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Absolutely vital that the Dáil continues to sit throughout the Covid-19 crisis - Pearse Doherty

30 March, 2020 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin deputy Dáil leader Pearse Doherty TD has said this afternoon that it is 'absolutely vital' that the Dáil continues to sit throughout Covid-19 crisis, including this week and over the Easter period.

Teachta Doherty said: "At a time when we are asking everything of frontline health workers and other workers in essential roles, it is incomprehensible that political accountability and scrutiny would take a back seat at this time. It is absolutely vital that the Dáil continues to sit throughout this crisis and show leadership."

He continued:

"In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is critical that everything that can be done is done to ensure that people are safe and that all measures are put in place to protect workers and families at this time.

"The Dáil has met twice in as many weeks to pass emergency legislation required to deal with the crisis and it is vital that it continues to sit at this time. We have raised this matter today with the Ceann Comhairle. 

"There are very serious issues that require political oversight and accountability - including issues relating to income supports, jobs, banking, insurance and capacity in the health service; including the availability of PPE.

"This is particularly pertinent at a time when the current government derives its mandate from the previous Dáil and is operating in a caretaker role.

"Understandably, we will need to work within the parameters of public health restrictions that are required to protect both TDs and the staff of the Houses of the Oireachtas, but there is a lot of work to do and it is imperative that the democratic process - at a time of national emergency - is upheld."

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