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Seanad: Order of Business (30 Nov 2016)

Ivana Bacik: I renew my call for a debate on Syria and the appalling bombardment of civilians in Aleppo. We are seeing really horrific scenes from Aleppo this week. Indeed, the French foreign Minister has described what we are seeing as potentially the biggest massacre of civilians since World War II. I know the UN Security Council is convening an emergency meeting. I had the privilege yesterday of...

Seanad: Presidential Voting Rights: Motion (30 Nov 2016)

Ivana Bacik: I welcome the Minister and commend our Sinn Féin colleagues on tabling the motion which I am happy to support on behalf of the Labour Party. We will oppose the Government amendment. I have three personal reasons before coming to the broader reasons for why I think the House should support the motion. I was a member of the diaspora briefly myself. Like Senator Kelleher, I lived in...

Seanad: Criminal Justice (Suspended Sentences of Imprisonment) Bill 2016: Committee and Remaining Stages (30 Nov 2016)

Ivana Bacik: I welcome the Minister of State to the House. I also welcome the passage of the Bill, which received widespread welcome on Second Stage. No one has tabled an amendment to it. We all recognised the importance of its passage in order to ensure the effective implementation of suspended sentences.

Seanad: Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign: Motion (30 Nov 2016)

Ivana Bacik: I commend Senator Norris for taking the initiative to propose the motion. It has been my pleasure to co-sign his motion as leader of the Labour Party group. I strongly support the motion. It is good to see cross-party support for the principle behind the motion that is to condemn Bank of Ireland for its arbitrary and undemocratic decision to close the accounts of the Ireland Palestine...

Seanad: Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign: Motion (30 Nov 2016)

Ivana Bacik: It is unfortunate that we see an amendment. I do not see its purpose and would like to support the motion, which we have co-signed with Senator Norris. It is good to see so much support for it and for the principle it embodies. I do not see the amendment as adding anything.

Seanad: Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign: Motion (30 Nov 2016)

Ivana Bacik: Yes, it diminishes it.

Seanad: Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign: Motion (30 Nov 2016)

Ivana Bacik: I do not see the need to put the amendment given that, in principle, we are all in agreement on the point.

Seanad: Commencement Matters: Vaccination Programme (22 Nov 2016)

Ivana Bacik: I welcome the Minister of State to the House and thank her for dealing with this matter on the Commencement. Like the previous matter, it concerns the treatment of cancer. I ask the Minister for Health, in light of the concerns expressed by the Irish Cancer Society and others, about falling rates of take-up of the human papilloma virus, HPV, by parents of teenage girls. This is the vaccine...

Seanad: Commencement Matters: Vaccination Programme (22 Nov 2016)

Ivana Bacik: I thank the Minister of State for her very full reply. I know that, like the Minister, Deputy Harris, she has been very strongly supportive of the Irish Cancer Society and appreciative of the need to ensure there is increased take-up of the vaccination programme. While I join the Minister of State in expressing sympathy to the girls who have experienced chronic fatigue syndrome, and indeed...

Seanad: Order of Business (22 Nov 2016)

Ivana Bacik: I join other Members in expressing condolences on the death of William Trevor, a beautiful writer of wonderful short stories that were really evocative of rural Ireland. His death is a very sad occasion. Will the Leader arrange for a debate on the separation of powers and the independence of the Judiciary in light of what appears to be an ongoing feud between the Minister for Transport,...

Seanad: Order of Business (22 Nov 2016)

Ivana Bacik: One might be tempted to compare him to President-elect Trump.

Seanad: Order of Business (22 Nov 2016)

Ivana Bacik: I thank the Senator. Both appear to be tweeting to deflect criticism on their lack of achievement in office or in Trump's case, concerns about what he will achieve when in office. It is inappropriate and unseemly. It adds to a concern one might have after comments by another Deputy in the Dáil concerning a judge who sat in judgment in her case.

Seanad: Order of Business (22 Nov 2016)

Ivana Bacik: We must be careful about that. There is the important principle of the independence of the Judiciary. That said, all of us share a concern about the need for reform of the judicial appointments system. However, reform of the system is very different from abolition or stalemate of any judicial appointments pending the slow progress a Bill makes in either House. There is a concern that...

Seanad: Order of Business (22 Nov 2016)

Ivana Bacik: He is not the Head of State; he is the Head of Government.

Seanad: Protection of Employment (Uncertain Hours) Bill 2016: Second Stage (16 Nov 2016)

Ivana Bacik: I welcome the Minister of State and his officials to the House. I also welcome this opportunity to discuss this important Bill on Second Stage and commend my colleague, Senator Ged Nash, on proposing it. It gives me great pleasure to second the Bill on behalf of the group of Labour Party Senators. I welcome the representatives of the Mandate trade union in the Gallery. In a previous life...

Seanad: Protection of Employment (Uncertain Hours) Bill 2016: Second Stage (16 Nov 2016)

Ivana Bacik: Hear, hear.

Seanad: Protection of Employment (Uncertain Hours) Bill 2016: Second Stage (16 Nov 2016)

Ivana Bacik: Next Tuesday.

Seanad: Order of Business (15 Nov 2016)

Ivana Bacik: I support Senator Black's call for a debate on the recognition of Traveller ethnicity. The previous justice committee, on which the Cathaoirleach sat with me, Senator Mac Lochlainn and others, recommended unanimously that Traveller ethnicity be recognised. It is important and timely to have the debate.I welcome Harriett Bruce and former Labour Party councillor Johnny Walsh, who were in the...

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