Thursday, 11 April 2019
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
Right now, activists from This is Me, a campaign to improve transgender healthcare in Ireland, are sitting in at the Department of Health. They have stated clearly that they will not move voluntarily until they have a time and date for a meeting with the Minister, Deputy Harris. It is a meeting which has been promised repeatedly over the course of the last 14 months. It was promised first in a reply to Deputy Coppinger, but there were many subsequent promises, including, for example, a promise by the Taoiseach of a meeting within six to eight weeks in July 2018. The nine months since have proved to be a very long six to eight weeks. The activists are not looking for a chat with the Minister for no reason. They are asking for a meeting because, notwithstanding the WHO declassification of transgender identities as a question of mental health disorder 12 months ago, Ireland continues to practise a strict psychiatric diagnostic model which means that transgender people are forced to obtain a psychiatric diagnosis before being recommended for HRT. This is a damaging state of affairs. The question is very simple. They must not wait any longer. Does the Government agree that a time and date for a meeting must be given now in order that they can stop waiting and the occupation can end?