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Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (17 May 2022)

Maria Byrne: I rise to raise two matters. First, I thank Senator Horkan for his honourable mention of the mid-west and his visit there yesterday with the transport committee. I had a meeting yesterday with Limerick Chamber of Commerce. The rate of unemployment in Limerick is better than it was prior to Covid. The latest report published indicates that the rate is running at just over 4%. It is very...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (17 May 2022)

Maria Byrne: The Cork vintners were there as well.

Seanad: Finance (Covid-19 and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2022: Committee and Remaining Stages (17 May 2022)

Maria Byrne: I thank the Minister for bringing forward the amendment. On Friday last, I was at president’s night in a rugby club and the president of the club brought up the fact that the club would have gone under only for the fact of these supports that were put in place, and he also spoke about the fact the Minister was going to bring forward this amendment on the 9% rate. It is an opportune...

Seanad: Finance (Covid-19 and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2022: Committee and Remaining Stages (17 May 2022)

Maria Byrne: Now.

Seanad: Finance (Covid-19 and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2022: Committee and Remaining Stages (17 May 2022)

Maria Byrne: Now.

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (12 May 2022)

Maria Byrne: I rise today, International Nurses Day, to pay tribute to nurses on the wonderful work they do, many of them in very tough circumstances. I often raise many of the issues that are going on at University Hospital Limerick and how the staff are working in horrific circumstances, but I pay tribute to them because they work every hour when they are at work, and they give it their all to make...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (11 May 2022)

Maria Byrne: I will raise the issue of the review that has been agreed to by the Minister for Education with regard to the use of schools for lifelong learning, other courses and so on. Schools predominantly finish by 5 p.m. The buildings then stand empty. There are buildings that have been the subject of investment from the Department and the Government over many years. I know the Minister, Deputy...

Seanad: Europe Day 2022: Statements (11 May 2022)

Maria Byrne: It is 50 years since Ireland gained European membership. I will refer to a couple of lines from two speeches. In this very Chamber on 14 July 1966, the late Dr. Garret FitzGerald, then a Senator, said: If the Government fail to pursue this aim as thoroughly and as efficiently as we think is desirable, we will be pressing them from behind ... It will do no harm to our position in Brussels...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Disabled Drivers and Passengers Scheme: Former Members of the Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal (11 May 2022)

Maria Byrne: I thank both doctors for their presentation. I apologise for being a little late. I was at another meeting so I missed some of the earlier presentations. Some of the questions I wished to ask have already been asked. The criteria are very strict. Both guests referred to them in their presentations. Let me give a small example. Only last week I raised with the Department of Finance in...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Disabled Drivers and Passengers Scheme: Former Members of the Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal (11 May 2022)

Maria Byrne: I agree with both delegates because some small grants would certainly help those in the circumstances in question. They would not necessarily need the primary certificate. If they were given a certain amount of money to adapt their cars so they could drive themselves, they would be quite happy. I hope the reviews and suggestions are taken on board in the review that is taking place. It is...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Primary Medical Certificates (5 May 2022)

Maria Byrne: Thank you very much, a Chathaoirligh, for selecting this all-important Commencement debate. I thank the Minister of State, Deputy English, very much for coming here today to represent the Minister for Finance. I have been working with a number of individuals who have applied for a primary medical certificate. This is a very important certificate for people, especially if they have an...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Primary Medical Certificates (5 May 2022)

Maria Byrne: I thank the Minister of State for his detailed response. I am delighted to hear that the assessment board, the adjudicating committee, will soon be in place. I understand that it is not the Minister's responsibility; it is the adjudication board's. The big problem was that no board was in place and it has taken so long. I understand that a process needs to be followed to fill these...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (4 May 2022)

Maria Byrne: I wish to raise the report published yesterday on women and ovarian cancer. The report found that many women are presenting very late in the day in terms of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Somewhere between 300 and 400 people are coming forward very late. It is quite frightening to read of such high numbers and the fact that the prognosis for these people is unclear.If people are...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (28 Apr 2022)

Maria Byrne: I raise two issues, both of which the Leader has heard me raise in the past. One is University Hospital Limerick. There were 111 people on trolleys there yesterday. This day last week, there were 125 people on trolleys. It is unbelievable. Nothing has happened and things are not improving. Huge money has been thrown at the hospital and things are now at a critical stage. Many of the...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Driver Licences (27 Apr 2022)

Maria Byrne: I thank the Minister of State for coming here to discuss this very important topic. I raise the cost of renewing driver licences for people with disabilities. When I renew my licence, as a person without a disability, it costs €55 for ten years. Those with a disability must renew their licence every three years at a cost of €35 each time. That means that over the ten-year...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Driver Licences (27 Apr 2022)

Maria Byrne: I know the Minister of State is here to read out what was given to him but I must say that is very disappointing. It is the cost of the licence and the cost involved in getting it. I understand the cost to the doctor is not covered by the Department of Transport but the fact that a person having to get three licences over the nine-year period is a matter covered by the Department of...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Driver Licences (27 Apr 2022)

Maria Byrne: I thank the Minister of State. I appreciate that.

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (27 Apr 2022)

Maria Byrne: I wish to pay tribute with two very inspirational young men. One is 12-year-old Pádraig O'Callaghan from Limerick and it is his birthday today. Recently he was appointed Limerick Person of the Year 2021. Every Monday he does a podcast and people should listen to this very inspirational young man because he motivates people. He talks about his disability but does not allow it to drag...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (26 Apr 2022)

Maria Byrne: Today, the National Transport Authority, NTA, launched a report on transport infrastructure in Limerick and Shannon. The report is going out to public consultation. The northern distributor road is a key road, linking Moyross to the University of Limerick and on to the main Dublin road. This road has been debated high up and low down for three years, but it has suddenly disappeared from...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (6 Apr 2022)

Maria Byrne: I will comment on this morning's sitting. I thank the Cathaoirleach and the Ceann Comhairle for organising it. It was a very respectful meeting. We heard the President referring to what is going on in his own country and paid our respects. I was in an emergency hub in Limerick where 22 people have arrived in recent days, and more are arriving today and tomorrow. The services that are...

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