I join with Senator Marshall in welcoming the rise in farm incomes. The point he made was very valid in terms of the importance of agriculture to our country, North and South. We need to continue to ensure there is growth in our farming communities and that we put in place supports for the Brexit negotiations and, as Senator Mulherin mentioned, the rising costs of diesel and oil. Agricultural communities are subject to volatility given the weather and so on. The Minister, Deputy Creed, will come to the House in a couple of weeks' time.
Senator Byrne referred to a meeting today with Retail Excellence Ireland. She highlighted the lack of a Garda presence and welcomed the announcement in respect of Limerick today that there will be 36 gardaí trained in pedal power to tackle crime. She called for that to be replicated across the country. I fully agree with her. It is an important dimension to our Garda force that we have a division dedicated to crime as well as cycling and being available. I commend that.
I fully agree with Senator Marie-Louise O'Donnell regarding post offices. She has been a champion of them in the House. The Minister, Deputy Naughten, has been in the House and will be back next Wednesday. Senators O'Donnell and Devine referred to social protection. It would be beneficial to renew the contract automatically. I am open to correction, but I have been told that EU rules preclude that. As a people we all need to use our post offices. I agree with Senator O'Donnell that the banks have let rural and urban Ireland down. In certain parts of this city or Cork city, there are no counters in banks and everything is done by machine. That is unacceptable. We will have a debate with the Minister, Deputy Naughten, next Wednesday.
Senator Mulherin raised the issue of oil prices and OPEC. She commented on our dependency on oil. We need to overcome that and work to become less dependent on oil. I would be happy to have that debate with the Minister, Deputy Naughten, in the coming weeks.
Senator Norris raised, along with the referendum, the issue of the Dutch cardinals. He has covered that well. I could not copy the goldfish remark. It is important to recognise that there are diverse views.
Senator Devine referenced the appalling four deaths. We all condemn the murders of women and we deplore the killing and treatment of women. The Houses of the Oireachtas passed domestic violence legislation, which we will all welcomed. It brings us a step closer to the Istanbul Convention. I hope this will be a country for all and that no woman feels that the country is not for her. That would be wrong and we must all work to ensure that our country is for all of us. I take her point in terms of what has taken place. It is important we continue to work to make our society a more gentle and caring one where we are all treated as equal.
I commend Senator Feighan for his work on Brexit. His point is that we will not be leaving the European Union is one we must reiterate. We must stand strong as being a proud part of the European Union and defend the interests of our country, North and South, in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.
I join with Senator Boyhan in commending and congratulating Billy Alexander on his success. I thank him for pointing to his pre-eminence. As a champion of the horticulture society, he is correct to highlight the importance of Bloom as a showcase for our country. I will be happy to have a debate. The Minister of State, Deputy Doyle, recently discussed horticulture in the House. I commend the Senator for his work as an advocate of the horticulture sector. It is playing a very important role in economic development.
I wish to advise Senator Marie-Louise O'Donnell that the Minister, Deputy Naughten, will come to the house on next Wednesday, if that is agreeable to her.