Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly has said the Government failed to do its job by not putting forward the amendments it claimed were needed to improve the Irish Sign Language Recognition Bill during yesterday’s committee stage debate.
Senator Daly was commenting as his bill was accepted at Committee Stage and will, when enacted, enhance the rights to the deaf community and place obligations on the Government to provide services and education in Irish Sign language
“Fine Gael Senators failed to put in the amendments which they had previously said were needed to improve the legislation. Despite the Government showing us some of the proposed amendments, they failed to propose them.
“After 10 months of negotiations and meetings, the Government has once again let down the Irish Deaf Community. Fianna Fáil had put forward amendments and expected the Government side of the House to follow suit, based on their previous comments at Second Stage.
“It’s clear that we cannot rely on the Government, or indeed Fine Gael, to follow through and deliver for Irish deaf people. Fianna Fáil will ensure that this bill when passed at Report and Final Stage in mid-July is amended in such a way to ensure an improvement in the lives of the dead community.
“I find it concerning that the Government had discussed and circulated amendments to members of the Seanad, yet failed to submit them or press them. To my mind, this is an example of bad faith on the part of Fine Gael.
“Yesterday’s debate was heated and, at times, very argumentative. That’s because it’s an issue that’s really important to the Irish Deaf Community.
“I, along with my Fianna Fáil colleagues, will do our utmost to deliver the best possible bill for Irish deaf people, and ensure that their rights as equal citizens are respected and protected. I just hope Fine Gael ups its game, and does likewise,” concluded Daly.