Tuesday, 9 July 1996
Seanad Éireann Debate
An Cathaoirleach: This is a Seanad Bill which has been amended by the Dáil. In accordance with Standing Order 85 it is deemed to have passed its First, Second and Third Stages in the Seanad and is placed on the Order Paper for Report Stage. On the question that the Bill be received for final consideration, the Minister may explain the purpose of the amendments made by the Dáil and this is looked upon as the report of the Dáil amendments to the Seanad. The only matter, therefore, that may be discussed is the amendment made by the Dáil. For the convenience of Senators I have arranged for the printing and circulation to them of the amendment. As Members are aware, they may speak only once on Report Stage.
Minister of State at the Department of Social Welfare (Mr. Durkan): This  amendment is of a technical nature and will allow for the proper construction and citation of the Bill, if enacted. The amendment is required to take account of the fact that the Health (Amendment) Act, 1996, was signed by the President into law on Wednesday, 26 June 1996, on the same day as this Bill — the Health (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 1996 — was passed by Seanad Éireann. In order to bring the matter technically into order, the amendment as outlined is proposed.
Mr. Hayes: Like other Senators we welcome this technical amendment which will now clear the way for the establishment in Tallaght of the new hospital comprising the Meath, the Adelaide and the Children's Hospital. It is a great day for the people of Tallaght that we have arrived at the point where our own hospital will be opened shortly. All credit is due to the Minister of State and his colleague the Minister, Deputy Noonan, for the exemplary manner in which they were able to progress this hospital at a very difficult time over the past six or seven months. I congratulate the Minister, the Minister of State and all the officials and the three hospitals——
Dr. Henry: I too support this technical amendment. Great efforts have been made in the last 20 years to ensure we are as inclusive a society as possible; would that there were those in another part of the island who would try to pull the area into the 20th century now that we are on the verge of the 21st century. This Bill will ensure that everyone in this part of the country is included, no matter how people in other parts of this island may feel.
Mr. Maloney: I also agree with the amendment. We had an excellent debate on it in the House recently. It is welcome not only by those in the Twenty-six Counties but also by everybody in the Thirty-two Counties.
Mr. Mulcahy: I would like to add my voice to those who have welcomed this amendment. The Tallaght Hospital is a very important project. I compliment the board of the hospital which has, in a most progressive way, overseen a huge transitional programme and construction project at Tallaght. I pay particular tribute to the chairperson of the board, Professor Richard Conroy.
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