Friday, 27 March 2020
An Bille um Bearta Éigeandála ar mhaithe le Leas an Phobail (Covid-19) 2020: Céim an Choiste agus na Céimeanna a bheidh Fágtha - Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages
I welcome the Minster to the House again. I welcome everything in this section. It is crucial that we get back as many people as possible to help us during this crisis. It is a fantastic reflection on the diaspora that they are prepared to come back and help. The same applies to many of my retired colleagues in nursing and medicine and many others besides who are prepared to come back and work in whatever way they can.
I agree with what Senator Devine said. The registration processes are tedious and onerous but now is not the time to visit that. In an emergency we do this to get us through. That does not negate the validity of Senator Devine's comments or the need for the Department to look into it and try to better streamline the processes we have.
I have no wish to delay. I heard what the Minister had to say earlier but I did not comment because I did not want to delay the Bill by getting involved in that end of it. I am seeking assurances on the construction industry. I have a letter from a lecturer in the construction area who is highly concerned about the safety of sites. I hope the Minister will reiterate that there will be an increased inspection rate on sites. Perhaps some mechanism can be put in place for people who take the view they have to work because the site is open but who may be uncomfortable doing so. Perhaps there is some way they can alert the authorities on the safety issues involved. I will qualify my comment by saying that construction is really important to us, especially with a housing crisis and the building of new hospitals and temporary accommodation to deal with a surge that might come. At the same time we cannot compromise the personal safety of people working in the industry. I would be grateful if the Minister would say something about that.
I was going to mention another issue under mental health.