The Rural Independent Group has slammed the government’s move to impose what it calls a “checkpoint society” into mid-2022.
The TDs believe the “malfunctional government’s “abuse of power cannot be allowed to strip freedoms from the public any longer”.
They are of the view that the government is “insulting people’s collective and individual” intelligence through new extensions to emergency powers, potentially to June 2022.
The Health and Criminal Justice (Covid-19) (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2021 contains this information.
According to the group, if the Dáil passes this bill, digital covid certs and other new regulations may become law.
The group fears this could include discriminatory measures such as segregated lockdowns on unvaccinated people.
Overall, the group views the legislative as an “outright attack” on the civil liberties of all Irish people. They claim this has resulted in “the deterioration of the social compact” between citizen and state.
Leader of the Rural Independent group, Deputy Mattie Mc Grath, said:
“The government have wasted almost two years to have sufficient public health measures in place to counteract this pandemic.”
“The bill, based on a briefing document, would allow the Health Minister, if passed, the power to continue signing enforcement and personal detention regulations, without the prior approval of Dáil Éireann.”
The deputy said the government’s continued use of this “legal loophole” cannot be justified on any grounds.
He believes the approach represents an “abuse” of power and a “profound” intrusion into fundamental rights and liberties.
“So far, Minister Donnelly has failed to provide any evidence for the required ongoing existence of these draconian measures. This is despite being allowed to make such extraordinary regulations under ministerial edit eclipsing 18 months.”
He said the bill would extend the same Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, and Green pandemic response policies.
The Rural Independent Group of TDs will “strenuously challenge” these ongoing medical “apartheid” measures. “We hope other opposition TDs will ‘get off the fence’ and join us in doing so.”
“Failure by the government to build essential hospital capacity, despite having billions of taxpayers’ money and time, means they push austere laws like this on the public.”
“Furthermore, disingenuously blaming the un-jabbed for virus transmission does not stand to scrutiny. In Gibraltar – where 100% of the population are vaccinated, and in Austria where the un-jabbed are in a forced lockdown – case numbers continue to climb.”
“Another extreme measure within the bill is provision for “certain medical officers” to detain people who are “suspected of being a potential source of infection.” This scenario raises serious issues around abuse of power and process.
“As such, a detention would be at the discretion of one medical officer. This measure is neither necessary nor proportionate.”
“This bill is rooted in a self-serving attitude to hold onto power,” he claimed.
He said it is a “sneaky distraction” from the tens of thousands of patients with illnesses on waiting lists.
The deputy said this results from the government’s “abject” failure to increase bed capacity.
“It is increasingly evident that we are not able to contain the virus by a strategy of crippling draconian measures, which inflicts physical, psychological, and sociological consequences upon citizens. “
“As a group, we have been unwavering in our view that the rights and freedoms of ordinary people matter more than allowing a deeply dysfunctional government to strip away those freedoms,” concluded the deputy.