Seanad Éireann - Volume 139 - 23 March, 1994

Order of Business.

Mr. Wright: Today's Order of Business is Item 1 from now until 10 p.m. Item 37 will be taken from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., with a sos between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. I suggest 30 minutes per spokesperson and 20 minutes thereafter.

Mr. Manning: The Order of Business is agreeable.

[1466] I ask the Leader to make time available today, even at the end of business, to discuss the events at Ballinderry Hospital, near Mullingar. All Members would agree it is outrageous that an Irish bank should have equipment seized less than a month before a Supreme Court case is to be heard, which could reverse the entire situation. It is outrageous that the VHI, a State body, has abused its dominant position to bring things to this stage. Both ACC and VHI have a case to answer, a case which they have refused to answer up to now. Their action has outraged the Irish public and this House in a manner that has not happened for a long time. I ask the Leader to make time available today. Otherwise, I will seek to raise the matter under Standing Order 29. However, I suspect the Leader wishes to have time made available for it to be discussed by all Members today.

Dr. Henry: I support Senator Manning's call to discuss this matter. It is extraordinary that a hospital should have vital equipment removed from it. The matter is sub judice at the moment and to date the hospital appears to be winning.

An Cathaoirleach: It may be sub judice and that could be the problem for the Leader when he investigates. However, I am sure he will take it on board.

Mr. Cassidy: I give my total support to the call to discuss the hospital at Ballinderry. This has caused great shock to the people in Mullingar. The hospital has been a major employer in the town over the years and it has made a magnificent contribution to the medi-care system in the Midlands, as the Cathaoirleach is aware. The nuns do excellent work there. I support the call for a debate as a matter of urgency.

Ms Honan: I, too, support the call for a discussion on the removal of the equipment from the hospital in Ballinderry.

I also ask the Leader to arrange a debate as soon as possible on the report of the working group on child care.

[1467] Mr. Sherlock: I support the call. The financial agency has been mentioned and the VHI should be included in the debate because there are shortcomings in that system.

An Cathaoirleach: The matter may be sub judice but it will be investigated.

Mr. Quinn: I ask the Leader of the House to provide time in the near future to discuss the enlargement of Europe. It is a pertinent topic and has huge implications for us as a nation. I am not sure enough discussion has taken place. I urge the Leader to find time in the near future to discuss this matter.

Mr. Cosgrave: I am sure the House would like to compliment and congratulate all those who were instrumental in securing the World Equestrian Games in 1998. Hopefully it will be a great boost to tourism.

Mr. Wright: I endorse the last point. Yesterday, we spoke of world sporting events and lady riders are often number one in this field. I am sure Senator Henry will be pleased about that. Bringing the World Equestrian Games to Ireland will be great for the country and is a fantastic achievement for all concerned.

With regard to the issue raised by Senator Manning — the hospital in Mullingar — I will raise that concern. There is legal action pending and the matter may be sub judice. I will advise Senators on this aspect of the matter during the day.

I will endeavour to arrange debates with the Whips on the child care report and the enlargement of the EU at a future date.

Order of Business agreed to.