Dáil debates

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Ceisteanna - Questions

Community Development Projects

4:05 pm

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Leader of the Opposition; Dublin Central, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

First, on early education and childcare, the Taoiseach and I have corresponded at this stage extensively, and I accept the Taoiseach's bona fides that nobody wants to see any disadvantaged child put in this position. I will take him up on the offer, if that is okay, of engagement in his office but also through the Minister. I thank him for that.

Second, I reiterate Deputy Gannon's call for a fresh investigation in respect of the Terence Wheelock case. It is true to say there were previous processes and procedures, but it is also true to say big questions remain, not just for the family but for the wider community.

It would be helpful if we could have political agreement that, whatever the specific mechanism, there would be at a minimum some form of review of this case. Any death in custody is extremely serious. As the Taoiseach knows, in the early 2000s there were profound concerns about places of detention, including Garda stations, and previous governments had to deal with that reality. We need to progress this issue. There will be the gathering for Terence's anniversary. This issue does not go away; it festers in the soul of a community, as we have seen in other parts of Ireland. General political agreement today that there are issues here and that they need to be reviewed, in and of itself as a first step, would be good progress.

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