Thursday, 13 July 1995
Seanad Éireann Debate
Mr. Manning: Before I announce the Order of Business, I wish to thank all the Members who took part in the fine debate on disability yesterday. I have been in contact with the Centre for Independent Living and they are very pleased with it. For the information of the House, I intend to forward the full text of the debate to the Minister and Dublin Bus. I hope a similar debate can be held in the autumn to review progress.
I was asked earlier in the week if I could make time available for a short  debate on the French nuclear testing. If the House agrees, this could be arranged for tomorrow at 1 p.m.; half an hour would be sufficient for Members to make short statements. If Members still want this debate, we can go ahead with that arrangement.
Mr. Wright: I thank the Leader for arranging today's business to facilitate internal party business on this side of the House. The Leader mentioned the debate yesterday. We often criticise the coverage of debates in the House but I compliment the media for its coverage of the debate yesterday, particularly the excellent report in today's The Irish Times on this important issue.
Mr. McGowan: Could the Leader arrange a debate on an urgent matter. My county faces a serious problem and I am not flying a political kite in requesting a debate on the fact that the funds for county road maintenance are exhausted. I understand other counties are in a similar position. Could the Leader arrange a short debate on this matter next Wednesday if the Minister for the Environment is available? It is possible that a solution could be found and we have an obligation to try to resolve this serious crisis in Count Donegal and other counties.
Mr. Lanigan: The demise of the Irish Press group has been mentioned often in recent weeks and many people were concerned that issues of national an international importance would no longer be properly debated. We see the result of the limiting of debate  today's Irish Independent in relation to the French nuclear testing.
It is unbelievable that the newspaper starts its news analysis with an article entitled “Limiting the fallout” by its diplomatic correspondent. This gives a run through of what the Irish Government has done but an article below it starts:
The last line of the article states “The result could be the end of testing at Mururoa.” This is followed by: “© The Telegraph”. An article on the following page is headlined “Seven nuclear tests due as French assess new warhead”. Demands have been made in the House and in Ireland to limit——
Mr. Lanigan: I am asking the question. It may seem to some people to be a matter of no concern, but it is of concern to me. The Daily Telegraph is on one side of the paper. The next article is by Adam Sage in Paris and Roger Maynard on board Rainbow Maynard Warrior II. The article ends: “This would be a serious diplomatic move on their part. (© The Times, London)”.
Professor Lee: I wish to express appreciation to the Leader of the House for his beautifully judged obituary of the late Senator Fallon in the Sunday Tribune last Sunday. It is a tribute to both the Leader and the late Senator Fallon.
Will the Leader urge the Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht to place a preservation order on the birthplace of Sir Edward Carson as soon as possible? This matter has been in the public domain for some time. I was reminded of it by Deputy de Valera's question in the other House recently. The Minister's response was not unpromising but he did not convey any of the sense of urgency required by what in some respects might seem to be a minor matter but is of symbolic significance. If the Cathaoirleach will indulge me for a moment, I am raising the matter not because I am peddling any version of revisionist mythology of Irish history but because it is the 50th anniversary of Carson's death, a death which was greeted churlishly and ungraciously in the media of this State at the time. Any reasonable reading of Irish history will accept that Carson did his best by his light for Ireland. Although many of us may not subscribe to his interpretation of that, the integrity of his intentions comes across as clearly as it can from any figure in public life. It would be  right at any time and is particularly appropriate now, both in terms of the anniversary and of showing that we in the South are not still prisoners of such primitive passions as we have seen lurking close to the surface elsewhere this week.
Mr. Manning: The Leader of the Opposition raised the question of legislation this session. We will be completing the Social Welfare (No. 2) Bill, 1995, the Ethics in Public Office Bill, 1994, An Bord Bia (Amendment) Bill, 1995 and the Netting of Financial Contracts Bill, 1995. It is not proposed to introduce further legislation other than the Powers of Attorney Bill, 1995, but that will not be completed. That is the arrangement for the session.
I would like to accommodate Senator McGowan. We do not have time between now and the end of session, but perhaps the Whips could discuss the matter. I will not ask Senator Lanigan to repeat his question but I am not clear what point he was making. However, I will discuss the matter with him later. I thank Senator Lee for his kind personal comments. I take his point about Carson's birthplace being preserved. There is an urgency about it and I will convey his sentiments, which I believe are those of the House, to the Minister.
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