Order of Business (Continued)

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Seanad Éireann Debate

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Senator Mary Moran: Information on Mary Moran Zoom on Mary Moran I thank the Leas-Chathaoirleach and can assure Senator Terry Leyden that it is worth waiting for.

  I extend my sincere condolences to the family of Donal Walsh. He made a lasting impression and was an inspiration for young and old. I have no doubt that his memory will live on as a powerful advocate on suicide. I, too, would welcome another debate on the issue. It is a discussion that needs to be held continually. Last night in my home town a positive mental health forum that I had set up in January had that conversation on suicide, dispelling the myths about it. It was well attended. It is only by coming forward and speaking out that we can offer help to one another.

  I welcome the launch by the Minister of State, Deputy Kathleen Lynch, of the national standards for residential services for children and adults with disabilities, which was long overdue. I am delighted that the systems standards of HIQA will be in place to ensure vulnerable people and those with disabilities will have the safeguards they need in order that they will be protected and their quality of life will be enhanced in every way. However, I have grave concerns about the number of people with disabilities who need access to residential care services. There is a difficulty for those trying to access such care. While improving standards, I hope HIQA will ensure the number of beds and services available for people with disabilities will not decrease.

  One item of great concern concerns care in the home for the elderly. I refer specifically to the case, brought to my attention in recent days, of a 90 year old woman in my locality who fell three weeks ago. She has not been able to lie down since because of a broken arm, diabetes and a heart complaint. She has been forced to sleep on a chair at night because no orthopaedic bed is available. We spoke earlier about human dignity and people's rights. It is appalling that in a developed country an orthopaedic bed cannot be provided. I do not mind what cutbacks or cuts to services are made, but we owe this to elderly people and all other citizens. A 90 year old woman is struggling when the problem could be rectified so simply. Such persons need the services provided, including continual home help.

Senator David Norris: Information on David P.B. Norris Zoom on David P.B. Norris The reason for the lack of business in this House is perfectly clear and it is not the responsibility of this House to deal with the matter. The Taoiseach and the cabal that runs Fine Gael have decided that they will take over the role previously held by Fianna Fáil as the slightly constitutional party. They have decided to destroy the Seanad by refusing to refer legislation to it. Members should watch this space. There will be some changes made in the coming weeks, which I think we can guarantee. We will be looking for the co-operation of everyone in the House in that regard.

  I ask the Leader for a debate on the welfare of children in the State. A number of Members have referred to the tragic question of an infant in Cork. The infant might not have survived, but an emergency ambulance should have been available for him. There is also the worrying situation where the welfare of children in counties Carlow and Kilkenny is not protected in terms of protection from abuse. We have the question of Bethany Home where children are being abused. I have been raising the matter for many years and the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin begged the Government to include it in the rescue scheme. If it had been the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, could we imagine such a call being ignored?

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