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Seanad: Order of Business (3 Feb 2016)

Ivana Bacik: On behalf of the Labour Party group I wish everyone well and thank the Cathaoirleach and Leas-Chathaoirleach and all the staff in the Seanad Office, especially Deirdre Lane, the Clerk of the Seanad, for all the work and help they have given us over the years, and I wish them the very best for the future. I thank the Leader, Senator Cummins, with whom it has been a pleasure to work. I thank...

Seanad: Order of Business (3 Feb 2016)

Ivana Bacik: Far from it.

Seanad: Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions and Certain Disclosures) Bill 2012: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (3 Feb 2016)

Ivana Bacik: I thank the Minister for reading that explanation in the House. It was important to do so because group 6, in particular, dealt with some substantive changes to the Bill that were debated in the Dáil. I know there was some concern, particularly from the Irish Penal Reform Trust, regarding the fact that only one conviction can be spent. However, I accept that as the Minister said,...

Seanad: Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions and Certain Disclosures) Bill 2012: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (3 Feb 2016)

Ivana Bacik: I welcome this Bill as an important piece of progressive penal reform. I compliment the Minister on all the work she has done and echo the comments made by Senators Conway and Wilson.She is an able and reforming Minister and she has always been so courteous and easy to deal with. I thank her for allowing so many Bills to start in the Seanad, which is important. She has steered through many...

Seanad: Business of Seanad (2 Feb 2016)

Ivana Bacik: We just need to know.

Seanad: Order of Business (2 Feb 2016)

Ivana Bacik: I welcome today's very good news that the unemployment rate has fallen again. There has been a remarkable month-on-month fall from 10.1% this time last year to the current rate of 8.6%. Some 5,125 new jobs were created in January alone. It is really impressive that, on average, more than 1,000 jobs are being created each week. I want to note this significant achievement. I am sure all my...

Seanad: Order of Business (2 Feb 2016)

Ivana Bacik: Hear, hear.

Seanad: Order of Business (28 Jan 2016)

Ivana Bacik: I am grateful to the Leader for clarifying that the Seanad will sit next Tuesday and Wednesday, no matter what happens elsewhere. I also welcome the fact that we will have statements on the Report of the Joint Committee of Inquiry into the Banking Crisis on Tuesday because that gives us the opportunity to read what is in the report. Having read preliminary reports of it and its key aspects,...

Seanad: Order of Business (27 Jan 2016)

Ivana Bacik: Like all of us, I am sure, I also look forward to the publication today of the report of the Joint Committee of Inquiry into the Banking Crisis. I know we will have an opportunity to debate it tomorrow. Many colleagues will be looking at the process of conducting the inquiry and recommendations that apparently will be in the report as to how the legislation could be improved to ensure the...

Seanad: Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy (27 Jan 2016)

Ivana Bacik: It gives me great pleasure, on behalf of the Labour Party, to offer tribute to the late former Senator, Brian Friel. I welcome those in the Gallery, particularly Brian Friel's family, friends and colleagues to whom I offer sincere sympathies. Others who knew Brian Friel have spoken eloquently but I will add a few words of my own. While he was a Senator here between 1987 and 1989, which is...

Seanad: Direct Provision: Motion (27 Jan 2016)

Ivana Bacik: I welcome Minister of State, Deputy Ó Ríordáin, to the House and welcome the opportunity to debate the issue of direct provision which, as other colleagues have noted, Members have debated a number of times previously. I commend Senators van Turnhout and Mac Conghail and their colleagues from the Taoiseach's nominee group on bringing forward this motion, which is being debated...

Seanad: Order of Business (26 Jan 2016)

Ivana Bacik: I thank the Leader for taking the all-party motion on medication for patients with cystic fibrosis, which is No. 19, motion 81, on today's Order Paper. I refer specifically to the provision of Orkambi for cystic fibrosis sufferers which is a hugely important and pressing issue for many people across Ireland. As I said last week, the matter is too important for it to be made a political...

Seanad: Order of Business (26 Jan 2016)

Ivana Bacik: -----and for a limited period to register in the physiotherapist register and that after this period only qualified physiotherapists will be permitted to register. This is a sensible decision. It has been communicated to the Physiotherapists Registration Board and other interested parties and the Department of Health is preparing the necessary legislation to give effect to the Minister's...

Seanad: Order of Business (21 Jan 2016)

Ivana Bacik: The Order of Business is No. 1, motion re the Twelfth Report of the Seanad Committee on Procedure and Privileges, to be taken on the conclusion of the Order of Business, without debate; No. 2, motion re Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 (Section 95(3)) (Variation of title: Optician) Regulations 2016, to be taken on the conclusion of No. 1, without debate; No. 3, motion re Planning...

Seanad: Order of Business (21 Jan 2016)

Ivana Bacik: I will respond first to Senator Daly and the other Senators who raised the issue of rural Ireland, the rural GP practice scheme in particular. The Government is committed to ensuring patients throughout the State continue to have access to GP services, especially in remote rural areas and also in certain urban areas. The rural GP practice is top of the agenda as part of the discussions on...

Seanad: Order of Business (21 Jan 2016)

Ivana Bacik: By people from all corners but especially in the south east. There has been massive momentum behind it but it is important that the terms of the Bill are right.I understand that Senator Craughwell, among others, sought information on the timing. I have looked for that and I am informed the Bill is due to complete its passage through the Dáil next week but I am not certain we will have...

Seanad: Order of Business (21 Jan 2016)

Ivana Bacik: We obtained legal advice on them. In any event, I am not sure anyone could disagree with their contents.

Seanad: Order of Business (21 Jan 2016)

Ivana Bacik: Howlin v. Morris. They are straightforward in simply giving effect to the constitutional imperative under Article 15.10, so I cannot accept the amendment. The Senator also referred to the axing of "Gloria", the RTE programme on Lyric FM. This matter was raised by our eminent colleague Professor David McConnell. I agree with him that it is a matter of concern. Perhaps we might look at...

Seanad: Order of Business (21 Jan 2016)

Ivana Bacik: We could. Senator Hayden welcomed the increase in the take-up in respect of the Insolvency Service of Ireland and I agree with her on that. Senator Mooney raised the matter of rural Ireland and I think I have dealt with that in full. He spoke about auction politics but that was political rhetoric, rather than something that requires a Leader's response.

Seanad: Order of Business (21 Jan 2016)

Ivana Bacik: In the interests of unity, I am going to agree with the Senators. I do not agree with auction politics and we are seeing it from all sorts of people at present.

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