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03/11/2021 12:00:00 AM


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Daly, Pa

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Bills

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Criminal Procedure Bill 2021

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Report and Final Stages

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Criminal Procedure Bill 2021\Report and Final Stages
Bills\Criminal Procedure Bill 2021\Report and Final Stages

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Criminal Procedure Bill 2021

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Report and Final Stages

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Senator


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Deputy Pa Daly

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Pa Daly

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Snippet Contents:

I concur with the comments of Deputy Martin Kenny on our amendment.
Another amendment, in the name of Deputy Pringle, calls for a review of the operation of this Bill within three years of its enactment. The Bill introduces procedures that will facilitate the trial of white-collar criminal cases and anything that will facilitate, strengthen and encourage more cases against white-collar defendants will be welcome. I used to work in the criminal courts and often saw the charges with which some people in court were faced. For example, a person was charged with stealing an apple tart. A homeless man was charged with stealing a packet of ham from Tesco. Others, mostly young fellows, were charged with having in their possession a fraction of a gram of cannabis. All of those people had potential careers destroyed because of a criminal conviction, while other cases involving financial irregularities of up to millions of pounds and euro were never brought to court. It is time for the revelry enjoyed by people with vested interests to come to an end.
I congratulate the powerful lobby of the insurance industry on the successful campaign it has waged to convince nearly everybody in the country that the high cost of premiums is due to whiplash cases. No sooner had the judges left their Zoom meeting on Saturday morning than the insurance lobby was out again, stating that premiums will not come down this year. That is unfortunate but not unexpected because we have heard the same thing for the past 30 or 40 years, including when juries were eliminated and senior council removed from civil cases and the cost of premiums continued to increase. Even when the amount of claims went down by 45% and the cost of claims per policy went down by 9%, premiums over the past ten years rose by 35%. When, in the middle of the pandemic, the amount of claims collapsed, everyone in this House and everyone in the country with an insurance policy knows that the refunds they were given amounted to €20 or €30. It is time for leadership, not salesmanship, as someone once famously said, with regard to our attitudes towards these powerful vested interest groups in the insurance industry. We must take them on. Their revelry is over and we should be doing everything we can to facilitate more cases being taken against these powerful lobbies.