Failure to deal with domestic violence costs €2.2bn, Connolly claims

Equine sector must be ‘reined in’ with tax on buying more than 750 acres, says McGrath

Mattie McGrath: “In my own area they have an equine industry, world renowned. They’re buying every little hamlet, every little perch, any bit of land at all that comes up”

Mattie McGrath: “In my own area they have an equine industry, world renowned. They’re buying every little hamlet, every little perch, any bit of land at all that comes up”

 

The Government was criticised for making no provision to deal with domestic violence “other than a bland statement that we will roll out or enhance our services”.

Independent TD Catherine Connolly told the Dáil the minimum cost to the economy of the failure to deal with domestic violence was €2.2 billion.

The Galway West TD said more than 12,500 people, including 9,448 women and 3,068 children, received support and/or accommodation from a domestic violence service last year. She said there were almost 50,000 calls to helplines in 2016 for support and information.

One in three Irish women reported some type of psychological attack by a partner last year, she said.

Ms Connolly said that, in referring to the statistics, she wanted to make the point that failure to deal with domestic violence and to implement the strategy cost the economy a lot more.

“I actually despair of this Government understanding that and beginning to deal with it,” she concluded.

Alcohol

Independent TD Michael Harty expressed his disappointment that tax on alcohol was not increased. The Clare GP said “we talk about cocaine and heroin but alcohol is the most destructive drug in this society”.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath called for a new-style land commission and hit out at some in the equine industry, which he said had to be “reined in”.

The Tipperary TD said he had sought a land tax for purchases of land banks over 750 acres.

“In my own area they have an equine industry, world renowned, world class but they have to be reined in,” he said. “They’re buying every little hamlet, every little perch, any bit of land at all that comes up.”

They were grabbing land, he said, “just to save inheritance tax”.

Mr McGrath said it was immoral and wrong and damaging to rural Ireland and called for action.