Litigation by the Government Against the Vulnerable is Political Choice – Tóibín
Commenting on the justification provided by the Attorney General of the State’s legal strategy against nursing home residents and people with disabilities, Aontú Leader and Meath West TD Peadat Tóibín stated;
“The government is obligated to do right by citizens. The government is obligated not to do citizens out of their entitlements. The government has a duty of care to citizens most especially those who are weakest and most vulnerable. These are not secondary or lower order priorities. These should be primary objectives of governments. Indeed they are the stated primary objectives of every government. There is a deep hypocrisy in FF, FG, Labour and the Greens. None party of these parties would contest an election on the basis of litigation first, rights of citizens second”.
“In the case of the nursing home scandal, the government, it appears withheld payments for Nursing Home accommodation that were legally and rightfully the citizens. Not just any citizens but citizens that were financially squeezed. It owed the citizens this money. The money to be returned was the citizens. It’s the job of the state to use litigation to defend against vexatious claims not to prevent the money finding its away to a citizen that is entitled to it. The contrast in how the state dealt with bond holders during the banking crisis and how it dealt with the very old and those with disabilities illuminates the real world priorities of the political establishment”.
“The truth is today most people who have been wronged by the state will have to fight tooth and nail to achieve justice. Some will have to fight until the reach their death bed. Some will have to fight in the debris of shattered lives. They will have to fight simply because they cannot muster enough political support to force the government to do the right thing. That’s the policy now and it will be the policy for generations in the future. Today Aontú has learned that 44 families are now engaged in legal action against the government on the circumstances that their loved ones died in Nursing Homes or Hospitals during the Covid Crisis”.
“It could be different. A political choice could be made to build a fair, non adversarial dispute resolution processes that can resolve the many many people who have ben wronged by the state”.