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Seanad: Order of Business (11 Apr 2017)

Ivana Bacik: I join others in expressing hope we will see resolution of the Bus Éireann strike in the talks at the Labour Court, which are due to take place this afternoon. We all regret the fact that talks broke down late last night at the Workplace Relations Commission. I ask the Leader for support in drafting an all-party motion condemning the appalling chemical weapons attack on civilians in...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence: Potential Impact of UK Withdrawal from the European Union: Discussion (6 Apr 2017)

Ivana Bacik: I thank all the witnesses for their interesting and eloquent presentations. It is true to say that the impact of Brexit on development aid and general policy has been overlooked. It is important that we consider this matter along with all the other areas that will be impacted by Brexit. The witnesses have clearly conveyed the message to link the impact of Brexit with the need for Ireland...

Seanad: Order of Business (4 Apr 2017)

Ivana Bacik: I concur with my colleague in expressing sympathy to the families of the victims of the appalling attack in Syria.There were dreadful reports from there and from St. Petersburg in Russia, where another attack took place. I wish to ask the Leader about his announcement that we will be taking the Knowledge Development Box (Certification of Inventions) Bill 2016 before the Companies (Accounting)...

Seanad: Commencement Matters: Prison Accommodation (30 Mar 2017)

Ivana Bacik: I welcome the Minister of State to the House. I thank him for coming in. I am sorry the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality is not able to be here to take this question.He might pass on the fact that I wished to commend her on the penal reform programme generally and, in particular, the announcement this week that the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Deputy Zappone,...

Seanad: Commencement Matters: Prison Accommodation (30 Mar 2017)

Ivana Bacik: I thank the Minister of State for those words. I am grateful to Mr. Donnellan, the head of the Irish Prison Service, for also communicating with me much of the information that the Minister of State just provided. I appreciate the progress being made in refurbishing Mountjoy Prison, in particular the ending of the appalling practice of slopping out. I am glad to hear the Minister of State...

Seanad: Commencement Matters: Prison Accommodation (30 Mar 2017)

Ivana Bacik: I thank the Minister of State.

Seanad: Order of Business (29 Mar 2017)

Ivana Bacik: Today is the day that British Prime Minister Theresa May triggers Article 50. She will address the House of Commons on the issue within the next hour. The Seanad's Brexit hearings are a welcome initiative, but we also need to consider raising the issue of Brexit in other debates in the House. Yesterday, we in Labour published our detailed Brexit policy, outlining 20 concrete actions that...

Seanad: Pensions (Equal Pension Treatment in Occupational Benefit Scheme) (Amendment) Bill 2016: Second Stage (22 Mar 2017)

Ivana Bacik: I move: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time." I am delighted to be here to propose this Bill. I welcome the Minister for Social Protection, Deputy Leo Varadkar, to the House. I have received an indication from the Government that it will not be opposing this Bill on Second Stage. I am very grateful for and delighted about that news. I acknowledge the presence in the Visitors Gallery...

Seanad: Pensions (Equal Pension Treatment in Occupational Benefit Scheme) (Amendment) Bill 2016: Second Stage (22 Mar 2017)

Ivana Bacik: Precisely. I thank Senator Norris for his comment and his support. David Parris does not seek recognition of his relationship prior to 2011 when it was possible to be legally recognised in civil partnership, he only seeks prospective recognition following his death, which hopefully will be many, many years away. It is not in any sense retrospective in his case, nor do we say is it...

Seanad: Pensions (Equal Pension Treatment in Occupational Benefit Scheme) (Amendment) Bill 2016: Second Stage (22 Mar 2017)

Ivana Bacik: There are a number of ways of doing it. When the Bill progresses further we may look at that. Even if there are more than a handful of couples, and I really do not think there will be, I do not believe that would be a reason to deny what is an important equality right.I see this Bill as a legacy Bill. It deals with a legacy of discrimination against gay couples and gay people. It is an...

Seanad: Pensions (Equal Pension Treatment in Occupational Benefit Scheme) (Amendment) Bill 2016: Second Stage (22 Mar 2017)

Ivana Bacik: I thank the many Senators who spoke to the Bill. I thank Senators Gerald Nash and Kevin Humphreys, who seconded the Bill, and Senators Ray Butler, Catherine Ardagh, Victor Boyhan, David Norris, Fintan Warfield, Lynn Ruane, Máire Devine and Alice-Mary Higgins for expressing their support for it in such strong terms. I think everyone acknowledged the bravery of David Parris and his...

Seanad: Pensions (Equal Pension Treatment in Occupational Benefit Scheme) (Amendment) Bill 2016: Second Stage (22 Mar 2017)

Ivana Bacik: Next Tuesday.

Seanad: Order of Business (21 Mar 2017)

Ivana Bacik: Listening to colleagues, I am conscious of what a sad day it is, with so many condolences being offered. On behalf of the Labour Party group, I would like to join with others in offering condolences to the family of Martin McGuinness and to his Sinn Féin colleagues here in the Chamber and elsewhere on their sad loss. As others have said, his legacy as a key negotiator and facilitator...

Seanad: Order of Business (21 Mar 2017)

Ivana Bacik: It is great to see that after 20 months of campaigning for justice. Many of us stood on the protest with the Clerys workers, who were treated so abominably by Natrium. I am glad to see a settlement has been reached to the satisfaction of the workers. I ask that we would have a debate in early course on the need for legislation to ensure this sort of thing does not happen again to workers...

Seanad: Order of Business (21 Mar 2017)

Ivana Bacik: I second that.

Seanad: Order of Business (21 Mar 2017)

Ivana Bacik: I thank the Leader.

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Certain Matters Relative to Disability Service in the South East and Related Matters): Motion (9 Mar 2017)

Ivana Bacik: I welcome the Minister of State and I also welcome the opportunity to debate the amended terms of reference of this important commission of investigation. Others, particularly Senator Kelleher, have eloquently outlined the appalling and horrifying litany of abuse and neglect suffered by Grace over 20 years in the foster home that is the subject of the investigation. I am glad that the order...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence: Implications of Brexit for Foreign Policy: Dr. Karen Devine, DCU (9 Mar 2017)

Ivana Bacik: Schengen.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence: Implications of Brexit for Foreign Policy: Dr. Karen Devine, DCU (9 Mar 2017)

Ivana Bacik: I thank Dr. Devine for her very stimulating presentation and giving us the opportunity to engage with her on this important question. There are many issues and a great many implications of Brexit for Irish foreign policy. As she said, she is really just touching on some of them in her paper. It is interesting that she emphasises the flaws in EU governance and the implications of EU...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence: Implications of Brexit for Foreign Policy: Dr. Karen Devine, DCU (9 Mar 2017)

Ivana Bacik: And the Workers' Party.

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