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Seanad: Health and Criminal Justice (Covid-19) (Amendment) Bill 2021: Second Stage (24 May 2021)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: Cuirim fáilte roimh an Aire. Since we last had this debate, an extreme wave of Covid-19 in January caught people by surprise. Thanks to the sacrifices made by the public and the valiant efforts of our front-line healthcare workers, we have brought this virus under control. The vaccine roll-out is, after a rocky start, as people have said, under way. The cases, though not as low as we...

Seanad: Organisation of Working Time (Reproductive Health Related Leave) Bill 2021: Second Stage (24 May 2021)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: The purpose of the Bill is manifold. It is to ensure leave of 20 working days for those who have experienced a miscarriage and leave of ten working days for people in respect of assisted human reproduction such as IVF. It is also designed to create awareness and discussion about the impact of miscarriage in a compassionate and considerate way and to put a belated focus on miscarriage and...

Seanad Committee on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union: Citizens' Rights in Northern Ireland Post Brexit: Discussion (24 May 2021)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: My apologies to Mr. Holder for being delayed in arriving. He will see on the screen over the shoulder of Senator Wall that the Minister for Health is in the Seanad Chamber addressing emergency Covid legislation. That is where I was for the first part of the meeting. The main thing for me is getting the Committee on the Administration of Justice to take part in this meeting and into the...

Seanad Committee on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union: Citizens' Rights in Northern Ireland Post Brexit: Discussion (24 May 2021)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: May I come in quickly?

Seanad Committee on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union: Citizens' Rights in Northern Ireland Post Brexit: Discussion (24 May 2021)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: It is a quick point. I will be understanding to the guests. It will probably take a bit more time but I want to flag it as I believe it is important. I will touch on the status of the all-island charter of rights. Obviously, in many ways, it is an unfulfilled aspect of the Good Friday Agreement. How should we approach that issue in the context of two different sets of rights, inside and...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (18 May 2021)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: From one Seanad to another, I note and welcome the resolution passed in the US Senate last night reaffirming its unwavering support for the Good Friday Agreement and its full implementation.A similar motion was before the Seanad last week in which we reiterated and reaffirmed our collective support. We called for the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. Following the passing of...

Seanad: Criminal Procedure Bill 2021: Committee Stage (Resumed) and Remaining Stages (18 May 2021)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: Tuigim an méid atá ráite agat, a Leas-Chathaoirligh. I will take your advice in regard to the tightness of today's debate. Senator Ward has broadly outlined my read of this amendment. I spoke to it at an earlier stage regarding the experience of concerns in the North about some of these pre-trial hearings and, in some instances, how they could potentially be used to test...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement: Shared Island Unit: Department of the Taoiseach (Resumed) (18 May 2021)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: Ms O'Donoghue referred to the programme for Government commitments. Does the shared island unit see its role as specifically pertaining to the shared island aspects or the cross-cutting programme for Government commitments? I have raised the point previously, but one of the obvious issues for me is the need for dialogue and preparatory work around the issue of proposed voting rights for...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement: Shared Island Unit: Department of the Taoiseach (Resumed) (18 May 2021)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: I understand that Ms O'Donoghue will not be taking on the mechanics of running the referendum. I appreciate that is a different Department, but it is an important theme. One of the big issues with the shared island initiative is that it also has responsibility under Article 2 of the Constitution to ensure that everyone born on the island has the right to be part of the Irish nation. That...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (17 May 2021)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: I also welcome the amendment to today's Order of Business to include statements on the situation in Palestine. Like Senator McDowell, I want to refer to the weekend's cyberattack which was a very serious development. Systems are under attack all of the time but this was a successful attack, at least in terms of breaking through. It is possibly the most significant cyberattack on the Irish...

Seanad: Situation in Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel: Statements (17 May 2021)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: I thank the Minister for coming to the House for this important and necessary debate. I begin by expressing my sympathies and those of my party and our solidarity with all those who have lost their lives, particularly in the days and weeks of this latest series of incidents. None of us has the time to do justice to the context that is required in a debate such as this. In the limited time...

Seanad: Situation in Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel: Statements (17 May 2021)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: Hear, hear.

Seanad Committee on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union: Impact of Brexit on Irish and UK Businesses: British Irish Chamber of Commerce (17 May 2021)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: I thank the witnesses very much. I find myself increasingly engaging with Senator McDowell and it is always a cause of deep concern for me when I do that, but I must take issue with one point he made, which was lumping in my party with the DUP and the Tories on Brexit. He must not have heard my colleague, Conor Murphy, the Minister of Finance in the North, talk about maximising the outcomes...

Joint Committee on the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Irish Speaking Community: Tuarascáil Oifig an Choimisinéara Teanga: An Garda Síochána (12 May 2021)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: Agus Béal Feirste.

Joint Committee on the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Irish Speaking Community: Tuarascáil Oifig an Choimisinéara Teanga: An Garda Síochána (12 May 2021)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: Ar dtús báire, gabhaim mo leithscéal leis an gCoimisinéir agus leis an gCathaoirleach. Bhí orm seasamh amach ón gcruinniú ar feadh tamaill ansin. Má tá an cheist seo curtha ag comhghleacaí eile, is féidir leis an gCathaoirleach mise a stiúradh chuig an taifead. Ní miste liom amharc siar air sin. Cuirim fáilte roimh an...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Passport Services (11 May 2021)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: Cuirim fáilte roimh an Aire Stáit arís. Bhí sé linn aréir don phlé ar an tairiscint Comhaltaí Príobháideacha. Tá sé go maith go bhfuil sé linn arís. I will preface my remarks by stressing the obvious. I understand we are in exceptional times with regard to international travel. While we are all positive about and...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Passport Services (11 May 2021)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: I thank the Minister of State for the update on the safe return of the passport service. I wish staff well and every success in getting back to work safely and clearing the backlog. He referenced the three offices. There are three offices in specific locations on this island, but there is a large geographical deficit and infrastructural void in terms of this important and much utilised...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement: Future of Ireland: Discussion (11 May 2021)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: Could I make a very brief comment? A bit like my other two Belfast colleagues I have to go to the same event. I extend the welcome to Reverend Karen and to Mr. Lunn and thank them for their contributions. I apologise for missing some of it as I was in the Chamber. I caught the tail end of Mr. Lunn's contribution. He will appreciate what it is like getting tied up in the Chamber and...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (10 May 2021)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: Gabhaim céad míle buíochas leis an gCathaoirleach agus leis an gCeannaire fosta. It was a big weekend for Antrim Gaels and not just because the team beat Clare in the hurling. I say that for the benefit of Senator Conway. Nevertheless it was a big weekend because Saturday's edition of theIrish Newspublished an open letter to An Taoiseach and the Irish Government from 3,000...

Seanad: Good Friday Agreement: Motion (10 May 2021)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: I move amendment No. 2: To delete the first paragraph after “That Seanad Éireann:” and substitute the following: “- reaffirms its commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and subsequent agreements, including the legacy mechanisms of the Stormont House Agreement and requests the full implementation of all aspects of these international agreements;"

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