Thursday, 28 November 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
What Senator Richmond said is important but it is also important that we have a Seanad Special Committee on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union and I would welcome an early opportunity to have an updated report on its work, how it is meeting and what it is up to. That is really important. We have a number of slots and maybe we could identify a slot such as a Thursday afternoon for that. I thank Senator Richmond for all the work he is doing in that regard.
The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission issued its report this morning and it is very significant. This will be examined in the UN on Monday and Tuesday of next week in greater detail. I sent this out to colleagues today. It will be televised and there will be a live link to the proceedings. It will be important to see how we account for ourselves. I ask the Deputy Leader if we could have a debate on this report. There are significant issues in it and there are significant recommendations for this country, particularly in the area of hate speech and hate crime, which we all know about and which we have talked about a lot. There are also recommendations on discrimination against specific groups and a substantial number of groups are mentioned. The issue of the international protection of human rights and trafficking also features in the report. These are three major themes the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has singled out with Ireland and it details how we have acquitted ourselves or not in the issues around human rights and equality within the remit of the Commission. I ask that we would have a specific debate on that.
I wish the 20 local authorities around this country that are coming here to Dublin tonight having been short-listed and nominated for the local government awards well. It will be an important evening. As Members know, there are 31 local authorities but 20 of them have been short-listed and nominated for specific awards for local government excellence, and that is taking place tonight so I wish them all well.