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Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh (Atógáil) - Questions on Promised Legislation (Resumed) (Continued)

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 985 No. 4

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(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Simon Coveney: Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney] That is a constant balance that local authorities are trying to get right.

Deputy Jan O'Sullivan: Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan As a former Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government the Tánaiste will know very well that the Irish League of Credit Unions has wanted to invest in building houses for some time. In fact the Tánaiste incorporated this into his own Rebuilding Ireland programme. The league's members have €750 million ready to go straight away but they need a special purpose vehicle to be set up. They have been in negotiations with Government for a long time but nothing has happened. Credit unions would work with the approved housing bodies, AHBs, to keep borrowing off the balance sheet. We need those homes. Will the Tánaiste make a commitment that over the summer work will be done to set up this special purpose vehicle so the Irish League of Credit Unions can invest some of their considerable assets in building homes for our people?

The Tánaiste: Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney I will come back to the Deputy on that. I am not quite sure what stage that discussion is at.

Deputy Pat Buckley: Information on Pat Buckley Zoom on Pat Buckley There are 700 vacancies within the mental health services. We will probably agree to disagree. There is still an embargo on recruitment and the HSE is not offering permanent posts to this year's graduates. This has also been the practice in recent years. Will the Tánaiste or the Minister for Health instruct the HSE to stop this practice? It seems senseless that we are training recruits to work in the mental health service but we do not offer them a permanent contract.

The Tánaiste: Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney We are spending an extra €55 million on mental health this year. As I said earlier, recruitment is taking place but it has to be within the available expenditure envelopes.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I will not deprive the few other Members as it is the last day, so I ask Members to bear with me, but they will see a change the next time.

Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe: Information on Kevin O'Keeffe Zoom on Kevin O'Keeffe As the Tánaiste is aware, pulmonary hypertension is a rare heart and lung disease. A drug, Selexipag, has recently been approved. When will the Government and the HSE approve funding for this drug so that beneficiaries can avail of it? The drug has been well documented and Professor Sean Gaine, a well-known leading medical adviser on this disease, has asked for it to be considered.

The Tánaiste: Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Once a drug goes through the assessment process for drugs for rare conditions and approval is granted, it automatically follows that the finance is available in terms of making the drug available. I am not sure at what stage in the approval process the drug is actually at, but I can get the Department of Health to check with the Deputy.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Perhaps I should remind the House that even though we are going into recess there is still an opportunity to put down parliamentary questions.

Deputy Dara Calleary: Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary They will not be answered.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Yes, but I mean written questions. The Deputy knows what I mean.

Deputy Martin Kenny: Information on Martin Kenny Zoom on Martin Kenny About two years ago I raised the issue of Solas, a purpose-built house for children with disabilities in Sligo. It was closed. About this time last year we were told that a new facility called Bayview Respite Service would be opened in Tullaghan in County Leitrim. I am not sure which agency was to run it but it was not the HSE. It may have been the Rehab Group. For the last six months Deputies from across Leitrim and Sligo have been asking when it would be opened. We were told it would be opened shortly. It opened three weeks ago and the first people went into it. Yesterday a fire officer came and closed it. For almost two years people in the north west have been waiting for respite and unable to get it. We now find that a house that has been opened by the private sector is not going to work. We really need to get answers in regard to this.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher The Tánaiste got the question after the first sentence. Is there no Minister for Health here?

The Tánaiste: Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney I suspect even a Minister for Health would not be able to give the detail of a fire officer's report.

Deputy Martin Kenny: Information on Martin Kenny Zoom on Martin Kenny Why close down a perfectly good house?

The Tánaiste: Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney It is an important issue. I will try to get somebody who can give the Deputy the answer.

Deputy John Brady: Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady I am glad to see the Minister for Housing, Planing and Local Government is here. Between January and 20 June, 90 Wicklow families presented to the Wicklow local authority as homeless. One of those families has had to resort to one of the local papers, which I am holding in my hand, to try to highlight their case and how they are being treated. Lauren and her husband, Jensen, presented as homeless in June. After a considerable period of time they were offered what can only be described as substandard accommodation in a bed and breakfast-----

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher The Deputy cannot advertise newspapers here. He is well capable making his own case.

Deputy John Brady: Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady ----where there were rats and faeces and blood was evident on the sheets. They complained and were subsequently put out of the accommodation. The Minister is aware because I have raised this with him directly.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Deputy Brady must conclude. The Minister is an intelligent man.

Deputy John Brady: Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady Can I conclude? That family had to resort to-----

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher We will move on. I call on Deputy Quinlivan.

Deputy John Brady: Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady -----sleeping in their car. They were subsequently offered accommodation in County Carlow-----

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I ask the Deputy to resume his seat.

Deputy John Brady: Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady I raised this issue three weeks ago-----

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Deputy Brady must have some respect for the Chair.

Deputy John Brady: Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady I asked the Minister to do me the courtesy-----

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I call Deputy Quinlivan.

Deputy John Brady: Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady -----of allowing me to meet with him and his officials to deal with the serious issue-----

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Deputy Brady must resume his seat.

(Interruptions).

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I am not allowing the Minister to respond.

Deputy Heather Humphreys: Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys It is a absolute disgrace. It is so disrespectful to the Chair.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Deputy Brady is abusing his position. He has no monopoly on time in this House.

Deputy John Brady: Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady Sorry-----

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Deputy Brady is abusing his position. I call on Deputy Quinlivan.

Deputy John Brady: Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady I am sorry, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle. Can I get a response?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher You do not deserve one.

Deputy John Brady: Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady The Minister has not given-----

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher You do not deserve it.

(Interruptions).

Deputy John Brady: Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady This family deserves a response. The Minister's silence has been deafening. Not only-----

Deputy Eoghan Murphy: Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy Deputy Brady is now lying. I have spoken-----

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher To say the least, Deputy Brady is being disorderly. Deputy Brady is abusing his position.

Deputy John Brady: Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady Can I get a response?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher He is abusing his position. If the Deputy does not resume his seat I will ask him to leave the House.

Deputy John Brady: Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady Can I get a response?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I will ask him to leave the House if he does not resume his seat.

Deputy John Brady: Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady If the Leas-Cheann Comhairle tells me I will get a response from the Minister I will resume my seat. Can I get a response from the Minister?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Listen to me, please.

Deputy John Brady: Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady Will the Leas-Cheann Comhairle ensure the Minister responds?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Will the Deputy listen to me? He must resume his seat.

Deputy Pat Casey: Information on Pat Casey Zoom on Pat Casey He will not listen to anyone.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher If Deputy Brady does not resume his seat------

Deputy John Brady: Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady Will the Minister-----

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Deputy Brady may have another motive. I might oblige him.

Deputy John Brady: Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady Can I get an answer?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I call on Deputy Quinlivan. The House has been very-----

Deputy Brendan Griffin: Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin Deputy Brady is shameless.

Deputy John Brady: Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady Can I get a response?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Deputy Brady should listen to me and resume his seat. He has been totally disorderly. I gave him an opportunity to raise this. He brought in a newspaper. He is well able to make his own case without bringing in advertisements. Deputy Brady must not interrupt. I am warning him.

Deputy John Brady: Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady Can I get a response?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Deputy Brady may be playing another game.

Deputy John Brady: Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady I am not playing any game.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher He obviously is. On the last day of sitting I will not allow-----

(Interruptions).

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Deputy Brady has no monopoly on time in this House. He has abused his position. I have been more than fair to the Members of this House. I will give the Minister 30 seconds to respond. If he does not wish to do so I cannot force him.

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan These are bully boy tactics.

Deputy Heather Humphreys: Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys It is shocking.

Deputy Eoghan Murphy: Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy Deputy Brady is trying to misconstrue both my interaction with him in the last few weeks and the interaction between my Department and the planning and housing authorities in his constituency.

Deputy Heather Humphreys: Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys Hear, hear.

Deputy Eoghan Murphy: Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy He is abusing all of the Members of this House. He is not trying to get to the core of the issues involved. Time and time again, as his party has done, he has tried to use individual families in very difficult circumstances-----

(Interruptions).

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher Deputy Brady may force me-----

Deputy Eoghan Murphy: Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy -----for his own political attention and gain. It is disgusting.

Deputy John Brady: Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady The Minister is using this as an opportunity to attack me.

Deputy Eoghan Murphy: Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy On this side of the House we are in the business of helping families, not using their hurt to our advantage. Deputy Brady embarrasses himself.

Deputy John Brady: Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady This is shameful.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I call Deputy Quinlivan. There are more Members in this House than Deputy Brady.

Deputy Maurice Quinlivan: Information on Maurice Quinlivan Zoom on Maurice Quinlivan Page 11 of the programme for Government contains a commitment to reducing waiting times in emergency departments. In Limerick this week we have seen-----

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher We must have the question.

Deputy Maurice Quinlivan: Information on Maurice Quinlivan Zoom on Maurice Quinlivan The question is coming. We have seen a disgraceful situation in which 290 people have been on trolleys in the last four days. Some 81 people are on trolleys as we speak. The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, INMO, has asked for a major emergency plan for the hospital and for all activity in the hospital to be halted with the exception of emergency admissions.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher We have gone well over time.

Deputy Maurice Quinlivan: Information on Maurice Quinlivan Zoom on Maurice Quinlivan Will the Tánaiste ask the Minister of Health to agree to an emergency-emergency plan for University Hospital Limerick?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher The Tánaiste might pass Deputy Quinlivan's question to the Minister for Health.

Deputy Tom Neville: Information on Tom Neville Zoom on Tom Neville I refer to the proposal to establish a cross-Government youth mental health pathfinder team with participation from the Department of Health, the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. It has Civil Service, management board and ministerial approval. This cross-Government collaboration utilises section 12 of the Public Service Management Act 1997.


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