Results 1–20 of 527 for speaker:Colin McGrath

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Keeping Schools Open and Safe (10 Jan 2022)

Colin McGrath: Will the Member give way?

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Keeping Schools Open and Safe (10 Jan 2022)

Colin McGrath: You talk about Members opposite. Remember that the motion is supported by Members opposite and those right the way round the Chamber to beside you. All other parties in here come from the same perspective. As has been mentioned, you should not try to make the issue tribal or make it out to be some sort of political debate. It is supported by all parties, right the way round the Chamber to...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Keeping Schools Open and Safe (10 Jan 2022)

Colin McGrath: I welcome the opportunity to participate in the debate, because, as we have made our way through the pandemic, schools have been among the worst-hit. As restrictions have changed — as they have either been eased or tightened — it is pupils, their parents, principals and school staff who have had to adapt at a minute's notice. We respect them for the work that they have done in very...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Keeping Schools Open and Safe (10 Jan 2022)

Colin McGrath: I would appreciate the extra minute.

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Keeping Schools Open and Safe (10 Jan 2022)

Colin McGrath: I simply ask the Member to go to any classroom —

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Keeping Schools Open and Safe (10 Jan 2022)

Colin McGrath: — and see whether he can go up two or three storeys before he hits the roof. That is often taken into consideration whenever you are doing the various safety plans. The height of the ceiling is a big consideration. My goodness, it is a long way up to the top of the Chamber compared with most classrooms. Then we have a Finance Minister who says that he cannot give the money until it has been...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Executive Committee Business: The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Amendment No. 19) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (14 Dec 2021)

Colin McGrath: I thank the Minister for giving way and for detailing the engagement that took place and that it was done by the COVID task force — which is, of course, part of the Executive Office. It is disgraceful that, on one of the biggest issues that we have had to debate, the only Ministers who have turned up to take part are from the Ulster Unionist Party and the SDLP. It begs the question, on...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Executive Committee Business: The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Amendment No. 19) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (13 Dec 2021)

Colin McGrath: I thank Mr Frew for reminding me why, in the Business Committee, I support time-bound contributions and will continue to do so. I will rewind to a year ago, when the people of Northern Ireland had been in lockdown in various ways for nine months. Families were separated. Loved ones had died in hospital with only a doctor or a nurse to hold their hand. Healthcare staff worked day and night...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Executive Committee Business: The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Amendment No. 19) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (13 Dec 2021)

Colin McGrath: Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker. My point is this: is it any wonder that we have had people in our constituency offices asking, "What is the point in following the restrictions?"? It is the double standards that I am talking about. They have been most eloquently displayed by one political party in the Chamber over others. As I said, there are many tools in our arsenal against COVID-19....

Northern Ireland Assembly: Executive Committee Business: The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Amendment No. 19) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (13 Dec 2021)

Colin McGrath: I will take as many interventions as Mr Frew took. It is also sending the message that it does not trust the Department of Health's Departmental Solicitor's Office. That may sound like political hyperbole to some, but it does not change the fact that it is true. None of us is entirely comfortable with the implementation of COVID certificates, just as none of us was comfortable with the...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Ministerial Statements: North/South Ministerial Council: Health and Food Safety (13 Dec 2021)

Colin McGrath: I thank the Minister for his statement. Does the Minister agree that the meeting dealt with real-life issues that genuinely impact on people across this island, such as PEACE PLUS, board appointments, child protection protocols, cancer and health research cooperation, health cooperation and the COVID-19 response, and that those in the DUP who seek to frustrate and block that work should...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — Health: Breast Cancer Services: Northern Trust (13 Dec 2021)

Colin McGrath: I thank the Minister for his answers on this very important issue. One of the best ways to challenge and tackle issues is to know the exact scope of the problem. I recently wrote to the Minister and asked how many people had been diagnosed with secondary breast cancer over the last number of years and was told that the Department does not hold that figure. Will the Minister undertake to try...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Ministerial Statements: General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (13 Dec 2021)

Colin McGrath: I thank the Minister for her statement. If something is broken, it has to be fixed, and it is fairly obvious from the report that something is badly broken. Minister, you said that teacher registration will be subsumed by the Department so that the process can take place quickly. I know, from other Members, that there is an urgent need for that, given that there can be delays. Will you give...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Executive Committee Business: Health and Social Care Bill: Final Stage (7 Dec 2021)

Colin McGrath: I welcome the opportunity to speak on the Final Stage of the Health and Social Care Bill. It is important to note that the Bill that we are voting for today is different to the Bill that was first presented to the Assembly in March this year. As the Bill progressed through the necessary stages, it has evolved and been amended to make it as robust as possible. In previous contributions on the...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Executive Committee Business: Smoke-Free (Private Vehicles) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (6 Dec 2021)

Colin McGrath: I welcome the opportunity to speak today on the statutory regulations. They are timely and appropriate, and we in the SDLP think that they are adequate. If we have learnt anything in the past 18 months, it is that, when it comes to our health and well-being, prevention is critical. For example, we have all heard the stories of those who have ended up in hospital as a result of COVID, have...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Oral Answers to Questions — The Executive Office: COVID Status Certification: Domestic Settings (29 Nov 2021)

Colin McGrath: The First Minister mentioned that there are "divisive", destructive and "distractive" policies being pursued by others. Does he not agree that his own party members are being divisive and destructive and are distracting from what should be a clear and concise public message in the middle of a global pandemic? We should ensure the safety of our citizens and not create confusion and bluster,...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Ministerial Statement: COVID-19: Omicron Variant (29 Nov 2021)

Colin McGrath: I thank the Minister for his statement and his update to the House. I echo his remarks that this is not a time for "panic or despair". We can work together to contain this if we all stick to the things that we know to do for the best, such as washing hands, observing social distancing and getting ourselves checked out if we have any symptoms. I will ask the Minister about some of the changes....

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Hospital Parking Charges Bill: Second Stage (22 Nov 2021)

Colin McGrath: Yes, and I know that we are rehearsing issues with nurses' pay and conditions that many of us know about. We want to see improvement, because we can see how that directly impacts on the amount of money that nurses have and their ability to pay for things such as car parking that add to the drain on their money. On any given day, our nurses may have to get their kids up in the morning, get...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Private Members' Business: Hospital Parking Charges Bill: Second Stage (22 Nov 2021)

Colin McGrath: I thank the Member for his intervention. In a debate in which we are all coming from roughly the same direction, it is great to see that he did not take the option to be divisive and political. Any significant drain on the budget required by Translink and others would require a whole-Executive approach and funding to be made available to the Department. I am sure that the Executive can have...


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