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Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement: Business of Joint Committee
The Proposal Initiative: Discussion
(14 Apr 2021)

Frances Black: It it refreshing to hear Mr. McCann, Mr. Quinn and Ms Diver. I had some points I wanted to highlight. It is very important to engage with civil society. It would be a great idea for the witnesses to engage with an organisation called Ireland's Future which advocates for and promotes discussion which includes the viability of a new constitutional arrangement on the island. It is guided by...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement: Business of Joint Committee
The Proposal Initiative: Discussion
(14 Apr 2021)

Frances Black: Yes. I thank Mr. McCann very much. I appreciate that.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Update on the Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic: National Public Health Emergency Team (13 Apr 2021)

Frances Black: First, I thank Dr. Glynn and his team for the phenomenal work they are doing. I appreciate it. I never thought that in my lifetime, and I am a long time on this earth, I would see a pandemic such as this. This is all new for everybody. I believe NPHET is doing a great job and I thank it for that. I do not have a great deal to say. The concerns I have are about the long-term impact on...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Update on the Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic: National Public Health Emergency Team (13 Apr 2021)

Frances Black: I have one last question. It may irrelevant; I am not sure. The North is ahead of us with the roll-out of vaccinations; I think it is now on people who are in their 40s. Do the NPHET members have any concerns about the North opening up before the South? Will people be travelling up to the North and maybe going to a few pubs? What do the members think? Is it something they are concerned...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Update on the Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic: National Public Health Emergency Team (13 Apr 2021)

Frances Black: That is fantastic. I thank Dr. Glynn.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement: Working Group on Unification Referendums: Discussion (30 Mar 2021)

Frances Black: I thank all our witnesses for all the work they are doing. This meeting is very welcome. There is no doubt that we can all agree we have had in recent weeks very stimulating, productive and measured conversations about Irish unity. It is very important to build on this momentum. I agree with Mr. Eastwood big time. My concern has always been the criteria. Planning and preparing is...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement: Working Group on Unification Referendums: Discussion (30 Mar 2021)

Frances Black: I have a comment more than a question. I hear and understand the concerns about the lack of unionist voices, especially in this committee. I understand, politically, why that is, but I am also very aware that I have spoken to many unionists, particularly from civic society, who want to have this conversation. Mr. Ian Marshall was a Member of the last Seanad and is a wonderful spokesperson...

Seanad: Living with Covid-19: Statements (29 Mar 2021)

Frances Black: I welcome the Minister to the House. I start by sending my condolences to all those who have lost loved ones in this awful pandemic. I also commend all the front-line workers who are doing an absolutely incredible job. It is an extremely challenging time for everyone at the moment, and no doubt about it. We are all doing our best, but I think that the Minister might agree with me on the...

Seanad: Matters Arising from the Withdrawal of the UK from the EU: Statements (29 Mar 2021)

Frances Black: I also welcome the Minister to the Chamber. We appreciate that he has made himself available. I also want to express my gratitude for the phenomenal work he has done on Brexit on behalf of the people of Ireland. It has been brilliant and we appreciate it. There has been much discussion about the impact on our country of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. Most of the discussion has...

Seanad: Quality in Public Procurement (Contract Preparation and Award Criteria) Bill 2021: Second Stage (26 Mar 2021)

Frances Black: I move amendment No. 1 to amendment No. 1: To delete "12 months" and substitute "6 months". I welcome the Minister of State to the House. I am in wholehearted support of this quality in public procurement Bill and I begin by commending my colleague, Senator Alice-Mary Higgins, on her hard work and ongoing commitment to tackling the numerous flaws in the public procurement and expenditure...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement: The EU and Irish Unity - Planning and Preparing for Constitutional Change: Discussion (Resumed) (23 Mar 2021)

Frances Black: I thank the Chairman for the opportunity to speak again to our two esteemed witnesses. This is an important report. It is important to highlight that it is an academic research tool to assist the discussion on the importance of planning and preparing for constitutional change. There is no doubt that many people have said we need to do more work on this. That is important to say. I believe...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (5 Mar 2021)

Frances Black: This is not the first time that I have raised the following issue in the House, and I feel that I must do so again today. I refer to the struggle being experienced by musicians, artists and anyone who works in the entertainment industry during Covid, which seems to be getting worse. It is still a very pressing and important issue that needs to be discussed. In my ongoing communication and...

Seanad: Local Government (Use of CCTV in Prosecution of Offences) Bill 2021: Second Stage (5 Mar 2021)

Frances Black: I thank the Labour Party Senators Mark Wall, Maria Sherlock, Rebecca Moynihan, Annie Hoey and Ivana Bacik for putting forward this legislation, which is designed to create a safer environment for the common good of everyone. However, it is important to highlight the obvious concern that a balance between privacy and the common good must be struck. I am pleased that the Labour Party's press...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement: The Irish Language and the New Decade New Approach Agreement: Conradh na Gaeilge (2 Mar 2021)

Frances Black: Tá brón orm mar nach bhfuil mórán Ghaeilge agam. Tá náire orm. Again, tá an-bhrón orm. I thank all the witnesses for their presentations. They were fascinating to me and very refreshing. It was wonderful to hear Irish spoken this morning. It was music to my ears. My story is that my father came from Rathlin Island, and his grandfather was a...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Covid-19 Health Related Issues: Update (2 Mar 2021)

Frances Black: I thank the Minister and his colleagues for attending today. My question focuses on mental health in respect of the HSE national service plan, so it may be for the Minister for State, Deputy Butler. It pertains to transparency and accountability. I must say that I am very pleased to see the attention to detail and focus on the Sharing the Vision report. The report is groundbreaking and...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Covid-19 Health Related Issues: Update (2 Mar 2021)

Frances Black: I want to ask one more question of the Minister, if there is time.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health: Covid-19 Health Related Issues: Update (2 Mar 2021)

Frances Black: I would appreciate it if I could get a written answer to the question. It concerns Johnson & Johnson one-dose Covid vaccine. I know that the European Commission has stated that deliveries of this vaccine are expected to begin in early April 2021. Can the Minister provide us with an update on this one-shot vaccine? It does sound like an answer to our prayers, in one way. What is...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: International Programmes (26 Feb 2021)

Frances Black: I thank the Minister of State for taking time to discuss the Palestinian vaccination programme. I am aware Ireland has contributed and plans to spend €50 million in support of global public health, which includes COVAX. Our money is being used to fund this initiative. We have a responsibility to ensure equitable access to Covid vaccines. Ireland should be actively addressing...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: International Programmes (26 Feb 2021)

Frances Black: I thank the Minister of State for his response. It is imperative to remember at this time that despite the Palestinian Authority and Hamas supposedly being the official governments of the West Bank and Gaza, there is no doubt that Israel is really in charge. Israel controls the borders, currency, central bank and even collects taxes on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, PA. It maintains...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (26 Feb 2021)

Frances Black: I am delighted to see Senator Norris in the Chamber and back to full health. I also welcome the White Paper on ending direct provision. I visited some direct provision centres in my role as member of the justice and equality committee in the last Oireachtas. What I saw was horrendous and shocking. I have no doubt the residents are celebrating today. Hopefully, it will happen for them...

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