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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

Senators Darragh O'Brien, Sean D. Barrett, Gerard P. Craughwell and Colm Burke spoke about the ambulance service and HIQA's report. We can certainly try to have a debate on the issue. There was a comprehensive debate on the subject at the joint Oireachtas committee yesterday and we do not want duplication both at the committee and in the House. However, the Minister for Health, Deputy Leo Varadkar, has agreed to come to the House in early January for statements on the health service plan, as requested; therefore, there may be an opportunity to discuss the matter with him during that debate.
Senator Ivana Bacik raised a number of items. She especially welcomed the decision by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Deputy Charles Flanagan, and the Government on the hooded men case, a matter that was also referred to by Senators Terry Leyden, Michael Mullins and Labhrás Ó Murchú. It was also raised yesterday when Senator Mark Daly castigated the Government for not taking action. I am sure he will be in the House next week to welcome the Government's stance on the issue.
Senator Sean D. Barrett also spoke about the National Ambulance Service, a matter to which I have referred.
Senator Hildegarde Naughton spoke about the teachers' dispute and called for Dr. Pauric Travers to reconvene the talks at the earliest opportunity. We all hope the talks will be reconvened, before Christmas if possible, to resolve the dispute. It is in nobody's interests to have such disputes and the only way they can be resolved is through negotiation. I hope Dr. Travers will reconvene the talks as a matter of urgency and that all sides to the dispute will respond favourably.
Senators Denis O'Donovan and Paul Bradford spoke about the difficulties that might accrue in the milk sector next year. Teagasc and the farming organisations are looking for an increase in the intervention price. The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Deputy Simon Coveney, will be in the House next week to speak about the issue of sustainability and I have asked him to also address the crisis that may occur in the milk sector. I hope we will have an opportunity, therefore, to discuss the matter with him next week.
Senator John Kelly discussed the difficulties with carer's allowance. He might table an Adjournment matter on the subject to receive a specific answer.
Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh spoke about the rural development programme. As he stated, only two weeks ago we debated the CEDRA report, but he is calling for a further debate on the rural development programme. We will try to get the Minister to come to the House to discuss that matter.
Senator Michael Comiskey also discussed the concerns of Teagasc, a matter to which I have referred.
Senators Michael Mullins and Brian Ó Domhnaill called for a debate on Irish Aid and the recent OECD report in which Ireland was complimented on its support for many worthwhile projects. Obviously, there is a difference of opinion between the two Senators on this issue, but I agree that we should have a debate on Irish Aid soon. We will probably have it in the new year.