Fianna Fáil is set to have Seanad Éireann recalled for an emergency debate on the ongoing slaughter in Gaza and the deteriorating situation in eastern Ukraine.
The party is confident that with the support of Independent senators, which is being sought this weekend, the Seanad can be forced back into session and the Minister for Foreign Affairs can be brought to the Oireachtas to answer questions on Ireland’s activities to date and our failure to support action in support of Gaza at the United Nations.
FF Leader in the Seanad Darragh O’Brien commented: “All across Ireland, people are outraged by what they are watching in both Gaza and eastern Ukraine. The only place where such debate and views cannot be heard is in our national parliament. As the Taoiseach has the sole discretion to recall the Dáil during recess and it appears less and less likely that he is going to do so, Fianna Fáil has decided to take direct steps to force a recall of the Oireachtas in the Seanad.
“We successfully used this mechanism during the recess last year for a critical debate on organ donation. Given the cross party revulsion at recent events, I am confident that we will be able to do so again.
“Ireland has had a proud tradition of strong independent foreign affairs policy over the decades and in our view that tradition was betrayed last week with the decision of Ireland to join with other European countries in turning away from what is happening on the streets of Gaza and abstaining from what should have been a simple decision.
“The Minister for Foreign Affairs needs to take political responsibility for that decision and account for it in the Oireachtas. I have spoken to a number of Independent senators over the course of the last 12 hours and I am confident that we will have the numbers to succeed where the Taoiseach is failing and allow the Irish people see a public debate on these appalling developments in their Oireachtas.”