Senator Brian Hayes raised the matter of the Garda Inspectorate and its head, Ms O'Toole, who has referred to a frightening lack of support for Garda and how protection is needed congruent to the laws. The Senator noted Ms O'Toole is doing a good job, on which we would all agree, and the Senator agreed with her comments inThe Irish Times this morning, which I read.
Senator O'Toole spoke of the welcome for the National Council for Special Educational Needs. It presented a report to the Minister on what needed to be done, along with a timeframe for the job, and the Senator noted there has yet to be any outcome. Senator O'Toole also noted the remarks of the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Deputy Ó Cuív, who stated the water in Galway was fine except one could not drink it.
The Senator spoke about the significant reports being put as Gaeilge, yet the child protection guidelines are not available in Irish. If these guidelines are needed in Dublin, they would be needed in Gaeltacht areas also, and why should this not be done? Senator O'Toole also spoke of other matters.
Senator O'Meara spoke of the nurses' dispute. She would support Senator Brian Hayes on the provision of resources to the Garda. The Senator indicated that the Criminal Justice Bill should run concurrently with the provision of resources. Senator O'Meara also spoke about a topic which was raised yesterday, a debate on the need for families, and especially children, to receive psychological support as we reach the tenth anniversary of the introduction of divorce laws.
Senator Jim Walsh spoke of transforming legislation and indicated that the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform had made a valuable input, particularly with the Garda Bill. The Accounting Officer for the Department is now the Commissioner, who has total control of the budgets. That, in itself, was one of the points brought forward in that legislation. That was fair enough. The Senator also raised the matter of An Bord Pleanála taking, in many tight cases, eight to nine months to decide on a case put to it.
Senator Coghlan spoke about blockages in the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.