Statement from Senator Michael McDowell 12th Feb 2024
McDowell Condemns O’Gorman’s Department’s Freedom of Information (FOI) Cover Up
“The public interest requires keeping the public in the dark”
Minister Roderic O’Gorman’s Department has now decided that it would not be in the “public interest” to publish the minutes of the government’s Interdepartmental Group meetings which considered the proposed amendments to the Constitution, over the course of the last year 2023.
The Department has refused access to all 64 pages of notes and minutes discussing the consequences of the amendments including tax laws, social welfare laws, pension laws, allocation of family assets, alimony and allowance including the laws in relation to family reunification for asylum seekers. The withheld records include minutes of 16 meetings of the cross-departmental group. The records also include correspondence with an NGO named “Treoir”.
The Department’s flawed opinion is that to allow access and publish these minutes would be “premature” and might impinge on “the integrity and viability of the referendums”, as “public officials could be seen to promote” referendum outcomes in breach of what the Departments says are the McKenna/McCrystal Principles.
The Department apparently wishes to suppresses all information in the minutes of the cross-departmental meetings until after the people have voted in the referendum.
Are the people not entitled to know what the Department of Finance sees as the likely consequences for tax and pension law?
Are the people not entitled to know what the implications are giving much wider rights for family reunification to asylum seekers and immigrants? Read more
Former Irish Attorney General explains dangers of amending Article 41.
Referendum debate should not be based on misinformation Senator Michael McDowell clarifies women's rights as they stand today.
...... There is not just one legal or interpretative meaning for these amendments. Given that they were guillotined through the Houses of the Oireachtas in a matter of hours without pre-legislative scrutiny, and that they differ from the views expressed by the Citizens’ Assembly and the Oireachtas Committee’s proposals, their implications must now be carefully considered.
The heavily State-funded National Women’s Council of Ireland claimed at its campaign launch that the present article 41.2 is a “stereotypical reference to women’s place in the home” and is “underpinning discriminatory practices, such as the marriage bar, and the exclusion of women from many sectors of society”. All untrue.
If Sinn Fein doesn't get their way in this referendum they will simply run it again until they get the result they want. Is that "choice"?!
The aim of this website is to educate Irish men and women on their rights and to have them question their preconceived ideas on their powerlessness in this regard, when in essence it is the people of Éire (Ireland) who truly hold the power. It is not legal or lawful advice.
Maxim of Law: He who fails to assert his rights has none.
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