Blog Week Ending Friday, May 25th 2018.

Today is a momentous day for Irish citizens. As I mentioned to Taoiseach Varadkar on Wednesday in Dáil Eireann, I am voting yes and calling for a yes vote in Dublin Bay North. The deletion of article 40.3.3 from the constitution will enable Irish legislators to make laws to protect women’s health in all aspects of their lives. Today also marks the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which will protect the personal data of every citizen and like all other organisation, my Dáil office has carefully studied and responded to the implementation of the new EU wide data rules.

On Tuesday and Wednesday in Dáil Eireann we again had long delays in the discussion and voting on the Judicial Commission Bill which seems to be related to further delaying the Road Traffic (Amendment Bill). I raised this problem with the Taoiseach and Tanáiste on Wednesday and Thursday at the Dáil Order of Business and asked for the Road Traffic Bill to be expedited.

On Wednesday morning I had Leaders Question with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. I raised the necessity for the HSE to urgently approve the medicine called Kuvan or Sapropterin for citizens with phenylketonuria or PKU. These citizens have difficulties processing the amino acid phenylalanine and  must live on very restricted low protein diets. 1 in 4,500 Irish babies are born with PKU and Kuvan (which is already supported by health systems in 20 EU countries since 2009) would help many Irish PKU patients live more normal lives.

Yesterday, I was grateful to be able to speak in the Dáil on pay inequality in the public service. I urged Minister Donohue to spend the necessary €200 million to ensure that there is equal pay for equal work throughout the public service. I earlier raised the issue of the Rainy Day Fund with Tanáiste Simon Coveney and asked why €500 million was being set aside when there continues to be huge health and homeless waiting lists and many critical gaps in public services.