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Topical Issue Debate: Telecommunications Services Provision (17 Jul 2014)

Catherine Byrne: I thank the Minister for his comprehensive reply and wish him well in his new role. It is great that, as he has said, landlines are cheaper in more restricted rural areas. Unfortunately, it is not possible for many of the elderly people I deal with, who are based in Dublin, to use a mobile telephone, never mind having one. Unfortunately, mobile telephones do not allow for the pendants used...

Topical Issue Debate: Telecommunications Services Provision (17 Jul 2014)

Catherine Byrne: I thank the Ceann Comhairle for the opportunity to bring up this important issue this afternoon. I am very concerned at the high cost of the standing charges on Eircom bills, and bills from other service providers, being charged to senior citizens. This needs to be addressed urgently by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. A significant number of people,...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children: Update on Children and Youth Issues: Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (17 Jul 2014)

Catherine Byrne: I congratulate the Minister on his new appointment. I hope the approach he will take will have the same energy and wisdom which he brought to his last portfolio. As a doctor and a father, he knows too well the difficulties children face and the urgent need to address these. I welcome the establishment of the commission of investigation into mother and baby homes, as well as the...

Court of Appeal Bill 2014: Committee and Remaining Stages (15 Jul 2014)

Catherine Byrne: Amendment No. 6 is in the name of Deputy Mattie McGrath who is not here. Amendments Nos. 6 and 7 are related.

Court of Appeal Bill 2014: Committee and Remaining Stages (15 Jul 2014)

Catherine Byrne: Amendments No. 3, 7a, 8 and 16awill be discussed together.

Court of Appeal Bill 2014: Committee and Remaining Stages (15 Jul 2014)

Catherine Byrne: Amendments Nos. 4 and 5 are related and will be discussed together.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children: Quarterly Update on Health Issues: Minister for Health (10 Jul 2014)

Catherine Byrne: Both the Minister, Deputy Reilly, and the Minister of State, Deputy White, brought a breath of fresh air to the entire health system, particularly to the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive. I hope both of them remain under the remit of that Department and that we can continue the work already started. On the death of Emma Sloan, and I am not a medical expert, I did not...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children: Quarterly Update on Health Issues: Minister for Health (10 Jul 2014)

Catherine Byrne: Not at all. I am not finished.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children: Quarterly Update on Health Issues: Minister for Health (10 Jul 2014)

Catherine Byrne: It is from the HSE, it states that on the back. I will give it to the Minister and he can read it.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children: Quarterly Update on Health Issues: Minister for Health (10 Jul 2014)

Catherine Byrne: Professor Clancy, who is a leading expert on bronchial conditions, came before this committee and I asked him if it was better for a pregnant woman to have a nicotine patch than smoke, and he replied that he was 100% in favour of giving a pregnant woman a patch rather than have her smoke. My second question is on IVF treatment. There is a great deal going on here this morning so I will be...

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: Schools Building Projects Status (10 Jul 2014)

Catherine Byrne: 75. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide an update on the new multidenominational school building at Griffith Barracks, South Circular Road, Dublin 8; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30501/14]

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: Schools Establishment (10 Jul 2014)

Catherine Byrne: 76. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his plans for a new Educate Together secondary school, serving the Dublin 8 area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30503/14]

Free Travel Pass: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members] (9 Jul 2014)

Catherine Byrne: I am disappointed that Age Action Ireland was involved in this motion being brought before the House. The scheme under discussion has made it possible for many people throughout the country to travel as they please - both North and South - and it has helped in many ways to keep open a large number of hotels and other businesses. I am disgusted by what I believe to be a cheap shot on the...

Free Travel Pass: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members] (9 Jul 2014)

Catherine Byrne: More than 800,000 people avail of the scheme. When one includes companions, the number rises to 1.2 million. It is very important that the major public transport providers - Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Irish Rail and Veolia, which operates the Luas - all allow people to use their free travel passes. Many people travel across the Border at weekends, even just for the day, which is also...

Free Travel Pass: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members] (9 Jul 2014)

Catherine Byrne: When I was Lord Mayor of Dublin, I stood at the side of Mr. Haughey's grave with two elderly people, one of whom commented on how great a man he was because the introduced the free travel scheme. I was reminded earlier today of the responses of the other individual but it is not possible for me to repeat them in the Chamber.

Free Travel Pass: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members] (9 Jul 2014)

Catherine Byrne: The free travel scheme allows elderly people and those with disabilities to be independent, which is very important. If Fianna Fáil had, when it was in government, taken the time to review some of the many policies it had in place, then perhaps we would not be in the mess in which we find ourselves. I am of the opinion that everything should be reviewed. That reviews have not been...

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