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Senator Jerry Buttimer

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

The Senator is probably going for YouTube records at this stage but we are here to find solutions. Senator Conway raised the issue of cyclists in Dublin and I would be happy to have the Minister come to the House to address that. Senators Ó Donnghaile and Ó Céidigh mentioned the former's recent briefing. I was not at that briefing and was not in fact aware of it but I would be happy to talk to the Senators on the matter. Senator Craughwell raised the issue of home improvement loans. It is certainly disappointing that our banks are once again trying to give money to people without due process. I had hoped that such a thing would not happen. We bailed out the banks and it is important that such matters be handled in a proper manner. I commend the Minister for Health, Deputy Harris, and the Minister of State with special responsibility for mental health and older people, Deputy Jim Daly, for the launch today of the diabetic retina screening programme. It is a wonderful initiative and Dr. Diarmuid Quinlan in Cork was very much involved with it. In line with World Diabetes Week, it is important that we support such a programme.
Senator Mac Lochlainn has, regrettably, left the Chamber but in response to his contribution I wish to point out that we discussed Jadotville yesterday and I do not want to repeat what I said then other than to stress that the ceremony will involve full military honours. If Senator Mac Lochlainn is concerned about this then I would like to point out that the representatives from the Department of Defence I spoke to after yesterday's meeting were certainly not aware of the issues raised by Senator Craughwell. It is important to recognise, however, that the men of Jadotville are heroes and will be receiving medals and full military honours. From what I have been told by the Department, there is no ambiguity there.
I join with the other Senators in congratulating the people of Australia on their magnificent vote yesterday on marriage equality and I commend Tiarnan Brady, formerly political director of the Yes Equality campaign in this country, for leading the campaign in Australia, others like Craig Dwyer who travelled there to help with that campaign, and the many Irish people living in Australia who played a pivotal role in it. Today is a wonderful day for the people of Australia and a further sign of progress around the world. I salute and commend all involved and thank them on their work.
Senators Black and Ó Clochartaigh both referred to the report by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Deputy Ring, spoke at committee this morning and raised those very issues, namely, budgetary matters and the need for further improvement in rural Ireland, and I would be happy to have him come to the House to discuss them. In response to Senator Wilson, I would also be happy to have a debate on the funding of local government. Senator Lombard raised the issue of women's participation in sport. I join him in congratulating Tracey Kennedy on her appointment as the first female cathaoirleach of Coiste Contae Chorcaigh, the Cork County GAA board, and wish her well in her new role. Eithne O'Mahony, a woman from the Cathaoirleach's home town of Bantry, was the first female delegate some time back and it is great that Ms Kennedy has now been appointed chairperson of that board.
I join Senator Devine in asking that we all work to tackle the rate of attacks on mental health professionals. This is a worrying trend exacerbated, as the Senator said, by an ageing staff and by recruitment problems. We need to work on this. Senators Swanwick and Mulherin raised health care issues. The Minister will be in the House later this afternoon and the Senators can raise these matters then. Finally, I join Senator Ned O'Sullivan in welcoming the Luas extension and agree with him that the current situation in Clonmel train station needs to be taken into account by the Minister.
I also thank the Cathaoirleach for his indulgence. I would hate for him to think that the Members of the House do not respect him because we do, and I would be happy to speak to Members about their behaviour and the language used here. Listening to some Members one might swear that the Government does nothing-----