Seanad debates

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

2:15 pm

Photo of Feargal QuinnFeargal Quinn (Independent) | Oireachtas source

I welcome Senator Norris back to this House after a couple of weeks away. He is back with the same vigour, energy and enthusiasm. I talked to some people who heard him speaking in the Hugh Lane Gallery last night. They said the same thing about his vigour and enthusiasm. Senator Norris is very welcome back. I am glad to have him here.

I also welcome the word that was received the other day regarding adoptions from Russia, a topic that has been raised by Senator White and me in this House. There was a real problem with such adoptions. There is probably still something of a problem. I gather that the Attorney General is now working on it. While the 31 October deadline might not have been removed, I gather that new legislation can be made retrospective. This appears to hold out hope for potential adoptive parents of Russian children. There was a huge problem in this regard. The prospective adoptive parents did not hear until 30 October that it was possible for this to be made retrospective. Why did they have to wait until the very last moment? If we had known this a month or two ago, all of the challenges and problems in this area would have been removed.

I think we should find time on some occasion to debate a €175 million scheme that was launched by the Minister, Deputy Bruton, in May of this year. The scheme in question was aimed at those starting up entrepreneurial companies, particularly in the technology sector. It seemed like a great scheme when it was launched in May. All of us welcomed it at the time. We are now in November, and not one penny from that fund has been accepted at this stage. It seems to me that start-up companies which have the potential to create jobs need money to get up and running.

It was announced in May and launched at the end of May. Even at this late stage in November, none has been accepted. I do not understand how we can allocate such a sum of money and then not do something about it. Perhaps it will happen but why does it take so long to get things done in this country?


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