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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

Most times when we stand up to speak in the Seanad, we speak about areas that are of interest to us. We speak about causes that we want to support or defend, whether it is the Magdalen laundries, industrial disputes, bank bailouts, mortgage arrears, homelessness, health, cyber-bullying, suicide or unemployment. Generally, they are bad news stories where we want to help. However, I have a good news story I want to bring to the Seanad today, one that brings a lot of positivity. It is in an area that is very close to me, namely, the opening of the Athlone Institute of Technology's indoor arena last weekend by An Taoiseach.
Whether people are young, old or in-between, like most of us here, they would certainly be highly inspired when they walk in the door of the arena. To see the smile on the young people's faces, to see the awe in the eyes of the older people and to see how inspired people are is quite moving. As they walk in there, it exudes everything in life. I would like to offer my congratulations to Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin of Athlone Institute of Technology for his leadership, his entrepreneurial skills and his ability to deliver something that we have been trying to deliver here in Ireland for the past 40 years.
I note the Minister of State, Deputy Ring, and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport contributed to the tune of €750,000 towards this almost €13 million project. This is not just about sports; it is all about the community and tourism in the area. It is amazing to see the shops, restaurants and hotels which will improve their incomes over the coming years. I want to point out that Dublin is the only capital city in the world, perhaps, not to have an international indoor arena and, again, this is not just for sports.
I call on the Leader to communicate with the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Deputy Varadkar, and the Minister of State, Deputy Ring, and perhaps all of the other Departments, because while in the past they said they would look at this idea, I would like them to now commit to it for the very near future. In the next round of sports grants, it is very important that we would follow suit and deliver something similar to what Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin has delivered so, when we look towards Abbottstown, we are looking to deal with physical fitness, literacy, health, tourism and the well-being an arena like that will deliver to the people of Ireland and this capital city.