Friday, 27 March 2020
Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020: Motion for Earlier Signature
I am relatively new to the Seanad. I have been here for only two years. In those two years, I have been fortunate and privileged to meet many great people. I always urge people outside Leinster House not to underestimate the value of this building and the people in it. I ask them not to underestimate the importance of the Seanad because it is critical.
Considering the crisis we are all living through, the irony for me is that the year 2020, in which there have been no St. Patrick's Day celebrations, has seen a bigger celebration of what it means to be Irish and of the nation state. In an era in which we have seen the worst of humanity, we have also seen the very best.We have seen how people can pull together and work together. If we take anything away from the coronavirus crisis, it is the fact that if we knuckle down and get on with things, working together as a collective, we can achieve much more. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to be here. I thank the Cathaoirleach and the Leas-Chathaoirleach, Senator Paul Coghlan, who chaired the Seanad fantastically and professionally. I applaud them for that and thank them for the privilege to work with them. I think that when there is a crisis like this, sometimes the cream rises to the top, and we have been privileged and honoured to have good people in key positions in the Government. It is a case of keeping steady to get through the crisis. Whatever happens next week, I wish my fellow Senators and my colleagues in the Independent Group all the best. It was a pleasure to work with them all.