Seanad debates

Tuesday, 9 July 2024

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

 

1:00 pm

Photo of Seán KyneSeán Kyne (Fine Gael)

I join with others in expressing sympathies to John O'Mahony's family, his wife Gerardine, his children Gráinne, Niamh, Rhona, Deirdre and Cliodhna, his brothers Dan and Stephen and others. John was a legend in Galway with his exploits with the footballers, the all-Ireland in 1998 and 2001, as well as the Connacht championships. Not just for Galway but for Mayo and probably most impressively for Leitrim, who when they won that Connacht championship had beaten Roscommon, Galway and Mayo en route to the title. That was most impressive. I was down at the house last night where I saw the all-Ireland pictures of those teams on the wall with John proudly with them, Leitrim, Mayo and Galway. I pay tribute to his family. I contested the 2016 general election with John as a running mate in the south Mayo area. Certainly we did not come to any blows. We got on well together and John ended up as a Member of the Seanad from 2016 to 2020. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Last week, Senator Ahearn raised the issue of childcare providers that are pulling out of the Government schemes and increasing their fees thereafter. This is putting parents under massive pressure where it happens. I am not sure how prevalent it is or whether it is isolated. Certainly Senator Ahearn had a case in Clonmel. I have come across a case now as well of a provider that has pulled out. This is putting parents in an invidious situation where they have effectively a second mortgage to pay, with the possibility it could go even higher now because of this. I am calling for a debate on the matter. We need to know the pathway. If this starts increasing and providers keep pulling out of these schemes, it could be very serious for the sector.

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