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Order of Business

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Senator Feargal Quinn

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

It is a couple of years since I introduced a Bill in the House regarding the provision of defibrillators. The Minister accepted the point, said he would check with the Health Information and Quality Authority, HIQA, but found it would be too expensive. The reason I raise it is that Dublin Airport has been very successful in the use of defibrillators, with 25 lives having been saved. However, HIQA stated it would be too expensive to implement the Bill. Consider what happened last week when somebody needed a defibrillator on a Ryanair flight. There was none on the aeroplane, as is the case with most Irish aeroplanes, and the person died. It is outrageous. Given the minor cost of defibrillators, they should be available. British Airways, EasyJet, Monarch Airlines and Thomas Cook Airlines have defibrillators on each of their aeroplanes, but Irish aeroplanes do not have them. This is an essential item. The debate on the Bill I introduced was adjourned. I would love if it was debated again in the House and if its provisions are too expensive, let us make amendments to it. However, let us ensure Irish aeroplanes carry defibrillators in the future.
Some of the stories that have been told are outrageous. A coroner is asking for aircraft to carry life-saving equipment after Davina Tavener died of an undiagnosed heart condition on a flight to Lanzarote. The consultant surgeon said, "I did ask for a defibrillator, because if it's a cardiac issue that's the best chance of survival, but it was quite a surprise this wasn't there." The coroner, Alan Walsh, said he would write to the European Aviation Safety Agency, the Civil Aviation Authority and the Irish Aviation Authority about the possibility of installing defibrillators on board. This is urgent and it must happen. We have put if off long enough. It is a few years since I introduced the defibrillator Bill and I am stunned that we have not taken any step forward. I understand the Minister saying he will get around to it, or words to that effect. On that basis I believe it will happen.
Another Bill that was introduced is the Employment Permits (Amendment) Bill, the debate on which was adjourned also. The reason for that Bill being introduced was that a relatively young man, Muhammad Younis, was earning 55 cent per hour for a 70 hour week for seven years in Ireland. When he made a claim, it was found that he had a good claim but that, unfortunately, he only had his work permit for one year. Therefore, he lost the case. He brought his case to the High Court and lost it, but then brought it to the Supreme Court and won it. However, let us ensure we are not obliged to rely on such processes for such people. Last Thursday he won his claim.
Let us ensure we consider these legislative measures and complete them. They are very simple. The Bill was discussed in the House and nobody disagreed with it. However, it was adjourned with one minute to go. Let us bring it back to the House and ensure it is passed, with the legislation on defibrillators. We need both measures very badly.