These are the Andrew Doyle contributions to the 32nd Dail. I will include both Video and transcript when available.
Junior Minister for Agriculture Andrew Doyle outlines to the Dail how the democratic vote by the UK to leave the EU will impact on the Agricultural sector.
Junior Minister Andrew Doyle answering statement of the over afforestation of County Leitrim.
Junior Minister for Agriculture Andrew Doyle answering questions on the horrendous practice of transporting greyhounds to China and ignoring their treatment once all forms are filled in.
Andrew Doyle making his contribution to the Dail statements and debate on Climate Change.
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Andrew Doyle making his Statement during the Debate on Agriculture.
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Andrew Doyle speaking in the Dáil on the Mental Health provision
Andrew Doyle (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
Mental health cases are dealt with by every public representative. Mental illness affects many families. It is sometimes as commonplace as alcoholism, and sometimes the two are related. It does not seem to receive the same recognition as alcoholism. As others have said, we lose as many to suicide as to road accidents annually, yet we still seem to treat mental illness as taboo and as something attracting a stigma.
There are many very good organisations dealing with mental health services. To the credit of Minister of State Kathleen Lynch, she fought tooth and nail to protect the budgets for both mental health services and disability services. After fighting in here during the term of the previous Dáil for a slice of the health Vote, she then took on the HSE when it attempted to impose greater budgetary cuts affecting mental health and disability services. If it is the case that there is a problem with the recruitment system at present, we should examine this. Pay and conditions are a problem. I was a member of the old east coast area health board. Twelve years ago, the current leader of the largest Opposition party sought, in his wisdom, to disband the health boards and replace them with the HSE.
Consider the problem that existed affecting orthodontists. I acknowledge they are in a different system. Orthodontists – I refer to those in critical front-line services – sign up to two years of ongoing service after qualification. A two-year period would mean staff would be in the system and it would ensure a continual supply. This should be considered as part and parcel of the review of how we recruit staff in the mental health field. The staff are specialists.
I, too, intend to walk on 7 May at 4.15 p.m. I was at the launch of the Pieta House event for Wicklow. It was very pertinent that it was held in a secondary school, Coláiste Chill Mhantáin, where a great effort is made to include the second year students. Statistics show that those who are most likely to experience unforeseen mental illness and to become suicidal are between 15 and 25. They are mainly boys, but not exclusively. I hope that targeting this cohort by including the schools as part of the Pieta House walking event Darkness into Light helps those affected to see that there is help available. There are many voluntary organisations in every constituency and county doing great work.
I am a member of the drugs task force in my area. We fund various projects working with various addiction services. There is a link between drug use, alcoholism and mental illness. Unless we tackle the problem in the round, we will never really address the core issues causing mental illness. Early intervention, early assistance and working with people on diversionary projects are all important.
I am glad to have had this opportunity. There is a lot to be done. Everybody in this House feels that if we allocate the money, we should be able to spend it on mental health and disability services, in particular. It has been difficult to obtain the money at times, but when we get it we cannot spend it. This seems like a paradox. I hope we can address that.
Andrew Doyle Thursday 10th March 2016
Dail Pitch for Ceann Comhairle job
Cléireach na Dála:
I must inform the House that following receipt of nominations for the position of Ceann Comhairle, the following is the list of validly nominated candidates: Deputy Andrew Doyle, Deputy Bernard J. Durkan, Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl and Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan.
As there is more than one candidate, the candidate who will be proposed for election by the House will be selected by secret ballot. Before proceeding to the secret ballot, I will call on each candidate to speak on their own behalf. Each candidate will have five minutes. I must, therefore, now call on Deputy Andrew Doyle.
I thank the Clerk. I am conscious that this is an historic moment. As we assemble on the first day of the Thirty-Second Dáil to elect a Ceann Comhairle we are actually seeing history being made. Perhaps fittingly, in this the centenary year of our country’s Proclamation of our right to self governance, Members of this House will elect their own Ceann Comhairle for the first time. This process marks a significant change and is the first in a wide range of reforms that are necessary. We need to separate the Dáil from government, to allow the Dáil to function as a relevant Parliament and not be a servant to government – a distinction that has been rarely, if ever, seen or evident in the past.
The political system as a whole is under scrutiny. The increased cynicism towards political institutions is an issue we can no longer ignore. This Dáil is more diverse than any other ever elected and affords us an opportunity and, even more, a necessity to embark finally on a programme of real and comprehensive reform. All institutions of the State need it, none more so than in here. As elected representatives, we have to start this reform right here at home in our national Parliament.
The Office of Ceann Comhairle can lead and steer these changes and, most importantly, be a champion of Members’ interests. However, the Ceann Comhairle cannot do this alone, which is why the various proposals which, I think, will be accepted to establish a working group to be chaired by the Ceann Comhairle to be elected today to consider the issue of reform, make proposals and report to the House are very welcome. This cross-party committee will be responsible for ensuring its work is acted on.
I am entering my third Dáil term. I believe I have the skills and abilities necessary to effect such an agenda of reform to enhance the functionality of the Dáil as a Parliament and to make the Oireachtas more transparent and relevant to the general public. My role as Chairman of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine has provided me with valuable experience in making committees work and I hope this is generally acknowledged by my colleagues. The committee carries out a very heavy work programme and has published 36 reports. I am committed to giving committees more power in the upcoming term.
I do not want to pre-empt the work of whatever working committee is set up, but there are a couple of issues at which we should look as a starting point and one of which is the use of the guillotine. Deputies are elected to legislate and we should be given time. There is no necessity to impose the use of the guillotine. Given the diverse make-up of the House, we need to recognise the need to give smaller groups more speaking time and this is something that must be worked out. In giving more power to committees and the Ceann Comhairle more influence on the Order of Business a fundamental role of the Speaker of the House should be deciding the agenda of Parliament of which he or she is cathaoirleach. If all of these measures are combined and acted on, we can allow for the guillotine not being used and more speaking time for smaller groups to get work done. More power for committees is a key part and central plank of this.
We need to rebalance the way business is done and can work together to achieve this common aim. Enhanced oversight and scrutiny of the Government by the Oireachtas, including the Dáil, is central to this. This, in turn, will allow for better quality legislation and a more expedient way of delivering it. We could adopt best practice from other countries such as setting aside time, either in committee weeks or by way of the arrangement some of us witnessed in the Scottish Parliament under which mornings are set aside for committees and afternoons for plenary sessions in order that Members will not be running back from committees to vote in the House and we can dedicate our time to the work of committees.
The Dáil – the national Parliament – has the power to change the way it does its business. It is up to it and Members to see what it can make of this opportunity. The vote to elect a Ceann Comhairle will give the Deputy elected a mandate to work with all Members in driving forward an agenda and the reform proposals necessary. As I said, we cannot do this alone. In co-operation with the Committee on Procedure and Privileges, in particular, the Ceann Comhairle will have to seek real Dáil reform during his or her term of office. Let this be the first day on which we see real reform of Dáil Éireann. The people who elected us nearly two weeks ago expect as much and we must deliver. I believe I am the right person to drive forward this change for the benefit of all Members of the Dáil. History will probably reflect positively on the events of today in the manner in which the new Ceann Comhairle is being selected, but the jury is still out and it is up to us to determine whether history will reflect positively on the work we will do from now on. Therefore, it is important that, with good will and co-operation, we all work together. I am asking for Members’ support.
I wish my colleagues who are also running the very best. It is important that whoever is elected today have the support of all Members of the House.