Unprecedented Meltdown in the Health Service

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I know that I am beginning to sound like a broken record and that the attention of many in the Oireachtas has been distracted by other events which will take place in the first quarter of 2016. However, we cannot lose sight of the fact that there … Continue reading

Report of Working Group on Seanad Reform

Speaking in the Seanad during ‘Statements on the Report of the Working Group on Seanad Reform 2015’ I welcome the report and the great effort our distinguished colleagues have made in this regard. As pointed out, the key problem in our democracy, the fruits of which we have seen recently, is that we have too … Continue reading

Tribute to Dr. Mary Redmond – Founder of the Irish Hospice Movement

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I take this opportunity to comment on the recent, sad loss of Dr. Mary Redmond, founder of the Irish Hospice Movement and an extraordinarily accomplished woman. In addition to her many professional achievements, when she saw a huge gap and need in the development of palliative and … Continue reading

We Need to Urgently Address the Issue of Mandatory Retirement

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I rise to raise again today an issue I have raised previously, and on which Senator White has proposed legislation, namely, mandatory retirement in the health service. I would like to bring to the attention of my colleagues that a critical person in a specialty in Ireland … Continue reading

Intimidatory Behaviour of the Tobacco Industry

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] A few weeks ago I asked a question of the Leader which he was unfortunately unable to answer because he developed a very dry throat. He had a coughing attack and was not able to give his usual very full and comprehensive answer to questions. I hope … Continue reading

Troubling Suspension of Cork Psychiatric Nurse

[speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I ask the Leader for clarification from the Minister for Health on the circumstances of a somewhat troubling event that occurred in Cork in the South Lee mental health services over the past several weeks. One of the nursing staff is also a member of the Psychiatric … Continue reading

Responding to legal threats from the tobacco industry

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I call on the Leader to ask the Minister for Health, the Taoiseach and the Minister for Justice and Equality to consider some radical approaches to dealing with the tobacco industry in light of the disclosure that Japan Tobacco International intends mounting a serious, and I believe … Continue reading

Maternity Services

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business] I would like clarification from the Deputy Leader on a few issues. They are really the same issue, but they have different ramifications. As Members may remember, I introduced legislation earlier in this term which would have prevented Government agencies suing anybody, presumably including each other, in … Continue reading

In support of Marriage Equality

[Speaking in the Seanad during Second Stage of the Thirty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution (Marriage Equality) Bill] I thank the Minister for her commitment to meaningful and important social reform legislation and to this amendment. It will enable us to hold our heads high. At the risk of being complacent, I am one of the … Continue reading

Potential Problems Accessing Assisted Human Reproduction and Fertility Treatments

[Speaking in the Seanad during Second Stage of the Children and Family Relationships Bill] I express my gratitude to the Minister, her officials and her predecessor for tackling this extremely complex issue. This has been a Herculean task. Without trivialising it, in attempting to read the Bill and its explanatory memorandum, I was reminded of … Continue reading