The Senator submitted the letter to the Seanad Cathaoirleach today, with the signatures of 20 Senators, which will force the government to recall the Seanad this August to debate the flawed EU law on organ donation and transplantation.
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. The 20 Senators who signed the letter for the recall of the Seanad include the 14 Fianna Fáil Senators; Thomas Byrne, Mark Daly, Terry Leyden, Marc MacSharry, Paschal Mooney, Darragh O’Brien, Brian Ó Domhnaill, Denis O’Donovan, Labhrás Ó Murchú, Ned O’Sullivan, Averil Power, Jim Walsh, Mary White, and Diarmuid Wilson. Along with Independent Senators Sean Barrett, Ronan Mullen, Professor John Crown, Mary Anne O’Brien, Katherine Zappone and the final signature required came from Senator Fergal Quinn.
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 the Oireachtas Health Committee prior to the minister signing the EU law into Irish Legislation. The law is seriously flawed according to groups advocating for those on organ transplant waiting lists around the country.
Mark Murphy of the Irish Kidney Association said “this is the worst implementation of this EU directive anywhere in Europe”.
Senator Mark Daly, who is nominated by the Irish Kidney Association to the Seanad, has said “We want Minister Reilly to change the flawed EU law on organ donation and transplantation for the 650 people currently awaiting organ transplants in Ireland 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”