Business of Seanad

I have received notice from Senator John Whelan that, on the motion for the Commencement of the House today, he proposes to raise the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to ensure the natural environment and related projects are allocated a proportionate and fair share of national lottery funding in the next funding round in keeping with the decision made in 2013.

I have also received notice from Senator John Crown of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Health to address the inadequate and inefficient organisation of the transcatheter aortic valve implant programme across the State which is causing delays and lengthy waiting lists for patients.

I have also received notice from Senator Mark Daly of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Health to outline when extra emergency ambulance services will be provided in County Kerry as the current shortage of emergency ambulances is putting lives at risk.

I have also received notice from Senator Tom Sheahan of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government to recognise the additional workload county councillors have taken on since the passage of the Local Government Reform Act 2014 and to carry out a survey of all councillors, in conjunction with their representative bodies, to ascertain how these changes have affected their personal, professional and public lives.

I have also received notice from Senator David Cullinane of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Health, in respect of Waterford city and county, to provide a breakdown of waiting times for assessments, including diagnostic assessments for children with mild to profound physical and intellectual disabilities; the number of speech, language and occupational therapy posts, as well as child psychologist posts, and to outline how many child psychologist and therapy posts in the public system are vacant and the steps he will take to reduce assessment waiting times.

I have also received notice from Senator Colm Burke of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Social Protection to review the current procedure in the payment of maternity benefit to those who are self-employed and, in particular, the current practice where benefit is not paid when a child is born outside the applicable first 16 weeks of the year.

I have also received notice from Senator Lorraine Higgins of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Health to intervene with the HSE to ensure the replacement of agency staff through the hiring of full-time staff for a health facility in County Galway (details supplied).

I have also received notice from Senator Martin Conway of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Health to update the House on the policy on the fluoridation of public drinking water and the effect this policy has on the health of the population.

I have also received notice from Senator Paul Bradford of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Defence to re-examine all of the procedures surrounding the discharge of an Army private - details supplied - and fully review the medical examination of this person and all issues subsequent to the examination.

I have also received notice from Senator Fidelma Healy Eames of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government to comment on the archaeological and financial constraints experienced by residents in Annaghdown, County Galway in pursuit of the extension of their cemetery and the need for funding for a new site currently not available through Galway County Council.

I regard the matters raised by Senators John Whelan, John Crown, Mark Daly, Tom Sheahan, David Cullinane, Colm Burke, Lorraine Higgins, Martin Conway and Paul Bradford as suitable for discussion. I have selected the matters raised by Senators John Whelan, John Crown, Mark Daly and Tom Sheahan and they will be taken now. Senators David Cullinane, Colm Burke, Lorraine Higgins, Martin Conway and Paul Bradford may give notice on another day of the matters they wish to raise. I regret that I have had to rule out of order the matter raised by Senator Fidelma Healy Eames on the grounds that it is a repeat of a similar Commencement matter raised on 11 June and the Minister has no official responsibility in the matter. Senator Tom Sheahan has withdrawn his Commencement matter which I had selected for discussion.