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Fine Gael TD slams Fianna Fáil counterpart for committee no-show….

… but was he supposed to be there?

Fine Gael TD Regina Doherty
Fine Gael TD Regina Doherty
Image: Photocall Ireland

FINE GAEL TD Regina Doherty has taken a shot at Fianna Fáil’s new Children’s Spokesperson Robert Troy, accusing him of  failing to turn up to his first Oireachtas Health Committee, saying that he “couldn’t be bothered”.

She said that he still found the time to issue a press release criticising the Minister for Children, and that he also missed yesterday’s launch of the new National Standards for the Protection and Welfare of Children.

TheJournal.ie understands that Troy was invited to the Committee meeting, but that due to the newness of his role as Children’s Spokesperson, it clashed with a prior engagement which had been agreed prior to the reshuffle.

A Fianna Fáil source told TheJournal.ie meanwhile that – again due to the newness of his role – Troy did not receive notification about the launch of the National Standards for the Protection and Welfare of Children.

He did issue a statement on the new standards yesterday evening, calling on the Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald to commit to ensuring full implementation of the standards, and raising concerns about the “under-resourced social worker system” and its ability to cope.

Punch and Judy politics

Troy had issued a press release on Tuesday evening (posted online yesterday), which saw him calling on Frances Fitzgerald “not to cherry pick, but fully implement all 47 recommendations of the 2011 Report of the Special Rapportuer for Child Protection”.

His release prompted the response from Fine Gael’s Doherty.

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She has accused Fianna Fáil of “suffering from some sort of collective amnesia when it comes to the issue of child protection”:

Fianna Fáil left behind them a legacy in child protection that was so abysmal, this Government almost had to start from scratch…
If Deputy Troy wants to contribute to this change agenda, he would be better using his time to attend the Health Committee and engage with his fellow legislators, rather than issuing press releases that reflect just the kind of ‘Punch and Judy’ politics his party leader claims to abhor.

A Dáil spokesperson told TheJournal.ie that if it is the case that a member of a committee is absent, another deputy or senator may be nominated by their party whip to act as a substitute.

- Additional reporting by Gavan Reilly

New standards for child protection services unveiled>

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Emer McLysaght

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