TDs to write to President Higgins Seeking Referral of “Unconstitutional Discriminatory” Bill to the Supreme Court
Tabling Aontú’s Amendments to the Vaccine Passports Bill, Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has slammed the legislation as discriminatory and criticised the Irish government for once again making Ireland an outlier in Europe.
An Teachta Tóibín: “The Irish Government has taken the most extreme policies 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 practically alone in not implementing antigen testing. This government has added little in terms of capacity to our healthcare service. Now, once again, we will be an outlier in Europe as the government seeks to enact unconstitutional legislation which discriminates according to vaccination status. This is the decisive vote on a two-tiered Ireland. By virtue of the discriminatory policies of this government, Irish people will be equal, but some will be more equal than others. This legislation is being railroaded without pre-legislative scrutiny, with debate guillotined and opposition amendments dismissed. 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. Young people, those unable to take the vaccine and those for what ever reason have decided not to take it will be in practical terms second class citizens. This is the closest to mandatory vaccination in the whole of Europe.”
“It is the opinion of law professors and barristers I have consulted, TDs and Senators in the Oireachtas, and civic society groups such as the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, that the legislation would enshrine discrimination – in violation of the Constitution – in our laws. By its very nature this legislation purports to treat classes of citizens unequally. Under this regimen, Vaccination status would determine the level of civil liberties and fundamental rights afforded to us as “permitted persons” by the Irish government. 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.”
“Aontú is a pragmatic party and has sought to be constructive in opposition. Accordingly, we submitted amendments to address the inherent injustice at the article of the Bill – however, by virtue of the un-democratic actions of the government, they will never see the light of that day. At the time of writing, we are circulating a letter for signing to all TDs and Senators which will be sent to Uachtaráin Michael D Higgins requesting the Bill be referred to the Supreme Court pursuant to Article 26, and our reasons for this request, such is the gravity of the discrimination crystallised within this legislation.”