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Order of Business

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Senator Thomas Byrne

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Senator Thomas Byrne

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Thomas Byrne

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

With regard to the Workplace Relations Bill, we oppose section 72, at which I ask the Labour Party, in particular, to look. Members of trade unions and workers throughout the land are very upset about section 72 of said Bill. It potentially imposes a fee on using the labour relations mechanisms in the State. It is very unfair and is not what I thought those in the Labour Party were about. They would want to get a little more influence over Fine Gael and more backbone if they want to go before the people properly next year and not simply be lambs to the slaughter.
I raise the issue of crime. I pay tribute to the officers of the PSNI who yesterday captured the viciously dangerous man in Belfast who escaped from custody in Dublin a couple of days ago. I propose an amendment to the Order of Business that the Minster for Justice and Equality come into this House to discuss this extremely urgent matter that is causing huge anxiety and stress throughout the land. The Senators opposite can be nonchalant about this matter but it is very serious. A very dangerous situation was allowed to arise in recent days. The Taoiseach has already decided the outcome of a review by denying that resource issues had anything to do with the lack of a secure Garda escort with this individual, yet the Minister for Justice and Equality has launched a review. The Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Frances Fitzgerald, would want to come into this House or the Dáil to explain what is going on. I am proposing she comes into this House to tell the people that they are or are not safe, that the Government is or is not committed to tackling crime and to tell us what is going on in this case.
There are too many mixed messages coming from Government leading to fear and anxiety among the community and it is not good enough for the Members opposite to sit there relaxed and happy with legislation coming out of the Department of Justice and Equality and celebrating what they say is the most reforming Minister ever. Where did we hear that before? We heard it about the former Minister, Deputy Alan Shatter. The ordinary duties of a Minister for Justice and Equality in terms of crime, punishment and protecting the citizen are being forgotten and it is about time we had a debate in the House to bring that back to the forefront of the Department of Justice and Equality.