Seanad debates

Wednesday, 28 February 2024

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business


10:30 am

Photo of Malcolm ByrneMalcolm Byrne (Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I will start by echoing the call by my colleague Senator Fintan Warfield for a debate on the Report on Inclusion in Sport compiled by the Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, otherwise known as the "RTÉ committee". We do a lot of other work, including that which we did in respect of the report. The report contains a number of very effective recommendations. It would be useful to have a debate with the Minister on the recommendations and the findings from what is a very collaborative piece of work. My colleagues Senators Carrigy and Cassells were involved as well.

I also seek a debate on rural roads and funding for local roads. I am sure the Leader is very familiar in her part of the world with the fact that a lot of our roads are in shocking condition. When there is a series of bad winters, they end up in worse condition.

I am very supportive of the investment that we see in active travel. In our major towns and cities we see investment in cycleways and footpaths, but the state of the roads in many rural communities means that it is not safe to walk on them. It is certainly not safe to cycle on them. I would like the Leader to ask that we would look at devising a comprehensive programme of investment in local roads. It should not just be done through small levels of discretionary funding on the part of local authorities or indeed through measures such as the local improvement scheme. We need a systematic approach to address some of those challenges. I would appreciate a debate on that issue as soon as possible.


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