Gnó an tSeanaid - Business of Seanad

Before I call on the Leader to outline the Order of Business, I note the Republic of Cyprus is marking 61 years of independence. The historic parallels between Ireland and Cyprus are striking. They are two small island nations that have struggled to gain independence. Cyprus and Ireland are island countries, located on the opposite ends of the family of European nations. As partners in the European Union, we are pleased to work together to advance our shared interest in our membership of the European Union. Cyprus gave strong support for the full implementation of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the United Kingdom and to the Northern Ireland protocol, which was greatly appreciated.

Since 1964, thousands of members of An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces have served in Cyprus as members of the United Nations peacekeeping force. Ireland has always supported, and continues to support, a just and viable solution to the division of Cyprus, based on the United Nations Security Council resolutions and on the principles of the European Union. We thank An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces for their service to the United Nations' mission and for their contribution to the strong connections between Ireland and Cyprus.

I wish our dear friend, the President of the House of Representatives in Cyprus, Annita Demetriou, the ambassador in Ireland, the people of Cyprus, and the Cypriot community here in Ireland a happy independence day. Charoúmeni méra anexartisías. Happy independence day Cyprus.