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Seanad to be recalled to debate transplant legislation

The Minister for Health James Reilly will be recalled from his holidays to face questions from the Seanad on transplant legislation after a Fianna Fáil senator acquired the necessary signatures to a petition calling for the Seanad to reconvene.

Fianna Fáil senator Mark Daly
Fianna Fáil senator Mark Daly
Image: Sam Boal/Photcall Ireland

A FIANNA FÁIL senator has submitted a letter that will see the Seanad recalled within the next 10 to 21 days.

Senator Mark Daly, who was nominated to the Seanad by the Irish Kidney Association, acquired the necessary 20 signatures to a petition that will force the Minister for Health to appear before the upper house to discuss legislation on consent and organ donation.

Daly says that the proposed system is seriously flawed, adding that James Reilly had added an EU directive into Irish law, months before the Oireachtas health committee had discussed a system of presumed consent.

The letter was submitted today and, under Oireachtas rules, the Seanad must be recalled within the next three weeks. If members vote to amend or annul the transplant law, the Dáil must be recalled.

Daly says that is the aim, because he feels the legislation will solve little for the 650 people on transplant waiting lists.

“We tried to have the law debated prior to the Minister signing it and that didn’t happen.

“This is the first law in relation to organ donation in the history of the State and it doesn’t go far enough.

The issue here is the 650 people who are on the transplant lists. They will not be helped by these laws. Our broken transplantation system will not be fixed.

Daly says that none of the signatories on his petition are Government senators, but hopes that they will change their minds.

“I’d hope that when they see that they were not consulted and that the system we are getting isn’t enough, they will change their minds.”

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

Read: Facebook campaigns have the power to ‘dramatically boost’ organ donation

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