Dáil debates

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Ceisteanna - Questions

Programme for Government

4:45 pm

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Cork South Central, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

We have put it in the programme for Government. A former Minister for Foreign Affairs from Fianna Fáil, the late Deputy Brian Lenihan senior, was the first Minister in Europe to recognise the right of Palestinians to a homeland. We are very committed to this. This is about strategy and how to do it best; that is what this is about. I would like Israeli Government policy to change and for there to be a two-state solution but we will work within a framework that can enable us to do that and we will continue to support Palestinians in their basic entitlements to housing, education and healthcare as we have done consistently over many years, and per capitaabove many others.

To respond to Deputy Boyd Barrett, many State-owned healthcare centres have had huge challenges with Covid-19, some worse than nursing homes in the private sector. Some of the significant clusters happened in some elderly care settings within the State system. I agree it is wrong to sell and close down those nursing homes but the State does not have the constitutional or legal framework to stop people making decisions of that kind. The Deputy knows that and yet he says we should go in and stop it. It is easier said than done.


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