Tuesday, 11 June 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
Especially boxing, yes.
Senator Swanick raised the issue of Belmullet hospital. I understand both the Minister, Deputy Ring, and Councillor Gerry Coyle have been very active in the matter and have been engaged with the HSE, which has refuted the accusation that there will be no more admissions. There is an issue around three temporary contracts from three staff members who have been redeployed and have been given the option following discussion with the representatives in the area. The district hospital in Belmullet and Áras Deirbhle are very important locally to the people of Erris and beyond. I am told there is no imminent threat to the hospital.I am sure Senator Swanick can table a Commencement matter on this issue.
Senators Lawlor, Leyden and McDowell raised the issue of insurance. I am pleased to inform the House that the Judicial Council Bill 2017 will be taken in the House next Thursday and there will be an opportunity for Members to submit amendments, if they so wish, by the following Tuesday. The Government is prioritising the passage of the Judicial Council Bill 2017. We have had debates on insurance on a number of occasions. I hope Members will be aware of what is happening when they make comments in the House in regard to the priority of Government business. We are all aware awards are too high. I agree with Senator McDowell that one Bill, in itself, will not end the spiralling awards or costs. There needs to be a cultural change here and that requires an absolutely honest conversation around the issue of insurance.
The Perjury and Related Offences Bill 2018 is also ready to be debated and was to be on the schedule for next week but for some reason, it will not be on the schedule until the week after. The Minister, Deputy Flanagan, is ready to proceed with it. It was not the fault of the Government that it was not available for next week.
Senator Marshall raised the very important issue regarding haulage and freight and the need for the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport to come to the House. I will be happy to facilitate a debate at the earliest opportunity. Senator Mulherin raised the new fair deal scheme rules to be brought in for small and medium-sized enterprises and for farmers. I welcome and congratulate the Minister of State, Deputy Jim Daly, on his proposals which were brought to Cabinet today. We will have a debate on the fair deal scheme in a matter of weeks.
Senator Ó Donnghaile raised the issue of reconciliation. It is important in the context of our centenary of commemorations that we have a conversation around commemoration. Senator McDowell was involved in a very informative television programme recently and I saw the programme on Dolours Price last night. Senator Ó Donnghaile referred to Kieran Doherty being elected on this day in 1981 along with Paddy Agnew. June 1981 was a tremendous period for the Fine Gael Party. We won 65 seats under Garret FitzGerald in the election that year. It was not a good day for Mr. Haughey as Members opposite will recall. I am sure Senator Leyden is still smiling.