It is welcome that Ryanair has announced flights from Kerry Airport to Berlin. I hope it will look at expanding into Cork, Shannon and other airports throughout the country to increase connectivity.
Senator Michael McDowell raised an issue in the context of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill which is to be debated next week. I will be happy to reflect on what he said and speak to the Clerk of the Seanad, the Cathaoirleach and the Whips about the issue. It is an important matter. It is my information that the Minister and the Government require the Bill to be passed into law as quickly as possible, but I will revert to the House on the issue. It will present a logistical problem as at the group leaders meeting we agreed the business to be taken. There may be no business to be dealt with on Tuesday when the House may not sit because we may not be able to get anybody else at short notice to fill the time slot allocated for the Bill, but we will have a conversation later about the matter.
Senator Neale Richmond raised the issue of citizenship. I will be happy to have the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality come to the House to discuss it.
Senators Paul Gavan, Diarmuid Wilson and Denis Landy referred to Mandate in the context of the dispute at Tesco, as did Senators Trevor Ó Clochartaigh and Gerard P. Craughwell. I have huge empathy with the workers and I am sorry I could not get to the briefing this morning, but I did give Senator Rose Conway-Walsh the note I received yesterday. It is important that the rights and entitlements of workers be protected. We have fought hard to have these protections afforded to workers under the law. I hope Tesco and Mandate will continue to avail of the industrial mechanisms of the State. The latest e-mail from Tesco contains a sign that it is willing to engage. It is important that the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Deputy Mary Mitchell O'Connor, be made aware of the matter and I will again bring it to her attention. I urge both sides to the dispute to participate in talks as it is important that we protect the rights of workers. I go to Tesco in Wilton in Cork late at night and have got to know some of the staff there. As I said to Senator Paul Gavan yesterday, some of them are working at a rate of pay just above the national minimum wage. It was mentioned that the rate was €14 an hour. It is important that both sides engage meaningfully. I will be happy to invite the Minister to come to the House to address the issue.
Senators Martin Conway and Diarmuid Wilson raised the issue of privilege. I am not sure if it is through the Office of the Cathaoirleach that the note on privilege will be issued. I will discuss the matter with the Clerk of the Seanad with a view to circulating it. It is important, as Senator Diarmuid Wilson said, that we use privilege wisely and judiciously.
Senator Denis Landy referred to the greyhound industry. I was not aware that the events mentioned had been cancelled, but we have requested that a Minister come to the House to deal with a Commencement matter on the issue.
I share Senator Robbie Gallagher's concern about the ambulance service. I offer my sympathy to the relatives of those who were tragically killed and injured in the incidents referred to. I will ask the Minister for Health to come to the House to discuss the ambulance service.
Senator Catherine Noone referred to the coroner's report on synthetic drugs. We will discuss that matter.
Senators Gabrielle McFadden and Diarmuid Wilson referred to the Defence Forces. The Minister of State, Deputy Paul Kehoe, will be in the House on 9 March. I am aware that Senator Gabrielle McFadden is a member of the committee at which, I understand, members of the Reserve Defence Force appeared this morning.
Senator Maria Byrne raised the issue of connectivity in the context of an inability to book flights beyond 5 September. I suggest she write to the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Deputy Shane Ross, about the matter and seek to raise it as a Commencement matter. She should also take it up with Aer Lingus. It is of vital importance to the regions when one is trying to increase connectivity with North America from Shannon Airport. Connectivity is important.
Senator James Reilly referred to the day hospital in Swords. Again, to be fair to the Senator, despite Senator Robbie Gallagher's review of his tenure in the Department of Health, he was the person who started the primary care centre model and asked for it to be rolled out across the country.
Senator Michelle Mulherin referred to the changes to PRSI, which are welcome. I will ask the Minister for Social Protection, Deputy Leo Varadkar, to come to the House to discuss thelm.
Senator Colm Burke raised the matter of health care. It has already been discussed. Senator Frank Feighan also raised it, in addition to the issue of car insurance, on which, as the Senator will be aware, the Minister of State, Deputy Eoghan Murphy, will issue a report.