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Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (16 Oct 2020)

Ivana Bacik: I welcome the Minister and the opportunity to debate this important Bill, albeit that we had proposed an amendment to the Order of Business to delay the taking of Report Stage today. It is most unfortunate we are taking Committee and Remaining Stages today. As expressed already on the Order of Business by Senator Sherlock on behalf of the Labour Party, and other colleagues from across the...

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (16 Oct 2020)

Ivana Bacik: I thank the Minister for engaging on the question that I had asked about the rationale for the Bill in the context of these amendments tabled by Senator Higgins. I understand that he said, and I think the concern was expressed to the Department by the commission so it would be helpful to see even an outline of the commission's legal advice, the commission was concerned that if legislation...

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (16 Oct 2020)

Ivana Bacik: I have not yet spoken to this group of amendments but like Senator Craughwell I have listened to the lengthy debate we have had. I have certainly found some powerful arguments on both sides. In response to some of the Government Senators, I say that this is not just a technical Bill about a database. The debate has really illustrated how much more important this debate is and how much more...

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (16 Oct 2020)

Ivana Bacik: The Labour Party Senators oppose section 2 and propose its deletion for the reasons I outlined, both on Second Stage and earlier on Committee Stage, our concerns regarding the need for the legislation and the concerns others have expressed on preservation of the archive. It is important to see a commitment to establishing a dedicated archive in which could be housed all historical records,...

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (16 Oct 2020)

Ivana Bacik: I move amendment No. 12: In page 4, between lines 26 and 27, to insert the following: “(3) Neither this Act nor the Act of 2004 shall operate to prevent the Agency from processing, or authorising the processing, of information— (a) for archiving, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes, in accordance with section 42 of the Data Protection Act...

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (16 Oct 2020)

Ivana Bacik: I thank the Minister for his response. It is disappointing to hear that he is not prepared to accept any of the amendments given how crucial this core principle is. Again, he referred to the 2004 Act. That is not set in stone and we can amend it. The whole purpose of this Bill, as the Minister said, is to disapply it in a particular way to enable the database to be sent to Tusla....

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (16 Oct 2020)

Ivana Bacik: I move amendment No. 22: In page 5, line 8, to delete "(other than the database and related records)". I have moved the amendment on behalf of Labour Party Senators but other colleagues have also signed up to it. It seeks to delete the words "other than the database and related records" from section 5 because the Bill will provide that the database and related records of mothers and...

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (16 Oct 2020)

Ivana Bacik: I move amendment No. 24: In page 5, between lines 9 and 10, to insert the following: “Application of the Data Protection Regulation 6. (1) Article 15 of the Data Protection Regulation applies without restriction to the evidence and documents deposited by the Commission with the Minister under subsection (2) of section 43 of the Act of 2004. (2) In this section, “Data...

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (16 Oct 2020)

Ivana Bacik: I move amendment No. 25: In page 5, between lines 9 and 10, to insert the following: “Minister to publish an Index to the Commission’s archive 6. (1) Within four weeks of the Commission’s deposit of evidence and records with the Minister under subsection (2) of section 43 of the Act of 2004, the Minister shall lay before both Houses of the Oireachtas an Index to all...

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (16 Oct 2020)

Ivana Bacik: We have discussed the amendments at length but we have not talked about the section at all. This is the rogue section, one might say, the section on the other, unrelated matter of amending the Judicial Council Act 2019 essentially to extend the deadline for preparation of the draft personal injuries guidelines. I have no objection to the extension. I have seen the letter from the President...

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (16 Oct 2020)

Ivana Bacik: We are discussing amendment No. 30. I support Senator Higgins's amendment, which is crucial because it relates to the issue of rights of information, which is something that we have spoken about throughout this debate. It also relates to the question that I asked the Minister earlier about giving us a timeline for the publication of the information and tracing legislation which he promised...

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages (16 Oct 2020)

Ivana Bacik: I thank the Minister for engaging with us over more than seven hours of constructive debate. We all acknowledge the Minister's comments on the index and his movement and engagement on some of the amendments we tabled. It is disappointing that the bigger issue of access to information has not been addressed in the Bill. We will work with the Minister to try to ensure we get decent...

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: Order for Second Stage (14 Oct 2020)

Ivana Bacik: I want to second Senator McDowell's proposal. I know Senator Boyhan's name is also on it as a seconder. If needs be, I am happy to second it on the basis that, as Senator McDowell has said, we are very concerned about the way in which the Bill is being rushed through and the projected ordering of Committee and Report Stages for Friday. I know that has not yet been ordered by the House....

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: Second Stage (14 Oct 2020)

Ivana Bacik: I welcome the Minister to the House and acknowledge his comments on our shameful history, as a society, of treatment of women and children over many decades, in particular of those citizens who were incarcerated in homes like the mother and baby homes and so many other institutions. In my previous life as a practitioner, I had the privilege of representing many survivors of abuse before the...

Seanad: Ireland-China Relations: Motion (8 Oct 2020)

Ivana Bacik: I welcome the Minister of State, Deputy Brophy, to the House and thank him for taking this motion. I commend Senators Mullen and McDowell on initiating the motion. I am glad to support it on behalf of the Labour Party Senators and, indeed, we co-signed the motion along with other colleagues across the House. It is important that we do so to show solidarity with the Uyghur people and make...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (7 Oct 2020)

Ivana Bacik: I ask the Leader for a debate on the disability motion that is listed as the sixth motion on the Order Paper for today, which has been proposed by us in the Labour Party with support from Sinn Féin and the Civic Engagement Group. I thank all colleagues for signing up to it. This is a cross-party initiative, which was also introduced in the Dáil last night, seeking to ensure a...

Seanad: Statutory Right to Sick Leave Pay: Motion (7 Oct 2020)

Ivana Bacik: I welcome the Minister of State and I ask the permission of the House to share time with my colleague, Senator Wall. I will take five minutes and he will take three minutes.

Seanad: Statutory Right to Sick Leave Pay: Motion (7 Oct 2020)

Ivana Bacik: It gives me great pleasure to second this motion on behalf of the Labour Party. It also gives me great pleasure to speak following my colleague, Senator Sherlock, who has spoken so eloquently to propose the motion. She has done an enormous amount of work on pushing for the introduction of the right to paid sick leave. As we state in our motion, it is extraordinary that Ireland is one of...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Nursing Home Accommodation (1 Oct 2020)

Ivana Bacik: I welcome the Minister of State to the House. It is a beautiful Chamber, as the Minister of State has said, and it is lovely to be here. The matter I have raised is the need for the Minister for Health to make a statement on the situation regarding St. Mary's Centre Telford, Dublin 4, and the care of persons currently depending on the centre's services, along with his Department's plans to...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Nursing Home Accommodation (1 Oct 2020)

Ivana Bacik: I thank the Minister of State for her very strong reply. I have raised this matter in the Seanad a number of times but I am grateful to the Minister of State for responding so directly on it. Clearly, there is an issue with regard to the provision of care to vulnerable persons beyond the specific issues affecting St. Mary's. In the context of St. Mary's, I am grateful to the Minister of...

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