Seanad debates

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

1:00 pm

Photo of Paddy BurkePaddy Burke (Cathaoirleach of Seanad; Fine Gael)
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I have received notice from Senator John Whelan that, on the motion for the Commencement of the House today, he proposes to raise the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Social Protection to outline the current operations of the school meals programme funded by her Department; the number of schools benefiting; and the number of children and the total resources involved, with particular reference to how the scheme is currently operated in schools throughout counties Laois, Offaly and Kildare.

I have also received notice from Senator Denis O’Donovan of the following matter:

The need for the Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works to outline whether he can provide adequate accommodation in Bantry, County Cork, for social welfare services (details supplied) to enable them to be housed under one roof, since they are currently in four separate locations, which is most inconvenient for the general public.

I have also received notice from Senator Tony Mulcahy of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government to state whether he will reintroduce the local authority tenant purchase schemes.

I have also received notice from Senator David Cullinane of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Health to provide a breakdown of inpatient and outpatient waiting times at University Hospital Waterford; the number of vacant consultancy posts; details of theatre capacity; and the steps the Minister intends to take to reduce waiting times at the hospital.

I have also received notice from Senator Martin Conway of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine to outline the position regarding landowners who wish to carry out drainage works or reclamation works to land.

I have also received notice from Senator Hildegarde Naughton of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to consider alternative policy approaches to supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged island communities.

I have also received notice from Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Health to urgently address the lengthy waiting lists for urology appointments at Letterkenny General Hospital by appointing a new consultant urologist and also making provision for essential equipment.

I have also received notice from Senator Gerard Craughwell of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to outline the steps being taken to preserve and excavate the Bronze Age track at Mayne Bog, Coole, County Westmeath.

I have also received notice from Senator Lorraine Higgins of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport to consider abandoning the existing greenway route from Ballinasloe to Galway in the absence of full agreement from landowners on the route.

I regard the matters raised by the Senators as suitable for discussion. I have selected the matter raised by Senator Whelan, and it will be taken now. I welcome the Minister of State, Deputy Simon Harris, to the House. Senator Whelan has four minutes.