Local Issues Roads

“Rejection of graduated speeding fines a rare victory for common sense,” Mattie McGrath

Press Release


Independent TD Mattie McGrath has welcomed news that the Minister for Justice is set to oppose plans by the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, to introduce a system of speeding penalties that would increase in proportion to how much a motorist was found to be in excess of the designated speed limit. Deputy McGrath was speaking after it was reported that Minister Charlie Flanagan confirmed that he is not in favour of mandatory sanctions because of potential for “unintended consequences”. Minister Flanagan is also reported as saying that he will oppose plans to fine motorists caught without their driving licence:

“When this idea was first flagged by Minister Ross last December, most people with an ounce of common sense could see that it would ultimately prove to be disproportionate and grossly unfair.

Unfortunately, and for some considerable time now, Minister Ross appears to have lost contact with any sense of fairness for the ordinary motorist.

I am happy to see that the Minister for Justice is now set to oppose these proposals. I am also glad to see that the gardai and indeed the judiciary, will be able of maintain an element of discretion when it comes to producing or failing to produce a driving licence.

This was yet another unworkable brain child of Minister Ross that was just far too inflexible and rigid.

What is also important is that we can now avoid a situation arising where the publics relationship with the Gardaí might have been undermined.

If the Gardai were going to be forced to implement these ill-judged fines, then there is no doubt that would have been a very regressive step.

It would not surprise me in the least therefore if the Gardai themselves had made known to the Minister for Justice their dissatisfaction with the proposed speeding and licence penalties,” concluded Deputy McGrath.



“Minister Creed must directly intervene to de-escalate beef crisis,” Rural Independent Group


Members of the Dáil Rural Independent Group have made a direct plea to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, to formally intervene in order to avert further destabilisation of the beef sector. The Rural Group members say they are increasingly concerned that the absence of a Beef Roundtable like forum in which grievances and positions can be constructively aired may lead to long term challenges for the beef and suckler sector.

Speaking on behalf of the Rural Group, it’s Convenor, Deputy Mattie McGrath said that beef farmers are experiencing enormous levels of frustration at the apparent unwillingness of the Minister to take a more hands-on approach to the crisis afflicting their industry:

“As rural TD’s we are witnessing almost unprecedented anger among beef farmers at the way in which this entire crisis is being addressed.
There is a palpable sense, especially in the Beef Plan Movement, that the Minister and indeed the government are just not fully appreciative of what is at stake here.
We accept that suppliers have an important role to play in the sector, but the fact is that they, along with the chaos being caused by Brexit and the trade and anti-competitive nature of Mercosur, are effectively removing the foundations for any kind of return to growth or even normality within the Irish beef sector.
Our entire indigenous beef sector and all that goes with that in terms of the local economic impact is being threatened. The Minister needs to act and address this issue with that clearly in mind.
There is little point talking about supports if at the same time you are allowing conditions to prevail where there will be no market to speak of in a few years’ time,” concluded Deputy McGrath.


Health Local Issues Social Issues

“Minister is presiding over an utter paralysis in tackling hospital trolley counts,” Mattie McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has described the latest statistics on the number of patients waiting on hospital trolleys as a national scandal for which no one is being held to account. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), confirmed there has been an enormous 173% increase in the number of patients on trolleys for this July compared with the same point in July 2006. The statistics also reveal that the number of patients waiting on trolleys at South Tipp General this July was 509 – a 54% increase from the same point last year:

“The facts could not be clearer; we have a Minister for Health and a health service executive who are driving the hospital system over a cliff through reckless mismanagement.

How else are we describe the fact that approximately 9,500 patients were left waiting on hospital trolleys during the month of July?

Where on earth is the more than €17 billion we are pumping into the system going?

It is absolutely extraordinary to think that South Tipperary General, despite the heroic efforts of the staff has been unable to de-escalate from the HSE’s Full Capacity Protocol since January 2016.

Previous to this point, I was informed by the Hospital Manager that in the years prior to 2015 STGH had an escalation plan that did not include the Full Capacity Protocol but rather a tiered response to the activity within the Emergency Department.

But what this shows is that neither the previous policy or the newly developed Full Capacity Protocol has come anywhere near addressing the crisis situations.

We seem to be simply changing the titles of the Emergency Department Directives with absolutely zero change in outcomes for patients.

What is also distressing is the fact that the proposed Modular Unit will at best be a sticking plaster solution when full surgery is required,” concluded Deputy McGrath.