Senator Mark Daly today secured the 20th signature for his letter which will force the government to recall the Seanad this August to debate flawed EU law on organ donation. The final signature required came from Independent Senator Fergal Quinn.
Under the European Communities Act 1974 the Seanad must be recalled to debate an EU Directive if 20 senators sign a letter asking for a recall. Senator Daly was illegally and unlawfully blocked from recalling the Seanad on the same legislation last year. Last Thursday in a radio interview on RTE with Myles Dungan, Deputy Regina Doherty, who sits on the Health Committee, admitted the government should have allowed a recall last year on this legislation.
The legislation to be debated was the first legislation on organ donation in the history of the state yet it was not debated by the Dail, Senate or health committee prior to the minister signing the EU law into Irish Legislation. The law has seriously flawed according to groups advocating for those on organ transplant waiting lists around the country.
Senator Daly said ‘according to Mark Murphy of the Irish Kidney Association ‘this is the worst implementation of this EU directive anywhere in Europe’.
The Senator also said “There are currently over 650 people in Ireland awaiting organ transplants including heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas. There are more than 1,800 people who are receiving life sustaining dialysis in this country at a cost over 10 years of 1.2 billion euros. If we improved our organ transplant system in this country, the over 500 people waiting for kidney transplants could expect to receiving a life transforming and saving operation. The resulting saving to the taxpayer over time would be €325,000,000 million. The Minister missed an opportunity to fix our organ transplantation system”
Senator Daly has stated that having secured one third of the Seanad, which is what is needed for the recall, he will be submitting the signed letter to the Seanad Cathaoirleach this week.
“In the event of the Government not recalling the Senate this time I will go to the High Court and seek Court Order forcing the government to comply with the law of the land”
“What the minister should have done is he should have followed the example of Croatia, who are the best in Europe on organ transplantation. He should have put transplant coordinators in every hospital, allowed for data sharing among state agencies, appointed one competent authority on organ donation and transplantation and had a debate on the difficult issue of consent”.
Names of all 20 signatories:
Senator Fergal Quinn joins the list of current signatories including Independent Senators Sean Barrett, Ronan Mullen, Professor John Crown, Mary Anne O’Brien Katherine Zappone as well as the 14 members of Fianna Fáil; Senator Thomas Byrne, Senator Mark Daly, Senator Terry Leyden, Senator Marc MacSharry, Senator Paschal Mooney, Senator Darragh O’Brien, Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill, Senator Denis O’Donovan, Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú, Senator Ned O’Sullivan, Senator Averil Power, Senator Jim Walsh, Senator Mary White, and Senator Diarmuid Wilson.