Sunday, July 06, 2008
Opening of St Clare's Centre in Stamullen
Anton and I outside Leinster House
Later on I had lunch with the Minister for Overseas Development Peter Power to discuss volunteering for the VSO in the developing world. The lunch was a cross-party affair, with representatives from most of the Republic's parties and with Carmel Hanna from the SDLP.
VSO Volunteering Programme
In the Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday afternoon we had the chance to listen to various aid organisation discuss their work in Malawi. I was impressed by the commitment and energy displayed by the groups. It brings it home to you how much individuals can help to change the world.
On Wednesday evening we had a chance to debate Cancer services with Minister Harney. I used the occasion to raise the subject of the threatened closure of the Dochas Breast Cancer unit in Drogheda. Here's my speech.
Speaking about the Dochas Centre in Drogheda
In the Seanad on Thursday I raised the subject of affordable housing, asking for a debate on issues such as whether land at Gormonstown in County Meath will be used for affordable housing. The Leader of the House agreed to hold a full debate on housing issues in the coming week.
On Friday I attended meetings in Navan, Ratoath and Trim on various issues. I also saw Minister Harney again on Friday, this time at the opening of the extension to St Clare's Nursing Home in Stamullen. The centre is very much state of the art and I spent some time chatting to staff and clients of the centre. It is a much needed resource in the area and hopefully it will be very successful.