Wednesday, 15 November 2023
Gnó an tSeanaid - Business of Seanad
Before I ask the Acting Leader to outline the Order of Business, on behalf of the Seanad, I extend a céad míle fáilte and take the opportunity to congratulate Latvia and its people on their national day, which is taking place on Saturday. It is part of the country's Patriot Week celebration. I am very privileged to welcome the Latvian ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Juris Štlmeistars, to the Public Gallery. He has been a very good friend of Ireland and of this parliamentary community. Senator Maria Byrne, chairperson designate of the Latvian friendship group, sends her apologies as she cannot be here today. I know she has been working sensitively with the ambassador and others in the Latvian Parliament. This year marks 105 years of the country's independence. We wish the ambassador a happy independence day. We thank him for extending the hand of friendship and members of the Latvian community for making a valuable contribution to Ireland. They are making a very positive and genuine contribution in all of our communities.We thank them for that. I think it is now the ninth biggest grouping of people in the country. They were higher up the list but, obviously, they have been overtaken. In saying that, your people make a hugely positive contribution and you have been a very good friend to Ireland. We welcome you today and thank you for being here.
I call the Acting Leader to outline the business of the day.