Seanad debates

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

 

10:30 am

Photo of Jerry ButtimerJerry Buttimer (Fine Gael)

Senator Wilson is aware of the importance of education and community. Our world is a poorer place today because of the loss of Fr. Des Wilson. We sympathise with his family.

Senator Conway-Walsh raised the issue of pyrite. I will be happy to have the Minister come to the House for a debate on the matter.

Senators Mulherin and Conway-Walsh raised the issue of group water schemes. I will be happy to have the Minister come to the House for a debate on the matter, but I do not have the answer to the question about the developer report. Perhaps Senator Conway-Walsh might table a Commencement matter for discussion next week.

Senator Ó Ríordáin referred to the tragic death of Ana Kriégel and the sentencing yesterday. We sympathise with her family on their tragic and sad loss. The Senator subsequently made a point about the use of social media, bullying in schools and pornography, on which we should have a national conversation because there is a growing epidemic in the country. The Internet and social media have become tools and part of our daily lives, but I wonder if we know how best to manage and use them. We need to have that conversation as part of a dialogue on the issue.

Senator Ó Ríordáin also referred to autism services. I will be happy to have the Minister responsible come to the House to address the matter.

Senators Feighan, Wilson and McDowell referred to the appalling treatment of Mr. Kevin Lunney. All of us in this House and all citizens of the Republic stand by the right of every individual to be able to work, to have his or her own company and to be able to participate without fear of intimidation or brutality in his or her daily work and daily life. I listened to some of the "Spotlight" programme which made for harrowing listening and viewing. I also believe, notwithstanding the comments made by many about the failure of policing, that there has been a real failure of individual citizenship and community in bringing the people responsible to account. The posters were made by a particular company, procured and erected. People know who did it, but if we do not stand up together to the bully boy, the bully boy wins. As Senator McDowell said, Quinn Industrial Holdings will never go back to where it was. If we do not answer the people responsible now, there will be no investment in such areas in the future and it will be a black mark on all of us and the State. I welcome the Garda Commissioner's meeting with the directorate. The Garda armed support unit has been sent to the Border and there has been an increase in the level of surveillance. There is also an obligation on individuals and communities to bring the people responsible to the fore. People know who they are. If we are going to allow the bully boy to win, it is a poor day for all of us. The points related to the task force are well made. I heard Senator McDowell speak on radio and did not disagree with anything he said. I will be happy to have the Minister responsible come to the House in due course for a debate on the matter.

Senator Marie-Louise O'Donnell raised the issue of trees and asked whether we were living in Tír na nÓg or tír na fada. I am not sure who wrote or procured the figures the Senator gave, but I admire her for her research into the matter. The Minister, Deputy Bruton, was here yesterday for a discussion on climate change. It was a pity we did not have that information to give to him.

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