“President Higgins should not sign new Vaccine Pass Law

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    Independent TD for Laois Offaly Carol Nolan has urged President Michael D Higgins not to sign the governments proposed legislation on vaccine passes for the hospitality sector.

    Deputy Nolan was speaking after Cabinet signed off on the controversial proposals which will see access to indoor dining limited to those who can confirm they have been fully vaccinated.

    The Rural Independent Group, of which Deputy Nolan is a member is to bring forward a private members motion on Wednesday calling on government to allow businesses to reopen without what it describes as the discriminatory vaccine pass system as a requirement:

    “President Higgins, in his former life as a respected parliamentarian, was always to the forefront in calling out instances of major political injustices. To our minds this proposed system is just such an instance and it must be resisted even if it is pushed through on foot of the governments majority in the Dáil.

    President Higgins has the capacity to refer the Bill to the Council of State and indeed the Courts to verify its constitutionality. I believe this is what he should do.

    Our private members motion offers a more constructive way forward for hospitality. It calls on government not to abandon all restrictions, but merely to allow hospitality businesses across the State to carry on their trade and to allow attendance at sporting and religious events, subject only to non-discriminatory limitations as are necessary and proportionate in the interests of public safety.

    By no stretch of the imagination can the system proposed by government be seen as non-discriminatory or proportionate. It is irredeemably discriminatory in the most negative sense. It is also coercive and controlling.

    In fact, it not just bad law, it is a contorted and twisted version of what a good law should be.

    For those reasons I believe it is vital that President Higgins does not rush to sign the legislation that will be brought before him,” concluded Deputy Nolan.

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