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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

I am pleased to announce this morning that the Minister for Health is establishing the national rare diseases office. Both Senator Jillian van Turnhout and I have been raising this issue for some time. The Minister confirmed in a reply to a Commencement matter I raised this morning and in a reply by letter that €100,000 has been provided this year for setting up the office, and €200,000 for 2016. I welcome that. It is long overdue and will be a valuable part of developing a comprehensive programme for dealing with rare diseases. I welcome it very much. Getting the national rare diseases plan published was a positive move on the part of the former Minister, as is acting on the plan now.
Let me respond to Senator Thomas Byrne's comments on the Minister for Justice and Equality. In Cork we are building a new prison. For 14 years, Fianna Fáil was an office with plenty of money and procrastinated over the problem. The party kicked the matter from one constituency to another. We are building the prison. We do not look on to ascertain the general mood and the way the wind is blowing; we actually do the work.