Seanad debates

Tuesday, 9 July 2024

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

 

1:00 pm

Photo of Annie HoeyAnnie Hoey (Labour)

I also want to be associated with the remarks made about the late John O'Mahony and to pass on my Labour Party sympathies to his family and to all who knew him.

This Saturday, 13 July, the Trans and Intersex Pride Dublin march will be held. They are meeting at 12 noon at the Garden of Remembrance. I encourage everyone here to attend but if Members cannot attend, to take the time to learn about the reality of life for trans and intersex people here in Ireland. Only two weeks ago, I went through a litany of actions which could be undertaken to improve the lives of trans and intersex people here in Ireland.

If one has any queries as to why we need to do anything further to support this community or why I relentlessly stand up in this Chamber advocating for the trans and intersex community, one needs only to look at some of the comments underneath the video. They are vile, dehumanising, violent and disgusting comments. One might perhaps then realise that we still have a very long way to go to better support trans and intersex lives here in Ireland. The march is on this Saturday, 13 July at 12 noon, meeting in the Garden of Remembrance.

This brings me neatly to my second point, which is to ask the Leader for an update on the status of the hate crime and incitement to hatred legislation. It has been a year since we last had it in the Seanad and hate crime continues on. The communities affected continue to call for the introduction of the legislation. Indeed, the new Green Party leader, the Minister, Deputy Roderic O'Gorman, to whom I, of course, extend my congratulations on his successful election as leader, also called for this legislation in his leadership speech. Does the Leader have update as to the status of that legislation because the Coalition Against Hate Crime Ireland and other affected groups are deeply concerned? We have seen only in the past couple of weeks discussion of hate crime and the impact it has on women and on other communities.

Finally, I briefly again raise the issue that there still are no financial supports for part-time postgraduate students. Much has been done for part-time students at undergraduate level but postgraduate students are still not covered within that. As there were discussions that they would be at some point, does the Leader have insights as to whether that will happen? We are still waiting on a report on the status of PhD researchers. Are they workers? Are they students? It simply cannot go on the way it is and it is time it is cleared up.PhD researchers are in limbo. They are in a state of being workers in all but name. They come in to do their teaching and their hours. If they do not show up to do that, they are adequately held to account. They are workers in all but name yet they get none of the benefits such as maternity leave, paternity benefit, holiday or sick leave. These are all things one would expect if going in and out doing a job. The PhD researchers report is long overdue. While I know the former Minister, under whose responsibility this lay, is now the Taoiseach, perhaps the Leader might be able to give some insight as to what is the status of that report and whether it is going to be published soon.

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