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An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

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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 Michael McDowell

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Snippet Contents:

I support what Senator Freeman said about psychiatric services. If, as she stated, an emergency appointment for a psychiatric interview is taking 13 weeks, we are not just talking about delays but also about lives. The HSE is statute-bound to provide psychiatric services, and there comes a point at which it is in breach of its statutory duty. I think this will end up in the courts in the form of some massive action at some stage. The problem is that when people, especially young people, take their own lives, there is no financial penalty on the people responsible. It is very serious. Children could be denied psychiatric help for 13 weeks when they are in crisis.
The other matter I wish to speak about is the desirability of asking the Minister of State with responsibility for the Electricity Supply Board, in which I think the State is still a shareholder, to come before the House to explain the reason for the following: when, in the 1960s, the board had destroyed the longest single stretch of Georgian architecture in Dublin by putting up a hideous office block on Fitzwilliam Street, it then had the opportunity to rectify the damage it had done. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan, when he was a member of Dublin City Council, had inserted into the city development plan a requirement that any development on that site should involve the reinstatement of the facade. The board campaigned to change this in order that it could put up another incongruous building on the site. Now it appears that the board is not even building this building for itself; it is a speculative office development that it is offering to the market to dispose of. There is no excuse for this. The opportunity to restore this part of Georgian Dublin was sitting there, and the ESB, in its wisdom, has chosen to ignore that opportunity, to get Dublin City Council to change its development plan to allow it not to restore the damage it did. Now the board is proposing to sell off the development, once it has it finished, for private office development. This is a terrible tragedy, and somebody - the shareholder - should take responsibility for what has happened.