Seanad Eireann 23/10/2018

Following on from Senator Norris’s point, it does not just relate to this board but to all State boards. The Senator has raised a wider point with which I agree. I would be interested in hearing the response of the Minister of State.

In this section and as referred to in section 9, there is an issue with a board member whose term expires. Until such time as there is a vacancy, that member is not replaced, which is wrong. If we are trying to bring forward a timeframe in this legislation in order that board members will serve no more than two consecutive terms, once the second term is up, they should be gone and the vacancies filled immediately. I am not sure why that is not the case as it is mentioned in section 8(10). Perhaps I might deal with the matter on Report Stage.

With regard to an organisation which was castigated by another Member, while I appreciate that everyone has the right to exercise his or her opinion, I state categorically that the Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeders Federation is the only legitimate body with a democratic mandate representing owners and breeders. They have an opportunity to nominate two people to contest Seanad elections. On every occasion they have done so to the best of their ability, in nominating people who have supported, helped or have a connection with the greyhound industry. I am honoured to be one of the representatives for the Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeders Federation which has unearthed a lot of dirty laundry about the industry. Were it not for the work of the federation, the Bill may not be on the floor of this House this evening. I acknowledge its work and contribution. It was steadfast in its contributions and in 2015 bringing this issue to the attention of the agriculture committee, under the stewardship of the Minister of State who did an excellent job as chairperson of the committee in hearing the views of all stakeholders. The federation’s contribution should not be undermined or understated. That is all I want to say on that topic.