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Senator: Government making freedoms reliant on private products

An Irish senator has warned that the government is making people’s fundamental freedoms reliant on the consumption of a private product, adding that people’s money is being “siphoned into the pockets of pharma and tech giants.”

The remarks were made this week by Senator Sharon Keogan during a Seanad debate on the government’s extended Covid powers.


“You would have to laugh, if it were not so serious, at the phrase “extraordinary time-limited measures” contained in this Bill,” she said.

“As each Bill was passed, that “time-limited nature” was stressed so heavily and yet each sunset clause extension was used in its entirety – every single one, for the full amount.”

The Senator went on to say that this was an example of a “cynical and underhanded attitude” towards the political system.

“It undermines the integrity of the law, of the processes and operation of the Oireachtas, and betrays what little of the public trust that is left,” she said.

The Senator continued: “Let us be honest here. We are not voting for the continuation of emergency powers until the end of March. We are extending them until the end of June.

“That means that, at the drop of a hat, when someone in Timbuktu discovers the Sigma variant, NPHET and the Cabinet can, if they feel like it, introduce a full level 5 lockdown without consulting anyone in the Dáil or Seanad.”


The Senator also added that the government had permanently damaged the concept of sunset clauses and their validity.

“I hope the Minister realises there is no coming back from this,” she said.

“After this, no one will take a sunset clause seriously again; no one in this room or outside it. Once you throw this integral element of legislation under the bus, there is no pulling it back. Future Dáileanna and Seanaid and future generations, when presented with time-sensitive legislation by the government of their day, will be able to point to the Minister for Health, Deputy Donnelly, and the Cabinet of Micheál Martin and say that sunset clauses are not worth the paper they are written on.”


Keogan went on to mention the announcement of the Israeli ministry of health, which said that even if one is triple jabbed they must receive the fourth dose or lose their Covid cert.

“Pfizer’s CEO has said that people will likely need to have an annual Covid vaccination for many years to come,” she said.

“In other news, the CEO of Coca-Cola recommends a can with every meal, because I am sure he is just concerned for people’s safety.

“Let us check the stock markets. What is that? Point 4. In the week that Omicron was discovered, the wealth of the eight top Pfizer and Moderna shareholders rose by a combined €9 billion.”


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