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‘We cannot be certain that government will stop at the current level of restrictions’

The Rural Independents Group has urged An An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, to recall the Dáil immediately.

One of its members, Michael Collins, has again written to the Taoiseach, requesting him to debate and “scrutinise” the government’s latest restrictions.

The deputy, representing the Cork-South-West constituency, has described the latest restrictions as “pathetically cruel” and “unscientific”.

Recall the Dáil

In a statement on Monday, December 20th, he said:

“The government’s announcement to enforce an effective lockdown on Irish society days before Christmas is heartless.”

“Introducing such measures, after the Dail has adjourned for the Christmas break, appears calculated and means the government is now operating beyond its limits.”

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He accused the government of being fixated on power and control, despite its implications for ordinary people.

Limitless new proposals 

He said the latest restrictions are “singlehandedly” destroying Ireland’s “already battered” tourism and hospitality sectors, which employ up to 300,000 people.

“We cannot be certain that this government will stop at the current level of restrictions. They are likely to introduce limitless new proposals put forward by unelected bureaucrats.”

Therefore the Rural Independent Group believe that the Dail must be resummoned immediately or at the earliest opportunity.

The group believe it would be “utterly” unacceptable to allow this government to go another five weeks (during adjournment) without any “parliamentary scrutiny”.

Consequently, Collins has written to the Taoiseach requesting him to recall the Dail. Only the Taoiseach can recall the Dáil under Standing Order 26: ‘Special Summons for earlier sitting’.

“On the request of the Taoiseach, the Ceann Comhairle may summon the Dáil for an earlier sitting than that set on the adjournment.’”

Collins stressed that public anger and anxiety have “skyrocketed” since last Friday’s announcements.

“The public has played their part during this pandemic, yet the government keep moving the goalposts. For the government to create such fear and stress on the days before Christmas is unconscionable.”

“The Taoiseach and his government cannot be allowed to duck and dive from the scrutiny of Dail Éireann on these crucial issues, which have myriad knock-on impacts.  The Taoiseach has the power to recall the Dail. The ball is now in his court.”

Concluding, he confirmed that the group believe the Dáil must sit later this week. “The people deserve to have these issues discussed, debated and reconsidered in their own parliament,” concluded the deputy.

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