Thursday, 11 July 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
Pádraig Ó Céidigh (Independent)
I join colleagues in offering my sympathy to the families of Noel Whelan and Brendan Grace. I met Noel Whelan once or twice but I cannot say that I knew the man. He was far too young, aged 50. I was very taken by Senator Dolan's contribution as it came from the heart. Go raibh míle maith agat. I also travelled with Brendan Grace as I was once on a flight to New York with him. We were together on a plane for some seven hours and I discovered his deep sense of people and his passion. He was a very deep person behind the comedian and the stage person. He was a very caring person whom one loved to be with because the energy was positive and was there all the time. God be with him. I hope the families can recover in time. Both are a big loss.
I am sure most of us saw the RTÉ programme about Bord na gCon and greyhounds. It was terrible and I commend RTÉ on highlighting it to us. We should have been aware of this before it was on our television screens and we should have structures and systems in place to give us warnings about animal welfare. I started looking at it from a different angle, maybe a business or accounting background. In one clip, it was stated that Bord na gCon received €16 million in State funds last year. The FAI got €2.8 million for 450,000 members. I will pause here to take that in.