Wednesday, 7 March 2018
Sustainable Seaweed Harvesting: Motion [Private Members]
I am here to support our good neighbours from Bantry harbour - traditional people who have carried out great work over the years and whose livelihoods are now being endangered. Many of them make a part-time income and more of them are trying to make the most that they can out of the work that they are carrying on. The Minister of State has the power to revoke the licence that has been granted and we are asking him to do that on behalf of these people because when a traditional right is attacked, it is like attacking the right of people to cut turf.
It is bad manners for the Minister of State to talk to somebody else when he is dealing with an important matter in the House. If he does not have time to listen to us in the Dáil, how can the people who travelled up here today expect fair play when he is talking to the man alongside him while we are contributing to the debate? It is the height of bad manners. There will be time to talk later, but when the Minister of State is in the Chamber, he should pay these people the courtesy of listening to us contributing on their behalf. He did the same thing when Deputies Michael Collins and Danny Healy-Rae were talking. He did not hear one word that was said from this side because he was engaged in a deep conversation, which is the height of bad manners. I would never accuse anybody of having bad manners but I accuse the Minister of State of it now. It is very disrespectful to people who have travelled up here today to see him muttering under his breath to somebody else. It is bad manners and I would expect more of him.