FF Senator seeks to recall Seanad in August

Mark Daly wants to summon Minister for Health over EU Directive on organ donation

Senator Mark Daly has sought to recall the Upper House in August to question Minister for Health James Reilly about the EU Directive on organ donation and transplantation. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Senator Mark Daly has sought to recall the Upper House in August to question Minister for Health James Reilly about the EU Directive on organ donation and transplantation. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Thu, Jul 25, 2013, 10:49

A Fianna Fáil Senator has started an effort to have the Seanad reconvened for a day in August to debate a EU Commission Directive on organ donation which he has claimed is flawed.

Sen Mark Daly is using an obscure provision from a 40 year old law which allows the Seanad to be recalled and reconvened for a session during the summer recess.

He wants the Upper House to summon Minister for Health James Reilly and question him about why the EU Directive on organ donation and transplantation was transposed into Irish law without consulting the Dáil or Seanad.

The Directive provided for a competent authority on donation and transplantation to be established but Mr Daly has contended that the Government decision to share the competencies between the Irish Medicines Board and the HSE was flawed and would do nothing to increase the volume or organ donation in Ireland.

Under the 1972 European Communities Act, the Seanad can be specially convened to debate a piece of European legislation if the signatures of at least 20 Senators has obtained.

Mr Daly said yesterday he had obtained 14 signatures (all of Fianna Fáil’s senators) and was confident of securing at least a further six.

He has made approaches to Sinn Féin, independent Taoiseach’s nominees as well as to the university Senators. He has until the August 6th to do so.

The move by the Kerry Senator was described as a publicity stunt yesterday by Government parties.

He attempted to do the same last year but said his efforts were thwarted by the Government who rejected the attempt even though there was no legal basis to its rejection.

If he was successful in his effort, the Seanad would be reconvened for a day in the latter half of August - at least a month before it is due back after the summer recess.

Mark Murphy of the Irish Kidney Association said yesterday that a single competent authority for organ donation and transplantation was necessary and the sharing of competencies was the “worst implementation of EU policy I have ever seen in any member State”.

Mr Daly and Mr Murphy spoke to the media yesterday outside the gates of Leinster House, accompanied by Regina Hennelly, a 31 year old woman who received a kidney transplant in January 2012. Mr Daly pointed out that 650 people were awaiting kidney transplants in Ireland.