Tuesday, 28 May 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
I thank the Chair.
I agree with Senator McFadden's comments on the Army. There needs to be a realistic examination of soldiers' pay and conditions. We are losing so many. Senator Craughwell has raised this on many occasions. We should consider it. I suggest that the Minister of State at the Department of Defence be brought to the House very shortly to have a good debate on this issue. It is vital. I realise the economy is a factor but the soldiers are suffering all the time. We are losing troops.
I commend Senator Marshall. His contribution to the House today on the North and the setting up of the assembly was excellent. The matter is so serious. The North has the potential to have its own Ministers working, as was the case in the past. We appeal to those concerned to come together, form a power-sharing executive and get on with it.
I congratulate all the councillors who were elected. I commiserate with those who were not. In my area, Mr. Dominick Connolly was a casualty. He was an excellent councillor for a very long time. Unfortunately, he was just not elected. It is tough but he is taking it very well. I wish him well. Another day – lá eile – will come for all those who contested and were not successful. We all congratulate those who contested and were successful, as was said by the Leader of the Opposition, Senator Ardagh.
The Government should not be fearful of giving adequate remuneration to the councillors, who receive €16,700 minus PRSI and the universal social charge. The pressure on councillors is significant. Everyone in this House will realise councillors are inundated with requests for contributions, requests in respect of advertisements and congratulations on the opening of a new shop, and requests for donations to all the charities and social clubs. If they do not contribute, they will lose votes. One has to help to pay for it. What is occurring is just not realistic. Senators are also caught in these circumstances. I request that the Leader ask the Minister to come to the House and discuss again-----