7th June 2011
I formally announce the establishment of the Independent group. The group comprises me as leader, and Senators Eamon Coghlan, Fiach Mac Conghail, Martin McAleese, Marie-Louise O’Donnell, Mary Ann O’Brien and Dr. Katherine Zappone.
I echo Senator Bacik’s call in respect of the recommendations of the United Nations committee against torture with regard to the Magdalene laundries. The Minister for Justice and Equality will shortly bring proposals to Cabinet. I ask that the Seanad be given an opportunity, following discussions at Cabinet level, to discuss the recommendations he proposes. We will have considerable views on this important issue.
I welcome the call for a discussion on the programme for Government. Perhaps this discussion can be held on a thematic basis to ensure that we get richness and focus in the debate.