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New law backs small builders

New legislation to protect small building subcontractors who have been denied payments from larger companies has been introduced in the Dail by the Minister for the Office of Public Works, Brian Hayes.

Apart from a small number of formal standard forms of contracts and conditions of engagement, the arrangements for construction contracts and conditions of engagement are much too imprecise and informal, he said.

Plight of eating disorder victims

There are only three public hospital beds, instead of the recommended 24, for eating disorders nationwide, Dublin North-East Independent deputy Tommy Broughan told the Dail.

Around 400 new cases of eating disorder are diagnosed each year in Ireland, which, he said, represents approximately 80 deaths a year.

Children's vote

The Taoiseach told the Dail he does not believe it would be possible to hold the referendum on children's rights alongside another referendum.

"There is only room for the holding of one referendum in the autumn and, if one is to be held, it will be the referendum on children's rights," he said.

Women saluted

There is scant acknowledgement of those brave and patriotic women who, alongside their men, fought for Irish freedom in different ways, some as pacifists and others as militants, Fine Gael deputy Marcella Corcoran-Kenney told the Dail.

She called on the Government to dedicate a commemoration ceremony to these women.

Clerical abuse

The Catholic Church, which visited suffering on so many abused victims, must end its shameful instinct for self-preservation, People Before Profit deputy, Richard Boyd Barrett told the Dail.

"In this regard, it is disgraceful that the Church has still not put up all of the money to meet its obligations on this matter," he said. "The State has a responsibility to force it to do so and to seize its assets if required."