Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Dara Calleary has raised the concerns of businesses across his constituency who are crippled with rising insurance premiums.

A Fianna Fáil private members’ motion to be debated in the Dáil today will put the spotlight on the developing crisis facing businesses, sporting clubs and community organisations across County Mayo as a result of the cost of employer and public liability insurance.

Deputy Calleary commented, “Businesses in Mayo with a significant public footfall such as play centres, pubs and nightclubs, hotels and leisure centres, are facing an insurance crisis, and there seems to be little practical action by government to do anything about it.

“I have repeatedly raised the plight of business owners and community organisations in my constituency who have struggled to meet the rising insurance costs. Unless something is not done soon we will see wide ranging closures of local businesses. 

“It is now nine months since the completion of the final report of the Personal Injuries Commission (PIC). The PIC confirmed that the level of damages for soft-tissue (whiplash) injuries in Ireland runs at a multiple of 4.4 times to that of our nearest neighbours England and Wales. There has been no movement on its central recommendation – the establishment of a Judicial Council which would compile guidelines for appropriate general damages for various types of personal injury.

“Similarly, we are over two years on from the recommendation to establish a dedicated insurance fraud unit within An Garda Síochána and again there has been no movement on this. Fraudulent and exaggerated claims are a significant problem in my view and this problem needs to be tackled.

“There appears to be no political will from government to take substantial action on reducing insurance costs across the board. The government needs to understand that failure to tackle the insurance crisis facing certain sectors is costing jobs in the west.  

“Fianna Fáil has offered full parliamentary support to the government to tackle high insurance costs. It is almost a month to the day when I stood in the Dáil and raised the crisis happening in our constituency, highlighting the 75 festivals, marts and small businesses throughout the country which have gone to the wall. It is well past time the government started to deliver in a meaningful way,” concluded Deputy Calleary.