We only use strictly necessary cookies to provide, secure and improve our service. Learn more
Deirdre Clune
Deirdre Clune
Fine Gael
Party 1


Incumbent :

Election history:

Cork South Central TD 1997-2002, 2007-2011 Cork County Councillor 1999-2007 (Mayor 2005) Senator 2011-2014 MEP 2014-Date

Party positions on the election issues:

These positions were provided by the party

EU

Ireland should remain in the EU

Some people believe that Ireland should leave the EU, particularly in the wake of Brexit, as the UK is our most important trading partner. Others argue that EU membership continues to be beneficial for Ireland, both economically, socially, and in terms of our political influence.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Fine Gael believes in an Ireland at the heart of the common European home that we helped build. We brought Ireland into the Single European Act and Single Market and we are a pro-European party. Our commitment to Europe is aligned with our ambition to be an island at the centre of the world. "

European integration has gone too far

Some people argue that the EU interferes too much in the affairs of member states, and powers should be returned to the national level. Others argue that further integration is necessary to tackle shared challenges like climate change and internet privacy rights and for economic stability.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"It is Fine Gael policy to support the building of a strong European Union focused on further integration where that benefits citizens and greater subsidiarity where appropriate. "

Ireland should cooperate with other EU member states on defence

Ireland has recently joined the PESCO framework, which seeks to increase defence cooperation in the EU. It commits members to work together on military planning and to increase defence spending. It does not create an EU army, but some oppose it because they see it as a step in that direction.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Fine Gael is opposed to the creation of an EU army. We support greater cooperation with other MEPs and Member States on security and defence matters to ensure that all our citizens are protected from new global threats such as terrorism, cyber threats and human trafficking. We will support Ireland’s continued participation in PESCO."

If an EU member state is overwhelmed with asylum applications, other member states (including Ireland) should share the burden

There is an unequal distribution of asylum seekers across EU member states. In 2015 the EU introduced a one-off relocation scheme, moving asylum-seekers from Greece and Italy to other member states (including Ireland). Some have argued that a permanent relocation scheme should be introduced.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"From the outset of the migration crisis in Europe Ireland has sought to play an active role in protecting the most vulnerable and we voluntarily pledged to accept a total of 4,000 people into the State."

Ireland should defend its low corporation tax in the face of pressure for EU harmonisation

Ireland's low corporate tax makes it an attractive location for multinationals, which are a major employer in Ireland. It has also led to accusations of Ireland being a ‘tax haven’. The European Commission has proposed harmonising corporate tax rules to create a level playing field across the EU.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Fine Gael has consistently stated our commitment to a 12.5% corporation tax rate and closely monitor proposals for a common corporate tax base, a financial transactions tax and a digital services tax."

Brexit

In the wake of Brexit, a referendum should be held on Irish unity

The Good Friday Agreement allows for a unification referendum (‘border poll’) in Northern Ireland and the Republic, if there is evidence that it is desired by a majority. Some have argued that, in light of Brexit, this should now be put on the agenda. Others believe that it would be divisive.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Bunreacht na hÉireann affirms our national aspiration for territorial unity. Fine Gael shares that aspiration based on the principle of consent & a clear majority, North and South, being in favour. That said, now is not the time for a border poll and it could create an even more divisive debate."

Ireland should refuse to install checks on the border with Northern Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, Ireland would have different customs and regulatory requirements to Northern Ireland. The EU may require that Ireland establish border checks with Northern Ireland to ensure the integrity of the EU’s single market.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"The EU is determined to do all it can, deal or no deal, to avoid the need for a border and to protect the peace process. Discussions with the Commission have intensified on how to avoid a hard border in the case of no deal while also protecting the integrity of the Single Market and Customs Union."

Tax and Spending

Wealthy people should have to pay more tax than they do now

Some believe that there should be greater redistribution of wealth from rich to poor, achieved through taxes on income or wealth. Others believe that taxes are high enough already, and increases could be bad for the economy.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Ireland has the most progressive income tax system in the EU. The top quarter of earners pay 85% of all income tax & USC, and the top 7% pay for more than half. Over the next 5 years, we will increase the point for paying the higher rate of tax to €50K for a single person and €100K for a couple. "

Increases in public spending should be prioritised over tax cuts

During the recession, new taxes were introduced (e.g. USC) and spending was cut on public services. Some argue that the government should now cut taxes to put money back into people’s pockets. Others argue that the priority should be to increase public spending in areas such as housing and health.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Tax & spending is not a simple either/or. The key is good management of the economy to enable both. Maintaining a steady economy where we balance our books, invest in the future & deliver sustainable increases in living standards is the foundation upon which our social & economic model must be built"

Environment and transport

Increases to carbon tax should be opposed

Carbon tax is a tax on fossil fuels such as oil, petrol, diesel, and gas. Currently, Ireland has a carbon tax of €20 per tonne of CO2. The Climate Change Advisory Council recommends that this is gradually increased to €80 per tonne in order to reduce emissions and tackle climate change.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"The Climate Committee achieved broad cross-party support for setting a long-term price for carbon of €80 by 2030, to drive the transition towards lower carbon choices. Minister Bruton is leading the development of a Government Plan which will make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change."

The government should prioritise spending on public transport and cycle lanes over roads

Some argue that we need to reduce our dependence on cars, and invest in sustainable transport instead. Others argue that failing to invest in our road network will damage the economy. The current capital investment plan includes more spending on roads than on public transport and cycleways.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"This is not a simple either/or. Investment will differ in different places depending on the existing infrastructure, demographics and commuter patterns. ‘Project Ireland 2040’ will fund regional and local roads, while also placing public transport at the heart of government expenditure. "

Social issues

More should be done to provide accommodation for Travellers, even if there is local opposition

The Department of the Environment provides funding to local authorities for Traveller accommodation (e.g. halting sites and group housing schemes), but many local authorities have been reluctant to build these sites due to local opposition, and much of the money allocated for this remains unspent.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We will consider any recommendations made by the expert group on Traveller accommodation to improve the delivery of Traveller accommodation nationally and to ensure that full use is made of the increased level of funding available for investment in Traveller accommodation. "

There should be mandatory sentencing for violent crimes

A mandatory sentence is one which must be imposed regardless of the individual circumstances of the case. Currently, murder carries a mandatory life sentence in Ireland, and some drug trafficking and firearm offenses have mandatory sentences. For other crimes, judges have discretion on sentencing.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We support the provision of mandatory sentences for serious crimes such as murder. For most crimes, the Oireachtas sets out a sentencing range which allows a judge to take account of the circumstances of a case. However, we are introducing Sentencing Guidelines in the Judicial Council Bill, currently before the Oireachtas, to help achieve greater consistency in sentencing. Further, the DPP has the power to appeal a sentence on grounds of undue leniency."

The liberalisation of abortion in Ireland has gone too far

The legislation introduced after the 2018 referendum allows for terminations for any reason up to 12 weeks in a pregnancy. Terminations are only permitted after this date (and before the foetus becomes viable) if there is a serious risk to the health of the pregnant woman.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Following the repeal of the 8th amendment to the Constitution, we legislated for the provision of doctor led termination service providing care at home and ending those lonely journeys to access healthcare abroad. "

A lot more religious-run schools should become multi-denominational

96% of primary schools in Ireland are religious-run. There is an ongoing ‘divestment’ process, designed to change some schools with a religious patron (such as the Catholic Church) to become multi-denominational schools. Some schools and religious leaders oppose the plan.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Our school system must reflect and respond to a pluralistic society. We are committed to achieving the target of 400 multi-denominational and non-denominational schools by 2030; and continue to uphold the rights of parents to have their children educated in a denominational school."

International

Ireland should boycott Israeli goods produced in the occupied territories

The ‘Occupied Territories’ bill will make it an offence to import goods from an occupied territory. Supporters say this will show solidarity with Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. Critics say it discriminates unfairly against Israel, and threatens important economic links with the US.
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We are committed to a two-state solution as part of a lasting settlement in the Middle East. We are opposed to this bill because it requires the Government to do something which is not in our power; external trade. Also, this bill would isolate Ireland on the question of Palestine at EU level."