Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin press for Dáil recall to debate organ donation

Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett has 10 days in which to decide on recall

FF health spokesman Billy Kelleher: backing the campaign

FF health spokesman Billy Kelleher: backing the campaign

Wed, Aug 14, 2013, 01:00


Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin have joined forces to press for a recall of the Dáil this month to debate the issue of organ donation.

Fianna Fáil health spokesman Billy Kelleher announced yesterday that he was backing the campaign initiated by his party colleague Senator Mark Daly, who has already succeeded in getting a recall of the Seanad to discuss the issue next Tuesday.

Sinn Féin health spokesman Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin later announced his party’s support for the move. He said the Government’s inadequate implementation of EU regulation on the issue needed to be addressed.

While the Seanad will meet to discuss the issue on Tuesday the support of the Dáil would be required for any change in an EU directive on organ donation.

The EU regulation governing standards for organ donation will come into effect on August 27th unless it is amended by both Houses of the Oireachtas before that date. For the Dáil to be recalled a motion would have to be signed by 56 TDs, a third of the membership.

Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin have 33 TDs between them, so the support of another 23 is required for a recall. Even if the signatures can be obtained, Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett has 10 days in which to decide if the Dáil should be recalled.

The Coalition is adamant that the regulation is legally sound and does not have a bearing on the issue of consent to organ donations, the issue raised by Senator Daly.

Even if the Dáil is recalled the secure Government majority means there will be no change in the regulation. Minister for Health James Reilly has already announced that he will be bringing forward legislation on organ donation and has instituted a consultation process on the matter.