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12/18/2013 12:00:00 AM


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Norris, David

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Business of Seanad

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Order of Business

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9

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Order of Business

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Senator David Norris

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Senator David Norris

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David Norris

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

I support Senator Darragh O'Brien. He did the Seanad and the nation a great service by raising the issue of the apparent corruption in some areas of NAMA. The Seanad should be given full credit for this. I noticed that throughout the media it disappeared and that it was suddenly credited to the Dáil, but it was Senator Darragh O'Brien and this House that really exposed it. The House owes the Senator a vote of commendation for this. Also, the issue in this House in terms of the legislation on that body was the series of Chinese walls, the privacy, the lack of freedom of information and the lack of openness and transparency throughout NAMA. From now on it should be far more accountable.
I was very disturbed to hear the reports about vegetables such as brussels sprouts, potatoes and so forth being sold for about 6 cent in the supermarkets. That is below-cost selling. I was probably the only Member of this House who opposed the removal of the groceries order, and it was for this reason. I knew that small Irish businesses would be driven out of existence by multinational conglomerates. I am sorry to inform the House that on Christmas Eve the oldest shop in Parnell Street, which is my newsagents and is almost a community hub, will close its doors for the last time. It is partly due to this practice. It is an absolute shame. We should be looking after our communities, particularly at this time. The blather of the Minister today about regulating this, that and the other is not enough. What is required is something to stop these big companies crucifying the small suppliers and putting them out of business if they do not play ball and become their single supplier.
I second Senator O'Donovan's amendment requiring the Minister to come to the House. I know it is unrealistic because the Minister is over in Brussels, probably counting the sprouts, but it is a very important matter. Senator O'Donovan has been leading on this. He is one of the most important people in either House to raise these issues. It is a type of European piracy, because we were too stupid to realise the resources we had. The Minister might not be in the country but as a protest against the betrayal of the Irish fishing industry and the loss of 300 jobs, I second the amendment and I hope Senator O'Donovan calls a vote.