Thursday, 19 March 2020
An Bille Sláinte (Caomhnú agus Cosaint agus Bearta Éigeandála Eile Ar Mhaithe Le Leas an Phobail), 2020: Céim an Choiste agus na Céimeanna a bheidh Fágtha - Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages
Catherine Connolly (Galway West, Independent)
I welcome the attempt to come to some agreement on this. I used the word "draconian" and I will use it again. There is no doubt in my mind that this is absolutely draconian legislation. I have read it in detail, which has been difficult because of the manner in which it was presented to us. I know the staff are under pressure. It is almost impossible to have a rational debate about this in the limited time we have. We came prepared for 5 p.m. Looking at the Bill now, I have no idea why an arbitrary date of 9 November has been picked. Why not keep the original date because of the draconian nature of the legislation and the failure to make the measure proportionate and non-discriminatory? There was an utter failure to set it in any context so why not leave the date as 9 May to come before the Dáil? We need oversight of legislation and people need to see leadership. People need to see the Dáil in action overseeing this legislation to give confidence and empower them on the ground so they can trust us.