Charge for registering child’s death to be waived

Parents will no longer be charged to register the deaths of their children, Minister Leo Varadkar has told the Dáil.

Following representations from Kerry TD Brendan Griffin, Mr Varadkar informed TDs that charges will no longer apply to those who find themselves in the tragic situation of losing a child.

A number of months ago, Mr Griffin had lobbied to have charges waived for registering the deaths of stillborn babies, but that measure is now being extended to all children.

Paying tribute to Mr Griffin, Mr Varadkar said he was delighted to announce that the waiver will come into effect shortly and he also thanked Health Minister Simon Harris for supporting the proposal.

Cabinet has also signed off on Budget measures granting almost 11,000 medical cards to those in receipt of the Domiciliary Care Allowance.

Separately Government has been criticised over appointing the chairman of the newly formed water commission without consulting the entire Dáil.

Toaiseach Enda Kenny defended the appointment of Independent Senator Pádraig Ó Céidigh to chair the special Oireachtas committee to consider water charges.

It comes as it was revealed that the committee will have the power to call and question witnesses.

Government has yet to form a united view on the future of water charges. While Fine Gael has stuck with its position that there should be a “generous allowance” and “modest charges”, a spokeswoman for the Independent Alliance said the grouping was stressing “fairness” in relation to any future water charges.

She stressed that many members of the Alliance represent rural constituencies and are aware that many households are already paying for water through group water schemes.

Simon Coveney this week announced the appointment of the Mr Ó Céidigh, founder of Aer Arann, to head up the board.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams claimed in the Dáil that Mr Coveney “has no authority to appoint the chairperson of an Oireachtas committee” and in doing so it was “a serious departure from normal Oireachtas procedure”.


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