Seanad debates

Thursday, 10 September 2020

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business


10:30 am

Photo of Michael McDowellMichael McDowell (Independent) | Oireachtas source

That is the point I make. I am opposed to the idea that this Bill needs to be rushed through in one day. Some of the measures in it are good, some are excessive and some need to be amended. There is no need for us to rush it through. This is not an emergency. In my view, and I may be in a minority on this, it is not a matter of tremendous urgency that the particular powers to close pubs in circumstances that are envisaged by the Bill, either temporarily or for longer periods, must be rushed through without adequate consideration. We are supposed to be a revising Chamber. We are supposed to be a Chamber that looks carefully at legislation that comes before us. It is simply not acceptable that the House is reduced to the state of being a rubber stamp.I fully accept that the staff of the Houses of the Oireachtas are doing their level best to marry the idea of public health guidelines to the sitting arrangements of these Houses. I fully accept that there are pressure points and difficulties involved in both. However, as I will be raising at the Committee on Procedure and Privileges later, there is the Mansion House around the corner which, in my youth, could accommodate 2,000 or 3,000 people at an Ard Fheis and certainly could-----


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