deputy Lisa Chambers

  • Boris Johnson has been elected as the new leader of the British Conservative Party.

    Mr Johnson defeated his rival Jeremy Hunt and will become the next British Prime Minister.

    The announcement was made in the last hour, after the counting of votes concluded.


    The Irish Government will now have to engage with the new Prime Minister to try and avoid Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal.

    That's according to Fianna Fail's Brexit spokesperson, Mayo TD Lisa Chambers.

    Speaking to Midwest Radio this lunchtime, Deputy Chambers says Boris Johnson has a very hardline approach to Brexit...


  • The Dail ethics committee has decided to proceed with an investigation into the four Fianna Fail TDs caught up in the voting controversy - including Mayo's Lisa Chambers.

    The Irish Times reports that the Members'  Interests Committee met yesterday and agreed to proceed with the inquiry.

    The committee will now write to deputies Timmy Dooley, Niall Collins, Lisa Chambers and Barry Cowen to ask if they have any further information to add to what they've already told the clerk of the Dáil as part of an earlier inquiry-  which did not recommend any sanctions.

    The ethics committee has the power to recommend a sanction to the Dáil, including a suspension of up to 30 days .

    The controversy emerged when deputy Niall Collins voted 6 times for colleague Timmy Dooley while he was absent from the chamber during Dáil votes.

    Mayo TD Lisa Chambers said she had mistakenly sat in her colleague Dara Calleary's seat and voted, before moving to her own seat and voting again.


  • 57 percent of the electorate in Mayo voted Yes on Friday to remove the Eighth Amendment from our constitution.

    In the run up to the vote, during the eight week Referendum campaign the Fine Gael deputies in the county were less than forthcoming on whether they were for or against its repeal. Both Minister Michael Ring and former Taoiseach Enda Kenny refused to indicate how they would be voting.

    However, the Fianna Fail deputies in Mayo were clear on where they stood on the issue, Lisa Chambers was saying Yes and deputy Dara Calleary was saying No on Friday last.

    Today Deputy Calleary told Midwest News that he remains opposed to abortion but says as a democrat he will vote for the legislation to allow it.

    Throughout the referendum campaign Midwest News sought the views of the Fine Gael deputies on the repeal issue, but we only succeeded in getting any response on Tuesday last.

    A spokesperson for the former Taoiseach Enda Kenny said on Tuesday that Deputy Kenny had not taken part in any interviews on the abortion debate, and was unlikely to do so before Friday. The spokesperson did not indicate Mr Kenny’s position on the referendum.

    On the same day in response to Midwest News, Minister Michael Ring said he was a member of the Dail which had facilitated putting the referendum on the Eighth Amendment before the people of Ireland. He pointed out that the Government has published draft legislation in relation to abortion, but insisted it is the people of Ireland that will make the decision in Friday’s referendum.

    Minister Ring said that, if the No vote won, then nothing would change. If people decide to vote Yes to repeal the Eighth amendment,  it will then be up to the Government and the Oireachtas to introduce legislation, and stated that he would make his views known then.

    Midwest News asked Minister Ring this morning how he will be voting on the legislation. He said he will be attending the Cabinet meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) - where the matter will be discussed and he will speak on the matter after that.

    The Fianna deputies in Mayo were very clear on how they would vote on Friday last.  Lisa Chambers was a definite Yes, and her colleague Dara Calleary was saying No.

    Lisa Chambers told Midwest News on Saturday that she hoped the legislation on abortion will be introduced as soon as possible in the wake of the clear mandate from the electorate.

  • If the planned national strike action by CE supervisors goes ahead on Monday next, then many vital services across county Mayo will not be provided on the day, as CE scheme workers in Udaras na Gaeltachta were last night informed not to show up for work, as they are not covered by insurance without a supervisor present.

    That’s according to Mayo Fianna Fail deputy Lisa Chambers.

    The deputy told Midwest News that it’s a bit late in the day yesterday (Thurs) for the Minister for Social Welfare Regina Doherty to look for an urgent meeting with the trade unions involved in the dispute over pensions

  • Mayo Fianna Fail deputy Lisa Chambers says she holds her hands up and is sorry that she “mistakenly” voted last week in the Dail for Dara Calleary who was not in the chamber at the time.

    She told Midwest News today that it was “Thursday” and she was “tired” and “accidently voted” while sitting in Dara’s seat in the chamber. On realizing that her vote had not registered on the Dail screen, she quickly moved across to her own seat and voted again.

    She admits she knew she voted twice, but said she did not inform the teller because the vote was lost by such a large matter, she felt it made no difference.

    Her voting at Dara Calleary’s desk did not emerge until after her front bench colleagues Tommy Dooley and Niall Collins were asked by Micheal Martin yesterday to stand down from the frontbench pending a Ceann Comhairle investigation into Dail voting.

    Deputy Collins voted six times on behalf of deputy Timmy Dooley in the Dail on Thursday.

    Outlining to Midwest News this morning how the mistake happened, deputy Chambers, the party’s spokesperson on Brexit, said she’s confident that she will not be asked to step down from the front bench during the Ceann Comhairle’s investigation.

  • A large number of businesses still don't have the basic measures in place that are needed to continue trading with the UK after Brexit.

    A Fianna Fáil parliamentary question has revealed that 55-thousand companies don't have a Revenue EORI number.

    The number is a requirement from Revenue for any business to continue its trade with the UK after the Brexit transition expires next December.

    Mayo Fianna Fáil deputy  Lisa Chambers says the government needs to communicate with the companies involved.

  • A Digital Safety Commissioner would need to have powers to sanction social media companies over inappropriate content. 

    That's according to members of an Oireachtas Committee who published a report into cyber safety for children this week.

    It recommended further training for teachers and noted more needs to be done by tech companies to protect users. 

    Mayo Fianna Fáil TD Lisa Chambers called for a Digital Safety Commissioner with influence.

  • Corporate landlords benefit from a 13 and a half percent tax rate on multiple properties that they rent out while an individual who finds themselves with an extra property to let, is faced with a 50 percent tax rate on their rental income and that’s unfair, according to Mayo Fianna Fail Deputy Lisa Chambers.

    As a result many properties in our towns and villages across the region remain vacant as it simply doesn’t make financial sense for the owner to rent it out and that is further impacting on the present housing crisis, the Deputy says.

    In the upcoming budget Fianna Fail are insisting that individual property holders must be given a tax break on their rental income, particularly if that landlord is prepared to provide a tenant with a 5 or ten year lease.

    Deputy Chambers has been telling Midwest News why her party believes this incentive needs to be put in place.

  • Fianna Fail has introduced a Bill in the Dáíl which will allow parents to share maternity leave.

    It's hoped the legislation will give parents the flexibility to decide how to make their maternity leave work best for them.

    Mayo TD Lisa Chambers along with Kildare TD Fiona O'Loughlin have sponsored the Shared Maternity Leave and Benefit Bill 2018.

    Deputy Chambers says the Bill allows both parents of a child to share this 26 week period of paid maternity leave between them.

    She also says it won’t place any additional cost on the Exchequer as it does not extend the current timeframe that already exists.

  • A Mayo Fianna Fail TD has expressed her concern that serious regulatory breaches and poor hygienic conditions were found at the adult mental health unit in Mayo University Hospital following an inspection by the Mental Health Commission.

    Deputy Lisa Chambers says she was alarmed to read the report which identified risks to patients at the hospital. She said it is of concern that there were not enough therapeutic programmes in place and staff shortages were limiting occupational therapy, psychology and social work services.

    A report published yesterday shows the acute adult mental health centre was compliant with 61% of regulations, rules and codes of practice - down from 74% compliance in 2017.

    Of the 14 areas of non-compliance, 4 were deemed critical - including staffing and individual care plans for residents.

    The report says the premises was not clean, and rooms were not well-ventilated, while the walls had chipped paint with cigarette burns in the carpets.

    Numerous ligature risks were identified, and not all staff were trained in fire safety, basic life support, and management of aggression or violence.

    The standard of individual care plans for residents was very poor, according to inspectors.

    22 areas of inspection were compliant, according to the report, with ten of these areas rated excellent.

    Deputy Chambers told Midwest News that she is concerned about the findings and will be raising the matter with the Minister for Health.

  • The passage of the Technological Universities Bill will be a key milestone in the delivery of third level education across the country, according to Mayo Fianna Fail deputy Lisa Chambers.

    The Bill passed through the Seanad last week.

    Deputy Chambers says Fianna Fáil has submitted a significant number of amendments to the original Bill.
    The issue of a merger was a serious concern for both the staff and students in GMIT, she told Midwest News, but the legislation now protects ITs from mergers unless there is a simultaneous designation as a Technological University.  

    This means that no existing Institutes of Technology will have to merge as a pre-condition of seeking Technological University status which might not have been granted. This was a key precondition of Fianna Fáil support for this Bill.

  • For the second day in a row, there are 760 patients on hospital trolleys across the country today - matching yesterday's record figure.

    According to the INMO, Limerick is the worst-hit hospital with 75 patients on trolleys, followed by Galway University Hospital where 51 patients are waiting for a bed today.

    Elsewhere across the region, there are 14 patients on trolleys at Mayo University Hospital, 20 in Sligo and 21 at Portiuncla Hospital in Ballinasloe.

    The Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation says this extreme overcrowding presents a clear danger to both patients and staff, and requires immediate political intervention to stabilise our hospitals.

    The union has written to the Health Minister Simon Harris, calling for a major incident to be declared at the worst-affected hospitals.

    The INMO is also calling for the immediate approval of all nursing posts across the acute hospitals, an end to the recruitment ban, the cancellation of elective procedures in the worst-affected hospitals and the sourcing of additional beds in the private and voluntary sector.

    In relation to Mayo University Hospital, local TD Lisa Chambers has described as "cruel and inhumane" the conditions patients and staff are dealing with in the Emergency Department.

  • The decision yesterday by the British Prime Minister Theresa May, to abandon the vote in the House of Commons on the agreed Brexit deal between the UK and the EU, has left Ireland in a very precarious situation with the UK more likely now to leave the EU on the March 29th next  - with no deal in place for its withdrawal. That’s the view of the Fianna Fail spokesperson on Brexit, Mayo deputy Lisa Chambers.

    The deputy says with or without a deal - Brexit is not good for Ireland but without a deal the impact on Ireland could be catastrophic.

    She is now urging the Irish government to intensify its preparations for a potential withdrawal of the UK from the EU without a deal in just a few months time.

    Deputy Chambers has been speaking to Midwest News about yesterday’s developments in the House of Commons

  • There's a call on the Health Minister Simon Harris to explain why he went against expert advice and announced extra free smear testing.

    Fianna Fail TD Lisa Chambers says he must immediately tackle the confusion over the latest developments in the CervicalCheck controversy.

    6,000 women will get letters next week asking them to take another smear test as their original one was made unreliable due to being delayed.

    Deputy Chambers says it's put pressure on the system and is taking too long.

  • The recent murder of a teenager in Drogheda shows ordinary policing is not adequate in combating the rising levels of drug-related crime.

    That's according to Mayo Fianna Fail TD Lisa Chambers, who says Gardai need to be properly resourced to deal with the scourge of drugs in every region.

    She's calling for additional Gardai to be assigned to drugs units in every Garda division, as she claims drugs are freely available in every town and village in Mayo.

  • A Mayo TD is calling on the Ministers for Health & Finance to work with SIPTU to try and avoid tomorrow' strike by health support staff.

    10,000 hospital staff will take part in a 24-hour strike tomorrow, with further strikes planned for the coming weeks, in a row over pay.

    Healthcare assistants, porters and catering staff are among the SIPTU workers taking the action.

    Mayo, Galway, Sligo and Roscommon University Hospitals will be impacted by the strike, as well as Merlin Park and Portiuncla Hospitals.

    Thousands of patients scheduled for surgery could have their appointments cancelled tomorrow, and there are also fears that some hospitals won't be able to provide regular meals and hot food to patients.

    The HSE says contingency plans are in place, but warns the strike will have a significant impact on services if it goes ahead.

    Mayo Fianna Fail Deputy Lisa Chambers says the hospital support staff are frustrated, because the Government is failing to follow through on a commitment made in advance of carrying out a job evaluation scheme.


    And Mayo Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh has also called for the implementation of pay agreements for the hospital support staff, who she says "hold our health service together".

    Senator Conway-Walsh says these workers are on some of the lowest wages within the healthcare system, and should not have to wait so long for pay that's due to them.





  • A Mayo Fianna Fail TD has expressed concern about new proposals from the National Transport Authority to privatise another 10% of Bus Eireann routes from 2021. She’s warning that measures must be put in place to ensure a continuity of service for rural Ireland.

    Deputy Chambers says the NTA began privatising Bus Eireann routes a number of years ago and are now proposing to tender a further 10% from 2021. She says it is an extremely premature proposal, especially since no examination of the current arrangement has been undertaken.

    Deputy Chambers says she would like to see assurances from the NTA that there will be no downgrading of services in rural areas as a result of the proposal and staff concerns also need to be addressed.

    Fianna Fail has brought forward a Bill to prevent further privatisation of bus routes and the legislation allows for a delay in the awarding of any new contracts until a full review of previous tenders has been completed.


  • A Mayo TD has expressed her disappointment at the recent decision to suspend the Honours Course in Digital Media and Society course at the Castlebar GMIT campus.

    Fianna Fail Deputy Lisa Chambers says it was a shock to hear of the suspension of the course, as just last month Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor reiterated the Government’s commitment to the future sustainability of the Mayo campus.

    Deputy Chambers says it’s completely unacceptable and questions need to be answered as to why this decision was taken.

    The GMIT Working Group report was published in December 2017. This report listed key recommendations on how to secure the future sustainability of the campus. Deputy Chambers says as the situation currently stands, this report is yet to be implemented.

    She says there was two key points of the report. One was the appointment of an external facilitator to oversee the implementation of the report’s recommendations and two, was the appointment of a head of campus. Neither of which has been done to date.

    Deputy Chambers says people are furious, and rightly so, as changes shouldn’t be made like cutting courses until the report has been implemented.

  • A Fianna Fail Bill, which would allow mothers to share their maternity leave with their partners if they so wish, was debated in the Dáil last week.

    The Bill was introduced by Mayo TD Lisa Chambers and her party colleague Fiona O'Loughlin, who say it's a progressive Bill that would allow parents to decide what works best for them in terms of raising their young children.

    Deputy Chambers says the 26 weeks maternity leave could be shared by a baby's parents in some circumstances, for example where the mother is self-employed.

  • A Mayo TD says that Tusla needs to increase investment in community based facilities in Mayo.

    Fianna Fail TD Lisa Chambers was responding to the recent HIQA report Into Tusla at a recent sitting of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Children and Youth Affairs.
    Highlighting the challenges that the report identified, and the implications for children and families, Deputy Chambers reminded Tusla management of commitments that they have made to improving facilities delivered in communities across the county, and specifically in Co. Mayo, which could assist in addressing the resource shortages the report was highly critical of.
    Deputy Chambers highlighted the case being made in Co. Mayo for additional resources, citing the application submitted from Erris to establish a Family Resource Centre. The Mayo Children and Young Peoples Services Committee, which is resourced by Tusla, have, amongst others, identified the case for this FRC in Erris.

    Deputy Chambers said Tusla should listen to other parts of their organisations and open these facilities now.