Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill: Final Stage

Part of Executive Committee Business – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 6:45 pm on 15th March 2016.

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Photo of Kieran McCarthy Kieran McCarthy Alliance 6:45 pm, 15th March 2016

Right, Mr Deputy Speaker, this is it. This is the last. What is contained in this is the last opportunity, so listen carefully. I cannot believe, after 18 years in this Assembly, that this is it, but I will go for it anyway. This has been the busiest day of my life in the Assembly. I have been up and down like a yo-yo. You will be glad to see the back of me.

I welcome the Final Stage of the Bill. The Bill has evolved significantly over past weeks in several beneficial ways. We would, perhaps, have benefited more from structured consideration of the amendments that emerged through the Committee. Nonetheless, we have a positive result. In particular, I welcome the move towards banning smoking in vehicles with children. Like every Member who has spoken, I want to see the end of that, so that we put our children at no risk whatever.

I feel a lot of sympathy for my colleague Jo-Anne Dobson, who, despite valiant efforts on the organ donation issue, was not successful in getting her Bill through. However, I am sure that there will be another day. I had the pleasure of meeting her son Mark this afternoon in the Hall. He is a walking example of what organ donation can do. I hope, Jo-Anne, that, in the future, you will have more success.