We need an appropriately resourced national Genetic Centre

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] Several articles in the newspapers today refer to the issue of clinical genetics, an issue I have previously highlighted in the House. I ask the Deputy Leader to request the Minister for Health or one of the Ministers of State at the Department of Health to give … Continue reading

Environment Protection Agency

[Speaking in the Seanad during a Labour Party private members’ motion on the Environmental Protection Agency] [LINK to text of the Labour party motion: http://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?DocID=26594&&CatID=63%5D Cuirim fáilte roimh an Aire. I support Senator Whelan and his colleagues on this motion. When I read the documentation he provided it sowed a seed of doubt in my … Continue reading

Higher Education and Research (Consolidation and Improvement) Bill

Eamonn Farrell - Photocall Ireland

[speaking in the Seanad during Second Stage of the Higher Education and Research (Consolidation and Improvement) Bill 2014] I am strongly supportive of Senator Barrett’s Bill. The presence of people like Senator Barrett in these Houses should be a lesson to us all. It says something about the way politics in general esteems expertise and … Continue reading

Science Week

[Speaking in the Seanad on ‘Science Week’] I am delighted we have the opportunity to discuss science policy. It is not widely appreciated that the brief of the Minister of State is the most important in the Government. It is unlikely that the future of our species will be determined by real estate prices or … Continue reading

Hospital services and the need for reform

Speaking during Seanad debate on Hospital Services I will take a moment to compliment the Minister on the good work he is doing on the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill. It has not been an easy passage but the Minister has addressed it while others have neglected it. When the story of these times … Continue reading

EU Regulations regarding clinical trials

Speaking during the Address to Seanad Éireann by Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn I am involved in clinical research and I am troubled by the track record and future plans of the European Commission in this field. In 2001, the European clinical trials directive was put in place that was widely seen by those in the field … Continue reading

Medical Research -proposed changes to ethical research committees

I request the Leader to consider having a debate on medical and biomedical research, which is a very important sector of the economy. Not only does it increase the standards of science and medicine, and the standards of research, but it also improves clinical outcomes for patients and has positive and beneficial effects for the … Continue reading

Philantrophy and the charitable and not-for-profit sectors


It is appropriate that attention be brought to bear on this sector. I also welcome the fact that the Government will pay some attention to the not-for-profit and charitable sectors, which are somewhat distinct. I speak with a little authority on this issue and wish to give the House an opportunity to understand how a … Continue reading

Industrial Development (Science Foundation Ireland) (Amendment) Bill


I must declare an interest at the outset. While I derive no income or funds from SFI, I am the leader of a consortium funded by SFI, which will be in receipt of approximately €7.5 million worth of research funds over a five-year period. This has enabled us to build a unique nationwide consortium of … Continue reading