End of term - busy schedule and lots on the agenda!
This time of year is always busy as we wrap up before the Christmas holidays and there is much on the Seanad, Dáil and Committee agenda's. Here are a few issues I raised this week in the Order of Business, 1-3rd December 2015
The House recently concluded a debate on the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill, which was very welcome, but in the new year I would like us to have a debate on how best to implement the policy in the Bill and how best to ensure we meet our targets in light of whatever decisions are made in Paris. I know all colleagues will want to join in expressing hope for a positive and effective agreement among the international leaders represented in Paris. I welcome the speech by the US President, Barack Obama, at the Paris summit yesterday, where he pointed out that the Paris conference is a potential turning point for us in respect of curbing global warming. We are at a critical point to try to ensure we do not see it take hold, with the dire consequences we all know will occur. I concur with Senator Ó Murchú's comments on Ireland's role in this. Clearly, it will be difficult for us to seek to meet the 20% reduction by 2020, particularly because of our agricultural emissions, but we have a duty to ensure that we try to meet these targets.
I welcome the Northern Ireland High Court decision yesterday, by Judge Mark Horner, in a case taken by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. The judge found a breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights in respect of the failure to provide for abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality and rape. Clearly, there are implications for this jurisdiction, but the Leader has agreed already to a debate on that in the new year.
So pleased to finally see this amendment to the Employment Equality Act finally passed and justice prevailed for LGBT workers in the Education and Health Care field. Congratulations to all who worked so hard and for so long to add to what has been a great year for equality measures!
I first introduced the amendment of Section 37.1 back in March 2013 and I'm thrilled to see its completion. #Equality
HEADS AND GENERAL SCHEME OF REPEAL THE EIGHTH AMENDMENT BILL 2015
A Framework for the Scheme of the Bill which would be introduced by the Labour Party into the Oireachtas if Article 40.3.3 (the Eighth Amendment) of the Constitution were repealed by way of Referendum. This Bill would provide for the conditions under which terminations of pregnancy may be carried out legally in Ireland.
Follow link or go directly to 'General News' release see full Bill details.
Ivana Bacik: Repeal the Eighth Amendment for the sake of our daughters
Ivana Bacik, Sinead AhernLast Updated: Wednesday, November 25, 2015, 01:15
'We need to repeal the Eighth Amendment. This amendment, passed in 1983, has cast a blight over an entire generation – our generation, too young to have voted 32 years ago, but whose daughters are now growing up under its chill. Its effect has been utterly negative and in some cases, devastating. It has not prevented one crisis pregnancy. But it has compounded the crisis of pregnancy, particularly for those women for whom the journey to seek abortion abroad is particularly difficult: young women, women in poverty, asylum seekers.
It has symbolically portrayed women as vessels, equating our lives to those of the unborn. And, above all, it has endangered women’s lives by having a chilling effect on the practice of obstetrics in Ireland, making doctors afraid to intervene to save a pregnant woman’s life until she is close to death.
With Labour Party colleagues ahead of the Employment Equality Amendment Bill (Section 37.1) being introduced to the Dáil.
L-R Ivana Bacik, Dominic Hannigan TD, Sen. Marie Moloney, Aodhan O'Riordhain TD, Sen. Mary Moran, Ciara Conway TD, and Derek Nolan, TD.
Very pleased to see that the Employment Equality (Amendment) (No.2) Bill I first introduced in 2013 to the Seanad was at last introduced to the Dáil for discussion this week. I look forward to it being passed quickly and efficiently. #Equality #LGBT #INTO
With just five weeks for the legislative programme up to Christmas I'm keen to see a number of urgent Bills passed and issues debated in both Houses #GettingDownToBusiness
Senator Ivana Bacik, Order of Business, Thursday 12th November 2015.
'Yesterday, the justice committee had a two and a half hour meeting with the Garda Commissioner, Ms Nóirín O'Sullivan, in the course of which she answered a huge number of questions on an array of issues around policing. They covered a wide range of pressing matters, including gangland crime, drugs policy, firearms and so forth. There is a great deal of material from that meeting which we could explore further in a debate in this House on policing. In addition, when will the policing authority Bill finally be passed? It is an urgent Bill.
With regard to legislation, when is the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill due back before the House? It passed Second Stage in the Seanad and there are only five weeks for the legislative programme up to Christmas. I am hopeful, as are other colleagues, that the Bill could be passed by this House by Christmas at the latest, so it can progress through the Dáil in advance of the general election. It is a very important and reforming Bill which, among other things, reforms the law on prostitution. It is important that it is passed. In addition, the Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, which was initiated in the Seanad and seeks to amend section 37 to prevent discrimination against gay and lesbian people in the teaching profession, is another Bill that I hope will be passed by the Dáil by Christmas. It has been passed by this House...
It was an honour to be invited back to my alma mater, Alexandra College and to be on such a fine panel of past pupils with Miriam O’Callaghan – RTE broadcaster; Niamh Briggs – Captain of the Irish female rugby team; Hon. Ms. Justice Isobel Kennedy. – High Court Judge; Moya Doherty – Entrepreneur and the producer and co-founder of Riverdance.
Speaking in Stormont at the 'Young Female Leaders Academy'
Thursday 22nd October 2015
I had the honour and great pleasure of speaking at the 'Young Female Leaders Academy' in Stormont. Organised by Politics Plus I joined Members of the Northern Irish Assembley and other highly engaging speakers in addressing the inspiring, young, female academy attendees. Great day and wonderful to meet so many enthusiastic potential leaders and decision makers.