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Order of Business

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Senator Frank Feighan

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

I would like to propose a vote of congratulations to Arlene Foster, the leader of the DUP, and also to the GAA family from Fermanagh and Donegal for the reception they gave her. It was a wonderful gesture to attend the Ulster final and it sets out an agenda that, hopefully, things are changing in Northern Ireland. That should not go unnoticed, especially given the Taoiseach's visit to east Belfast and the reception he got from the Orange Order and its supporters in east Belfast, and also the reception he got in west Belfast at the opening of Féile. In addition, in recent weeks Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, were in Cork, the so-called rebel county. This island is changing and that is very much to be welcomed. If somebody makes a gesture, I believe we should be strong enough and brave enough to stand up in this Seanad and welcome it. That is very important.
I would also like to welcome the appointment of PSNI deputy chief constable, Drew Harris, as the new Garda Commissioner. Again, this is setting a different tone for the Garda Síochána. My grandfather was among the first members of the Garda Síochána. In this House and in politics, we should challenge the Garda Síochána but we are not here to undermine its good name. I hope that, as politicians, we are balanced in how we talk about members of the Garda Síochána. They are the people who have held the line in very difficult times since the foundation of the State. I wish Drew Harris every success in the future.
One aspect I have raised in the House is the Commonwealth Games, which is due to be held in Northern Ireland in 2021, and which could be another achievement of cross-Border co-operation.