I will obtain information for the Senator on that matter.
I agree completely that the arts and creativity are integral to who we are. Earlier the Oscar nominations were announced and we can all see the success of the Irish in the arts. The Senator is right to ask that we consider this matter. The Joint Committee on Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is debating it this week but I would be happy to have a significant debate on the arts, the arts community and our culture and how they can be part of a new, modern Ireland emerging from the shadows of recession.
I would be happy to have that debate and commend the Senator for raising the matter.
I do not have the answer for Senator Conway-Walsh regarding Údarás Na Gaeltachta and the vacant units in County Mayo. Perhaps she might raise the matter in a Commencement debate.
Senator Dolan raised the issue of history. As Members will know, the Minister for Education and Skills, Deputy McHugh, has set up a review of the teaching of history as an optional subject. It is to be completed by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment in the coming weeks and we will have a debate on it in the House when it is complete.
I do not have information to hand on the health issues raised by Senator Bacik, but I would be happy to liaise with her on them.
I join Senator Byrne in congratulating all of the schools involved in the debate today. I thank them for their work.
Senator Boyhan raised the issue of Bethany Home, as did Senator Norris. The Government has today given a 12-month extension to the mother and baby homes commission of investigation. The fourth interim report has been published today. On Bethany Home, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Deputy Zappone, has said she will wait until she has received the final reports before making any decision. I note the comments of Senators Boyhan and Norris and the commission. On 6 February we will have a debate in the House on the matter raised by Senator Boyhan.
Senator Hopkins raised the issue of the N5 project, which is a very important one in providing a gateway to the west. A Commencement matter might be a more expeditious way to get an answer. I do not have the answer to hand about the project.
I have answered Senator Devine about the nurses' strike.
In response to Senator Higgins, perhaps we need to have a reflective look at what happened yesterday and some of the contribution she made this afternoon and have a series of rolling debates, as Senator Marie-Louise O'Donnell said. That would be of assistance to us all. I would be happy to talk to Senator Higgins about the matter.
Senator Reilly raised the issue of St. Finian's community college in Swords. Perhaps raising the issue by way of a Commencement matter might be a better way to get a reply.
Senator Norris raised a number of issues, in particular about an Egyptian television presenter. We should all stand with and send a message of support to that person. The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade needs to communicate quite clearly to the Egyptian Government our displeasure at the jailing of any person for interviewing people in a manner that allows differing viewpoints to be expressed on television and in the media. We should all condemn the incarceration of someone for interviewing a gay person. I hope the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade will send a message to the Egyptian authorities on the issue.
On the issue of passports, having the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade come to the House to discuss a Commencement matter might perhaps be a better way for Senator Murnane O'Connor to get a reply. I do not have the information she sought.
Senators Feighan and Ó Céidigh raised the issue of the centenary and the appointment of the first Minister for Foreign Affairs, Deputy George Noble Plunkett, 100 years ago today.
Senator Warfield made a very pertinent point in advance of the RTÉ "Prime Time" programme tonight. We need to send a very strong message of support and solidarity to the trans community which is marginalised and needs support. We need people to understand and be educated properly, not in a sensational way. I hope tonight's programme will be educational, informative and factual. As the Senator rightly said, we should all reject transphobia. We should all work to ensure we bring people on a journey and inform them. There are members of the community who are feeling vulnerable, isolated, rejected and completely unheard. I hope tonight and from now on we can stand together and have that debate and a movement of equality and inclusivity. I would be happy to have a debate in the House following tonight's programme. I thank the Senator for making the remark. As the national broadcaster, it is important that RTÉ inform in a way that is not sensational or derogatory and ensure equality and respect for all people and citizens.
Senator Paddy Burke raised the issue of retail and asked for the Minister to come before the House. I would be happy to arrange for that to happen.
The issue of Brexit was mentioned by a number of Members, in particular by Senator Ardagh. We will have a debate on the issue this evening. Rather than give a substantial reply to Members now, we can have that debate when the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade is in the House later.
I have proposed that at the end of the Order of Business we stand for a minute's silence in memory of our late colleague and former Seanadóir Mark Killalea.