My Contribution to the Clare People’s TD’s Diary – April 2012

May 11th, 2012 - Pat Breen

The month ended on a very positive note for the reputation of the Shannon Region as a Centre of Excellence for Aviation related businesses. Following the purchase by Transaero Airlines of Air Atlanta Aero Engineering in Shannon, I was happy to assist the Company in arranging for the Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. and the new Russian Ambassador to Ireland Mr Maxim Peshkov to officially launch the new venture in Shannon Airport on Friday afternoon. I commend the local management and staff for the excellent reputation which they have built up for Aircraft Maintenance at the Company over the years and wish them continued success into the future.

Speaking about arranging visits I also arranged for the French Ambassador to Ireland Mrs. Emmanuelle d’Achon to visit Kilkee last weekend to participate in the 30th Anniversary celebrations of Kilkee’s twining arrangement with Plouhinec in Brittany, France.

On Easter Sunday I attended the biggest ever Tractorcade seen in County Clare in Kilmihil to raise funds for the Declan O’Shea Trust. As you know Declan was seriously injured in an accident earlier this year and it was great to see such a turn out for this worthy cause.

Shannon’s potential as an aircraft maintenance hub was not the only hub on the Agenda in April. The Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Deputy Joe Costello T.D. appeared before my Committee last week to discuss the White Paper on Irish Aid. As Chairman of the Foreign Affairs & Trade Committee I assured him of my support and that of my Committee for this project.

The Opposition introduced the Motorist Emergency Relief Bill in the Dail last week. I met with a number of West Clare Agricultural Contractors who were in Dublin to lobby ahead of that Debate. We would love to be in a position to reduce the cost of a litre of petrol/diesel, this proposal would have cost the Exchequer €178 million and as a result, this Government cannot engage in supporting short-term populist measures, we have to be fiscally responsible. We are, however, working on a number of initiatives to ease the burden placed on families and businesses given the soaring fuel prices. We have responded to the concerns of the Irish Road Hauliers Association, whose President hails from Bunratty, by setting up a working Group comprising Officials from the Finance Department; which is coming up with workable solutions to the IRHA’s concerns. We have also introduced a number of measures in the Finance Bill, which will ensure greater controls and assist in the battle against fuel laundering.

I also contributed to the Debate on the Thirtieth Amendment of the Constitution, Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary) Bill. I am looking forward to engaging with the people of County Clare on the details of the Treaty over the next number of weeks, when I will be advocating a Yes Vote.