Gnó an tSeanaid - Business of Seanad

I thank Members very much for coming in this afternoon on our first day back in full session in the Seanad Chamber. I particularly thank Senator Moynihan for coming back after getting married at the weekend. It shows dedication to the cause that she would-----

(Interruptions).

I congratulate the Senator. As is traditional, we mark not only Senator Moynihan's wedding, but the national days of our European colleagues. Malta today celebrates its independence day, having gained its independence in 1964. As two island nations on the periphery of Europe, Ireland and Malta share certain historical experiences. Ireland and Malta struggled for a long time for independence. Our two countries share a rich maritime heritage and, of course, we are both neutral nations. Our diplomatic relationships were established in 1990 and the long-standing relationships between our people and our shared membership of the European Union make sure that our friendship grows stronger each year. The Maltese city of Floriana has a football club affectionately known as Tal-Irish, the Irish. The reason for this is that, when the Royal Dublin Fusiliers were playing football against the local team in the 20th century, the fusiliers donated their kit, which was green and white, to the local team. Ever since, and to this very day, the club has worn those colours. I wish the ambassador, H.E. Leonard Sacco, and the Maltese people in Ireland and around the world a very happy independence day. Viva Malta indipendenti.

To add one more welcome, I welcome Senator Norris back to the House. It is always a pleasure to have the father of the House here. I call on the Leader to outline the Order of Business.