Tuesday, 25 May 2010
Order of Business
The Order of Business is No. 1, Intoxicating Liquor (National Convention Centre) Bill 2010 - all Stages, with Second Stage to be taken at the conclusion of the Order of Business, on which spokespersons may speak for 15 minutes and all other Senators for ten minutes and Senators may share time, by agreement of the House.
Last night on the RTE programmes "Prime Time" and "The Frontline" we saw evidence of the abject failure of the Government in delivering services to persons caring for those suffering from Alzheimer's disease and dementia. There has been a failure in delivering services to good people who are doing their very best in their homes to look after loved ones. It was clear that the State had in no way matched or supported to any degree the many people caring for loved ones. This raises enormous questions about the role and accountability of Ministers. The Minister indicated there had been no cuts to front-line services, yet there was example after example of cutbacks affecting carers. We had a discussion on the length of time it took to give an elderly person a shower or help him or her to get out of bed. That is the level the cutbacks have reached, which raises the most serious questions about the delivery of front-line services, particularly in the context of €3 billion in savings sought. Will these vulnerable people in the community be hit again? I propose an amendment to the Order of Business, that the Minister of State with responsibility for older people come to the House to discuss the issue today and, in particular, to outline how she intends to address the many issues raised in last night's programmes. It was extremely upsetting to watch people caring for their mothers and other family members without any support during the day. Many have seen the number of hours cut in the past few weeks. We need to hear what Government policy is and who is responsible for the implementation of the cuts. Is the Minister accepting any responsibility for this cutback? How is she responding to the cases raised last night? It is extremely important that we have a discussion today.
Speaking of ministerial responsibility, we have reached a ridiculous position where the Minister of State with responsibility for children is now getting legal advice on the legal advice received by an agency within his remit. That agency, the HSE, is not giving information to the Government appointed body on the children who died while in care. We are being told that up to 200 children died while in care and that there is no proper system in place for the reporting of deaths and no overall national approach to the issue. This is absolutely disgraceful and raises questions about Ministers, what they are doing and the information they are receiving from the bodies for which they are accountable. We need to have a further discussion on the issue.
The final point raised by Senator Fitzgerald should be considered by the House. It goes back to the Ministers and Secretaries Act 1924 which deals with the matter of responsibilities, as well as other legislation. Very often we pass legislation in the Houses which does not allow Ministers to interfere or become involved in certain matters. The point raised by Senator Fitzgerald is important. It is important, therefore, that the Minister of State with responsibility for older people, Deputy Áine Brady, come before us to outline what authority she has. We should also invite the Minister of State, Deputy Barry Andrews, given that he is in the middle of a row with one of the bodies answerable and accountable to him. There seems to be a conflict, but I was heartened when I heard him say he would direct the body to do various things. That would be useful.
Recently, I checked into a question we have discussed in the House many times, namely, where Ireland stands on Vietnamese adoptions. I found that authorities such as UNICEF and others had advised the Minister of State not to proceed with those adoptions, so he was acting with due care and attention. We need a debate to have a balanced view. Then we can focus on the questions raised by Senator Fitzgerald, those being what should be done, what is a Minister of State's authority, what we expect him or her to do and what he or she can do.
Twice recently, I was approached by street musicians, entertainers and buskers who told me about how they feel threatened, abused and frightened on Grafton Street and elsewhere in Ireland by organised gangs of beggars. They were referring not to people who sit at a street corner looking for the price of a cup of coffee but to organised groups that abuse children by sending them out barefoot and threadbare to sit and look sad and helpless while taking up prime spots to beg for money. We should debate this kind of abuse. While it is bad enough on its own, the pimps behind it, and they are no more than that, use force to get buskers, street entertainers and street musicians to move on. I would like the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform to inform the House what authority rests with the authorities in this regard, what can be done and what should be done. I look forward to having a discussion on this matter.
It is true that the accountability issue has been raised again in sharp relief in the context of the matter raised by Senator Fitzgerald and the investigations into the deaths of children in care. Given how often we are told that there is such a large amount of public resources devoted to the health services administered by the HSE, the blockage between those of us elected to these Houses and the people providing the services, which means it is not possible to establish precisely what is occurring, is incredible. Not even the Minister of State appears to be in a position to establish what is occurring.
The matter raised by Senator Fitzgerald of different bodies arranging legal advice between themselves to establish their positions and whether they can move an issue forward is an extraordinary spectacle. Is it €16 billion per annum for the health Vote?
Members and, judging by what he has stated, the Minister of State cannot establish basic information without there being a competition between us and the HSE about legal advice. It is incredible that any democratic country is unable to have a proper debate or to establish information directly in the Houses. The HSE might have the best will in the world, but the manner in which it is configured and organised means it operates as a block to true democratic accountability in respect of child care and health services.
This matter is raised repeatedly in the House. Senator MacSharry and Senator Callely have raised it, as have other Members. How many more times will it be raised by practising, concerned politicians without anything seeming to happen? That people need to seek legal advice to establish whether they can do the jobs they are there to do is a spectacle.
I lend my support to the comments of the previous speakers, Senator Alex White in particular. I challenge the Leader on a response he gave me last week in respect of my call for a debate on older people. He is my good friend, but I challenge him on the basis that he indicated we would have a debate on carers. That matter merits a debate on its own. In his response, the Leader did not give me a commitment that we would have a debate on older people. I gather from his response that the carers debate may be tied to a debate on health, but that is a very broad issue. I am asking the Leader for two commitments: a stand-alone debate on carers and a debate on older people.
The only proviso I have regarding Senator Fitzgerald's proposal is that the debate must be properly structured. I will not support an amendment to the Order of Business to call in the Minister wherever she might be. She might not even be in the precincts of the Houses. If we are serious about getting to the root of this issue, however, we must have a structured debate.
Senator Alex White alluded to and I have clearly expressed dissatisfaction with the HSE. We have established a Frankenstein's monster that is stalking our land and not delivering services. The HSE is charged with service provision while the Department of Health and Children remains as a policy Department. Many of us on all sides of the House have lost sight of that fact. Budget comparisons are invalid because it is not like for like. It is a complex area.
If we are serious, we must structure the debate properly. I would like to see many of the questions that have been asked in the media answered in a positive way as quickly as possible.
I also voice my concerns about last night's television programme on the care of the elderly. We have been hearing stories every day from the Carers' Association and volunteers throughout the country about how they are crying out for help and resources to care for the elderly at home. It is proven that when the elderly are cared for at home, it is a much better environment for them and saves the State thousands, if not millions, of euro. We must be concerned, however, at how the HSE prioritises, manages and reports. It will not even report on how many children have died while in State care. That is outlandish, a shame and a disgrace. We saw on television last night that carers are seeing fundamental resources taken away from them.
It is essential we have a proper and focused debate on the issue. Let us have it out and talk frankly about the HSE, its inefficiency, mismanagement and lack of consistency. Whatever we say about the old health boards, at least they were accountable to public representatives at local level. The HSE is accountable to no one and the Government must take it to task before this gets out of control completely. We must empathise with those looking after the elderly and put supports and resources in place. We must have the debate as soon as possible.
Will the Leader provide an opportunity to debate the recent annual report of the Press Council of Ireland and the Office of the Press Ombudsman, which is under the able and steady hand of a former Member in this House, Professor John Horgan? I call for this debate because of a directive given by the Public Service Executive Union on 19 May, BS 042/10, signed by T. Geraghty, general secretary, which directs a boycott of Independent News and Media and Newstalk Radio. The union alleges there is an anti-Civil Service bias in these organisations. This could put jobs in jeopardy in both organisations which employ Irish people. I do not like boycotts because they are unfair. I call on the union to withdraw this boycott forthwith and have a proper debate with the media and politicians. We all have difficulties at times with the media but I would never call for a boycott. The only boycott I remember is my father boycotting The People newspaper when it published the black diaries of Sir Roger Casement.
I would like an update on the progress of the Civil Partnership Bill. It is in the process of being amended and there have been worrying reports in the newspapers about amendments that apparently have been accepted by Cabinet, as a result of which the creation of a joint tenancy on behalf of civil partners would be exempt from court fees and property registration fees but not stamp duty. I have received correspondence on what this means and will describe one particular case. A couple, two men, have been together for 11 years and their property is now worth €1 million. Stamp duty of 7%, or €70,000, would have to be paid if the partners were to register the house as a joint tenancy. Ten years ago I raised a similar issue about a couple living in west Cork, where one of them had died and the other had been charged €250,000 for the privilege of living in the house in which he had been born. That is a disgrace. What is the Government at in mucking around? As a result of its cack-handedness, people will be worse off after the publication and passage of the Bill. In other words, discrimination will increase. The very angry person in the case I described wrote to state he did not give a crap about getting married in a church and did not want to adopt babies. He wants the State which he describes as a joke of a republic to treat him and his partner fairly in terms of tax payments and civil rights and wonders what the Government is thinking about. Will the Leader take this message back?
A number of new jobs, up to 20 in the coming years, will be created by a Wicklow firm, profitsflow.com, supported by Wicklow County Enterprise Board. With the advent of cloud computing, it makes it a reality for small and medium-sized business throughout Ireland to have access to mobile computing, which is very good. The company has a reseller in the United Kingdom and is about to appoint one in the United States. This is very important because the company has been established by two young people in the high-tech industry who have shown one can go against the flow and create employment, even in very difficult circumstances.
I support the calls for a debate on services for older people. In doing so I congratulate those involved with the "Prime Time" programme for the special report broadcast last night by which I was very moved. What was shown was nothing short of disgraceful. One would have to be made of stone not to be moved in seeing a young man who has been struck down and crossed the oceans of the world sitting with his wife and crying in front of a television camera, frustrated that his wife cannot get a home help to help him. I agree with Senator Alex White; at times the HSE is an obstruction to what is right. It is cold and uncaring. If an older person who has a home help breaks a limb and goes into hospital, he or she can return home having been placed on a waiting list for a home help because the service does not automatically resume. What type of a system are we running that allows this to happen?
It was highlighted last night - I did not realise this - that there was no charter for older people. This is a disgrace. Older and younger people are some of the most vulnerable in society. There should, therefore, be a charter for older people.
I know men act as carers, but for me what the programme broadcast last night highlighted was that it was middle aged to elderly women who cared for their loved ones. However, they are physically not able to do what needs to be done. What really struck me was that they wanted to keep their loved ones at home. The minimum cost of nursing home care is €3,500 to €4,000 a month. If we could establish a pilot scheme, even in County Kildare, the area of the Minister of State with responsibility for older people, Deputy Áine Brady, and run it for nine or 12 months, we could see how it would work. I am sure it would be much cheaper and people would be much happier if they had proper resources available. The current situation cannot be allowed to continue.
I would be the first to state we must have standards. I applaud HIQA for the way it has tried to raise standards in nursing homes and hospitals. However, I do not accept that the HSE should be allowed to use HIQA to close down public facilities throughout the country, but that is what is happening. Yesterday I visited Loughloe House in which 19 residents remain. Other residents were bullied and intimidated from the home by the HSE. I met two ladies yesterday who asked to be allowed to stay together. They had been friends together in the same place for 15 years. They are compos mentis and are able to walk the grounds and enjoy the facility. They also are very well cared for by the staff.
What is the HSE doing? The organisation hides behind the Fianna Fáil and Green Party Government, as do those parties' members. There is no responsibility; the buck does not stop anywhere. Elderly and vulnerable people are falling between the two stools, as it were. These are people who paid 70p in the pound to build this country to what it is today. They are being tossed out in a manner similar to a modern-day eviction. It is not just happening in Athlone but also in Lifford, Wexford, Waterford, Carlow and throughout this country. I ask all my colleagues in this House to stand up and be counted as public representatives once and for all and tell the Minister, Deputy Harney, how we feel and what we believe is right, because it is a moral issue. Is it right to throw people out of their homes? That is what is happening in Athlone.
There are no respite beds. Some 163 beds have been taken out of service in the mid-Leinster region. There are no more respite beds in the Athlone area. It will be the same in Mullingar. The television programme last night was very powerful. All those people need our support. We need to support people in the community and look after them. What is Fianna Fáil doing, under the Minister, Deputy Harney? It is allowing our public facilities to be closed under our noses.
Having viewed the television programme last night I, like other colleagues, am very uncomfortable, to say the least, at what I heard and saw. There is obviously a ploy in regard to what the HSE does relevant to facilities. Local management, including administrative and nursing management, make a request to the HSE for the upgrading of facilities, which does not come about. Subsequently, HIQA is asked to conduct a review of the standards of that facility which, invariably, are found to be less than satisfactory. It is not a new phenomenon. It happened in St. Loman's Hospital in Mullingar. I am the first to say that if I had had my way, I would have closed all the psychiatric hospitals 30 years ago and replaced them with appropriate facilities. That was not done and, as a consequence, we still have the current situation.
I spent many years caring for elderly people. I am appalled at the situation which obtains at the moment. The HSE is not working out. All of us in this Chamber must be brave and say it is not working. The Cathaoirleach will recall that when he was a member of the Midland Health Board, which he chaired, as I did, every time there was a meeting, the management of the board had to respond to questions from the Cathaoirleach, from me, from Senator Cassidy and from Senator McFadden's father, who was a member of the board. Members of the board visited the facilities and inspected them, and a report went before the next meeting of the board, for which management had to account. That structure is gone and more is the pity. People on both sides of the House could not get rid of the boards quickly enough. I say now: "Come back health boards; all is forgiven."
I want to say a few words about the HSE. What was witnessed last night on "Prime Time Investigates" and "The Frontline" is not at all unusual. The continuation of the moratorium on recruitment and the fact there are 120 public health nurse positions vacant is crippling the provision of care for the elderly and others in the heath services. Carers provide care for millions of hours, many unpaid, each week. It was terrible to see on last night's television programme that vital supplies such as nappies etc. were not available to people to care for their loved ones. This is not a situation about which anybody wants to speak or witness, as we did last night. If public health nurse positions are not filled, people will continue to find themselves in the situation evidenced in last night's television programme.
The HSE seems to be a bureaucratic animal which is not delivering the best care. There seems to be competition between areas and services provided are very unequal. What is provided in one constituency is not available in another. We constantly hear stories about inefficiencies and inadequacies in the HSE and how its services are delivered. It is certainly not delivering for the people, the staff working in facilities or the vulnerable in our society. We should have an urgent debate on what it is doing, whom it is accountable to and why the Minister of State must seek legal advice in order to gain access to files. What kind of bureaucracy has been created, although not by those on this side of the House?
I second the amendment to the Order of Business. What we witnessed on our television screens last night was very sad and heart-breaking for those watching. We must assist relatives who look after the people they love in their home environment and providing home care packages is one way to do this. They cost a fraction of what it would cost to put people in nursing homes. For the HSE and the Department of Health and Children to say they are providing for thousands of extra home care hours is absolutely meaningless for people who are struggling to assist their relatives on a daily basis. It is despicable to hear the HSE is now talking about placing time limits on a person having a shower, dressing in the morning or having breakfast in the context of home care hours. What kind of country are we living in in discussing these time limitations? The elderly and people who are not so old - as we saw on last night's television programme, people who are young suffer from Alzheimer's disease - above all else, deserve to be treated with dignity, as do the people looking after them. As we saw on last night's television programme, carers who look after their relatives are physically and mentally shattered. Hiding behind the HSE is convenient, as is saying it is not our problem. If there are problems in the HSE, they must be rectified. It is not good enough for Government Senators to state the HSE should be shut down or that we should do something about it. They are in government and should go ahead and do something if change is necessary. What are they doing talking about it because that is all they are doing? In the meantime, elderly people are suffering in their homes, as are their carers.
Listening to various interesting contributions which have been made today, one wonders if the wheels of government and administration are coming off or are grinding to a halt. We hear the Minister of State with responsibility for children is apparently at loggerheads with the HSE about accessing information on children who have died in care. What is coming across very strongly in the context of last night's television documentary and the very pertinent comments made by Senator Feeney and others about the bad deal - we heard much last year about the fair deal for older persons - is evidence of a very bad deal for older persons in society. It is interesting and ironic that we are saying this in Say No To Ageism Week and at a time when we learn that 23,000 people in Ireland are subject to elder abuse, whether sexual, financial or physical, or neglect. As a society, we must ask what are our priorities and who we are going to prioritise Surely it was always a sign of a civilised society that its most vulnerable members are prioritised even in times of economic crisis. Our older persons should be top of this list.
I was disturbed to learn that a friend who was due to represent Ireland in ten days' time at a Junior Chamber conference in Denmark was told by the Passport Office that it cannot guarantee she will be able to travel. What type of message is sent about Ireland when an Irish delegate cannot attend an event because the Passport Office would not process her application? We all get caught short on occasion but ten days appears a reasonable period within which one could expect a passport application to be processed. I ask the people who are holding it up and making life awkward for people - my friend may be out of pocket by up to €1,500 - to be aware of the message they are sending abroad. While I know life is difficult and hard choices are being made, people should try to serve their country to the best of their abilities. They are not serving their country by allowing that kind of message to be transmitted abroad.
I endorse my colleagues' demands for a debate on care of the elderly. Do we cherish our people? Last Thursday I attended the Cork carers' forum, at which concern was expressed about the comments of the Minister for Social Protection, Deputy Ó Cuív, on pensions and home help hours. I agree with Senator Callely that a separate debate is needed on home help and the role of carers in society. This is why I propose to raise a matter on the Adjournment of the House.
When a Minister is appointed by the Taoiseach, he or she receives a seal of office from the President. If it is correct to say that such a seal means he or she has authority and responsibility for the Department assigned to him or her, I ask Members opposite to desist from blaming the HSE. The officials of the HSE, ordinary men and women, are implementing Government policy-----
My question is simple. When will a Minister step up to the mark and say: "I am responsible, I am accountable and the buck stops with me"? Stop blaming officials. It would be like the Cathaoirleach blaming the officials for being unable to do something in this House. The Leader, as the Government representative here, and Ministers are the accountable and elected face of this Government. There is no Government policy. It is making it up as one goes along and ordinary people are suffering because of its cowardice.
I support the calls for a debate on care of the elderly. This is a matter I have raised with the Leader on numerous occasions in the past several years. I regret to say that since the death of the late Minister, Séamus Brennan, no Government Member has demonstrated sympathy or empathy for elderly people. Government policies and departmental measures have lacked any feeling other than a cold and dispassionate attitude towards the elderly. I have previously called for a constitutional referendum on protecting the elderly. I favour the proposed referendum on the rights of children but we urgently need to consider the need to protect the rights of the elderly across a broad range of services.
I am surprised that people responded as they did to last night's "Prime Time Investigates" given that we have developed a cold house and society over the past five or six years as far as elderly people are concerned. We need an urgent national public debate to highlight and respond to the crisis. The Seanad and, I presume, the other House spent many weeks debating the fair deal scheme as if it was the panacea for elderly people.
Our only aspiration in legislation for elderly people, including the fair deal Act, is to provide them with a nursing home bed. That is a pathetic response to the needs of the elderly. Much work remains to be done, whether on carers, home care packages or in other areas, and we must aim high. Demographics show that the population is ageing and new problems are emerging all the time. We must be bold, big and brave and consider the possibility of providing constitutional protection for elderly people. To do so would be to make a political statement on what we think of elderly people. It would also provide a mechanism to ensure we never again observe the problems shown on "Prime Time Investigates" last night.
Having watched last night's television programme, it is my view that the Health Service Executive is a discredited organisation. The Leader should immediately call the Minister for Health and Children to the House. In a democratic society in which €14.5 billion is allocated annually to the health service, it is not right that the HSE should remain unaccountable. This is a difficult statement to make but it is also the reality. Those who deserve care and attention are not receiving it from the HSE.
At the time the health services were being reorganised, I argued that the decision not to have public representatives on the Health Service Executive, as had been the case with the health boards, would end accountability and the system of checks and balances. This is what has transpired. A similar situation arose with the former Blood Transfusion Service Board when people died. If there had been public representatives on its board, deaths would not have occurred.
While it is true, as we heard, that people paid tax at 75p in the pound, it was under a Fine Gael-Labour Party Government. For this reason, I do not want to see Senators opposite crying crocodile tears.
The HSE is not working and needs immediate attention. The Minister needs to take charge of it. Given that the Oireachtas is accountable for the money allocated to the executive, it is our job to ensure the cheque we issue is properly spent, which is not the case at present.
I join colleagues in requesting a debate on the elderly. For the past two months, I have sought a discussion on the future of supported care homes such as the home in Athlone to which Senators referred. I do not see why we cannot hold such a debate.
Supported care homes were established some years ago effectively as halfway houses for people who were not ill and, while unable to live independently, were not placed in nursing homes. HIQA standards are being used as a mechanism to close these homes, such as the home in Athlone which failed the standards. Why was money not invested to raise standards in the facility in question? As Senator Buttimer and others noted, the Government has made a policy decision to devolve control of care of the elderly to the private sector. The closure in Athlone is likely to be repeated in Kilkenny shortly. A supported care home was closed in Carlow a couple of years ago. We were lucky in Kilkenny because 30 years ago the Bishop of Ossory, Dr. Peter Birch, made a decision to donate many disused convent facilities in the county for the creation of five or six supported care homes. It is a shocking indictment of where we are that the Government is seeking to divest control of care of the elderly to the private sector. There are many people who have been residents in such facilities for years, for many of whom they are their homes rather than just nursing homes. It is not good enough that the Government, through the HSE and HIQA, is using new guidelines - rightly brought forward following the Leas Cross controversy - as a mechanism with which to close down what are not and were never designed to be nursing homes, namely, supported care homes, the residents of which do not require 24 hour nursing care. This provision is being implemented by HIQA and will lead to the closure of such homes across the country. We need action by the Government on the issue.
I echo the sentiments expressed by Senator Mullen about the continuing delays in the Passport Office. There is a need for a resolution quickly to remove the difficulties people are experiencing in obtaining passports.
Senator Bradford is a very experienced parliamentarian and we congratulate him for his judgment. I offer him every good wish on behalf of all Members and, of course, to the Deputy in question.
Senators Fitzgerald, O'Toole, Alex White, Callely, Coffey, Feeney, Glynn, Prendergast, Cummins, Mullen, Buttimer, John Paul Phelan and Bradford called for a debate on health issues. The Minister for Health and Children, Deputy Harney, will be in the House on Wednesday, 3 June for such a debate. I intend to structure it in such a way as to allow a debate on health services under the jurisdiction of the HSE.
Many have called for a special debate on carers, which I will organise. I have congratulated all those involved who do great work. They all deserve a gold medal and money could not reward them. It is a no brainer that they offer value for money to the State. They are our loved ones and we owe them everything in the world. We should, therefore, do everything we can to assist them.
As the Minister of State with responsibility for older people, Deputy Áine Brady, will be coming before the House, I will have no problem in arranging a debate on the elderly. We will now have three debates taking place on the health portfolio. Calls are made frequently for the HSE to be divided up because it has become so big. This is something which should be seriously examined.
Senator O'Toole spoke about the challenges presented to buskers by organised gangs. Those who have entertained us on the streets of our cities, towns and villages for generations are part of who we are and I would like to see their continued promotion in an orderly fashion. The biggest stars in the world started off as buskers. I will convey the serious concerns of the House on the issue to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform.
Senator Norris spoke about the Civil Partnership Bill 2009. I will update the House later in the week on the timeframe for the later Stages of the Bill.
Senators McFadden and Glynn referred to Loughloe House in Athlone. I have already said the Minister for Health and Children will be in the House on 3 June and that there will be debates on older people and carers.
Senators Mullen and John Paul Phelan spoke about the Passport Office giving a ten-day timeframe to those who are representing our country as delegates. They should be given consideration in this regard because they are the representatives of our country. I call on everyone concerned to make that happen in order that they can represent the nation as they will do so well.
The Dail Divided:
For the motion: 19 (Paul Bradford, Paddy Burke, Jerry Buttimer, Paudie Coffey, Maurice Cummins, Paschal Donohoe, Frances Fitzgerald, Fidelma Healy Eames, Nicky McFadden, Rónán Mullen, David Norris, John Paul Phelan, Phil Prendergast, Feargal Quinn, Eugene Regan, Shane Ross, Brendan Ryan, Liam Twomey, Alex White)
Against the motion: 26 (Dan Boyle, Martin Brady, Larry Butler, Ivor Callely, James Carroll, John Carty, Donie Cassidy, Maria Corrigan, Mark Dearey, John Ellis, Geraldine Feeney, Camillus Glynn, John Gerard Hanafin, Cecilia Keaveney, Terry Leyden, Marc MacSharry, Lisa McDonald, Niall Ó Brolcháin, Brian Ó Domhnaill, Labhrás Ó Murchú, Denis O'Donovan, Fiona O'Malley, Ned O'Sullivan, Kieran Phelan, Mary White, Diarmuid Wilson)
Tellers: Tá, Senators Paul Bradford and Maurice Cummins; Níl, Senators Niall Ó Brolcháin and Diarmuid Wilson.
Amendment declared lost