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Order of Business

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Senator David Cullinane

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

We have one item of legislation. On Thursday we will have the Order of Business followed by statements with an MEP. There is no reason that could not be taken on Wednesday. It is beyond me why we will sit on Thursday. It seems we are trying to pad out days here and not doing what we should be doing, which is introducing legislation. My concerns about that are genuine and I will express them again. I wish to move an amendment to the Order of Business, to be helpful to the Leader, that we take No. 26 on the Order Paper, which is the Corporate Manslaughter Bill 2013 tabled by Sinn Féin. If the Government is not prepared to bring forward legislation we should debate the legislation the Opposition wants to bring forward.
I ask the Leader that we would be given ample time and opportunity to discuss the detail of the Higgins report, which will be published shortly. I state my objection to the way that report is being launched. It is being launched first to the press at an event in Croke Park following which Deputies and Senators will be briefed. That is not the best way for Oireachtas Members to be briefed on legislation. It should be done in both Houses of the Oireachtas and not initially at press conferences. I register my protest about the way that is being done. That aside, there is no doubt that the Higgins report will have profound implications, both positive and negative, for acute hospital services across the State for generations to come. It is that important, and given that, it is vital that this House has the opportunity to properly tease out people's concerns while welcoming the positive aspects but also to tease out the genuine concerns of patients across the State and also in the Leader's constituency, the south east. I ask the Leader to provide sufficient time for that to happen because we need to have proper debate on the full implications of what will be contained in the Higgins report.