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Seanad: An Bille um Bearta Éigeandála ar mhaithe le Leas an Phobail (Covid-19) 2020: An Dara Céim - Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020: Second Stage (27 Mar 2020)

Michelle Mulherin: As we deal today with another suite of emergency measures in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, I want to address some specific items. My colleagues will deal with other items in the Bill later on. On the planning legislation, the proposal to give the Minister the power to extend statutory deadlines or to pause deadlines is, obviously, common sense. There are many reasons for this but...

Seanad: An Bille um Bearta Éigeandála ar mhaithe le Leas an Phobail (Covid-19) 2020: Céim an Choiste agus na Céimeanna a bheidh Fágtha - Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (27 Mar 2020)

Michelle Mulherin: I will be brief. I wish to speak about rents, planning and housing. I welcome the Minister for Finance, Deputy Donohoe.

Seanad: An Bille um Bearta Éigeandála ar mhaithe le Leas an Phobail (Covid-19) 2020: Céim an Choiste agus na Céimeanna a bheidh Fágtha - Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (27 Mar 2020)

Michelle Mulherin: Yes, I believe so. I will just continue and you can advise me, Acting Chairman. It is brief.

Seanad: An Bille um Bearta Éigeandála ar mhaithe le Leas an Phobail (Covid-19) 2020: Céim an Choiste agus na Céimeanna a bheidh Fágtha - Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (27 Mar 2020)

Michelle Mulherin: I want to ask the Minister about Government commitments on the capital and revenue side and contributions being made to the not-for-profit voluntary housing sector. Will they continue during this crisis because they obviously play an important and growing role in the provision of social and affordable housing to citizens? As much as we can, we must try to continue to address this issue. I...

Seanad: An Bille um Bearta Éigeandála ar mhaithe le Leas an Phobail (Covid-19) 2020: Céim an Choiste agus na Céimeanna a bheidh Fágtha - Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (27 Mar 2020)

Michelle Mulherin: I will not be-----

Seanad: An Bille um Bearta Éigeandála ar mhaithe le Leas an Phobail (Covid-19) 2020: Céim an Choiste agus na Céimeanna a bheidh Fágtha - Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (27 Mar 2020)

Michelle Mulherin: No.

Seanad: An Bille um Bearta Éigeandála ar mhaithe le Leas an Phobail (Covid-19) 2020: Céim an Choiste agus na Céimeanna a bheidh Fágtha - Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (27 Mar 2020)

Michelle Mulherin: Will the Minister give some assurance with regard to the concerns about the operation of the wage subsidy scheme expressed by Ms Michele O'Boyle, president of the Law Society, on behalf of practising solicitors, by Richard Grogan, an eminent employment law specialist, and by insolvency lawyers? I apologise if he has already done so. I hope he will tell me if he has. These concerns centre...

Seanad: An Bille Sláinte (Caomhnú agus Cosaint agus Bearta Éigeandála eile ar mhaithe le Leas an Phobail), 2020: An Dara Céim - Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Bill 2020: Second Stage (20 Mar 2020)

Michelle Mulherin: I join the welcome given to the Minister as the Seanad plays its part in introducing this important and necessary legislation at a time of emergency in our country and throughout the world. Often in our lives things happen where we realise our limitations or things happen that are outside of our control. Never in our own lifetimes, however, have we as a people faced something showing us our...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (18 Dec 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: I want to join the wide condemnation of insurance companies and to call out their carry-on. Everybody is supposed to be sitting at the table, including the Minister and all the stakeholders, to try to find a resolution to the crisis in the insurance industry, which is crippling motorists, businesses and crèches, and taking money out of people's pockets with the premia they have to pay....

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Forestry Sector (17 Dec 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: Yes, if the Leas-Chathaoirleach is disposed to allow me.

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Forestry Sector (17 Dec 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: I welcome the Minister of State and thank him for coming in to take this issue. As he knows, we have great plans for afforestation, planting more trees, as part of our battle to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Without a doubt, forestry plays a very important part in carbon sequestration but all the evidence points to the fact that our system for licensing or planning forestry is not fit...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Forestry Sector (17 Dec 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: -----blockages in Kevin Street. Senators, and not just Senator Burke, cannot get into Leinster House at the moment.

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Forestry Sector (17 Dec 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: The people involved in the forestry industry have raised the issue of the AA. They are concerned that the protocols and rules being designed for the new AA would be fit for purpose and compatible with appropriate and efficient regulation of the sector. There is the objective that it is done in an environmentally appropriate way but also that it complies with regulations. I am sad to see...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Forestry Sector (17 Dec 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: I thank the Minister of State.

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Road Projects (12 Dec 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: The Minister of State is very welcome to the Chamber. I ask that funding be provided for the construction of a new bridge at Cloongullane, just outside Swinford on the N26, and that work commence on the planning of an orbital route for Ballina, County Mayo. If one looks at north and east County Mayo, one will see there is a serious road infrastructure deficit in the area, and there is a...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Road Projects (12 Dec 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: I thank the Minister of State and welcome the investment in the major scheme, which is the N5 Westport to Turlough route outside Castlebar. The reality is that it means nothing to north and east Mayo, although it is welcome. I am asking for modest investment. The Minister of State will agree that the N26 is both a vital artery and the orbital route around Ballina. If it is not done, there...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (12 Dec 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: I will cut to the chase on the issue of the price beef farmers are receiving at the meat processing factories. We all know it is below the cost of production. I would like to make a Christmas appeal. I would like to make that appeal to Larry Goodman today, that Larry Goodman would pay to farmers a fair price for their animals when they present at his factories. The meat industry is...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (12 Dec 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: Herod wanted to kill him.

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (12 Dec 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: We need broadband in Roscommon.

Seanad: Housing (Regulation of Approved Housing Bodies) Bill 2019: Second Stage (10 Dec 2019)

Michelle Mulherin: Last weekend, I paid a very interesting visit to a construction site in Islandeady outside Castlebar in County Mayo where New Era Homes Limited is building a passive house. It is a very impressive, concrete building. While the house will be A-rated, it will cost no more per square metre than a regular house built with concrete. The annual energy bills for the property will amount to about...

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