Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children Robert Troy has said it is extremely disappointing that the opposition was not given an opportunity to respond to Minister Frances Fitzgerald’s statement in the Dáil marking the government’s three years in office. Deputy Troy said that “instead of being able to question the Minister and hold her to account on important areas of reform the Dáil has been subjected to Ministers slapping themselves on the back and ignoring key failings.”
Deputy Troy commented: “Minister Fitzgerald said today that we are ‘in the midst of a major reform agenda’ but she conveniently ignored two significant areas that have not been delivered on after three years in government.
“Once again the Minister has promised the publication of the Children’s First legislation within weeks, seemingly ignoring the fact that it was her top priority on assuming office three years ago. How can we take the Minister at her word this time when this promise has been repeated time and time again?
“The Minister again claimed credit today for the passage of the Children’s Rights referendum but she conveniently ignores the fact that the full role out of reform following the vote has stalled because the result being challenged in the courts on foot of the Minister’s botched intervention in the campaign.
“I have congratulated the Minister for previous initiatives and in areas where positive change has been implemented but the Minister should not seek to use Dáil time to selecting choose from her record in office of the last three years and brush over important areas of child protection matters.
“Fine Gael and Labour promised a ‘democratic revolution’ but at every available opportunity they deny even basic accountability of Ministers in the Dáil. This is a government which is deeply obsessed with trying to spin everything and today’s speech by Minister Fitzgerald was another example of that. The difference between the government’s rhetoric and the reality on the ground is growing all the time.”