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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

I commend the Leas-Chathaoirleach on his handling of the important hearings of the Seanad Public Consultation Committee into mental health services which took place here over the past several Thursdays. As a member of the committee, I would also like to pay tribute to Senator Freeman. The engagement was positive. Hearing some of the challenges and difficulties, as well as the harrowing stories of what people have had to go through in respect of the health service, was difficult. In many ways, it is not serving us, in spite of all the resources pumped into it. It was an excellent exercise in what this Chamber can achieve.
The report from these hearings, no more than other reports the Seanad Public Consultation Committee has issued, such as the one on farm safety in which I was heavily involved, will have an impact.
I also commend the new Minister of State, Deputy Jim Daly, on his initiative in setting up an Oireachtas committee on mental health. In due course, we might get the new Minister of State to talk to us on the specifics of what he hopes this new Oireachtas committee on mental health will achieve. It is a new initiative which is useful. Now this Chamber has begun the conversation on mental health, albeit part of our report, we should continue that public engagement in the Seanad Chamber because it is an extremely important issue.