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02/19/2019 12:00:00 AM


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Ardagh, Catherine

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An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

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263

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14

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An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

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An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

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Senator Catherine Ardagh

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Senator Catherine Ardagh

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Catherine Ardagh

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Snippet Contents:

Today I express my disappointment about the comments made by Deputy McDonald concerning the Police Service of Northern Ireland, PSNI. She said she would not have confidence in any current member of the PSNI senior leadership team taking the helm of the organisation. I am very disappointed and surprised by these remarks and they very much undermine the role of the PSNI. From both sides of the community we spent so much time and many years building up and ensuring confidence in the police service. It was confidence that members of both the nationalist and unionist community could have in the institution. It seems Sinn Féin is hell-bent on destroying all the institutions in the North, first with the assembly and now the police service. Deputy McDonald should withdraw her remarks and apologise for them because they are very destabilising. It is very unfair on those who live in Northern Ireland to have the policing service undermined while not having an assembly.
I also raise the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, INIS, which I have mentioned in the House before. Where people are seeking re-entry visas and are legally in this country, they must apply for an appointment. I said before that bots have taken these appointment slots so that people can resell them. I raised the matter in October but it has not been resolved. It seems there is some sort of institutional racism against people in this country legally. The matter has been raised and lip service has been paid in the fixing of the problem but nothing has been done.
Before the introduction of the appointments system, people with visas living in this country who needed to re-enter the country after going home for an emergency, for example, could go to the Garda National Immigration Bureau on Burgh Quay for a meeting with a member of An Garda Síochána with responsibility for immigration. That cannot be done now and it is very unfair on those who are legally in the country. They deserve some sort of service as they pay their taxes. These people make a contribution, as they are largely nurses, doctors and others who are here legally. I call on the Government to ensure the system is corrected so that the appointments system is fair. I call on the Minister to ensure these people can meet a person if there is an emergency in their home and they have a visa to be in Ireland.
I also raise the sourcing of cannabis products. The Government has stated it is difficult to source these products but the UK has managed to import a large number of cannabinoid products from Canada. Many patients in Ireland suffer from multiple sclerosis or epilepsy and are not able to gain access to cannabinoid products that might help their illness. I call on the Government to have a look at the matter as people are crying out for access to these products. It is not fair that they do not have access to them despite the appropriate legislation being in place.