Independent TD Mattie McGrath has slammed the Government’s plan to fast-track the Children and Family Relationships Bill through the Oireachtas ahead of the upcoming Referendum on same sex marriage. Deputy McGrath made his comments as the Bill is being prepared to be brought before Cabinet today ahead of being debated in the Dáil this Friday:
“I think the way the Government have approached the introduction of this Bill has been extremely high handed and irresponsible.
We are talking here about the single greatest reform of family law since the foundation of the State; the basis on which our entire approach to the family will be determined for decades to come, and this Government is essentially rushing it through for fear of losing the upcoming Referendum on same sex marriage.
Have we learnt nothing from the farce that has ensued from the Water Services Bill when complex legislation was rammed through without proper debate?
There is no point in the Government saying that the Bill has been a year in the making and so there was nothing rushed about it, since the principle point highlighted by that fact is that the Oireachtas is now being asked to consider very very quickly an enormously intricate piece of legislation.
The contrast between the length of time it took to formulate this Bill and the time we are being given to debate it confirms the Governments view of the Dáil as essentially a legislative rubber stamp.
The Bill in my view is overly ambitious and needlessly over-reaching and it will in the end serve to detract from the very genuine efforts it is making to strengthen guardianship relationships for example,” concluded Deputy McGrath.