Friday, 16 July 2021
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
I join with Members in thanking Martin, Bridget, Carmel, Ilinca, Ethan, Aisling and, of course, Grace in my office, and all the staff of the Oireachtas for their tireless work. I thank the ushers, Bills Office, the information technology, IT, department and, most important of all, the cleaners who keep us safe in these unprecedented times. I also thank the Leader for her leadership of the Seanad, her courtesy to me, to Senators and to all the people who work in the Seanad Office. I thank the leaders and Whips of all the groups and all the Senators for their hard work and courtesy throughout the year.
I join with Senator Boyhan in wishing Senator Norris well. He is our longest serving Senator. In the 99 years of the Seanad's existence he has served longer than any other citizen of the State. He championed minority causes when they were not popular. He championed change and made it happen, which is extraordinary service by any public representative.
I congratulate Senator Hoey who is getting married today on her third attempt. We wish her all the best for the future and look forward to seeing her.
Yesterday, the Seanad held a number of debates and meetings. The Leader and I met with one of the leaders of the opposition of the Belarusian revolution, if it can be called that, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who is an extraordinary woman. I ask everybody in this House to adopt a political prisoner so we can make change happen in Belarus too.
Finally, I thank the Ceann Comhairle for allowing the Seanad to sit in the Dáil Chamber, which is an extraordinary honour for any citizen. We managed to sit in the Chamber and be Senators at the same time so these are truly historic times. I thank the Ceann Comhairle for allowing us to continue to work in this historic Chamber.