Wednesday, 12 February 2003
Private Business. - The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (Charters Amendment) Bill 2002: Second Stage.
Feargal Quinn (Independent)
I welcome the Bill and the manner in which it has been introduced. During my travels around the world, especially in Asia, I have found that in the case of practically nine out of every ten people whom I met and who were well informed about Ireland, it was due to their having attended the Royal College of Surgeons, which has enormous respect. I support anything that will enhance its value, whether in a marketing sense – and I had not thought of it in that context until the Leader referred to it in marketing terms – and enable it to go forward through the next 219 years. I am even more optimistic than Senator Hayes who spoke of the next decades – I believe it will go even further if we get matters right in this Bill.
I know something about Private Bills and charters, as a member of the board of governors of Hume Street Hospital for some years. In that institution, we have a similar problem and, probably, a similar intention to do something. In that case, it is quite unique, though not as old as the time of King George III – the charter of Hume Street Hospital dates from 1916, under a different King George. That charter specifies that the governing body of the hospital will be made up of "gentlemen" and we have not been able to change it for legal reasons.