Seanad debates

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Commencement Matters

Naval Service Vessels

10:30 am

Photo of Catherine ByrneCatherine Byrne (Dublin South Central, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I do not have a written response to the Senator's remarks but I will give him some information that may be helpful. The Government is providing over €5 billion for housing in the coming years and is making steady progress. On a weekly basis, over 100 people are finding themselves housed in new homes. I believed it is not just to say that nothing is happening, because it is.

We have seen the biggest budget ever in the health service in the lifetime of this Government and things are happening in the health service. It is wrong to say that the identification of people within the health service on waiting lists and people using the service are not being dealt with. This is happening on a daily basis under the Minister for Health, Deputy Harris. The new primary care centres throughout the country add to the flexibility of people being able to arrive on the door of a primary care centre. Going back to the provision of funding for Naval Service vessels, the Government recognises that the men and women of the Air Corps, the Army and the Naval Service provide a service that protects people whose lives might otherwise be in danger. They do so without ever complaining about the risk to their own lives on a daily basis. It is incumbent on us all, particularly those of us in government, to ensure the best vessels and equipment are provided for the Defence Forces. The Army, the Air Corps and the Naval Service enjoy an excellent reputation at home and throughout Europe. The efforts of the Naval Service which has lent its vessels and personnel to serve in rescue missions in the Mediterranean have been especially welcome. I take the opportunity to acknowledge the men and women who put their own lives at risk on a daily basis to protect others. As parliamentarians and citizens of this country, we support measures that will ensure they will have the best equipment and vessels at their disposal in order that they can continue to save lives and take part in humanitarian missions in the Mediterranean.


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