Longford/Westmeath TD Kevin 'Boxer' Moran making his maiden speech in the Dáil.
Longford/Westmeath Independent Alliance TD, Deputy Kevin 'Boxer' Moran made his maiden speech in the Dáil on Tuesday night, October 18.
Here is the text of Deputy Moran's speech;
"Thank you Ceann Comhairle.
As this is my maiden speech in the house, I would first like to say to my fellow deputies that it is an honour and a privilege to stand here today as a member of the 32nd Dáil.
I would like to thank sincerely the voters of Longford/Westmeath for giving me the opportunity to represent them.
Over the years the constituency has been honoured by the calibre of its public representatives who have graced this chamber. I sincerely hope that I can continue that proud history of serving the public to the best of my ability.
I would like to this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to my wife Michelle, my two sons, Jamie and John, for all their help and support, from the day when I first entered politics. I am forever grateful for their help and encouragement.
May I also take this occasion to congratulate An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny on his re-election as Taoiseach and I wish him every success as this Government sets about restoring people’s faith in politics and in an economy so that over the coming years, we can bring about a real and sustainable improvement in their lives.
Last week’s Budget had one key element - a rise in public purse expenditure of €1.3bn. It was not so long ago when people’s anger spilled over on the streets outside this very chamber at the level of cuts that they had to endure to their livelihoods, cuts that affected every man, woman and child in the country.
But, thankfully, we are now in a different place. Last week’s Budget had a number of key highlights that I would like to emphasise in the areas of rural Ireland, agriculture, education and health.
In particular, I want to note the funding for:
* 800 new gardaí,
* 1,000 nurses
* And 650 teachers and SNAs
In total around 4,500 front-line staff, such as nurses, gardaí, and teachers will be recruited in the coming months.
This budget also addresses the concerns of rural Ireland and the help required for those trying to make a living from the land.
Positive measures include:
The introduction of a Sheep Farmers’ Grant Scheme to the value of €25m;
A review and improvement of Farm Assist Payments;
An increase in the cap for the Rural Social Scheme;
And an increase in the allowance for the Town and Village Renewal Scheme to €12m;
The Independent Alliance is proud to have made a significant and influential contribution to shaping this Budget with our Government partners. While much more needs to be achieved, this is our first Budget and it is a first step along a road to recovery that we are committed to.
With a strong group focus on ensuring that the vulnerable and sick in society are protected, the Independent Alliance is setting priorities where people and communities will come first.
In general, can I say that we, as a society, now need to re-think how we do things. Since the economic crash, people have felt they are not getting a fair share of the opportunities and profits generated in society. There is now a great need to look at a new kind of social contract, where everyone plays their part and feel valued again."