Seanad debates

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

2:30 pm

Photo of Cecilia KeaveneyCecilia Keaveney (Fianna Fail)

I knew I was bringing trouble upon myself when I said all this. It is important the Leader would get clarity, if possible, from the Catholic Church that it would come out and advise people that the information going around at churches on what this treaty is about is not what it is about.

Given the day that is in it, Senators on the Government side might be a little late in looking for an audition for some of the parts that are being offered in the other House. It would be out of character for them to be given here. None the less, I want to draw attention to the fact that three of the five Nancys on the BBC television programme "I'd Do Anything", which started off with a significant number of entries, are Irish. I raise this on the Order of Business because I would ask the new Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Deputy Martin Cullen, to come to the Seanad to outline his proposals for the arts as he takes up the reins of his new office. It is an issue that needs to be dealt with. I raise the fact that three of the five Nancys on "I'd Do Anything" are Irish because Irish artists and musicians are leading the world but this is more from their natural ability than the support they get. I advocate bringing the Minister to the House to discuss the further needs of the arts.

I ask that we would also bring to the House whoever, at the end of today, is the Minister or Minister of State with responsibility for education and business. As I said before in the House, while it is important we would highlight the fact we are making a significant investment in third level education, there needs to be a debate on whether what we are investing links to the needs of business people on the other side, which may or may not be the case. A policy document was being prepared by the Minister of State, Deputy Michael Ahern. If that policy is up and running, I would like to think we could have a Minister or Minister of State to the House to discuss it with us.


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