Seanad debates

Friday, 16 October 2020

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business


10:30 am

Vincent P Martin (Green Party)

I will address a very serious issue. Next month, the United States of America elects its next President. I hope it will be a new President, with Joe Biden becoming the 46th holder of that office. It could not be a more serious time for the world. The outcome of that election will have serious long-term consequences for the Iran nuclear deal, for the Paris climate agreement, for the EU, for Brexit, for ethnic minorities and for respect for women.Many years ago, in the 1990 World Cup penalty shoot-out as Dave O'Leary faced the ball, George Hamilton uttered the immortal phrase, "The nation holds its breath." Next month, the world will hold its breath, in a sense, praying and hope for a certain outcome in that election. There are 33 million people in America who claim Irish ancestry and so many more friends of Ireland who care about Ireland and peace on the island of Ireland. Samantha Power, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, said that we need more than Hail Marys next month. Every single vote matters in the swing states and we can do something about it. It might not be the convention for a Government to involve itself in someone else's election but our voice as individual public representatives should be heard. The voice of individuals who may not be public representatives in Ireland, throughout the world and throughout the EU, should be heard loud and clear. People should contact their long-lost cousins, friends, relatives and friends of relatives' friends. Every single vote matters in this once in a lifetime opportunity to get the world back on track. I appeal to Members to do what they can to have effective input into next month's critical election for the world.


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