Thursday, 28 January 2016
Order of Business
I second the amendment to the Order of Business proposed by Senator Daly. I hope there will not be Government opposition to this Bill. This is a single page Bill on an issue which has exercised the Government since the expiry of the copyright on the national anthem in 2013. I would say it fell off the radar. I do not think there is any ideological objection to it. I appreciate the logistics involved but it would send a very strong message in this year, 2016, that we in this House were united in ensuring that the integrity of "Amhrán na bhFiann" is maintained and is not sullied by misinterpretations or any attempt to downgrade it and that we were proud of our anthem and what it proposes and the strong identification people have with it.One need only go to a sporting occasion to know that. I do not want to labour the point but I would be very grateful for a positive response from the Leader.
Senator Bacik and others have talked about an all-party motion on cystic fibrosis. However, there are colleagues in my group who have been contacted directly by constituents and others who either suffer from cystic fibrosis themselves or have siblings who suffer from it and would like to see some action on this. In that context, we are proposing an amendment to the Order of Business that No. 79, motion 15, be taken today.
Like other Members of this House, in particular those from the north west and the west, I have railed about the lack of evidence of a commitment by IDA Ireland to explore job opportunities in the regions. Deputy Dara Calleary tabled a parliamentary question to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation inquiring, as he does every year, about the number of IDA visits across the country. The response makes very interesting reading. I am sure all Members of this House will want to look at what is happening in their counties. I know the Leader and I have talked about the seeming neglect of the south east as opposed to the seeming neglect of the north west. It is only right and proper that we raise these issues. However, I am pleased to say that reading the response to Deputy Calleary's parliamentary question, I found that there were eight visits to Leitrim and approximately 12 to 15 visits to Sligo-Leitrim. I would like to think that there would be some follow up on this but at least, it is a start. I am trying to establish from IDA Ireland whether there has been any follow up or whether any of these companies will locate in our part of the world. I am sure the Leader will agree with me that it is important that IDA Ireland continues to expand visits by potential companies to the regions to ensure a spread of jobs.