21st September 2011
I am sorry I could not be here earlier, but I wish to support this Bill. It is a welcome initiative and I commend Senator Crown on bringing it forward. Having followed the discussion, I agree that elements of the Bill should be examined on Committee Stage, particularly concerning communications with the Judiciary, the Garda Síochána and the Director of Public Prosecutions. The Bill’s principle is that when and where they are made, communications should be transparent and publicly available. It is an important principle that warrants a statutory footing. This is a question of making parliamentarians, such as ourselves, accountable for the representations they make.
I strongly support the Bill although I hear people saying that while they accept it, it should be put aside for the time being. We should pass it on this Stage. We will have plenty of opportunity to make amendments, as appropriate, to ensure that we make ourselves accountable and act transparently, which is the intention of the Bill. I wish to support it.