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Order of Business

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

I will accept Senator Kelleher's proposal. Senator Gallagher raised GP cover for rural areas. I would be happy for the Minister to come to the House. The ten-year health strategy has been published and we will have to wait for a debate on that. We need to look at how we can change the health landscape in the context of an evolving Ireland. A new Department responsible for rural Ireland is being created and that is something we can also debate.
Senator Boyhan raised the issue of family carers, and commended them on their tremendous work in keeping more people at home. I would be happy for the Minister, Deputy Regina Doherty, came to the House to discuss this.
Senator Black mentioned Cumann L├║thchleas Gael's decision to give rights to Sky for some of its matches. That is a debate that must return to. I am a member of Cumann L├║thchleas Gael and was on its marketing committee when we looked at all matters related to the GAA. It is regrettable that we are in a situation where some matches are not on terrestrial television. It means a smaller audience is able to watch it. I accept the GAA needs to be able to make money on a commercial basis, but it is regrettable that some of the championship matches, such as the one between Waterford and Kilkenny last Saturday night, were unavailable to people. It is something the GAA will return to. Senator Black also referred to people having to go to public houses or other places where alcohol is served in order to see the games. Having venues where no alcohol is sold is something that we might look at as a society. I appreciate Senator Black has been a champion in this House of alternatives to alcohol.
The Minister, Deputy Coveney, is in Israel this week and is not available but I would be happy to have that debate as soon as possible.
Senator Kieran O'Donnell raised the motor insurance industry. He made a good point that the industry is good at fobbing people off, and wearing them down until they pay a higher price. When he was Minister of State in the Department of Finance, Deputy Eoghan Murphy, had action points arising from the working group on insurance. Senator O'Donnell is correct that there needs to be fair play from the insurance companies and we must ensure that they are held to account.
Senator Grace O'Sullivan referred to the report this morning about the tourism industry which enjoys a 9% VAT rate. The Senator knows it was a catalyst in terms of kick-starting the economy and it was put in place by the last Government. It led to significant growth in employment and allowed for an increase in visitor numbers. She is partly correct that because of Brexit and the policies of President Trump visitor numbers have fallen but we must also ask if we are giving value for money. In this city, there has been an exponential increase in prices for accommodation and food.