Last Thursday I opened the Order of Business at the Seanad speaking about the opportunity that my NAMA and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Transparency Bill would have provided for transparency. In 2012, I tried to pass this bill but my colleagues opposite had opposed it on the grounds of “what could go wrong?”. To those whom opposed it, I hate to say I told you so but I think I did.
I then spoke about Ibrahim Halawa, an Irish citizen and teenager whom has been detained for two years in an Egyptian prison. He has now gone on hunger strike and finds himself in horrendous conditions. He wakes up to the screams of people being tortured and wonders is he going to be next. The Government needs to act urgently to do more in securing Ibrahim’s release. I have proposed that the members of the Foreign Affairs Committee should go visit him and members of the Seanad should also join.
I also raised the issue of the Government’s policy on the closure of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea, Co. Roscommon, which cared for 25 elderly high dependency residents with mental health conditions including advanced Alzheimer’s. Dr Kelly, former chairman of the Western Health Board and medical officer at Castlerea Prison, said the Government’s policy was “tantamount to elder abuse”.
A motion will be put to vote this Tuesday in the relation to this appalling policy on the closure of Rosalie Unit in Castlerea.
Watch my lead off speech on the Order of Business here: