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"Alan Dillon statement on Mother and Baby Homes Bill deeply flawed" - Lawless

Aontú representative for Mayo, Paul Lawless, has hit out at Deputy Alan Dillon's statement on Mother and Baby Homes, which he labels 'deeply flawed'.

Mr Lawless said:

"The statement from Deputy Dillon yesterday was very strange. Defending the length of time it took him to comment on the issue, Deputy Dillon said he was waiting until he could get all his facts straight. Presumably this translates as a confession that on the day he cast his vote two weeks ago, in favour of the controversial bill, he was not in possession of the facts and hadn't a clue what he was voting for. If he was not in possession of the facts then surely he should have abstained from the vote?"

Mr Lawless continued; "the government would have you believe that this entire narrative about 'cover-up', 'sealing the records for thirty years', etc, is 'fake news'. What Deputy Dillon and others seem to overlook is the fact that the government were the first ones to use that language. Minister O'Gorman provided a briefing document to opposition TDs on the amendments he was proposing a few weeks ago. This briefing document referenced sealing the records for thirty years, so that is the government's language, it is not a fake news narrative invented for political reasons by the opposition".

"We in Aontú put forward a total of nineteen amendments to the Bill, along with Independent TDs Sean Canney and Catherine Connolly, but before we had a chance to move, explain or debate our amendments the government said that they would not be accepting them. They decided they disagreed with what we were about to say before we said it. Aontú have spoken to survivors, and they're telling of how some of them spent up to twenty years trying to get records from tusla, or trying to find their biological families. Sending the records to tusla is the same as sealing them for thirty years. To come out swinging his fists at the media, and shouting 'fake news', Deputy Dillon is not only embarrassing himself, but he is also ignoring the voices, opinions and hurt of survivors. He needs to apologise for that, his response to this sensitive issue has been most inappropriate", concluded Lawless.

By Aontú Press | 3 November, 2020

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In Ireland the vast majority of elected representatives put a finger in the air to check which way the political wind is blowing. They have one eye on their leaders – seeking brownie points – and another eye keeping their seat safe. If elected reps shut up and do as they’re told, they are promoted; if they stand up for what they believe in, they are demoted. No wonder we have the political class we have. No wonder one point one billion euro is being buried in a hole under the National Children’s Hospital and that Stormont is in stalemate.

Throughout Ireland, many people are now afraid to say what they feel, many are afraid to respectfully engage on a range of different topics. Many feel there is a new censorship and a new political correctness in Ireland, that opposition to the establishment is being deleted.

Respectful opposition is not the enemy. Respectful opposition is a critical element of a functional democracy. Aontú will have the backbone to stand up, without fear, for you.