Thursday, 14 March 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
I will reluctantly accept the amendment of Senator Ardagh and we will have Report Stage on the Tuesday on which we return.
Senators Ardagh and Bacik raised the issue of climate change and I welcome the students who are here. We have a rolling series of debates on climate change and we will continue with those in the next couple of weeks. Senator McFadden made a very thought-provoking contribution on the CSO estimates on volunteering. It is important that commitments are honoured and I would be happy for the Minister to come to the House on that subject.
Senators Gavan, Coghlan and Feighan raised the issue of preparing for unity. We are all preparing for unity and it is an aspiration we all hope to see in our lifetime. It is important, however, that we prepare properly and Senator Gavan's contribution on the Sea-Fisheries (Amendment) Bill, when set against the contributions of his colleagues, was extraordinary. My party has created a group to engage in the North of our country and I am very proud to be a member of that group. I look forward to engaging in the North as we have done in the past. It is important to plan and to look to the future. It is also important that we engage with all traditions and beliefs in the North and I would be happy to have a debate on this in the coming weeks.
Senator Bacik also raised the Retention of Records Bill 2019, which will be in the Dáil the week after next and will come back to us after that. Senator Humphreys asked about dementia. I am disappointed there has not been a meeting. I have asked for the meeting and have spoken in person with the Minister on it, as has Senator McFadden. Dementia is an issue that affects every family and it is a very emotional, worrying and troubling issue for them so it is important to work in a cross-party way to build consensus about dementia care. I will continue to push for the meeting.
Senator Lawlor raised an issue for the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment. I welcome Senator Horkan's comments and I am glad that members of the aviation authority around the world listen to the Order of Business in the Seanad. He is right to say that we cannot compromise on passenger safety. I welcome the decision and hope that Boeing finds the right answers in regard to what happened in the tragedy. Senator Ó Ríordáin referred to migration and Irish emigrants. The Senator spoke about people leaving, but is it not great that we also have emigrants returning home? Equally, it is important that this week we have people from our country celebrating being Irish and having open access to many different media, markets and outlets to promote and market Ireland.
I hope Senator Warfield will agree that a significant moment is taking place today when the Taoiseach and his partner will meet Vice President Pence. This sends a strong message to Vice President Pence and to those who have different views around the LGBT community. I wish the Taoiseach and his partner well in their meeting. I hope the Vice President will change his views on conversion therapy and his outlook around LGBT people as a consequence of not just today's meeting but of future engagement with those of us who are LGBT. I would warmly welcome the Vice President to the Seanad as well giving him an opportunity to address the House so that we could enhance his education further.
I wish the Cathoirleach safe travel on his journey to Russia. Guím Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig ar gach duine, do chlann agus do mhuintir na foirne an tseachtain seo, agus go mbeimid beo ag an am seo arís, gabhaim buíochas le gach duine.