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Order of Business

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Senator Paudie Coffey

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An Cathaoirleach

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An Leas-Chathaoirleach

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

I share Senator Landy's concerns about the Irish greyhound industry, which has been a traditionally strong industry not only in Dublin where the current controversy surrounds the Harold's Cross track but right around the country where patrons, owners and breeders are concerned about the future of the industry. I agree that we need to have a debate about the greyhound industry in this country, what the board is doing to sustain it and what changes need to be made to assist that industry.
Despite the recent controversies, it is important that we in this House understand and recognise that every citizen in this country has a fundamental right, under our Constitution, to a presumption of innocence unless otherwise proven. I want to put on the record that I, too, welcome the holding of a public inquiry into the recent controversies around the McCabe case. The reputation and integrity of our agencies such as Tusla and, indeed, An Garda Síochána, which has stood by this country since its foundation, are under question until this matter is finally dealt with. I welcome the move by Government to have a public, transparent inquiry under the chairmanship of Mr. Justice Charleton and we will be debating its terms of reference later on.
I wish to raise an issue that has been of interest to me for quite some time, namely, the pyrite issue and the damage that it has done to many homes throughout the country but more especially in the Meath and north Dublin areas. The previous Government increased funding for the pyrite remediation scheme for the carrying out of remediation works to many of the houses that were affected, and strong and solid progress is being made. However, there is another similar problem concerning mica in Donegal and north Mayo. The Minister of State, Deputy Joe McHugh, brought it to my attention a number of years ago and an expert committee was established to closely examine the problems being experienced by the householders affected by mica. I understand this expert committee is due to report soon. It has visited the houses affected which are literally crumbling around the families living in them due to concrete work that was insufficient and not of proper integrity. I ask the Leader to arrange a debate on the pyrite and mica issues and to invite the Minister with responsibility for housing to come into the House in order that we can debate these issues in detail to establish what assistance is being made available and what is planned to assist those families who have been let down by poor regulation in the construction industry.