Order of Business (Continued)

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Seanad Éireann Debate

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(Speaker Continuing)

[Senator Maurice Cummins: Information on Maurice Cummins Zoom on Maurice Cummins] It is an important area of tourism that generates quite an amount of spending in these areas. I will invite the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport to come into the House for a debate on tourism, which has been requested by Senator Mooney also.

  With regard to genetically modified food, we have a new Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, as Senator Comiskey stated. We can give him a couple of weeks to read up on his brief but I will certainly put that on the agenda and hope he will come into the House and discuss the matter with us.

  Senator Cullinane and Senator Mullins called for an overall debate on taxation, including the revaluation of properties which small businesses in Waterford and in other areas are finding difficult. Senator Mullins also called for a debate on the impact of VAT rates on spending.

  Senator Whelan called for a debate on forestry. I am sure the Minister of State, Deputy Hayes, will be willing to come into the House soon to address that matter.

  With regard to the referendum date, I have not been informed of the date the referendum will take place. There have been rumours that it may be held in October and others that it will be in September. As Leader of the House I can assure the Senators that I am not aware of the date planned at this stage.

Senator Mary M. White: Information on Mary M. White Zoom on Mary M. White The Taoiseach, in the announcement, did not know either.

Senator Maurice Cummins: Information on Maurice Cummins Zoom on Maurice Cummins I have not been informed of the date. As soon as I know the date-----

Senator Paschal Mooney: Information on Paschal Mooney Zoom on Paschal Mooney The Irish Times will know it before Senator Cummins knows it as Leader of the House.

Senator Marc MacSharry: Information on Marc MacSharry Zoom on Marc MacSharry Read about it in The Irish Times.

Senator Maurice Cummins: Information on Maurice Cummins Zoom on Maurice Cummins -----I will certainly inform the House immediately, as I always have done.

Senator Paschal Mooney: Information on Paschal Mooney Zoom on Paschal Mooney After the Leader reads it in The Irish Times.

Senator Maurice Cummins: Information on Maurice Cummins Zoom on Maurice Cummins I will bring any information in that regard to the attention of the House.

Senator Mooney raised the issue of tourism and the impact of The Gathering. I will ask the Minister, Deputy Varadkar, to come into the House to give us an update on tourism figures for the first six months of the year.

Regarding the convention on violence against women, I will bring that matter to the relevant Minister and hope that we will sign up to that convention.

Regarding the Senator's condemnation of an article in the Irish Independent on the attendance of some Members of the House, I thought it was appalling that some Members who were quite ill were mentioned in that article.

Senator Paschal Mooney: Information on Paschal Mooney Zoom on Paschal Mooney Heartless.

Senator Maurice Cummins: Information on Maurice Cummins Zoom on Maurice Cummins It is regrettable that we have stooped to that type of journalism.

  Senator Paul Coghlan called for a debate on the recent Law Reform Commission report on mandatory life sentencing. I will ask the Minister for Justice and Equality to come into the House to address that matter.

  Senator Ó Clochartaigh raised the issue of turf cutting. I understand the law is clear on that issue, and I hope the Senator would support upholding of the law in this issue and every other issue where the law must be upheld.

  Senator O'Keeffe spoke about Yeats Day on 13 June, which celebrates another great former Senator, William Butler Yeats.

Senator Marc MacSharry: Information on Marc MacSharry Zoom on Marc MacSharry We will all be great former Members soon.

Senator Maurice Cummins: Information on Maurice Cummins Zoom on Maurice Cummins I am glad that Senator MacSharry also will be attending that Yeats Day event in Sligo.

  Senator Wilson raised the issue of the G8 Summit and sang the praises of the tourism product available in the north west.

  Regarding the Seanad referendum, I can assure the Senator, as I have assured other Senators, that there will be no time bar in regard to debates on that subject, particularly on Committee and Report Stages. We will have a comprehensive debate on it. I understand Second Stage of that Bill will come into the Lower House on Thursday and will probably be with us in about three weeks' time.

  Senator Mullins raised the issue of the impact of the VAT rates on spending, and also called for a debate on the Action Plan for Jobs. I have asked the Minister, Deputy Bruton, to come into the House and address that problem and to outline to us the success of the Action Plan for Jobs.


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