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Order of Business

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Senator Ivana Bacik

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

I will start with a measure of good news, certainly for Dublin Senators. It was a wonderful result in the all-Ireland final on Sunday. I was among the thousands of people on Merrion Square last night to watch the team come home with the Sam Maguire cup. On a more serious note, it was the culmination of a particularly good weekend in terms of organising communal events that brought large crowds into the city centre. Culture Night took place on Friday night, although it was not confined to Dublin, and was a huge success in urban centres across Ireland in bringing people into city centres, regenerating urban spaces, bringing in families and children and giving a real boost to city and town centre economies. We could do with more of these initiatives. I commend Dublin City Council on supporting similar initiatives and, in particular, the initiative that has just finished at Granby Park, a pop-up park off Dominick Street. It was initiated by a collective of architects and artists with the support of Dublin City Council on a piece of wasteland in an area that is to be developed. It showed the kind of initiative that could be taken and brought lots of people into the city centre. It was a very positive development. Many colleagues will visit the National Ploughing Championships this week which bring a similar regeneration to rural areas. It is good to see hordes of people flocking to Stradbally.
I ask the Leader to continue the initiative we have taken in debating European directives. I am glad to see that we will debate an EU directive on the application of patient rights in cross-border health care. We had an excellent debate in the House on Thursday on the new directive dealing with measures to combat child sex abuse and, in particular, sex abuse material online on the Internet and pornography. We had a strong debate on it and Senator Jillian van Turnhout and I, and a range of colleagues, participated in it. This is the sort of debate that can bring out important issues and help the Government in deciding how it should go about implementing directives. I am glad to see it and would like to see us inviting more MEPs. We have had a schedule of invitations to MEPs, but some have not yet been here. We might usefully debate with those who have not yet appeared the future direction of European Union economic policy, particularly in th light of the German election result and the possible shaping of a grand coalition between Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats and the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, SPD, which could see the social democrats take the finance ministry. This would be likely to present a rather different set of economic policies which would help to determine EU economic policy. It is a good time to have more MEPs visit the Chamber.
I express sympathy, as I am sure most colleagues do, about the stabbings that took place in Dublin over the weekend, some of which were fatal.