I see we have yet another critically important bill being rushed through the Dail so that our esteemed leaders won’t miss out on their traditional St. Patrick’s Day global junkets.
The Criminal Justice Bill will change the law on such critical issues as mandatory sentencing and the right to silence yet it is to receive only five hours of Dail time.
The Labour party’s justice spokesman, Brendan Howlin, described this type of rushed legislation (5th item)as being “like a stream of consciousness from Justice Minister, Michael McDowell. The ideas he has overnight, present themselves in amendments.”
Howlin claims that McDowell looks at whatever is in the newspapers and legislates accordingly. For example, in response to the recent spate of gun murders McDowell’s proposes that a gun murder suspect can be held for seven days but as Howlin points out, if someone is butchered with a knife the holding period is still only 24 hours.