Survivors of Symphysiotomy have given a guarded welcome to the announcement that the Government would not oppose the Second State of their Bill setting aside the statute bar for survivors, but have called for its speedy enactment.
SoS has welcomed the support expressed on all sides of the Dáil for the passage of the Second Stage of the Statute of Limitations ( Amendment ) Bill 2013. “This is a further step in our quest for truth and justice”, said Marie O’Connor, Chairperson of SoS. ”
It represents a modest victory for our members and their 10-year campaign, but this is a victory that needs to be built on.
Commenting on the Minister for Health’s statement, Ms O’Connor, said “We welcome the Government’s intention not to oppose the Second State. But we reject the suggestion by the Minister that there are flaws in this Bill. It is a carefully drafted piece of legislation modeled on the 2000 Act which set aside the statute bar for survivors of sexual abuse in residential institutions.”
Ms O’Connor further states. “We reject the indication that further processing of the Bill should await the publication of the final Walsh report. That process was one we rejected last year. That whitewash was comprehensively exposed at the draft report stage as defective both as to process and content. The Walsh report has also been trumped by the Supreme Court judgement in Kearney vs McQuillan. We have learned through bitter experience over 10 years to wait to see final outcomes over proposals and promises.”
SOS Ireland call for the Committee Report and Final Stages of the Bill to be completed at the earliest opportunity and call upon the Government to make time available for this, as was done in the 2000 Act: no more than 30 minutes would be needed to finalise a Bill that only has three sections.
Many Oireachtas members and parties on all sides have paid tribute to the work of Deputy Caoimhghin O Caoláin in convening, and leading the work of, the All Party Oireachtas Support Group for Survivors of Symphysiotomy. We also wish to express our deep appreciation of the work done and commitment shown by all the members of the All Party Group in supporting our campaign for justice.
We thank all concerned for the support given to the Bill.