Domestic Violence Bill 2017 [Seanad]: Referral to Select Committee

I move:

That the Bill be referred to the Select Committee on Justice and Equality pursuant to Standing Orders 84A(3)(a) and 149(1) of the Standing Orders relative to Public Business.

Like others, I wish to take this opportunity to wish everyone in the House and those outside the House, including officials, Ministers and Deputies, a happy and safe Christmas and new year.

I wish to acknowledge your good wishes, Acting Chairman. On behalf of the Government, I wish to take the opportunity to acknowledge the fact that we have had a busy session. I thank all Deputies for their contributions. I wish the staff of the Houses of the Oireachtas, as well as everyone concerned with assisting us in the matter of the discharge of our constitutional duty to our people, a happy and peaceful season. I look forward to resuming hostilities early in the new year.

I hope it will not be too hostile.

On behalf of my colleagues in Fianna Fáil, I wish a happy Christmas to all the staff of both Houses of the Oireachtas, who have worked hard to facilitate the work of Parliament and Government in this term.

Particularly on our mind at the end of this term are all the children who will not have a Christmas tree to gather around this year. We spoke about this earlier, as did several colleagues. I had a family visit Leinster House yesterday and was struck by how quickly the young children gravitated towards the beautiful Christmas trees in Leinster House and the LH 2000 building. I was particularly struck with the awareness that they will not have a Christmas tree available to them in their hotel room this Christmas.

I put it to those in the Government that I hope this period softens everyone's hearts, especially those in government. It is important that we do not allow our hearts to be hardened around the human aspect of this and that we do not get lost in statistics and figures. This is the first Christmas that I have been so extraordinarily aware of what families are going through, and the same applies to my colleagues. That is the last thought I want to leave with this House before we break for Christmas.

Question put and agreed to.