Gnó an tSeanaid - Business of Seanad

The Minister of State at the Department of Education, Deputy Josepha Madigan, will be in shortly. I know that we are taking the matter tabled by the leader of the Opposition, but first, I would like to mention the National Day of Sweden. It commemorates Gustav Vasa being made king in 1523 and the new government formed in 1809, which is viewed as the foundation of the constitutional monarchy in Sweden. Its roots as a national holiday go back to 1893, when it was known as Swedish Flag Day. This Swedish national holiday comes just before its important midsummer festival. Our warm relationship with Sweden goes back to the more recent State visit of King Carl XVI Gustav, who travelled to Ireland in 2019, and the launch of the Department of Foreign Affairs’s global Ireland strategy for the Nordic region. This week will serve to promote the economic and political exchanges between our two countries. Of course, we intend to keep working together for a safer, more inclusive and more sustainable European Union. This year, Sweden celebrates the 100th anniversary of the introduction of universal and equal voting rights. I wish Ambassador Lars Wahlund and the Swedish people in Ireland and around in the world a happy National Day of Sweden. Glad nationaldag.

I thank members and welcome the Minister of State to the House.

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

The need for the Minister for Transport to consider introducing penalty points for drivers who illegally park in disabled car parking spaces.

I have also received notice from Senator Jerry Buttimer of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Finance to propose an amendment to section 103 of the Value-Added Tax Consolidation Act 2010 to include the Irish Community Air Ambulance.

I have also received notice from Senator Fiona O’Loughlin of the following matter:

To need for the Minister for Education to review the Department of Education’s anti-bullying procedures.

I have also received notice from Senator Malcolm Byrne of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine to outline the measures being put in place to retain and attract young people in farming; and the focus on generational renewal supports under the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, CAP.

I have also received notice from Senator Róisín Garvey of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage to make a statement on the actions his Department will take to address the quality of bathing water in Kilkee, County Clare.

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

The need for the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment to outline his plans to address long-term unemployment blackspots in Limerick.

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

The need for the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage to extend the pyrite remediation scheme to include County Clare.

I have also received notice from Senator Ivana Bacik of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Education to allocate funding for the construction of an AstroTurf playing pitch at Harold’s Cross Educate Together Secondary School.

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

The need for the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage to make a statement on the provisions of section 40 of the Data Protection Act 2018, in respect of the management of representations from elected representatives and the form such representations should take.

I have also received notice from Senator Sharon Keogan of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Transport to make a statement on the reintroduction of the Leap card Kids Go Free programme.

I have also received notice from Senator Garret Ahearn of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Foreign Affairs to make a statement on the interception of the Ryanair flight by the Belarusian authorities.

I have also received notice from Senator Robbie Gallagher of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage to extend the deadline for registering rights of way.

I have also received notice from Senator Emer Currie of the following matter:

The need for the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment to support the roll-out of co-working hubs in suburban and urban villages.

Of the matters raised by the Senators that are suitable for discussion, I have selected those raised by Senators Boyhan, Buttimer, O’Loughlin, Byrne and Garvey and they will be taken now. I regret that I had to rule out of order the matters raised by Senators Wall, Keogan and Gallagher on the grounds that the relevant Ministers do not have official responsibility in the matter. Senator Gavan has withdrawn his Commencement matter which I had originally selected. The other Senators may give notice on another day of the matters they wish to raise.