Seanad debates

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business


10:30 am

Photo of Victor BoyhanVictor Boyhan (Independent)

Last night we had a debate about scoliosis and the terrible scandal in scoliosis waiting lists. I do not intend to discuss this issue for any length now but I ask that the Deputy Leader or the Leader’s office consider writing to the Minister for Health, Deputy Donnelly to request that he meet with the advocacy groups on that issue. That is their request. Early this morning I received an email from Scoliosis Awareness & Support Ireland. In summary it states: "thank you so much for your continued support, your fire, your passion for our families." I had to think about that and to ask myself was I too fiery and severe, which I would not like to think. We had a laugh and a bit of a banter with the Minister of State, Deputy Feighan, this morning. He knows that he has a job to do as have I. I would like to think that that fire and passion was across the House. Everyone who spoke did so with conviction and determination in a good and meaningful debate. I appreciate that the Minister of Health is also busy but this group's ask today is to meet directly with him and it wants a timeline as to what is going to happen for their children.

I welcome the long-awaited Wool Feasibility Study and acknowledge the enormous work that the Minister of State, Senator Hackett has done. This is something that has been called for and is very important. For the first time the Minister of State, Senator Hackett, has called upon and convened experts in the field, and others, to put together a working group on the feasibility and commercial realisation that we can derive from wool. The Deputy Leader will be aware, being someone from the west, that this is a very important industry and that we need to support sheep farmers. I welcome that study.

Finally. on the Horticultural Peat (Temporary Measures) Bill 2021, I am aware that there is a briefing on this Bill this afternoon which is very important. It is divisive, particularly within the Government, but also across the House. It is an important measure and I urge members to attend that briefing if they can. I will certainly be there. I thank the Deputy Leader and her co-sponsor, Senator Gallagher,for that important piece of legislation.


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