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Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills: Eligibility Criteria of Student Universal Support Ireland: Discussion (12 Sep 2019)

Robbie Gallagher: I welcome Ms Fanning, Ms Fitzpatrick and Mr. Connolly and thank them for their presentation. I am conscious that all the guns seem to be pointed in Mr. Connolly's direction this morning and the two ladies are getting an easy ride. To be fair, it is important to acknowledge that for all its faults, a lot of families would not have experienced third level education without SUSI. As other...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills: Eligibility Criteria of Student Universal Support Ireland: Discussion (12 Sep 2019)

Robbie Gallagher: Does the review carried out by SUSI go to the Minister or the Department at the end of each year?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills: Eligibility Criteria of Student Universal Support Ireland: Discussion (12 Sep 2019)

Robbie Gallagher: Basically, all the eyes in the room are on the Minister and the Department given that all the queries we have raised will require the Minister to act so they can be addressed.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills: Eligibility Criteria of Student Universal Support Ireland: Discussion (12 Sep 2019)

Robbie Gallagher: I must compliment SUSI. It is doing an excellent job.

Seanad: Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (11 Jul 2019)

Robbie Gallagher: I welcome the Minister of State, as well as our guests in the Visitors Gallery. I echo the Minister of State's comments in welcoming the legislation. I am delighted that it is on its final journey. It is a very welcome development that the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, RCSI, now has a path towards becoming a university. I am delighted that Fianna Fáil has played its part in...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (10 Jul 2019)

Robbie Gallagher: Like other colleagues, yesterday I attended a briefing on the Mercosur deal organised by the Irish Farmers Association. Representatives from the association informed us how Irish farmers are terrified at the potential consequences for the future of farming here and, by extension, the future of rural Ireland. Today, the Beef Plan movement is holding a protest outside the gates of Leinster...

Seanad: Local Government Rates and Other Matters Bill 2018: Second Stage (9 Jul 2019)

Robbie Gallagher: I welcome the Minister of State and his officials to the House to discuss the important issue of rates. By and large, I support the principle of the Bill but I firmly believe it is tinkering at the edges of an issue that is long past its sell-by date. There must be a root and branch review of the rate collection system for commercial property. The world has changed and, as other Members...

Seanad: Defence Matters: Statements (9 Jul 2019)

Robbie Gallagher: I welcome the Minister of State and his officials to the House to discuss this very important issue. We have spoken many times about the great pride Irish people have in members of the Defence Forces and the great work they do on behalf of the nation both here at home and overseas, where they distinguish themselves with great honour. Regrettably, we have also spoken many times in the House...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: National Children's Hospital (3 Jul 2019)

Robbie Gallagher: The Minister of State is welcome to the Chamber this morning and I thank him for taking time out of his busy schedule to come here. There has rightly been much outrage at the savage and massive overruns with the children's hospital, the detrimental effect that is going to have on the health services in the future, and how taxpayers' money has been squandered by those who failed to do their...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: National Children's Hospital (3 Jul 2019)

Robbie Gallagher: I thank the Minister of State for his response and I look forward to the delivery of the primary care centre and other health projects on time and without delay in County Monaghan. Last year, the Minister, Deputy Harris, made a comment that he proposed building new hospitals to take on elective surgery to deal with the long waiting lists, despite the fact that small hospitals such as...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: National Children's Hospital (3 Jul 2019)

Robbie Gallagher: Those are wise words from the Cathaoirleach.

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (3 Jul 2019)

Robbie Gallagher: Earlier this morning, like other Members, I attended a briefing organised by the Alzheimer's Society of Ireland. It was a pre-budget submission about dementia support across the country and the headline, as far as the society was concerned, was that it is still asking, still waiting and still struggling. We often attend submissions and briefings organised by different groups but this was a...

Seanad: Criminal Justice (Public Order) (Amendment) Bill 2019: Second Stage (26 Jun 2019)

Robbie Gallagher: I move: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time." I welcome the Minister for Justice and Equality back to the Seanad for this debate. The purpose of the Criminal Justice (Public Order) (Amendment) Bill 2019 is to achieve one simple goal, namely, ensuring that sufficient measures are in place to protect our nurses, gardaí, firefighters, accident and emergency personnel, ambulance...

Seanad: Criminal Justice (Public Order) (Amendment) Bill 2019: Second Stage (26 Jun 2019)

Robbie Gallagher: I, too, extend a welcome to our guests in the Gallery. I hope they enjoy their evening in Leinster House. Getting back to the business at hand, I thank Senator Murnane O'Connor, who seconded the Bill, for her support. I thank all the Senators who contributed to the debate for the support they have shown in respect of the legislation. I acknowledge the Minister's comments, which were...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (25 Jun 2019)

Robbie Gallagher: As we know, life is a very precious thing. We know also that it can change dramatically in the blink of an eye. Last Sunday, I attended the Ulster football final in Clones between Donegal and Cavan.Approximately an hour before kick-off, supporters gathered outside the stadium. There was banter and a sense of giddy excitement in anticipation of the game ahead, but news then began to filter...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Services for People with Disabilities (19 Jun 2019)

Robbie Gallagher: I welcome the Minister of State back to the Chamber and thank him for taking time out of his schedule to be here. I want to talk about the Drumconrath healthcare facility in County Meath. Caridas House was part of the facility which was operated by the HSE. It was a residential care centre for people with disabilities. Its recent closure affords the HSE an opportunity to expand services...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Services for People with Disabilities (19 Jun 2019)

Robbie Gallagher: I too extend a warm welcome to our visitors and hope they have a very enjoyable day. I thank the Minister of State for his comprehensive response. We realise that things have moved on with the care facility; it has closed down and people accept that. The two most important lines come at the end of the statement and are about future plans. That is what I want to talk about this morning....

Seanad: Industrial Relations (Amendment) Bill 2018: Second Stage (19 Jun 2019)

Robbie Gallagher: When is it proposed to take Committee Stage?

Seanad: Adoption, Information and Tracing: Statements (19 Jun 2019)

Robbie Gallagher: I welcome the Minister to the House this afternoon to discuss the Adoption (Tracing and Information) Bill 2016. It is hugely important legislation on an emotional issue for those caught up in it. I am encouraged by the Minister's introductory remarks this afternoon. She has opened her door to everybody and to all views, which is to be welcomed. This issue has been hanging around for many...

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

Robbie Gallagher: I would like to be associated with the expressions of sympathy to the Cathaoirleach on the sad passing of his sister in the United States and to Senator Paul Coghlan on the sad loss of his mother. Unfortunately, the insurance crisis in this country is showing no sign of abating. Every day, insurance costs are putting substantial pressure on businesses the length and breath of this country....

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