Friday, January 08, 2021

Independent Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice.



Independent TD, Michael Fitzmaurice, has described the decision to restrict the sitting of the Dáil to just one day a week as “not good enough”.

The Roscommon/Galway Deputy questioned parliament meeting for just six hours per week in January in the middle of a pandemic.

“While everyone appreciates Covid numbers have been on the rise, we must be able to come to some other compromise in order for essential work to be carried out in the Dail and the various committees.

“The work carried out in committees is ferociously important. As a member of the Agriculture Committee, there are several issues which require attention, including the crisis in the forestry sector, bovine TB, regulations surrounding animal remedies and issues around fisheries to name a few.

“While private meetings can take place virtually, insufficient progress can be made this way.

“As it stands, we are nearly like someone shouting down from a mountain to another person in a valley. With restricted Dail sittings, we have limited access to Government ministers to highlight our constituents’ concerns.

“Our ability to hold ministers and the Government to account for their actions or decisions has been greatly diminished as a result of the recent restrictions,” he explained.

Deputy Fitzmaurice called on the Business Committee to review their decision on Thursday, January 14th, regarding in-person meetings.

“Alternative solutions must be found to allow essential business to continue while still being mindful of Covid,” Deputy Fitzmaurice concluded.

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