Monday, 22 February 2021
Ábhair Ghnó an tSeanaid – Matters on the Business of the Seanad
I wish to mark the fact that a small country a lot like Ireland this week celebrates its independence. A year before Dáil Éireann sat for the first time, Estonia declared independence on 24 February 1918. It is a small county that, like Ireland, struggled for so long for independence and, as such, we share a common bond. Of course, we also share membership of the European Union and the UN Security Council. We share a love of language. Estonian is an exam subject in schools here and there are statues to Oscar Wilde and Eduard Vilde, an Estonian literary icon, in both Galway city and the university city of Tartu in Estonia. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Estonia and Ireland. On Estonia's national day, we wish all its citizens a very happy, safe and peaceful Estonia day. We hope that H.E. Aino Lepik von Wirén, the Estonian ambassador to Ireland, will be able to join us next year to mark Estonia Day. In my best Estonian, head Vabariigi aastapäeva.There is no proposal on the Order of Business. I call Senator Gallagher, who is the Fianna Fáil Whip and leading off for that party.