A blog about things that interest me, politics, news, media, architecture, development, environment, local history, secularism, web, dublin ireland, tara

Contact me at expectationlost@gmail.com

Thursday 4 June 2015

Oireachtas All / Cross Party and 'Friends of' Groups

In the UK these groups are much more formal and have to be registered All-Party Groups - UK Parliament in Ireland its hard to find out any information abou them or who is in them, were these groups mentioned in the registration lobbying or regulations? are they to be listed? I made a spreadsheet of all I could find which of any of these are active? who is in them?

all / cross party groups

Mental Health
Penal Reform
Undocumented Irish in the United States
Patient Support Group
Sexual and reproductive health
Dublin Monaghan bombings
Alcohol abuse
Human dignity group
Northern Ireland
Childens rights
Supports in Mainstream School for Children with Down's syndrome
European Association for African politicians AWEPA

friends of

Oireachtas Friends of Palestine Group
Oireachtas Friends of Israel
The Oireachtas 'Friends of Science'
Friends of Dementia
Friends of Sport Group

ad hoc

all-party cross-border group of Oireachtas and Assembly members dealing with the crisis in Quinn Insurance Ltd
Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital
Direct Provision
Electoral reform


Consultation Group on Commemorations

Lobbying Register

Ireland now has a lobbying register only one body associated with a Oireachtas Group is listed with them so far Mental Health Reform, a company who campaign about Mental Health and provide the All Party group on Mental Health with a secretariat.


Is there any regulation of their funding?

Russian Military Flights in Irish Controlled airspace: Safety & Politics

Unauthorised foreign military aircraft in 'Irish Controlled Airspace' since 2011 from the IAA in response to this Dail PQ... US, Russian, French, UK Canadian and unknown.

News coverage of each incident
Letter to Patrick O'Donovan 15.07.15 from the IAA
The Dept was also asked about Foreign Naval incursions, none occured.

Russian aircraft entered Irish controlled airspace - IAA Irish Times Feb 19, 2015

Re the Russia military flights off the west coast in international but busy Irish controlled airspace.

According to the ICAO via Bloomberg the ICAO convention doesn't apply to military aircraft equipmentRussia's dark warplanes are spooking Europe

This month, representatives from Europe, the U.S. and NATO sat down with Russian officials to raise the West's concerns. A second meeting is scheduled in Paris to discuss the use of transponders and filing=20 requirements for military flights.
EU considers beefing up cockpit rules after Germanwings plane crash WSJ March 27, 2015

So they had a meeting beginning of March and another 14 to 15 April 2015 and a Second High-Level Safety Conference (HLSC 2015) which was held in Montreal, Canada from 2 to 5 February 2015 which came up with a working paper (WP82)

WP82 Rules of the Air of the Chicago Convention constitutes rules relating to the flight and manoeuvring of an aircraft within the meaning of Article 12 of the Chicago Convention. It applies without exception to high seas airspace. At the same time the Chicago Convention does explicitly exempt State aircraft from its remit. However, Article 3 d) obliges the Conracting States to ensure that State Aircraft...will have due regard for the safety of navigation of civil aircraft
ICAO Working Papers a number of papers on tracking aircraft

EUROCONTROL Expert-Workshop on enhancing the Safety for civil and military Flights over the High Seas05 Mar 2015

More than 70 civil and military technical experts from 24 States[2], NATO, EU, IATA and EUROCONTROL have been working together under the “Chatham House Rules” to stay outside of any political dimension to develop a clear view on the legal framework, resulting obligations and the different needs of relevant civil and military actors.
So they can't say what they be talking about.

This is the key meeting...
EANPG Conclusion 56/03 Safety concerns regarding operations involving civil and military aircraft over the High Seas That, noting the growing safety concern regarding events involving civil an d military aircraft over the High Seas, the ICAO Regional Director, Europe and North Atlantic, on be half of the EANPG, encourage States and International Organizations concerned to take action, in accordance with EANPG Conclusion 51/03, to review and enhance at national and international level their civil/military arrangements and coordination procedures involving all State authorities conceeded, with a view to reducing the risk of serious incidents or accident.
EANPG 56 Report

this is less followable,
EANPG Conclusion 51/3 Amendment to ICAO Doc 7754
That the ICAO Regional Director, Europe and North Atlantic, process, on behalf of the EANPG,
the draft proposal for amendment to the ICAO Basic Air Navigation Plan (EUR ANP ICAO
Doc 7754 Vol I
) and to the Facilities and Services Implementation Document (EUR FASID ICAO Doc 7754 Vol II), regarding Flexible Use of Airspace (FUA) over the high seas, as presented at Appendix B-1 and Appendix B-2 to this report page 54-58.

Lots of extra words about FUA* and acknowledging that while rules don't apply to state aircraft they should try to comply with them and more about co-operation between friendly states.

*Flexible Use of Airspace As a basic FUA principle, airspace should no longer be designated as military or civil airspace but should be considered as one continuum and used flexibly on a day-to-day basis.

A list of delegates including the Irish who were at that meeting.

High Level Safety Conference 2015 Delegates

FEARON John CD Director General of Civil Aviation
HUMPHREYS Kevin D Director Safety Regulation
PATRICK Sean D General Manager Enroute and NAC, Irish Aviation
TONE Frank D Chief Aviation Safety Analyst

Irish representative to the ICAO in Montreal
Who is the Irish representative to the ICAO in Montreal? this doc says its vacant, but Im told by the DTTAS it is Declan Fitzpatrick Air Navigation Commissioner in Montreal at The International Civil Aviation Organization (who is listed in the document as an alternative representative for Portugal)
He represents the ABIS group at the Air Navigation Commission

The ABIS group
The ABIS rotation group was founded in 1980 and today represents seven European States: Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Ireland, Portugal and Switzerland.
Common characteristics of these States are that their airspace is of the most heavily used in Europe; their main airports all cater to intercontinental air services and are the home base of major international airlines. This has led to the existence of a widespread expertise in aviation, but also a need to be proactive in international cooperation.

Speech at European Parliament Transport Committee on Conflict Zones Frank Brenner Director General Eurocontrol on 04 May 2015

Speech on Conflict Zones and Enhancing Safety for Civil and Military Flights over the High Seas at the 144th Meeting of Directors General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Frank Brenner Director General Eurocontrol 06 May 2015.

What is Ireland' participation in these international civil-military aviation safety discussions at ICAO and Eurocontrol level?

How serious government is at addressing the safety issue versus politicians giving out about the Russians do they actually expect all airforces to use transponders all the time?

Does anyone actually expect all militaries to use transponders in international airspace? or in busy airspaces in international airspace?

Will this continue to be an unsolved issue that use politically? Or are they actually trying to solve the safety issue?

IAA criticised for lack of disclosure Irish Examiner Sean O’Riordan December 04, 2015 [may need to to ask Eurocontrol?]

Circular 330
Circular 330-AN/189 Civil/Military Cooperation in Air Traffic Management

Cir 330AN/189 Civil/Military Cooperation in Air Traffic Management ICAO

European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) regarding incidents between civil and military aircraft in the Baltic region. Report on occurrences over the high-seas involving military aircraft in 2014.

The Agency recognises that significant work has been carried out by ICAO with regard to the definition and promotion of best practices on civil/military cooperation in ATM and which resulted in the publication of ICAO Circular 330
The Agency recommends that the European Union promotes at the ICAO EURO NAT level, the principle of prior notification by all States when conducting flights in controlled airspace within the FIRs for which European Member States have the responsibility to provide ATS.
The report is mostly about the Baltics, mostly about mitigation and co-operation between European states and between those state miltary and civilian bodies, report does not mention Russia.

International meeting on “dark” flights over the Baltic Sea held in Finland
2.7.2015 Finavia

Cooperation to ensure safer international airspace over the Baltic Sea Finish Ministry of Transport 15.01.2015

White paper on performance-based certification of military airborne systems to meet civil ATM/CNS requirements ICAO

EASA To EU: Improve Information On Uncooperative Military Aircraft Tony Osborne Aviation Week.

How to Reduce the Risk of a Military Encounter Between Russia and NATO European Leadership Network 26 August 2015

Portugal navy escorts Russian ship away from coast Novmber 6th 2014. It was in its economic zone not territorial afaik.

Russian jets 'regularly' fly near Irish airspace Philip Ryan Irish Independent 29/11/2015

Submarines Vs Fishermen

15th of April 2015 Fishing Trawler Karen dragged from underwater in the Irsh Sea in internatioanl waters. MOD denies any of their submarines were in the area and said if they did hit boat their practice was to rise and check and all the media blame the Russians.

MAIB team deployed to Northern Ireland 17th of April 2015 Marine Accident Investigation Branch

7th of September 2015 Ministry of Defence admits UK submarine damaged fishing boat

Fishing boat dragged backward at speed by 'Russian submarine' in Irish Sea 16th of April 2015 Breaking News TCM

'Russian submarine' suspected of damaging UK trawler in Irish Sea BBC 16th of April 2015

Was it Russian? British? Mystery surrounds submarine that ‘dragged’ trawler off Co Down 16th of April 2015

Russian submarine blamed for NI trawler incident 16th of April 2015 RTE

Irish trawler dragged by suspected submarine 16th of April 2015 Irish Times

Prawn trawler 'dragged backwards by Russian submarine' 150 miles off Irish coast 16th of April 2015 Herald INM

Fishing trawler seconds from tragedy after being dragged down by 'Russian submarine' caught in nets 16th of April 2015 Irish Mirror

Trawler dragged backwards 'by submarine' 15th April 2015 UTV.ie

Irish trawler almost sank buy submarine off coast 16th April 2015 Sunday World

What about Aquarius incident in March 2015 ? No formal investigation into claims Russian submarine dragged Scots fishing boat May 11th 2015 Press and Journal.

Theres a whole history of sub vs fishermen, that I'll have to write more about. Some of it is in the Irish Times article.

Wednesday 3 June 2015

Parliamentary Party Representatives should be able to campaign against the party's Referendum position

What is actual deal with party members going against party position on referendums, its said they can't campaign but have many spoken out on referenda have in the past.

A few Labour people spoke in favour of keeping the Seanad but maybe they didn't 'campaign', is this muddled rule hurting referendums, could Brendan Howlin not have gone on TV and radio and argued against reducing the age of presidential candidates, was he hamstrung by this rule, or did he just not care enough?

One could argue referenda non-party political aspect means its up to the people to debate the issue, but you need to be able to discuss it with its proposers, even thought the constitutional convention highlighted the issue, it was the Government ministers who chose to put forward the referendum.

Labour will not take position on presidential age referendun Mary Minihan Irish Times 15/04/2015.

The Labour Party is not taking a position on the Government-backed referendum to reduce the minimum age for presidential candidates.

So labour did not take a position but it still seems it paralised them into not campaigning one way or another on it.

Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin theJournal.ie interview voting no
He said he’ll likely be voting No in the presidential age referendum, by the way – as he has “real doubts” about a 21-year-old running for president.

John McGuinness
John McGuinness 'not campaigning' so didn't break rules John McGuinness allowed to say he will vote No, Fianna Fáil says

“He has also said he is not campaigning in relation to it and that is as far as it goes.

“We as a party are advocating a Yes vote. He is being upfront and honest. He hasn’t broken any party rule in that regard.”

Olivia Mitchell
Olivia Mitchell debated the presidential candidate age referendum on radio but said 'I am not calling for a No vote, I just can’t see any reason to vote Yes.' re presref

Her arguement that she also made in the Dail during the bill debate was that you act alone as President, not so with Taoiseach who needs TDs votes.

Newstalk Breakfast debate against Brian Stanely SF Chris Donoghue Newstalk 17/04/2015

Fianna Fail/Averil Power

Why I left Fianna Fail Averil Power-on-her departure from party in her own words Independent.ie

Fianna Fáil’s approach to the marriage equality referendum was just one example of this. Marriage equality wasn’t just a personal goal of mine - it was official party policy. Fianna Fáil members voted for it at their 2012 Ard Fheis. TDs and senators are bound by the policy decisions of the Ard Fheis and so all had a responsibility to campaign for it.

Power fights back Dublin Northside People June 8, 2015

Fianna Fail Ard Fehis Clar 2012
That this Ard-Fheis recognises the right of all people in the state to have full, equal marriage rights regardless of their race, religion,gender or sexual orientaton. Clare Ógra CDC

Where in the Fianna Fail constitution does it say that means they must canvass in referendums.

The party whip applies to the Oireachtas not to referenda votes.

Thirty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution (Marriage Equality) Bill 2015 Nobody in fianna Fail voting against the bill except for Jim Walsh who pressed amendments to it but who had already lost the whip the day before when he voted against the Children and Family Relationships Bill.

This Week RTE Radio 1 Michael Martin at 2:35.

Diveristy of Opinion

Averil Power and Fianna Fáil A letter on Lucinda Creighton strange take on why Averil Power left Fianna Fail after the Marriage Referendum.

'Diversity of opinion' not welcome in mainstream political parties - Lucinda Creighton on Averil Power's treatment Independent.ie/Radio interview?
"To my mind it sums up everything I already know about politics or at least the old political establishment, which is that diversity of opinion on really sensitive social issues, that different people have strong opinions on, that diversity of opinion is just not welcome in the old parties," Ms Creighton said.

Seanad Abolishing Referendum
Politician opposing their party on Seanad Referendum
Senator and TDs Seanad abolishing Position
10 Labour TDs going against labour positoin on Seanad abolition


Presidential age vote defeated by three to one margin Irish Times Mary Minehan Mark Hillard May 23, 2015, 10:45