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Harris calls on Martin to state whether he supports Daly’s Seanad stunt

2nd August 2013 - Simon Harris TD

Fine Gael Wicklow TD, Simon Harris, has today (Sunday) called on Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin TD, to state whether he supports Mark Daly’s Seanad recall, which Deputy Harris has described as a blatant stunt aimed at furthering Senator Daly’s own political agenda.

“It now appears certain that the Seanad will be recalled in just over a week to discuss an EU regulation on organ donation, which was signed into law almost a year ago. Mark Daly and Fianna Fáil have ignored numerous opportunities to raise this issue over the last 12 months. It is abundantly clear that this is a costly stunt, aimed at raising the profile of the Seanad.

“Unfortunately for Senator Daly, this stunt will just underline the powerless nature of the Upper House. The Seanad cannot act alone on this or any other issue, making the whole exercise pointless. It is time for Micheál Martin to clarify whether he supports Senator Daly’s actions. The Fianna Fáil Party have been remarkably quiet on this issue. If Deputy Martin does not back Daly’s stunt, he should call on the Senator to abandon his efforts.

“I believe Deputy Martin has a number of questions to answer:
1. Does Senator Daly have the backing of the Fianna Fáil leadership for this stunt?
2. Does Senator Daly speak for Fianna Fáil in his opposition to an opt-out system for organ donation?
3. If this is the Fianna Fáil position, why did the Party’s health spokesperson, Billy Kelleher, not raise the issue during a Dáil debate on organ donation in April?
4. Considering the EU regulation on organ donation was signed into law in August of last year, does Deputy Martin share Senator Daly’s assertion that this is suddenly an emergency situation that requires the recall of the Seanad?
5. If Senator’s Daly concerns are shared by Fianna Fáil, why did the Party not use any of its Private Members debates in the Dáil or Seanad to raise it over the last year?

“This situation is a farce which will cost taxpayers money. Senator Daly’s actions have been criticised by organ donation campaigners, and it is unclear whether he even has the support of his own Party. What is clear is that his actions will do nothing to help the hundreds of people waiting on organ transplants here every year. It is time for Micheál Martin to state whether he supports Daly’s antics.” 

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