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Business of Dáil (Continued)

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 906 No. 2

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Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams Under Standing Order 170, I propose, as an urgent necessity, the suspension of Standing Orders to allow an urgent and meaningful debate to take place in the House today. The Government did not want us to meet this morning; that was not its initial plan. We now have a very superficial clár. This is only the second time we have met in 47 days and there are major issues, with which we are all familiar, that need to be discussed, including homelessness, health services, water charges and child care. Sinn Féin would like to debate a motion to scrap water charges and the High Court's decision on the development of a national monument on Moore Street and in its precincts. It should be remembered that if the judge had not made that decision, Moore Street would have been demolished. This happened on the Government's watch. Another issue worthy of discussion is the shocking reports of many deaths and casualties in Brussels. I am arguing that the Dáil should be allowed to order its own business; that Teachtaí Dála should be allowed to discuss whatever issues they want to discuss and that Standing Orders should be suspended to allow this to happen; and that the Order of 10 March 2016 should be amended to allow Sinn Féin's motion on Irish water to be taken instead of the business which has been scheduled to be taken.

Deputy Shane Ross: Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross On behalf of the Independent Alliance, I join previous speakers in expressing our condolences to the two families involved in the tragedy in Buncrana. The number of deaths is utterly devastating for the people of the area and the nation, although it should be noted that one or two heroes have emerged from the tragedy - the man who rescued the baby and the father whose last words were so tragic and poignant.

I also express my utter revulsion at what happened in Brussels today. Incidents such as this dwarf the differences in this Chamber and allow us to unite in condemnation, horror and expressing sympathy to those involved. As Deputy Micheál Martin said, it is not just Brussels or Europe that is under threat from a small number of people who are seeking to wreak havoc with the lives of innocent people but democracy throughout the world. It is welcome that all parties are able to send the message from this House that we are united in condemnation of this appalling incident.

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton I express the condolences of the Labour Party to the McGrotty family on the deaths of Seán and his two sons, Mark and Evan, and the boys' grandmother, Ruth Daniels, and her daughter, Jodie Lee. County Donegal is no stranger to very serious accidents in recent years involving the loss of life. It is sad that a pleasant spring day turned into such a tragedy for this family, the extended family and their friends in Derry. Anybody who heard Mr. Walsh who rescued the baby and his partner talk about what had happened could not but have been moved by the spectacle of both the tragedy and the courage he and his partner showed in rescuing the baby and the forlornness of the farewell by the father of the family as he returned to rescue his children. In terms of the level of grief and heartbreak, it was an appalling tragedy to befall the family. I extend my condolences, as well as my admiration, to Mr. Walsh for the part he played in rescuing the baby and to all of those working in the rescue and emergency services.

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