Seanad debates

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Parole Bill 2016: Committee and Remaining Stages


10:30 am

Photo of Martin ConwayMartin Conway (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

Senator Marie-Louise O'Donnell's opinion is very much influenced by her engagement with victims, which has very much been hands-on for many years and it equips her with a viewpoint on these matters. Her view has developed from intensive engagement with victims and her testimonial must be given due respect and definitely listened to.

Most of the time I agree with Senator Bacik, but the Irish Penal Reform Trust is not beyond reproach, any more than any other organisation, and does not always get it right. No organisation does. That said, it has done enormous good work and the message that should go out from here is that while it has done a lot of good work, like every other organisation, it is not beyond reproach. To be fair to Senator Marie-Louise O'Donnell, she is talking about first degree murder where there is no equivocation or mitigating circumstances. It may not be possible to address the issue through this legislation, but we need to engage in a debate at another stage to see how we can address it. Every item of legislation brought to this House is open to amendment and should be reflective of people's views and changes in society. The reason we are here is to amend and improve legislation. I am interested in hearing what the Minister has to say about the matter. From time to time Senator Marie-Louise O'Donnell does deliver incredibly passionate addresses in this House and this is one of those days.


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