In March 2020 I was elected to Seanad Éireann as a member of the Cultural and Educational Panel. In the Seanad I serve as Government Whip and spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform and on Gaeltacht Affairs.
The Microfinance Loan Fund Amendment Bill was debated and passed by the Seanad on Thursday, 9th July. The bill raises the cap on the amount of funding provided to Microfinance Ireland to lend to small businesses across the country. Since March of this year, Microfinance Ireland has provided loans interest free for the first six months to micro-businesses around the country.
During the Order of Business on Tuesday, 7th July I raised the Restart Grant for businesses, the upcoming July Stimulus Package and I called for specific measures for the Tourism and Hospitality sector which has been severely impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.
My first speech in the 26th Seanad which met in the Convention Centre in Dublin – due to Covid-19 – on Monday, 29th June 2020. The Seanad elected a new Cathoirleach, Senator Mark Daly. In my contribution I paid tribute to former senator, Senator Billy Lawless who was a strong voice for the Irish diaspora.