On Monday night, I was featured in the RTÉ Investigates programme ‘Law and Disorder’ speaking about the application of our road safety laws. On Tuesday afternoon I asked the Minister of State for Defence, Paul Kehoe, on personnel gaps in our Defence Forces. I also attended the Budgetary Oversight Committee where we were discussing Local Property Tax and Excise Duties for 2018 to 2020. Later that evening I spoke on the Electoral (Amendment) (Dáil Constituencies) Bill 2017 which retains almost all of the existing Dublin Bay North constituency (except the small Drumcondra South Electoral Area).
34.Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report to Dáil Éireann on the situation in Kurdistan; the steps Ireland is taking to ensure that the national integrity of Kurdistan is supported by the EU and international community; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53040/17]
Deputy Thomas P. Broughan: I ask the Minister for a brief update on any supportive actions Ireland has taken relating to the Kurdish nation which is located within the Turkish, State, Syria, Iraq and Iran. His predecessor, the Minister, Deputy Charles Flanagan, told me last year that the conflict resolution unit in the Department was attempting to assist the Kurdish people in Turkey and I wondered if that was ongoing or if anything has happened at the Foreign Affairs Council.
I have raised with the Minister the issue of the savage oppression of the Kurdish nation and people on seven or eight occasions since he took office. In July this oppression intensified with the mass arrests of journalists, soldiers, police officers, 120,000 civil servants of all kinds, judges, 28 democratically elected mayors, the destruction of cities and the oppression of the language and the culture of the Kurdish people in Turkey. I would like to know what the Minister, in conjunction with his EU colleagues will do about this.
Throughout the 31st Dáil, and in the last 12 months especially, Deputy Broughan has highlighted a wide range of issues and challenges facing Ireland on the international stage. Tommy has attempted to clarify Ireland’s position on a number of key issues and has tried to impress upon the Minister, the importance and urgency of some of the challenges facing Ireland today, in an increasingly globalised world.