Clare PPN press release
Tuesday, 9th February, 2021
Emergency motion on CETA passed unanimously by Clare County Council
Motion brought on behalf of Clare PPN calls for full democratic debate and Oireachtas scrutiny of EU-Canada trade deal
Clare County Council has unanimously passed an emergency motion that calls on the Irish Government “to allow a full, open and democratic debate, including pre-legislative scrutiny by a Joint Oireachtas Committee, ahead of the Dáil vote on ratification of CETA.”
Clare Public Participation Network (PPN) had written to Councillors last Thursday, asking them to bring the motion, on foot of a request by a majority of member groups in Clare PPN’s Environmental College, who were very concerned at the lack of public debate and political scrutiny of CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement), a trade deal between the EU and Canada.
Proposing the motion at Monday’s (8th February) Council meeting, Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) thanked Clare PPN for bringing the motion to her. She warned that the element of CETA due to be voted on by the Dáil, including the Investor Court System (ICS), allows multinational companies to “go straight to special tribunals, bypassing our court system and gives rights to corporations to sue national governments for compensation for loss of expected future profits.”
Seconding the motion, Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) said that while he feels trade agreements are, “by and large, positive things, what does concern me here is the lack of public debate, legislative scrutiny and very low levels of understanding around the ratification of CETA and specifically the merits if any of the Investor Court System for Ireland. Will the ratification of CETA tie our hands with regard to introducing progressive social and environmental legislation?”
Cllr Murphy pointed out that most of CETA has been in place since 2017, and that the final element, including ICS, is “not necessary here in Ireland and will not deliver one iota of benefit for the country.”
Reacting to the passing of the motion, Theresa O’Donoghue, Co-ordinator of Clare Environmental Network, a PPN member group, said: “Members of Clare PPN have serious concerns about the lack of public and political debate and scrutiny of CETA. An issue such as this, that will have far-reaching consequences for future generations, must be properly discussed and publicly debated. We are very happy that our County Councillors in Clare respect that and we thank them for standing up for that principle.”
“Clare PPN member organisations are particularly troubled by the Investor Court System (ICS) element of CETA and the ‘regulatory chill’ effect it would have on policymaking on a wide range of issues, including the environment, public health, economic and human rights. No party has made any convincing case for why we need investor courts.”
Several other local authorities have passed similar motions relating to CETA in recent days, including Cavan, Monaghan, Leitrim and South Dublin councils.
The motion in Clare was signed by 16 members of Clare County Council: Donna McGettigan (proposer), Cillian Murphy (seconder), PJ Kelly, Ann Norton, Pat O’Gorman, Mark Nestor, Tony O’Brien, Michael Begley, PJ Ryan, Alan O’Callaghan, Pat Hayes, Ian Lynch, Clare Colleran-Molloy, Shane Talty, Bill Chambers and Susan Crawford.
Three other Councillors, Johnny Flynn, Joe Garrihy and Joe Killeen also spoke in favour of the motion. Nobody opposed the motion.
Notes for editors:
Clare PPN is a network of more than 300 community, voluntary, environmental and social inclusion groups from Clare. It exists to facilitate the formal participation by the community sector in Clare County Council’s decision making structures. It is funded jointly by the Department of Rural and Community Development and Clare County Council but is autonomous and its activities are directed by its members through an elected secretariat.
Clare PPN’s website is www.clareppn.ie and they are on Twitter @clare_ppn and https://facebook.com/clareppn/
Draft Community Wellbeing Vision Statements for County Clare:
Beginning in October 2020 Clare Public Participation Network conducted a process of creating Community Wellbeing Visions for Clare. The process involved consultation with the general public via an online survey, consultation and appraisal of the results of this survey with Clare PPN members at our October Plenary Meeting, and this was then followed by eight online meetings – two held in each of Clare’s four Municipal Districts.
Following the above three steps Clare PPN staff compiled the attached Draft Community Wellbeing Vision Statements -there are five in total with one being an overall summary which applies to County Clare as a whole and the four others each relating to one of Clare’s Municipal Districts. We are presenting these statements here in draft form and inviting our member groups to take the chance to read them and to propose any changes, additions or correct any omissions as you see fit.
These statements will be used to guide the work and priorities of Clare PPN staff and secretariat and our representatives on Committees. They will also be used along with further specific policy consultations to guide and inform submissions made by Clare PPN to local and national policies. We propose that these wellbeing vision statements will be kept as ‘open’ documents for Clare PPN and that they will be offered for consideration and review to members once per year so that we ensure they remain relevant and current.
For those who participated in our consultation process we would like to draw it to your attention that some of the very specific suggestions around actions or particular developments in the county were included in Clare PPN’s two submissions to the pre draft stage of Clare County Council’s County Development Plan. You can read those submissions here:
We are most grateful to all who participated in this worthwhile project so far and we encourage you to send any further thoughts or input to us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by January 15th 2020 after which these Community Wellbeing Visions will be deemed adopted.
Clare PPN County Level Wellbeing Vision Statement
Clare PPN Draft Wellbeing Vision Statement Ennis MD
Clare PPN Draft Wellbeing Vision Statement West Clare MD
Clare PPN Draft Wellbeing Vision Statement Killaloe MD
Clare PPN Draft Wellbeing Vision Statement Shannon MD
Notice of Plenary Meeting: December 8th 2020 at 7PM (Online)
And don’t miss our Christmas prize draw with two fabulous prizes:
Anyone from any of our member groups who attends our online Christmas Plenary will be entered in a draw for these two great prizes:
1st Prize €100.00 Voucher for Hotel Doolin which can be used for any of the services on offer there from accommodation, to the restaurant or tickets for one of the many arts and music events that are due to take place in the months ahead.
2nd Prize €50.00 voucher for The Rowan Tree Cafe Bar in Ennis where you can go out for lunch or treat someone to dinner over the Christmas season.
Clare Public Participation Network warmly invites all member groups to attend its second online Plenary Meeting which will take place on Tuesday December 8th 2020 at 7pm.
Please reserve your place at this meeting by emailing your name and member group name to email@example.com on or before Monday December 7th 2020
Only those registered in advance will receive the link to the meeting.
What is a Plenary Meeting?
Plenary meetings are the main decision making forums for Clare PPN -at these meetings all member groups are invited to attend and to put items forward for the agenda for discussion or for inclusion in the work plan of Clare PPN. At each of these meetings the staff and secretariat of Clare PPN present an update on the work, finances, and activities of the PPN from the preceding three months and present their work plan for discussion and input from member groups for the forthcoming three months.
Due to the Covid-19 restrictions this Plenary Meeting will be held online via zoom. Any member or person who would like to receive training in how to use Zoom should email firstname.lastname@example.org and William Hederman will arrange a session with you to help familiarise you with how to participate using this tool. You will need a smart phone or computer and an internet connection to use zoom. If possible each member group should nominate someone who has these facilities to represent them at this Plenary Meeting.
If any group is unable to attend online please feel free to send us submissions or items for our agenda via email to email@example.com or by calling us on 087 1617375.
Call for Agenda Items:
All current member groups can propose agenda items for this meeting on or before December 3rd 2020 Please send these using the subject line ”Agenda Item Plenary Meeting” to firstname.lastname@example.org
Clare PPN’s representatives who sit on 11 boards and committees in the County will also have an opportunity to present updates from their committees and to take any questions or input from member groups at this meeting.
At the beginning of each plenary meeting we will present an introduction to the Public Participation Network in Clare for new member groups and a question and answer session will be held.
Please reserve your place at this meeting by emailing your name and member group name to email@example.com on or before Monday December 7th 2020.
Free Training Seminar: December 3rd 7-9 PM Online via zoom
Information Access in Ireland: How to use FOI & AIE to request public records
Clare PPN are delighted to offer an online seminar via zoom on how community groups can use Freedom of Information and Access to Information on the Environment Requests.
This session will be delivered by Ken Fox, who is a director of the transparency group Right to Know (https://www.righttoknow.ie ). Right to Know is a not-for-profit focused on vindicating the rights of citizens to access information and on publishing stories based on using those rights.
Ken is a writer, researcher and teacher and was a founder of the organisation. This session is free but places are limited to ensure people attending can ask question sand engage. It will last approximately 2 hours.
Important: To reserve a place on this training please email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Only those who are registered will receive the link for the seminar.
Please note that it may be necessary for us to verify the identity of participants and if so we will email you for further information.
All information will be managed in compliance with Clare PPN’s Data Protection Policy