Speech on Order of Business: Period Poverty, Birth Certs for Adopted Persons, Citizenship for Healthcare Workers

19 January 2021

Ivana Bacik

I join with others in wishing a happy new year to all our colleagues. I also second the amendment on the period products (free provision) Bill proposed by my colleague, Senator Rebecca Moynihan. I commend Senator Moynihan on leading the way in advocating for period justice.

I will be bringing forward my own Bill, the Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill 2021, which we launched earlier today, providing rights of access to birth certificate information for adopted persons. The Labour Party published the Bill as part of our response to the publication of the report into mother and baby homes. I am glad we will have the opportunity to address that report this evening. I will be glad to lead for the Labour Party on that.

As we reflect on the roller coaster of increased transmission, high rates of infection and, very sadly, so many deaths since we last sat in this House, I echo others in commending and paying tribute to all the front-line workers who have done so much to keep transmission at bay and try to reduce the dreadful impact of the virus on so many. They are now doing their best to roll out vaccinations across the country, which is our big hope in the coming months. It behoves us to join Dr. Mohsin Kamal and others who have called for the fast-tracking of Irish citizenship to those, particularly on the front line, who have been working very hard throughout this pandemic and risking their lives in making such immense sacrifices on behalf of all of us. Fast-track citizenship is a very important campaign for the Labour Party and I am very glad to support it.