Malfunctional government’s abuse of power cannot be allowed to strip freedoms from public any longer.
The government are insulting people’s collective and individual intelligence through new extensions to emergency powers, potentially to June 2022, outlined in the Health and Criminal Justice (Covid-19) (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2021, according to the Rural Independent Group.
Speaking following receipt of the briefing paper of the new Bill, the Leader of the Rural Independent group, Deputy Mattie Mc Grath, has said:
“This latest anti-democratic and totalitarian legislative move by the government, to extend a checkpoint society in Ireland to mid-2022, is an outright attack on the civil liberties of all Irish people. This has resulted in the deterioration of the social compact between citizen and State. The Bill, based on a briefing document, would allow the Health Minister, if passed, the power to continue signing enforcement and personal detention regulations, without the prior approval of Dáil Éireann.”
“The continued use of this legal loophole by the government cannot be justified on any grounds. This approach represents an abuse of power and a profound intrusion into fundamental rights and liberties. So far, Minister Donnelly has failed to provide any evidence for the required ongoing existence of these draconian measures, despite having been allowed to make such extraordinary regulations under Ministerial edit eclipsing 18 months.”
“This Bill would extend the same failed Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Green pandemic response policies, devoid of solutions and common sense. These ongoing medical apartheid measures will be strenuously challenged by the Rural Independent Group of TDs. We hope other opposition TDs will ‘get off the fence’ and join us in doing so.”
“Failure by the government to build essential hospital capacity, despite having billions of taxpayers’ money and time, means they push austere laws like this on the public.”
“Furthermore, disingenuously blaming the un-jabbed for virus transmission does not stand to scrutiny, as in Gibraltar – where 100 per cent of the population are vaccinated, and in Austria where the un-jabbed are in a forced lockdown – case numbers continue to climb.”
“If the Dáil passes this Bill, scheduled for second stage debate on Friday next (3rd December), then discriminatory digital covid certs and other new regulations, at the Minister’s behest, may become law. This could include discriminatory measures such as segregated lockdowns on the unvaccinated.”
“Another extreme measure within the bill is provision for “certain medical officers” to detain people who are “suspected of being a potential source of infection.” This scenario raises serious issues around abuse of power and process. As such, a detention would be at the discretion of one medical officer. This measure is neither necessary nor proportionate, as the government have wasted almost two years to have sufficient public health measures in place to counteract this pandemic.”
“This bill is rooted in a self-serving attitude to hold onto power, and a sneaky distraction from the tens of thousands of patients with illnesses, including cancers, mental illnesses, addictions, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity left languishing on waiting lists, due to the government’s abject failure to increase bed capacity.”
“It is increasingly evident that we are not able to contain the virus by a strategy of crippling draconian measures, which inflicts physical, psychological, and sociological consequences upon citizens. As a group, we have been unwavering in our view that the rights and freedoms of ordinary people matter more than allowing a deeply dysfunctional government to strip away those freedoms,” concluded Deputy Mc Grath.
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