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The Seanad is coming back on 20 August to debate transplant legislation

Minister for Health James Reilly had best not book any holidays…

Senator Mark Daly
Senator Mark Daly
Image: Sam Boal/Photcall Ireland

THE SEANAD IS to reconvene on Tuesday, 20 August at 10am to discuss legislation on consent and organ donation on foot of a petition and request by the Fianna Fáil senator Mark Daly.

Daly secured the 20 senators’ signatures that were necessary to secure the return of the house and the appearance of the Minister for Health James Reilly before it earlier this week.

Cathaoirleach of the Seanad Senator Paddy Burke has now set a date and time for the reconvening of the upper house in accordance with Seanad standing orders.

Daly argues that the Reilly’s decision to sign into law an EU directive – the first organ transplantation legislation in the history of the State – in August 2012 was a bad one.

He says that the legislation – the European Union (Quality and Safety of Human Organs Intended for Transplantation) Regulations 2012 - does not provide for any centralised authority to organise transplants.

Daly wants the legislation to be changed to create single authority that would handle organ donations for the 650 people currently on waiting lists. He has the support of the Irish Kindey Association.

The Seanad will debate a motion to annul the legislation. In full the motions says: “That Seanad Éireann resolves that Statutory Instrument Number 325 of 2012 – European Union (Quality and Safety of Human Organs Intended for Transplantation) Regulations 2012 be annulled.”

Yesterday, Fine Gael senator Colm Burke accused Daly of a “political stunt” saying that the opposition senator had ample time to call a debate on the legislation before the Seanad adjourned for the summer last month.

“Recalling the Seanad will do nothing to address the shortfalls in our organ donor system which were largely ignored by Fianna Fáil in government for 14 years,” Burke told TheJournal.ie yesterday.

“It seems to be more about raising the profile of the Seanad than anything else.”

Read: Senator stands over his Seanad recall ‘stunt’ comment

Read: Seanad to be recalled to debate transplant legislation

Read: Irish Kidney Association calls Government organ donation plans ‘a waste of time’

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Hugh O'Connell

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