Seanad debates

Tuesday, 15 November 2022

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business


2:30 pm

Photo of Fintan WarfieldFintan Warfield (Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

A selfless and inspiring campaigner, Vicky Phelan truly was the very best of us. Her tireless work in speaking truth to power has improved lives and saved lives. We will be forever grateful for her contribution to Irish society. As we honour Vicky Phelan today, I am reminded of her words two years ago after the death of her fellow cervical cancer sufferer, Ruth Morrissey. She said:

I don't want your accolades or your broken promises. I want action. I want change. I want accountability.

This morning I attended the launch of the findings of a survey by BeLonG To. The survey is the largest ever of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people in this State. It is stark and somewhat upsetting. It highlights the significant difficulties that face LGBTQ young people in schools. It also highlights the incredible support that many teachers are to those young people. However, we know life in school can be difficult, even without the external factors of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. A shocking 76% of LGBT youth feel unsafe in school. A majority of LGBT youth have heard homophobic remarks, both from students and from school staff, which is troubling in its own right. I ask that when the Minister of Education is invited to the Seanad for statements on education, she be informed the Seanad will be raising this issue with her.

In the short time I have left, I call on the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment to get moving on the programme for Government commitment in respect of the roadmap for digital creative industries. Obviously, that concerns games, augmented reality and graphic design domestic companies. SMEs and micro SMEs are just as important, particularly with the whole tech situation in the news. When will we see action on that roadmap?


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.