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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

Ba mhaith liom cúpla focal a rá ar an ócáid speisialta seo. I am more than pleased with the result of the renovations. It is a beautiful building and it is appropriate that we have a collection Yeats's poetry outside in the atrium since he served as a Seanadóir and his son served as one of the Cathaoirleach's predecessors.
I join the Cathaoirleach's words of congratulation to all those concerned in the project, to the Ceann Comhairle, the Office of Public Works, the National Museum board, the contractors, the Oireachtas staff and everyone involved. As a member of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission, I wish to highlight in particular the work of our staff, the Clerk of the Seanad, Martin Groves, and the Clerk Assistant, Brigid Doody, the Cathaoirleach's adviser, Aisling Hart, and the Cathaoirleach. The Cathaoirleach cannot give himself a clap on the back but I am more than well aware of the work that he has put into the project over the past 12 months. God knows, he is busy enough without it. It is a credit to him.
In July 2016 it was decided to set up a Citizens' Assembly to look into aspects of the eighth amendment. It was also decided that on conclusion, its report would be handed over to a joint Oireachtas committee of which I am a member, under the excellent chairmanship of our colleague, Senator Catherine Noone. What is bothering me, and what I hope the Leader will bring to the Taoiseach's attention, is that the Taoiseach and several senior Ministers have been speaking out regularly about their intentions related to the holding of a referendum on the eighth amendment and are apparently now putting dates on it. What is the point of this Oireachtas committee? I ask myself what I am doing on it if it to be gazumped and the Government is moving on regardless.