Thursday, 11 July 2019
Parole Bill 2016: Committee and Remaining Stages
I too want to welcome the passing of the Parole Bill. It is important, proper and appropriate that the parole board would be set up on a statutory basis and enshrined in primary legislation. This is another example of how Private Members' Bills can and do work in this House. When a Member such as Deputy O'Callaghan puts forward a Private Members' Bill, where there is significant engagement from all sides in both Houses and where the Minister, his Department and officials are prepared to work in a positive way to ensure the legislation is brought forward in the best and strongest possible way, the only people who will benefit are the citizens, namely, the people we are elected here to represent. This Bill brings the process of parole into the 21st century and the debate has been interesting and invigorating. The passion that has been shown by people in this House for the victims of crime and trying to come up with restorative ways of reintegrating people into society when they have had their sentences fulfilled is something that would give one hope. It is the culmination of a lot of work by a lot of stakeholders in this country, and by the Joint Committee on Justice and Equality, of which Minister of State, Deputy Stanton, was Chairman and of which both Senator Bacik and myself were also privileged to be members.
Significant work was done by all the stakeholders and all sides in this House. It is a good day for politics and for the victims of crime as well.