Independent TD Mattie McGrath has challenged the Taoiseach to state categorically whether the Oireachtas Health Committee was ever serious in its intention to objectively examine the Heads of the Protection of Life Bill 2013.
“I asked the Taoiseach to assure us all that what we are witnessing in this growing charade is not an attempt by the Government to bluff the public into thinking that we are serious about examining alternatives, when in fact there is no such intention at all. Not only is it deeply insulting to the ordinary citizen, but it is also profoundly disrespectful to those experts who appeared before the Committee to give an opposing viewpoint.”
The Taoiseach replied that the Government was perfectly satisfied with how the Health Committee had conducted itself under the Chairman and reiterated that the Government was obliged to legislate in line with the X-Case judgement of the Supreme Court. This was challenged by Deputy McGrath:
“I wanted to ask the Taoiseach about his insistence that we must legislate on foot of the X-Case Supreme Court judgement, especially since The X case itself cannot lend to this proposed legislation a justification that makes Head 4 legally justifiable, not to mention legally compelled. While Head 4 is faithful to the details of the test laid down in the X case, it is not faithful to the later developments of that test in the Cosma case for instance. This seems to be a reality that the Taoiseach is either unaware of, or is simply disregarding. Both scenarios are equally worrying,” concluded Deputy McGrath.