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Bethany debate a sad day for politics

December 10 and 11 were sad days for Irish democratic politics. Reference the debate on the Bethany Home survivors’ case.

Ministers Alan Shatter and Kathleen Lynch have not showered the issue of democratic procedure of the Dáil in glory.

It was disgraceful to hear Minister Lynch trying to get people to accept the opposite view she had prior to being elected to government. Minister Shatter tried to get people to believe Bethany Home was only a baby and mother home when he his officials knew it was also a children’s home, an orphanage, a prison for adults and a detention centre for people under the age of 17. Then they tried to make the argument the Magdalene laundry was not like Bethany Home, nor was it anything like any other home on the Redress Bill.

And then to see the two ministers failing to turn up to debate their arguments. This is a very dangerous game to be playing with democratic procedures which were hard won.

We all know the history of allowing democracy to be trashed — witness the contempt which the two world wars had for the democratic procedure.

Shame on them, for treating a minority group the way they have done to-date.

Derek Linster


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