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“Within minutes of voting for assisted suicide, the Green Party voted against the re-opening disability services” – Tóibín

Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD has expressed his sadness at the passage of the Assisted Suicide Bill to second stage.

Deputy Tóibín said: “This bill on assisted suicide was brought forward by Gino Kenny TD in the middle of a global pandemic in which we are being told to protect each other, the vulnerable and the old in particular. Sadly, this bill runs contrary to that message and will have huge negative impacts on palliative care, end of life care and the campaign against suicide in the general public. Similar Bills have been opposed by Disability Rights organisations in Britain arguing that the choice to die could be "an illusory choice" if people with disabilities are not offered proper support. This bill will make it legal for a doctor or medical assistant to help end the life of a patient. This is not healthcare”.

Deputy Tóibín continued: “There is something deeply, deeply tragic in the fact that within minutes of the vote on assisted suicide, TDs voted against the reopening of disability services. The government put forward an amendment to the cross-party disability motion in an attempt to hollow it out. Leo Varadkar and Stephen Donnelly voted for that amendment, against the reopening of disability services, less than five minutes after they voted for assisted suicide. What does that say about where their priorities are? Today the Tánaiste told me that he couldn’t offer me any clarity on the situation with Cervical Check. A huge backlog has built up and terminally ill women are still being dragged through the courts. Its scandalous that the proper functioning of Cancer Services is not the priority here”.

“The government have consistently ignored my calls for a full public investigation into the management of Covid-19 in nursing homes, and seem hell bent on defending their handling of the situation, defending the fact that nursing homes were left without PPE, that Nursing Homes Ireland was ignored by the Department for so long, that they were nearly scolded by the government when they suggested closing nursing homes at the start of the pandemic. Nobody from the government benches seemed in any way critical of any of these decisions. But many, including the Tánaiste and Minister for Health, yesterday, voted for an assisted suicide bill which will make it legal for a doctor or healthcare worker to assist a terminally ill person in ending their own life”, concluded Deputy Tóibín.

By Aontú Press | 9 October, 2020

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The Irish political system is radically broken

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.