Senator Mark Daly: I agree with Senator Conway about the information being provided to Ministers. Mark Twain said that “facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable” but when one does not have the facts, there is nothing one can do about it. While heads should roll, in a modern democracy, the fact that the lists are not accurate means that the HSE has a lot to answer for. That does not mean that the Minister is not the person in charge. The former Minister, Deputy Varadkar, appeared here many times and one would swear that he was a commentator on the health service instead of being the Minister for Health. Nobody can point to any reforms he made when he was Minister for Health.
The leader of the DUP is also a person who seems to be unable to grasp facts as they apply to the real world. She is not a woman of detail, as we know, because even though she was in charge of the department that promoted and signed off on the renewable energy scheme, she said she did not realise that the devil was in the detail and that, in reality, she was giving away hundreds of billions of pounds to people to literally burn money. She was not very good on facts when she said yesterday that more people in Northern Ireland—–
Senator Mark Daly: In respect of the DUP leader’s ability to grasp facts, she does not seem to understand that her department was in charge of signing off on the renewable energy scheme and that she has burned £500 million on this scheme to the point where I am informed by people in Northern Ireland that they are not even burning the pellets they are getting paid to burn. They are actually taking the pellets south and reselling them. That is enterprising and I am sure the DUP would love that type of enterprise. The leader of the DUP also said something yesterday that is not a fact either. She said more people in Northern Ireland speak Polish than speak Irish. That is not true. There are 30,000 Polish speakers and 105,000 people who speak Irish. She did not seem to understand the most important fact of all when she announced the DUP’s policies and said that she did not support an Irish language Act and would not see one implemented. This is part of an international agreement. That is a fact. It is the St. Andrew’s Agreement and it should be implemented. However, the DUP seems to want to roll back on an agreement to which it signed up itself. Ms Foster does not seem to have much of a grasp of the facts. It is deplorable that the DUP is now rolling back on its commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and the St. Andrew’s Agreement.