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Munster welcomes Sinn Féin bill protecting workers during status red weather warnings

7 February, 2018 - by Imelda Munster TD

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath, Imelda Munster TD, has today spoken of the importance of protection for workers, including those who work in the emergency services as a Sinn Féin bill on the matter was introduced in the Dáil today.

Speaking on the Extreme Weather Warning (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2018, which is co-sponsored by David Cullinane TD and Gerry Adams TD, Deputy Munster spoke of the importance of protecting workers during Status Red weather warnings, including workers in the emergency services.

Deputy Munster said:

“This bill will provide for the safety of employees during certain severe weather warnings. It will enhance public safety and ensure the safety of rescue service personnel during such a weather warning.

“This bill will also impose penalties on those who would put lives in danger through reckless behavior when an extreme weather warning has been called. 

"It seeks to give an Garda Síochána enhanced powers to pursue such behavior.

“There was a significant level of confusion in the aftermath of Storm Ophelia regarding what actions businesses in the private sector and self-employed persons should take during an extreme weather warning.

“Concerns were raised about the behavior of some people during the storm, and for the safety of those working in the emergency services.

“This bill aims to provide a level of certainty in these scenarios.

“Three people tragically lost their lives as a direct result of Storm Ophelia.

“As legislators we must now take measures to guide employers, protect workers and strengthen the powers of emergency services in the case of future warnings.

“I believe that this legislation will help prevent tragedies during future extreme weather events, and so I ask that this legislation be supported.”

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