Thursday, 15 October 2020
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
Bríd Smith (Dublin South Central, People Before Profit Alliance)
There is an ugly and frenzied rush to push through legislation on the mother and baby homes. Imagine the optics of this for the hundreds and thousands of victims and their families that legislation is to be amended by Members of this House before 2 o'clock tomorrow when it has not even passed through the Seanad. This is utterly disrespectful to the Senators. The Tánaiste ticked me off some time ago about disrespecting Senators. He is disrespecting the Seanad and, indeed, this House by pushing through this legislation in a hurried manner. More important, however, it shows utter disrespect to the victims and their families. Whatever the rights and wrongs about way the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs wants to archive these files, we have not been given the time to look at it, talk about it and amend it properly. He is breaking all the rules of the Houses by rushing it through.
Will the Tánaiste please ensure that a minimum level of proper legislative scrutiny is given to this? I do not mean pre-legislative scrutiny but enough time for us to be able to amend it having been amended by the Senators. It is, to say the least, unseemly to the victims and their families and the Tánaiste, like all of us, has been inundated with emails. Imagine the panic and the disrespect they feel. Apologies are no good when the Tánaiste does this sort of thing.