Apologies have been received from a number of members who are unable to be with us this morning. Deputy Bernard Durkan is on European affairs business, Deputy Seán Crowe is ill-disposed and Senators Walsh and Norris are also unable to attend.
Before we start it is important that we remember, with great sadness, the tragic loss of life in Tunisia. I have decided to place it on the agenda of this morning's meeting to afford members of the joint committee an opportunity to offer their condolences and sympathies to the families of Lorna Carty and Larry and Martina Hayes. They were brutally, cold-bloodedly murdered on holiday in Tunisia and we can say nothing else. It is sad this committee is discussing the loss of life of Irish citizens abroad and the brutal manner in which this hideous crime was perpetrated. Our condolences also go to the families of the west Cork drowning tragedy. I extend my sympathy to the families of Lorna, Larry and Martina and to the other parents, both here and overseas, affected by this needless and senseless gun attack.
I also extend our sympathy to the Government and people of Tunisia and we might write to the Tunisian ambassador in London to express the sympathy of this committee to the Tunisian people on this great loss, which will have a devastating effect on tourism and the economy in Tunisia. During the Arab spring we watched events in Tunisia and the transmission to democracy there was excellent. Foreign tourists were also killed there at a museum earlier this year and last week's atrocity was dreadful. Its geographical location and its close proximity to Libya make it very vulnerable to ISIL and ISIS members so we should give whatever support we can give to the Tunisian people and Parliament.