By Shaun Connolly, Political Correspondent
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
A senator has threatened to take the Government to the High Court if it refuses his demand to recall the Upper House from its summer break to discuss organ donation.
Fianna Fáil’s Mark Daly has got the backing from a third of his colleagues to interrupt the Seanad’s recess but fears ministers will block the move.
Mr Daly insists the law on organ donation is “flawed”, and that under the European Communities Act 1974, the Seanad must be recalled to debate matters covered by EU directives if one-third of the chamber — 20 members — back the action.
Fine Gael Simon Harris branded the move a “stunt” that would cost taxpayers dear.
Mr Daly says the organ donation legislation was not debated by the Oireachtas before the Government signed the EU directive into Irish law.
He insists the issue has raised serious concerns. “According to Mark Murphy of the Irish Kidney Association, this is the worst implementation of this EU directive anywhere in Europe.
“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 €1.2bn.”
Mr Daly says he was “illegally” blocked from a similar recall last summer and would start legal action if that happened again.
Mr Harris claimed the Seanad could not vote on the issue as Mr Daly had not followed proper procedure.
“This attempt to get the Seanad recalled is a stunt, pure and simple. Mark Daly is using the extremely important issue of organ donation to facilitate his own political agenda. Furthermore, his Seanad stunt is pointless; it will not achieve anything as the Seanad cannot hold a vote on the issue because Senator Daly has not gone through the proper process.
“He and his Fianna Fáil colleagues have had ample opportunity to raise this issue during the last year, when the Dáil and Seanad were actually sitting. Considering Senator Daly has ignored these opportunities, one would be forgiven for thinking that this stunt has been months in the making,” he said.
This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Wednesday, August 07, 2013
To read the article on the Irish Examiner, please click here.
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