I would make the same point if I were sitting across the House.

Add your comment

Billy Timmins
(Wicklow, Fine Gael)

Deputy Roche soon will be.

Add your comment

Mr Timmins above comment implies that he is assured to be on the government side of the house in the near future

This is the problem we have in this country that we the people only really have to choice between Fiannia Fail and Fin Gail

I personally hope the people get up and create a real alternative to these two choices

Mr Timmins comment is a prime example of the complacent attitude one would expect of an opposition that thinks that they are entitled to take the place of the current government without having really done very much to prevent the catastrophic events that led this country down the toilet!

We the ordinary people must break the stranglehold these 2 old run down political institutions have on our country

The admittance by Mr.Dick Roche he would do the same if he was in Mr.Timmens side only demonstrates the cosy set up in the Dail

This “All change sides attitude” is just not good enough anymore,

We the people must ensure that we have capable people with competent qualifications to run the country and we must now dispose of these party functionaries that have mastered this outdated system in favour of non career orientated public servants that will serve their local areas for a set time and then gracefully bow out without becoming rich and in receipt of a pension that would shame any other member of the community because of its size.(the standard national citizen pension should be enough for them!)


Dick Roche
(Minister of State with special responsibility for European Affairs, Department of Foreign Affairs; Wicklow, Fianna Fail)


per week just to keep the public services ticking over. A very high proportion of that is going on pay. It is clear that the Government, whoever is in government, must balance the books. We cannot continue to borrow at that level. It would not be wise or prudent to talk about reversing this situation. In fact, I would be absolutely opposed to that.

I agree with Deputy Timmins that it is a citizen’s right to travel. It is a fundamental right and enshrined in national and international law, the Lisbon treaty, the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the many measures we have enacted. That is why the action taken by the trade union in this case is singularly ill-advised. It will create bad feeling between the union and the general public, who are being grotesquely inconvenienced. There is something fundamentally wrong, in the 21st century, in people having to queue from 3 a.m. I heard a lady from Donegal speaking on a radio programme earlier today. She said she left her home at 3 a.m. to come to Dublin because a passport was urgently needed for a child who wants to travel to engage in some activity. That is wrong. Public service unions, notwithstanding industrial relations disputes, must be aware of this.

I am not entirely convinced that outsourcing public services is the best way to go. I have never been a big fan of outsourcing public services. However, the Deputy is right when he says outsourcing has worked very well in the Netherlands and is working in the United Kingdom. I am not sure of the precise position in Denmark. In so far as it is possible to run an efficient, effective and cost-effective service, we should do so within the public service. That is why I think the action of the trade union in this case is so ill-advised. In terms of the long-term relations between unions and the public it is an ill-advised action. I join with Deputy Timmins in calling on the Civil and Public Service Union to reconsider this, reverse its action, resume overtime and allow temporary workers to take up their positions.



While members of the public were camped outside the passport office,freezing their collective butts off

The newly elevated members of the Government were across the road in the Buswells hotel

Partying through the night

What does that tell you?

To all the Wicklow TD’s

To the Wicklow TD’s

Our viewers would like to know, what is your position on the spread of these Head shops?

What the current situation is with regards the spread of these head shops and what
are the current trading times allowed for such shops?
what are you doing rid our communities of these very
destructive and now life threatening dangers to our children.

For your information I attach a report on some compounds that are been sold to children from these head shops

You will be aware that two children were found dead last week in England after consuming “mephedrone”

Will we have to wait for the death of Irish children before we ban these Drugs?

See posting report at http://thepressnet.com/2010/03/18/selling-death/

Development Aid

Billy Timmins
(Wicklow, Fine Gael)

I understand the issue of development aid has been deferred to next June’s Council meeting, but events in Haiti overshadowed the meeting of Development Ministers that took place last week. Will the Minister discuss with his European colleagues the possibility of sending a European Union battle group to Haiti in the context of the United Nations Secretary General’s request for additional assistance? In the run up to the second referendum on the Lisbon treaty, the emphasis in discussions on the battle groups was in the context of Iraq or another military offensive. The reality is that these groups have an important humanitarian role to play. A force of 1,500, available to move within 15 days, self-sustaining for 30 days and which can be resupplied for 120 days is an important resource. I understand Ireland is not on standby again until the first half of 2011. The battle groups have preordained command and control structures in place and are able to operate independently.

The Minister and his colleagues must examine the degree of effectiveness of co-ordination efforts in the aftermath of national and international disasters. Such operations always seems to be very slow to get up and running. I appreciate that in disaster situations such as that in Haiti communications may be down and infrastructure damaged, making efforts to assist more difficult. However, we must be sure to learn from previous mistakes so that co-ordination and relief efforts can become more streamlined.

At December’s Council meeting the Stockholm programme 2010-2014 was discussed, with its laudable objective of an open and secure Europe. However, as we saw from the incident in the United States on Christmas Day, we cannot afford to neglect the importance of security. The Minister must liaise with the Minister for Transport to ensure that whatever mechanisms are necessary are in place in our airports, including body scanners and so on, so that we do not become an easy means of passage for terrorist attacks on United States aircraft in particular.

In regard to external relations, the Taoiseach did not refer to it in his speech but I understand there was a Swedish initiative to examine a proposal to ordain east Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. Will the Minister comment on the Government’s position on this issue and why the initiative ran into the sand?

Submissions must be made in the coming weeks regarding the citizens’ initiative. This process must be made as flexible as possible, requiring perhaps one quarter of member states and in the region of 0.2% of the population, as recommended by the Joint Committee on European Affairs. This would mean that some 9,000 signatures would be required in Ireland. Petitioners should have up to one year to gather the necessary information after which the Commission would have to act on it within six months. I note the difference of opinion between the Parliament and the Commission as to how this should be done. What is most important is that it should be as flexible as possible. With regard to the mechanism that should be in place to facilitate the process, it is more difficult to come up with a proposal to achieve that.

The European Union’s 2020 strategy concentrates on economic matters, including sustainable public finances. There is also a commitment to a 20% reduction in 1990 emission levels by 2020. The possibility of achieving a 30% reduction should be pursued in the future, difficult as it may be.

Also in the context of the 2020 strategy, I raised with the Minister of State, Deputy Roche, the importance of ensuring a standard approach across member states when it comes to measuring numeracy and literacy. The Minister, Deputy Martin, as a former Minister for Education and Science should be aware that, regrettably and despite claims to the contrary, we do not have the best education system in the world. There are many shortcomings at primary level in particular. We pride ourselves on our position as a gateway to Europe, as an English language-speaking country which is able to attract investment from United States companies. However, global economics have moved on. We must consider introducing Chinese language tuition in schools, in addition to French and German. Being the only English-speaking member state in the eurozone is no longer adequate because many people throughout the Continent can speak English. It is no longer a competitive advantage. Chinese language tuition should be introduced in schools, and that proposal should be included in our submission on the 2020 strategy.

Billy Timmins/ swine flu

Billy Timmins
(Wicklow, Fine Gael)

Question 92: To ask the Minister for Health and Children the location of the 45 Health Service Executive swine flu vaccination clinics; the persons who will man them; the opening times of the clinics; the number of patients they will see per day; the number of vaccinations they will administer per day; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

Mary Harney
(Minister, Department of Health and Children; Dublin Mid West, Independent)

The incidence of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) reported on 25th October last is at a rate of 210.9 per 100,000 population. This is the highest ILI rate reported since sentinel influenza surveillance began in 2000.

Vaccination is a key strategy that is being used to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. Every person in the country will be offered the vaccine. However, initially the vaccine is arriving in small quantities due to the demand for the vaccine worldwide. Ireland is not unique in the difficulties which we have been experiencing in sourcing the vaccine in the quantities which we would require. Obviously, therefore, vaccination will be prioritised to ensure those who require it most will be first to receive it. The National Immunisation Advisory Committee and the Pandemic Influenza Expert Group have advised that the vaccine should be given to the population in the following order of priority:

People with long term medical conditions aged between 6 months and 65 years and all pregnant women of more than 14 weeks gestation and for women six weeks post partum, i.e. the “clinically at risk” groups;

Health Care Workers;

Children between 6 months and 18 years of age;

Adults over 65 years of age;

The rest of the population.

It is generally agreed that the preferred option for the administration of the pandemic vaccine to people under 65 in the “clinically at risk” groups is through general practice. GPs hold their medical records and are in a position to identify patients with underlying medical conditions for vaccination. It is estimated that there are approximately 410,000 people in this category. GPs have been receiving vaccine over the last two weeks and many patients have already been vaccinated. However, not all GPs are in a position to participate in the vaccination programme and the HSE has set up special vaccination clinics in order to vaccinate the “clinically at risk” patients of such GPs.

A full list of the locations and opening times of these clinics has been provided via the national and local media and is also available on the swine flu website at http://www.swineflu.ie. I have arranged for a copy of this list to be sent to the Deputy. A typical HSE vaccination clinic will comprise at least 1 doctor, 6 nurses and appropriate support staff. It will have the capacity to vaccinate up to 500 people a day but the numbers actually vaccinated at these clinics will clearly depend on the demand from the public for this service.

protests in Dublin streets (3)

Wicklow TD’s are big spenders

Wicklow TD’s are big spenders when it comes to expenses  419,327.00 s Euros

Wicklow Darby

With the growing number of Wicklow voters being dumped on to the dole queues like my-self and told that we are not eligible to any dole payments or any other social security payments after paying into the tax coffers for 35 years, and never having darkened the door step of a dole office before, it is a hard thing to swallow this extravagance in allowances for our well healed TD’s

I wont waste time calling for any explanations from our local servants of the people.

But you must agree that when the people that are supposed to be serving you in the Dail and that are supposed to be servants of the people are living way beyond the level of ordinary people there has to be something very wrong !

I call on the voters to now demand that any would be TD’s in the next general election declare that they will work for the average industrial wage and if not they will not get your vote and further more I propose that all able persons to stand for the general election against existing TD’s that refuse to make available to the local communities a complete listing of their expenses

I am offering to post any such information on this blog for free anytime

 I call  on all the Wicklow TD’s to publish their entire expenses for their term to date!and to do so every month from now on

Lets see what happens above race results were again

1 st place: Billy Timmins  FG at 120,685 Euros

2nd place: Andrew Doyle FG at 113,572 Euros

3rd place   Joe Behan      IND at   90,717 Euros

4th place Liz McManus Lab  at   76,503 Euros

Last Place Dick Roche  FF      at    17,850 Euros

Billy Timmins dail comments July 2009

Written answers

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Department of Education and Science

Adult Education

12:00 pm

Billy Timmins
(Wicklow, Fine Gael)

Question 825: To ask the Minister for Education and Science the position on graduates who are in receipt of the jobseeker’s allowance; if there are new courses they can avail of; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Batt O’Keeffe
(Minister, Department of Education and Science; Cork North West, Fianna Fail)

I recently announced a new initiative whereby unemployed workers will have access to 2,500 new places on part-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses from September 2009. All 2,500 places will be on courses that support the goals of the Government’s “Smart Economy” plan and particularly those relating to specific skills needs of exporting sectors identified by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs. 1,000 of these places will be available for unemployed graduates to undertake part-time postgraduate diplomas or conversion programmes at levels 8 to 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

The scheme will be open to people who have been on the Live Register for at least six months on 1 September 2009, or who have been awarded Statutory redundancy and have an entitlement to a relevant social welfare payment. One of the conditions for people participating on these new part-time places is that they continue to be available and seeking work. Once they satisfy these conditions they will be entitled to retain their social welfare payments. Where they receive an offer of full-time work they must take up this offer of employment.

Details of the third level institutions providing these places and information on how to apply for a place will be announced in the coming weeks. The information will also be made available through local FÁS and Department of Social and Family Affairs offices. Unemployed graduates on full-time postgraduate programmes may also be eligible for support under the Department’s Student Maintenance Grant Scheme. Provision of grants are subject to a means test and other eligibility criteria. Further information on how to apply for a student maintenance grant is available on the Student Finance website: http://www.studentfinance.ie

Billy Timmins

Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2009: Report and Final Stages

Billy Timmins
(Wicklow, Fine Gael)

Perhaps the Minister has changed his view. Many members of the public and of this House believe the Minister’s measure is good because there is a public perception that it is a good measure, but it is not a good measure. Satisfying public perception should not be a basis for public policy. The proposal put forward by the Minister targets legitimate users of firearms, rather than criminals. We have a case where a scumbag murders a completely innocent individual, and all of a sudden several thousand innocent people are penalised. I challenge the Minister to provide any research that shows a correlation between the increase in legitimately held hand guns and any increase in their use in crime.

There is much research from those in favour and those against gun use. They can paint whatever picture they want, but it is important that the Minister produces research to show that there is a correlation. I do not believe there is. The real reason for crime and the use of guns in crime is social deprivation. Bringing in such a measure will not only not address the problem, it will assist in distorting the reasons we have crime. The public perception will be that we have taken a measure that will assist in dealing with crime, even though we have not addressed the social deprivation issues. We would be far better off if we talked about putting in additional classroom assistants to address the issue of dyslexia, rather than banning hand guns. This decision is wrong and I hope the Minister has the courage to reverse it. When guns were banned after the Dunblane massacre in Scotland, the use of handguns in crime increased over the next few years.

I support this amendment. I do not believe innocent people should be penalised to satisfy public perception, and this section will do nothing to address the difficulties with crime.

(Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Louth, Fianna Fail

We had no legalised handguns here until 2004. The former Minister for Justice, Des O’Malley, banned hand guns in the early 1970s, so there were no legalised hand guns here for more than 30 years. As a result of a series of High Court decisions, the number of hand guns increased since 2004 to about 1,800 today. The decision in 2004 centred around the suitability of the person rather than the suitability of the gun. The judgment given in the case meant that if Deputy Timmins got a licence and was found to be a suitable person to carry a firearm, he would be entitled to have a small pistol, an AK 47, a Biretta, a Magnum or a Glock.

We had to do something about this. Judge Charelton stated in a case that it may be that the proliferation of pistols and high calibre rifles has not been noticed and that no general policy of permission for the private use or possession of hand guns is being pursued. He went on to state that a reasonable person would be entitled to feel alarmed at the increase in the number of handguns. I took my lead from that. I did not make the connection between illegal handguns and crime with what I am endeavouring to do, which is responding to the direction given by a High Court judge. God forbid, if something like that which occurred in Dunblane happened here and we had done nothing about it having been warned by Judge Peter Charelton, then we would have had to answer why we did nothing to respond to a High Court decision on a challenge against the licensing regime at that time.

I accept that 99.9% of the people who carry firearms here are excellent people. We have been very lucky with the people we have in the gun clubs here, and I have been assured by the Garda Síochána and by my staff, who have experience in this area. Unfortunately, in recent years since 2004 there has been a desire to bring legalised hand guns into this country. I have asked the Garda Commissioner and every senior garda whether this is the right way to go and whether we should allow hand guns. They all say “absolutely not”. One of the main reasons is due to ease of concealment of these hand guns.

When there are 1,800 licences here, we obviously have to address that. This legislation will allow people to continue to have a licence for a hand gun, but on a much more restricted basis. It will exclude quite a number of existing hand guns that people legally possess at the moment. Many of them have Glock pistols, Magnums and other guns that would never be included in sport, no matter how sport is defined.

The effect of what the Deputies are trying to do is to legalise practical shooting. The definition of practical shooting, according to the US Practical Shooting Association, is that “shooters take on obstacle-laden shooting courses – called stages – requiring anywhere from six to 30 plus shots to complete. The scoring system measures points scored per second, then weights the score to compensate for the number of shots fired.” Somebody here referred to extreme sport, and the USPSA states “If shooting has an “extreme” sport…. practical shooting is it.”

I know that Deputies have been inundated with representations since I originally stated that it was my intention to severely curtail hand guns. To be fair to organisations that had difficulties with this legislation, they have made it quite clear that they do not wish to have practical shooting or dynamic shooting, which effectively mimics combat. They do not want to have this in the country. Des Crofton is the director of the National Association of Regional Game Councils, representing 28,000 gun licence holders in the country. We asked for the association’s view on practical shooting, and he sent a letter to us on 25 June and it stated the following:

One of the matters discussed is the issue of practical and dynamic shooting. I wish to confirm that the associations in attendance at the meeting in December 2008 unanimously decided that practical pistol shooting was a cause of serious damage to the reputation of traditional shooting, as practised by Irish shooters heretofore, and was giving an undeserved bad impression of competitive pistol shooting generally. The associations present also unanimously determined that with immediate effect, none of them would approve of or support practical pistol shooting. This was the position then and to my certain knowledge, that remains the position today, as none of the associations in attendance at that meeting have given any indication that they have changed their position.

…Even today, I have received emails from both the NTSA and the NASRPC, both of which reiterate their previously stated opposition to practical shooting…However, I am concerned to hear that the impression has been given to some politicians that practical shooting enjoys support from some of the organisations or associations which met in Leixlip last December.

The Shooting Sports Association of Ireland representative wrote a letter in which he stated:

I am well aware of the Minister’s concern with practical or dynamic shooting, and I give a personal assurance that they will be neither promoted nor condoned by any of the 35 or so affiliated clubs and ranges. I welcome the majority of the steps in the legislation, and in particular, the co-operation of the Department of Justice and the work of the Garda unit. I take on board the stance regarding practical or dynamic shooting styles, and I accept that fully. It will not be part of shooting in Ireland.

Under this legislation, the State will take over the process of certifying and insuring shooting ranges. The State Claims Agency has been asked to give its view in this regard. It has stated that on no account should the State be involved in any way in indemnifying any range which participates in practical shooting. On Committee Stage I read the opinion the assistant commissioner, Mr. Walter Rice, had given on practical shooting and it is important to do so again in order that people will be under no illusion about what we are talking. He said practical pistol shooting or new activities which mimiced combat or confrontational shooting scenarios were developed as a more realistic training method for military and police personnel and that shooting at human shaped targets would not be considered as legitimate firearm use or possession. Therefore, if engaging in such practice was considered as a legitimate reason for possessing or using weapons, there would be concerns that this type of shooting could be seen as a way of training individuals in the use of these weapons with a view to engaging in criminal actions. He went on to recommend that practical shooting which clearly could be compared to combat shooting, not target shooting, be removed and banned as this type of training in weapons use was not legitimate and could be utilised by criminal elements. I cannot add further to this.

I came at this issue afresh. It is not a sport in which I wish to participate. Deputies in the House probably do not realise what is happening in practical shooting. While people would have been brought to some ranges, they would not have engaged in the practical shooting at issue here.

The International Practical Shooting Confederation was mentioned. The Department has monitored with concern the development of the IPSC which organises competitions in which people shoot their way through multi-stage target courses based on real life combat scenarios. From a cursory look at the Internet one will see that these activities are marketed as being at the extreme end of handgun sport.

The Garda Síochána and the reputable representative bodies of those engaged in firearm shooting, including handgun shooting, are against this. The Deputies in the House perhaps do not realise what is involved. I have heard the argument that it is a sport; it is not. The evidence our people and the Garda have received about what has been going on in a number of practical shooting ranges indicates that it amounts to nothing other than a mimicking of combat style shooting. I strongly urge Deputy Flanagan to desist from pressing the amendment.

Billy Timmins
(Wicklow, Fine Gael)


It is an issue in the regulation of ranges and has nothing to do with the use of small firearms which is a completely different issue.

Billy Timmins Wicklow TD’s Comments

Department of Health and Children

Pre-school Services

11:00 pm

Billy Timmins
(Wicklow, Fine Gael)

Question 118: To ask the Minister for Health and Children the position with respect to the early childhood care and education scheme; the criteria for offering grant assistance; the way this is applied for; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26460/09]

Barry Andrews
(Minister of State with special responsibility for Children and Young People, Department of Health and Children; Dún Laoghaire, Fianna Fail)

As the Deputy will be aware I have responsibility for the implementation of the new scheme to provide a free Pre-School in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), which will be implemented from January 2010.

The scheme will allow qualifying children to avail of a free pre-school place in the year before they commence primary school. The scheme is open to all private and voluntary pre-school services which are notified to the Health Service Executive (HSE) or registered with the Irish Montessori Educational Board (IMEB). Sessional playschools will, normally, participate in the scheme by providing the pre-school year for 3 hours a day, 5 days a week over 38 weeks while full or part-time daycare services will, normally, participate by providing the pre-school year for 2 hours, 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week over 50 weeks.

An annual capitation fee of over €2,400 will be paid to participating services in return for the provision of a free pre-school year to each child. Services will be paid in advance at the start of each term. It is a condition of the scheme that the pre-school year is provided free of charge to parents in return for the capitation fee. However, services may charge for additional services, including additional hours, dance classes, etc or snacks, provided these are offered to parents on an optional basis and provided children not availing of an additional service continue to receive appropriate pre-school provision.

As part of the preparations for introducing the new scheme, the Childcare Directorate of my Office recently wrote to almost 5,000 private and voluntary pre-school service providers in the State, inviting them to participate. These included the pre-school service providers who are notified to the HSE or registered with the IMEB and also a number of other persons who have expressed an interest in establishing a pre-school service and participating in the scheme. Application forms and other relevant information regarding the scheme were included in this correspondence and applicants are now returning forms to their local City or County Childcare Committees. The closing date for response is 10 July 2009. Details of the services applying for entry to the scheme are then forwarded to the Childcare Directorate in my Office, which will issue contracts setting out the requirements of the scheme and their associated terms and conditions. Services will be approved entry to the scheme subject to them meeting and agreeing contractual arrangements.

It is expected that the application process will be completed by the end of September 2009 and I understand that a list of participating services in each area will then be made available to each City and County Childcare Committee and parents of qualifying children will be able to contact their local Committee from that point to obtain details of local services entering the scheme. Parents will then be in a position to enrol their children in participating services. In many cases, parents will already have enrolled their children in a service from September 2009, and will pay fees until January 2010 when the scheme will come into effect.

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