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Business of Dáil (Continued)

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 906 No. 2

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(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Catherine Murphy: Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy] We should start as we mean to go on in relation to being inclusive as to how the Order of Business is framed. All sides of the House would be willing to play a role in doing that to permit urgent matters to be debated and solutions suggested as to how we might proceed.

Deputy Eamon Ryan: Information on Eamon Ryan Zoom on Eamon Ryan On behalf of the Green Party, I extend our sympathies to the McGrotty family as we reflect on how life can go from a lovely family occasion and slip into unspeakable and unimaginable tragedy. Our thoughts are with that family. While the circumstances are different, it is similarly the case for those caught up in the explosions in Brussels where people have gone from the pleasurable moment of flying out on holidays to seeing their lives or those of loved ones torn apart. Our thoughts go out to those who have lost their lives or are injured in the tragedy there. It is an attack on our European values. As Deputy Burton said, it is an attack on our core democratic beliefs on our European Continent. It is regrettable that we do not have more time to debate the bigger international picture because there is a connection with the wider issues of what is happening between the Middle East and Europe and it is something we need to spend our time and attention on as a Dáil. At a moment when an attack on our democratic way of life, our basic freedoms and our constitutional approach is happening, it is a pity there is still such uncertainty within the Dáil as to the future configuration of the Government. Hopefully, that is something we can all address in the coming weeks. We have a role as this is one of the 28 countries which must respond to that international environment. It is important we, as a House, do that in an effective way and stand up for our constitutional, democratic freedoms.

Deputy Paul Murphy: Information on Paul Murphy Zoom on Paul Murphy On behalf of Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit, I add our voice of sympathy to and express our solidarity with the families of the victims of the Buncrana tragedy, the McGrotty and Daniels families, and with their relatives, friends and everyone affected in the communities in Donegal and Derry. In relation to what is happening in Brussels at the moment, we add our voice of condemnation to what appear to be ongoing terrorist attacks. The purpose of the attacks seems at this very early stage to be to strike terror into the hearts of people and to divide them. It is to create an environment of hatred, division and racism which is the kind of environment where very right-wing reactionary forces can benefit and grow. At this stage, we must say clearly that there is solidarity and sympathy with all those affected by the attacks and that we are opposed to terror, division, racism and war. People should stand together fighting for a very different sort of society and a peaceful society.

In terms of the Order of Business, the statements today are fine. While will discuss important topics, including the EU-Turkey agreement and the housing and homelessness crisis, the Dáil should not be sitting just waiting for whoever is going to form the Government to do so. In effect, it is reducing itself to a debating Chamber which does not believe it has the power to pass anything. The Dáil exists and we have a mandate. We were elected on the basis of the positions we put forward. As such, the Dáil should be discussing motions today. There are a number of motions on the Order Paper and we in the Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit have three motions down which we consider are vital. One is on the abolition of water charges and Irish Water, another is on a series of measures to deal with the housing crisis, but the most urgent, which will be reflected in a protest today and in the Dáil discussion later, is the urgent situation of people facing eviction in Tyrrelstown and in Blackrock, Cork.

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