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Dublin: 14 °C Monday 26 August, 2019
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GOOD AFTERNOON EVERYONE, Christina Finn with you as opposition leaders ask the government about what they are going to do about the impending Bus Eireann strike.

Martin moves on to the issue of the day – the Bus Eireann strike.

He says Minister for Transport Shane Ross should intervene and says he took too long o do so.

The Fianna Fáil leader now accuses the government of a lack of action and a delay in action which has now resulted in strike action.

“He should have engaged and facilitated meetings to at lease tease out the policy issues,” says Martin. He says it is now urgently needed to resolve the issue.

Enda Kenny also welcomes the representatives from the House of Lords and says there are issues relating to Brexit that might be discussed.

The Taoiseach also pays tribute to the late Peter Matthews.

Moving on to the strike action, he says he does not accept his comment that the minister is “acquiescing at the margins” of this dispute.

He points out that the subvention has increased in the last year – and says Bus Eireann is losing €50,000 per day.

Martin says that never once did the minister warn about the crisis coming down the track. He said a report that warned the government of the stark state the company was in was left on the shelf.

martin

The Taoiseach says the problem is that Expressway service is losing money. He wants both sides to get back into the WRC to deal with the issue.

“The nub of the issue needs to be addressed…. to avoid a strike that nobody wants.”

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald is on her feet and also wants to remember Peter Matthews.

She says he was a gentleman and pays tribute to his family today.

She calls for accountability and says the reports are shocking.

McDonald wants to know where the garda cases are at the moment and what staff in the HSE have been held responsible.

The very least this House can do is apologise to Grace, says Kenny

“The treatment of her is a disgrace to us as a country.”

Reading out a litany of new laws since the case, he says there are procedures in place to ensure this never happens again.

He says whether any arrests have been made is a matter for gardaí.

He says the Minister of State for Disabilities Finian McGrath will bring the terms of reference for a commission of investigation to Cabinet next week.

“These two reports speak for themselves and they are shocking,” says the Taoiseach.

Kenny says he expects the minister for justice will reply to any questions about garda investigations, but says he does not have any specific details to give the House.

“The reports into the Grace situation were delayed because of an understanding they might interfere with garda investigations,” says Kenny.

Dr Michael Harty wants to talk about poor governance in the health system.

He wants to know when laws will be introduced to reward good governance and punish bad governance. He says we are one of the highest spenders on health, but says the people are not feeling it.

Enda Kenny says many of the services provided by Irish hospitals are state of the art.

Dr Harty says the case of Grace shows the lack of governance. He wants legislation to be introduced to underpin HSE decisions.

The Dáil gives a round of applause to welcome the president of Estonia, who has just entered the chamber.

Roísín Shortall TD also pays tribute to the late Peter Matthews.

She says he was a very popular and very committed figure.

“We all miss his presence here during this Dáil.”

She wants answers questions about the Grace case.

She wants to know if any of those people who were working with the HSE and with this case are working in they system.

Shortall also wants to know if there will be a full garda investigation into the matter – not just a commission of investigation.

Kenny says he can’t answer whether a garda investigation is still ongoing or if people involved in the case are still working.

He says the terms of reference will deal with the option, possibly, of other cases mentioned in the reports today.

The Taoiseach says they do not take the decision to set up a commission of investigation lightly.

As leader of this country, she says he can find out today and give a guarantee today that those involved in the case are no longer working in child protection services.

“We need those answers now,” she says.

He says he does take his responsibilities seriously – but says he does not accept her premise that the government have not taken any action on the issue.

The TDs are now talking about the Order of Business. You can continue watching here.

Join us back here tomorrow.

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