Friday, 27 March 2020
Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020: Motion for Earlier Signature
I give high praise to the Minister, Deputy Donohoe, the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and all Ministers for the work they have done throughout this terrible ordeal our wonderful country is going through. I do not often agree with Senator Craughwell but I always agree with him on defence matters. I have spent the past four years harassing the poor Minister of State, Deputy Kehoe, and the Minister for Finance, Deputy Donohoe, on behalf of the Defence Forces. On my last day I will not leave without giving one last push, that is, that the Defence Forces would be paid a fair day's salary for a fair day's work, which is what we have always sought in here.
I was very honoured to have been elected here in 2016. I have served to the best of my ability over the past almost four years. It has been a great honour to have worked with everybody here of all parties and none. I hope anyone who wants to be back will be back and that those who decide not to come back will have a wonderful future. Throughout the crisis what has been said all along is that we should pull together by staying apart. We must do that and we must keep saying that because people get complacent. When we leave here today we need to keep pushing the message that we need to pull together by staying apart. I thank the Minister and the Government. In parting, I believe the next Government we have will be critical for the country. I strongly believe that the next Government should be a Fine Gael-led Government. I am not bothered by the fact that it is 35 seats versus 37 seats. Fine Gael has shown that it is the best Government in times of crisis and that is the direction in which we should be going.
I thank you, a Chathaoirligh, for your courtesy and how fairly you have always run the House. I also thank the wonderful staff without whom we could not have survived in here.