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Dublin: 14 °C Tuesday 21 May, 2019

Senator who signed recall petition defends missing recalled Seanad debate

The Fianna Fáil health spokesperson spoke today from Portugal about why he missed the debate on organ donation legislation.

Marc MacSharry
Marc MacSharry
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE FIANNA FÁIL spokesperson on health, who missed the Seanad debate on organ donation despite signing a petition calling for the recall, has defended his absence.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland Marc MacSharry said that his absence from the vote, which was decided by a casting vote from Seanad chairman Paddy Burke, was “regrettable”.

“It’s regrettable that I wasn’t there,” he said, but added that a family holiday had precluded him from the debate.

I think people may understand that with a 22-month-old, a six-year-old and a nine-year-old and a wife who doesn’t see me much of the year, this particular holiday was one that had been pre-booked.

MacSharry says that when he signed the petition calling for an urgent recall of the Seanad, he expected it to happen within a week, despite Oireachtas rules stating that the earliest a recall could happen was 10 days.

“I understood this could have been scheduled between 19 August and 23 August. Unfortunately it was picked for the 20th and that was the one day when we had the family holiday booked with three children to go.

“I immediately wrote to the Cathaoirleach, again reiterating my support for the recall and the motion,” he added, saying that he would have looked at postponing his holidays, “if that was possible”.

Read: Seanad votes No on annulling transplant legislation

Read: “We cannot debate everything” – Alex White

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