Letter from TDs and Senators Seeking Referral of Vaccine Discrimination Bill to the Supreme Court Goes to Áras an Uachtaráin
Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has welcomed the signatures of Deputies Mattie McGrath, Michael Collins & Richard O’Donoghue, and Senator Sharon Keogan to the Letter seeking the referral of the Vaccine Discrimination Bill to the Supreme Court – on the basis of constitutional concerns.
An Teachta Tóibín: “The Irish Government has taken a completely different policy direction in relation to restrictions in all of Europe. Ireland has had by far, some of the longest closures of: Workplaces, schools, pubs, building sites, restaurants, churches & healthcare services in Europe. We are 1 of only 6 countries in not implementing antigen testing. This government has added little in terms of capacity to our healthcare service. Now, once again, we are an outlier in Europe as the government enacts unconstitutional legislation which discriminates according to vaccination status – which was railroaded through the Dáil late at night before the recess. We, as elected public representatives of the people of Ireland, cannot just sit back and allow the government to run roughshod over our democracy. That is why I, and other TDs and Senators whom I welcome, have called for the Bill to be referred to the Supreme Court. This is the system of checks and balances at work to best protect the Irish people. The Government has gone from “we are all in this together” to affording in law more rights to one sector of Irish society and deleting the rights of others. This is the closest to mandatory vaccination in the whole of Europe. This proposed regimen must be scrutinised by the Supreme Court.”
“What is being presented as a temporary necessity by this government, may be renewed and its ambit extended indefinitely under this legislation. The general and vague nature of the legislation affords wide-ranging authority to the Minister, whilst failing to enact adequate safeguards to protect the privacy and equality rights of the Irish people. The opposition to this legislation and it’s contents is bi-partisan, and up until last week even included TDs from the government parties. Civic society groupings and human rights groups such as the Irish Council for Civil Liberties have also spoken out robustly against this crystallisation of discrimination in law. This has been a testing time for all of the Irish people without exception, and of course a testing time for the governments that have attempted to manage our response to this crisis. However, discriminatory policies can never be the answer to even the most trying of times.”
“This is a real illness. We need to be cautious. Aontú has demanded that the government would include Antigen Testing as a method in which people would be allowed to gain access to indoor dining and hospitality. This step which is common practice throughout Europe would remove the discriminatory element of the FF, FG, Green legislation”.