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Seanad: Election of Cathaoirleach (25 May 2011)

David Cullinane: Tá mé an-sásta bheith anseo mar Sheanadóir. On behalf of Sinn Féin, I welcome the appointment of Senator Paddy Burke as Cathaoirleach. He has the full support of the full Sinn Féin team in the House. My party looks forward to working with him constructively in the months and years ahead. I commend Senator Maurice Cummins, who is to become Leader of the House if rumours are to be...

Seanad: Election of Cathaoirleach (25 May 2011)

David Cullinane: -----it must be subject to universal suffrage.

Seanad: Election of Cathaoirleach (25 May 2011)

David Cullinane: The people should not only have a vote but have one that is relevant such that the Chamber can act on behalf of citizens and, crucially, act as a check and balance against the Dáil. As a member of a Sinn Féin delegation I appeared before the Seanad in 2003. Senator Leyden, who is seated in front of me, has a document which was drawn up by the former Senator, Mary O'Rourke, who was the then...

Seanad: Order of Business. (1 Jun 2011)

David Cullinane: Like previous speakers, I commend the appointments which have been made. At our last meeting, I commended my colleague from Waterford, Senator Maurice Cummins, on his appointment and I take this opportunity to do so again. I welcome his proposals in regard to the extension of how long we sit. I agree with previous speakers that we should sit until 30 July and return earlier in September....

Seanad: Order of Business. (1 Jun 2011)

David Cullinane: It is relevant.

Seanad: Order of Business. (1 Jun 2011)

David Cullinane: There is a final issue. I support the call for the Minister for Health to come to this Chamber because there are very many issues that need to be discussed, including the fair deal scheme. There are issues affecting local and regional hospitals, people with diabetes and many others.

Seanad: Order of Business. (1 Jun 2011)

David Cullinane: On a point of order, I asked for a discussion on the annual report of the Ombudsman for Children.

Seanad: Election of Leas-Chathaoirleach (1 Jun 2011)

David Cullinane: I add Sinn Féin's full support for the appointment of Senator O'Donovan as Leas-Chathaoirleach. This is a great occasion for the Senator and his family, members of which are present in the Visitors' Gallery. I wish him the very best of luck in his endeavours.

Seanad: Smithwick Tribunal of Inquiry: Motion (1 Jun 2011)

David Cullinane: I welcome the Minister to the House. During the most recent phase of the conflict, more than 3,500 people died. Thankfully, the armed conflict has ended but the conflict resolution process continues. That process presents many challenges to all of us, especially those who were party to the conflict. Our political leaders, and all of us, must rise to the challenges the conflict resolution...

Seanad: Tourism Sector: Motion (1 Jun 2011)

David Cullinane: It is State money.

Seanad: Order of Business (2 Jun 2011)

David Cullinane: Yesterday, the Leader agreed to a discussion on the joint labour committee independent report and the Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation's proposals. The timeframe of 10 June for the Minister's engagement with the social partners is tight. He met some of them yesterday. Does the Leader intend to hold the debate and invite the Minister to the House before that date? I welcome...

Seanad: Order of Business (2 Jun 2011)

David Cullinane: We owe it to her and to children to listen. The invitation is important. A plethora of health issues were raised yesterday and the Leader stated that he would collate them and invite the Minister for Health to the House for several discussions. Diabetes services pose a serious concern. As part of the discussions with the Minister, will time be given to debate Diabetes Action's proposals on...

Seanad: Order of Business (2 Jun 2011)

David Cullinane: Will these matters, including the issue of forced emigration, form part of the debate? If we are to have a debate on the economy, we might rush into a broad, sweeping discussion, but unemployment is a national emergency, given the figures released today. The House needs a clear and specific debate on the issues of unemployment and returning people to work.

Seanad: Committee of Selection: Motion (2 Jun 2011)

David Cullinane: On a point of order, I ask that it be noted that no member of the Sinn Féin Party has been included in the appointment of the committee.

Seanad: Criminal Justice (Female Genital Mutilation) Bill 2011: Second Stage (Resumed) (2 Jun 2011)

David Cullinane: I welcome the Minister for Health to the House. He may be aware that in recent days a plethora of health issues have been discussed here and that there have been requests for him to attend the House. We will welcome the opportunity to discuss these matters with him in due course and hopefully he will be a frequent visitor to the Seanad. I commend Senator Bacik for her work on this Bill...

Seanad: Order of Business (7 Jun 2011)

David Cullinane: Like previous speakers, I acknowledge the formation, formally and finally, of the second Independent group and wish its members the best of luck in their endeavours. However, I again refer the Leader and the Cathaoirleach to comments I made on the recognition of Sinn Féin as a group in this Chamber. There is a great deal of discussion about reform of the Seanad and making it more...

Seanad: Order of Business (7 Jun 2011)

David Cullinane: I have asked about this on many occasions and we have not received the response we want. If the Leader would sit down with us to have a discussion about these issues, it would be worthwhile and helpful. If we are not represented on the Committee on Procedure and Privileges, our voices will not be heard. This is the only opportunity we have to raise the matter. I also refer to a commitment...

Seanad: Order of Business (7 Jun 2011)

David Cullinane: With respect, the report also found issues relating to the penal system and prisons which need to be examined in the debate also.

Seanad: Order of Business (7 Jun 2011)

David Cullinane: With respect, Standing Orders can be changed.

Seanad: Order of Business (7 Jun 2011)

David Cullinane: That is a trivial response. With respect, the Leader of the House is not taking the issue of reform seriously. There is an issue with our speaking rights in the Chamber.

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