Before moving on to Questions on Policy or Legislation, and given that we are heading into the recess, I avail of this opportunity to thank the Tánaiste, the Taoiseach and Members of the Government for their co-operation throughout the term. I thank all the party leaders and group leaders for the co-operation we have received from them. You have been very good. Those of us charged with the responsibility of running the House have very little to complain about. If I did have one complaint, it would be about some people’s inability to keep to time. Polonius said that brevity is the soul of wit. Certainly, it is a case that when too much time elapses, interest collapses. I hope that when Members return in September, those who have difficulties with the clock will have learned how it really works.
I want as well to avail of the opportunity on behalf of Members to say to Peter Finnegan and to Elaine Gunn, to Noel Murphy our acting Superintendent and to all who work in House services a thank you for the trojan work they do for us at all times of the day and night. We are greatly privileged to have people here of total and utter commitment. In thanking them, I want to thank the broader parliamentary community, the people who work for the political parties, the civil servants, the advisers, the committee secretariat and of course our friends in the fourth estate, without which the public would not know what we are up to most of the time - we are deeply indebted to them.
I want to say one final thing. I know that as Members leave here they are not going to down tools, close their constituency offices and turn off their phones. Some Members do not even turn them off in here. People will be working and I will just say this. The public are very cynical – some of them – about us. Do not encourage greater cynicism on the part of the public. Let us be truthful and say we know we will all be working between now and the return in September. If there is one thing that is important to each and every one of us, it is that we take some time for ourselves and take some time to be with our families, our loved ones and our friends, particularly those of you with young children. This is not a dress rehearsal. Time you fail to spend now, you will not be able to spend in the future.
Enjoy the summer and keep up the good work.