Thursday, 25 February 2021
Health (Amendment) Bill 2021: Committee Stage
I am not dog-whistling. I am telling the truth that people are relaying to me. They are highly frustrated that they cannot go to services of any denomination and they see that other people can do what they like. That is the basic nutshell of it. The Government has not dealt with that and will not deal with it. This legislation cannot deal with it either because it is not foolproof or thought-through. Amendments will not be accepted because we will not get to them. Would they be accepted anyway? Some have been ruled out of order, as other have said.
I am not dog-whistling. I am relating the facts as they are. The people of Ireland have suffered enough, from the cradle to the grave. They are unable to have company when they are in maternity wards giving birth. They are unable to grieve at a funeral, whether it is a normal death or a Covid death. It is shocking that only ten people can go into a church even in the case of big families. It is shocking. People were well able to put their shoulder to the wheel, as they did last spring. They fought gallantly but they are fatigued and mixed messages are coming from Ministers.
The Minister is present. I remember the Iraq war. Comical Ali came on every night telling us that Saddam was winning the war, even though the bombs were falling around him. The Minister for Health, Deputy Donnelly, did the same on "Claire Byrne Live". He is like Comical Ali - he is Comical Donnelly.