Friday, 27 March 2020
An Bille um Bearta Éigeandála ar mhaithe le Leas an Phobail (Covid-19) 2020: Céim an Choiste agus na Céimeanna a bheidh Fágtha - Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages
I move amendment No. 42:
In page 26, line 15, after "Minister" to insert ", on the advice of the Defence Forces Chief of Staff".
I will not delay the House on this. What I am trying to say is very clear, that is, that the Minister should act in operational matters only on the advice of the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces. The legislation, as it stands, would leave the Minister open to accusations of political interference where people are selected to return to the Defence Forces. To make sure that the Minister is covered legally and that there can be no allegations of political interference in the Defence Forces, I have, in each of the grouped amendments, sought to have us look to the Chief of Staff to advise the Minister or to seek the opinion of the Chief of Staff in each case. I will not elaborate any further because I am aware that time is pressing.