Wednesday, 6 November 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
We have put in place a winter plan, with additional funding of €26 million. I ask Members of the House to have a real debate about health in our society. The Minister, Deputy Bruton, has made his point about coffee cups. There will be a public consultation process in that regard, to which I look forward.
Senator Lawless referred to the direct provision system, as did many other Members. I answered the question yesterday. I will be happy to have the Minister come to the House for a debate on the matter. In his contribution yesterday Senator McDowell said there was a need for a discussion on economic migrancy and asylum seeking. It might not have met everyone's approval, but it is a fair point on which we need to have a debate. I will be happy to have a debate on it in the House.
Senators Conway-Walsh, Wilson, Mullen and Ó Donnghaile paid tribute to Fr. Des Wilson. I addressed this matter on the Order of Business yesterday and have done so again today. On my own behalf and that of the House, I pay tribute to a man who was a bridge-builder long before it became a political campaign slogan. He was a person who worked hard, as Senator Ó Donnghaile said, and was immersed in his community. I had the pleasure of meeting him when I was a student at Maynooth. He was of the people and imbued with the spirit and importance of education and, as Senator Wilson said, being the people's priest. Senator Wilson also referred to how he and his uncle, John, had been in the seminary. At least the Senator is continuing the great tradition of being in the seminary and a practising politician.