Seanad debates

Friday, 16 October 2020

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business


10:30 am

Photo of Victor BoyhanVictor Boyhan (Independent)

I endorse everything that Senator McDowell said and I thank Senator Warfield for agreeing to second that. I would be happy to second it as that is a good gesture of support across the House and it makes a lot of sense. There are many people tuning in to us today, as there were the other day, on this important issue. Many people looking in are not familiar with the legislative process or the Oireachtas but they are concerned and troubled by what they have heard and seen in recent days.

I will make an appeal to the Leader. To come and have the Order of Business at 10.19 a.m. is not good enough. The responsibility is hers. She is the Leader of the House. With that job comes responsibility to the House and its Members. I will wait to hear the Leader's response. Is she going to suggest that the officials, the Cathaoirleach and the Leader's party members receive the first notification of the Order of Business at 10.19 a.m.? I have an answer to that but I will listen to what the Leader has to say and take an opportunity to see her in the next week or two to discuss it.

I appeal to the Leader to start, as her predecessor did, having on a weekly basis a meeting with both the Leaders and the Whips, so that we can support each other and help the smooth running of this House. It does not operate on the basis of one side versus everybody else. We can all work together but Senator Doherty is the Leader and I appeal to her to give us leadership.

It is important we have time to debate the Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020 today. It can be a difficult episode for people, both here and outside.

I draw the House's attention to something I received in the post this morning, namely, the minutes of Galway County Council of Monday, 23 September 2019 and the commitments the council gave to the women and families from Tuam. I can make a copy available to anyone today via email. I hope the Leader will talk to her councillors in Galway County Council and I hope they echo her party's honourable commitments to these people in the debate today.


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