20th July 2011
I too take the opportunity to congratulate Senator Trevor Clochartaigh on his new addition. Here is another child whose rights we must fight for and I assure the Senator we will continue to do so.
I echo what Senator Darragh O’Brien said in regard to the European leaders summit. I am extremely concerned, as are many citizens, at the way in which Europe has dragged its feet and has not taken the necessary decisions to address the crisis. The latest signals are not encouraging in advance of tomorrows summit. When the Heads of State meet at an EU leaders summit, we expect action. We should send a clear message in this regard.
I join Senator Ivana Bacik in congratulating Mrs. Justice Susan Denham’s appointment as the first female Chief Justice in the history of the State. She is an excellent role model and it is encouraging that the two most senior legal positions in the State are now occupied by women. We are in safe hands for the future.
We have taken a welcome step forward in the provision of a new national children’s hospital with the Minister’s approval of submissions of plans to An Bord Pleanala. I was very much involved in the debate on the location of the new hospital and have come to the position that we need a national children’s hospital and must put our full support behind it. This House must do everything it can to support that process, notwithstanding the many obstacles that will undoubtedly be put in the way.
I remind Members of the Private Members’ motion my colleagues and I will put forward this evening on the important issue of the social, personal and health education programme in schools. This programme incorporates the relationship and sexuality education programme which, despite being a mandatory part of the curriculum, evidence suggests many schools are failing to implement. I encourage Members to contribute to the debate.