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Order of Business (Resumed)
Snippet Contents:

We know that.
Senator Alice-Mary Higgins raised the issue of racism. The statistics she outlined are a matter of serious concern. None of us wants to see an increase in the instances of racist attacks in this country. The Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality, Deputy Stanton, is extremely passionate and hard-working on this issue and a debate with him early in the new term is a very constructive idea.
Senator Feighan raised the issue of the former Prime Minister of Bangladesh and her access to free and fair elections. It is a very serious issue that should be brought up with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and it one that we do not face, notwithstanding any negative comment one might have about people who get elected. I have visited countries which have very basic concerns about democracy. We should be very proud of our democracy, apart from any negatives we may find.
Senator Gavan raised the issue of workers rights, as he does regularly. I apologise but we had our parliamentary meeting at the same time as his presentation in the AV room last night. I had intended to go to it but that is the challenge around here. I would have liked to have heard what they had to say. Clearly, there are issues to be addressed. It would be helpful for us to have a discussion with the Minister on the wider issue of those types of contracts.
Senator Ó Domhnaill welcomed the re-establishment Brexit committee and asked for a constructive debate with the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation to outline the interactions on a trade-level between Ireland and England, which would be a good idea. There is great concern and that is a good suggestion and something we should arrange sooner rather than later. The Senator also raised the issue of the pensions crisis, which I addressed. That is something we all face and we should certainly have that conversation in this House.
I thank Senator Boyhan for his comments. I have said what I have to say with regard to GRECO. We should have sight of that report, and we should have had sight of it before now. I feel for the Minister on this one, to be honest. I would not be overly-critical of him because bringing this Bill through the Houses is quite a difficult thing for him to do as a member of the legal profession. He is the Minister for Justice and Equality at the moment and it must be difficult for any member of the legal profession to be a Minister when this legislation is being put through. I cannot speak for the Minister, and I cannot say he would have initiated this legislation himself.