Seanad debates

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Criminal Justice (Enforcement Powers) (Covid-19) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages

 

10:30 am

Barry Ward (Fine Gael)

I hope that the Riviera county, as we now call it, does not have any such establishments. I have great respect for Senator McDowell and, in particular, his knowledge and experience in this area. I stated that this issue does not have anything to do with the amendment because it is not the case that the Minister's decision to make regulations somehow renders these establishments lawful. I make no comment on whether they are lawful as I do not know enough about the matter to do so and I like to restrain myself, where possible, when I do not know what I am talking about. However, I do not see the connection between the amendment and regulations - good, bad or ugly - that are made by a Minister who is not bringing this Bill through the House. I do not see how those regulations could in any way supersede the primary legislation from 1956 to which the Senator referred. Although there may well be a valid criticism of those regulations, I do not think the conclusion that can be drawn from them is that somehow there is an official acknowledgement of the lawfulness or otherwise of the kind of establishments mentioned by the Senator.

In an omission which I will put down to my newness to this Chamber, I forgot to congratulate the Minister of State, Deputy Browne, who is a professional colleague of mine and whose uncle is a friend and near neighbour of mine in Blackrock, although not a voter, I suspect. I am delighted to see the Minister of State in his position and I wish him well in his role.

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