Independent Galway West TD Catherine Connolly spoke during a debate on the extension of Covid regulations under the Health and Criminal Justice (Covid-19) (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2021.
Ms Connolly said:
“At what point will this stop? I do not mean the ever-changing virus. I do not mean the need for us to make our people safe and have a public health structure on the ground that is fit for purpose and hospitals that are fit for purpose. When will the never-ending regulations without scrutiny stop?
“I mean the ones that give the Minister unlimited power to decide I need three boosters to have a cup of coffee or I need five boosters to have a pint or six boosters to stay a couple of hours to have dinner. At what stage will that stop or has the Minister ever even thought about that?
“They are very serious topics that should be discussed. We should discuss where we are going with the pharma solution to this, which should be only one part of it. Of course, all the while the rich countries, including this one, seem to have endless pockets and the poorer countries have no access, and there is no equity of access for them.
“I indicated on Second Stage that I was against this Bill. I was keeping an open mind about amendments, but it seems that the Minister has indicated by his silence that he will not accept any of them. That is entirely unacceptable and undemocratic.
“The approach of the Government poses the most serious threat to our democratic system and to the sense of solidarity we all should have with one another in dealing with the public health crisis.“
Earlier: Beg For Pause