Senator Keith Swanick

  • A Belmullet based Senator has called for emergency funding to be allocated to construct a new sea wall and breakers on the R313 Belmullet-Blacksod Road in the Muing area and back towards the town itself.

    The wall was badly damaged by sea water during Storm Callum yesterday and water flooded that road for a period of time yesterday.

    Fianna Fail Senator and local GP Keith Swanick complemented the staff of Mayo County Council who have been out since early this morning to clean up the road following the storm.

    He says emergency funding is needed to construct a new wall and breakers and has called on Minister Michael Ring to liaise with his ministerial colleagues to ensure that will happen.

    Senator Swanick told Midwest News today that something needs to be done in the area to ensure safety for all. 

    The Senator has confirmed to Midwest News this afternoon that he has spoken to Minister Kevin Boxer Moran about the issue and the Minister has promised to revert to him on it in the next week. 

  • A Belmullet Staff Hospital Action Committee has been formed following a meeting of staff from Belmullet District Hospital and Aras Deirbhle yesterday.

    That was confirmed by local Fianna Fail Senator Keith Swanick, who chaired the meeting.

    Senator Swanick, who is also a local GP, was asked by the staff to chair the meeting as he is the Medical Officer at the hospital.

    He says that the overall feeling from the meeting is that the staff wanted to be in control of any direction of any campaign.

    The committee was then formed, comprised of 4 nursing staff members and 4 support staff members, 4 from Belmullet District Hospital and 4 from Aras Deirbhle.

    Senator Swanick told Midwest News that the committee is due to meet this afternoon and will issue a statement following that meeting.

  • Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has acknowledged there is an issue with one of his senators missing three-quarters of Seanad voting days.

    However, Keith Swanick, a GP who runs a practice in Belmullet, Co Mayo, has defended his record after an RTÉ investigation showed he did not vote on 84 of the 114 voting days he fobbed into Leinster House between June 2016 and July 2019.

    Mr Swanick received close to €73,000 in travel expenses up to the end of 2018.

    The Irish Independent reports that Mr Martin told a pre-Christmas briefing he accepted there is an issue with Senator Swanick’s voting record.

    Mr Swanick defended his record, insisting he has been "one of the most prolific senators with regards to policy development".

    He cited the taskforce on loneliness he established, several private members' bills, his campaigning for the cessation of government investment in tobacco companies and representations for colleagues.

    Mr Martin said there was no correlation between fobbing and political behaviour.

    The Fianna Fail leader added that a Senator’s representation role, campaigning role and legislative role is far more comprehensive than whether somebody fobs in or not.

  • A 'Loneliness Taskforce' is looking for feedback to help older people living alone.  ALONE has collaborated with Mayo Senator Keith Swanick to form the taskforce.

    The taskforce wants to increase awareness about loneliness and social isolation in Ireland and produce a set of recommendations for Government.

    The deadline for submissions and suggestions is this Monday.

    There will be more on this story on the Tommy Marren Show on Monday morning just after 10am. 

  • An Erris-based Fianna Fáil senator has written to all the party’s councillors calling for Micheál Martin to stand down as party leader.

    Senator Keith Swanick told party colleagues that Fianna Fáil needs “fundamental, root and branch change” and can no longer be dictated by a “monocratic agenda”.

    The reports that the letter was sent prior to the publication of the latest opinion poll showing a dramatic surge for Sinn Féin as it opens up a 15-point lead on Fianna Fáil.

    It’s the first intervention from a member of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party calling for Martin to resign.

    In his letter, he said that the public don’t see Fianna Fáil “in its current guise” as representing the change called for in the election.

  • A Mayo Senator has called for the Life Saving Equipment Bill to be brought back before the Seanad, so that the final stage can pass the Seanad and then the Dail.

    Fianna Fail Senator Keith Swanick drew up the Bill last year and it proposes to introduce hefty fines and custodial sentences for people convicted of destroying life saving equipment, like defibrillators, life buoys, life rings etc.

    It has passed the second stage in the Seanad and earlier Senator Swanick asked the Leader of the Seanad Jerry Buttimer to reintroduce it so that it can be progressed.

    Senator Buttimer committed to bringing it back as a priority and Senator Swanick is hopeful it pass through the Seanad before the Summer recess.

    Senator Swanick told Midwest News this evening that this a vital piece of legislation.

  • A campaign to raise awareness of sepsis is being brought to the Seanad today.

    In Ireland, about 3,000 people per year die from the illness, yet many people do not know what sepsis is or how to recognise the symptoms.

    Following the death of Dublin teenager Séan Hughes last year from sepsis, his parents Karen and Joe have been trying to raise awareness of the illness.

    Mayo Fianna Fail Senator Keith Swanick is now calling for a nationwide awareness campaign to highlight the signs, symptoms and dangers of sepsis, and is raising the issue in the Seanad today.

    Senator Swanick, who also runs a GP practice in Erris, says people need to be more aware of this condition....

  • The timeframe from when home help hours are allocated to a client, and when they're implemented, should be no longer than one month.

    That's according to Mayo Fianna Fail Senator Keith Swanick, who raised the issue of home care supports in the Seanad yesterday with Junior Minister Finian McGrath.

    The latest HSE figures show that, while some 53,00 people are benefitting from home help, there are currently 7,300 people on the waiting list for the service.

    Senator Swanick, who's also a GP in Belmullet, also questioned the complaints procedure in place for those who are unhappy with the standard of care being provided, and claimed some clients are being told to "put up or shut up" or they may lose their home help hours.

  • A Mayo Senator and GP says it’s outrageous that the majority of student nurses graduating next month, in Mayo and Galway, are not being offered jobs at Mayo University Hospital or Galway University Hospital.

    This is despite a commitment by the Health Minister Simon Harris some months ago promising that all nurses graduating in Ireland this year, would be offered a position.

    Fianna Fail Senator, Belmullet-based GP, Dr Keith Swanick has called on Minister Harris to clarify the situation, in the midst of the biggest recruitment and retention crisis in the HSE.

    His comments come as the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation revealed (yesterday) that there are more than 1,300 nursing and midwifery posts vacant in Ireland's acute hospitals, because of a ban on recruitment.

    Senator Swanick told Midwest Radio News that it makes no sense for the HSE to employ agency staff rather than permanent nurses who have been trained in Ireland.

  • The Government is to launch a €3 million mental health fund, to provide grants to community organisations to help combat loneliness.

    The Minister of State for Mental Health Jim Daly has secured the funding, separate from the HSE's mental health budget, for community-based projects to help combat loneliness, which has been described as "an epidemic" by Erris-based GP and Senator Dr Keith Swanick.

    This was one of the recommendations of the taskforce on loneliness, chaired by Senator Swanick and Sean Moynihan of the Alone charity.

    Senator Swanick says community group will be able to submit applications for grants of between €5,000 and €100,000 for local projects based on mental wellbeing, and alleviating loneliness, and he's welcomed the allocation of €3 million, following on from the taskforce report....

  • The need to establish a Pain Clinic service at Mayo University Hospital was highlighted in the Seanad this week.

    Currently, thousands of people across Co Mayo who suffer from chronic pain have to travel to hospitals in Galway or Sligo, and Mayo Fianna Fail Senator Keith Swanick is campaigning for a Pain Clinic at the Mayo University Hospital in Castlebar.

    Senator Swanick, who's a GP in Erris, raised the matter this week with the Junior Health Minister Jim Daly, and says he has agreed to liaise with the HSE West in relation to the matter.

  • Mayo Fianna Fail Senator Keith Swanick will not be seeking re-election in the forthcoming Seanad elections.

    Dr Swanick, a native of Castlerea, Co Roscommon who runs a busy GP practice in Belmullet, says he has made the decision not to run, so he could spend more time with his family and focus on his medical practice.

    However, in an email to Oireachtas members, he says he's not ruling out a possible return to politics at a future date, when his children are older.

    The father-of-two is the Fianna Fail spokesman on Health in the Seanad.


  • There are calls for a Minister to be appointed to tackle the "epidemic" of loneliness.

    Mayo Fianna Fail Senator Keith Swanick - who was one of the authors of a report on the issue - wants the government to do more to tackle loneliness .

    The report was launched last Summer in association with the ALONE charity, and included 5 main recommendations which will be debated in the Seanad later today.

    It also calls for €3 million to be dedicated towards a public campaign encouraging those feeling lonely to seek support, and for more research in the area.

    Erris-based Dr. Swanick says a national conversation about the issue of loneliness needs to take place:

  • Concerns have been expressed following the vandalism of a life-saving defibrillator in the Ballina area.

    The glass case cover of the defibrillator outside Heffernan's Supermarket in Ardnaree was smashed over the past fortnight, but has since been repaired and replaced.

    This incident again highlights the need for tougher sanctions for those involved in damaging or stealing vital life-saving equipment, according to Mayo Fianna Fail Senator Keith Swanick.

    Senator Swanick has introduced a new Bill which would provide for tougher fines and even custodial sentences for those convicted of stealing life-bouys or damaging defibrillators and other life-saving equipment.

    The Erris-based Senator is calling for the remaining stages of the Lifesaving Equipment Bill to be bought through the Oireachtas as quickly as possible, saying such "acts of thuggery" need to be dealt with.