Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Oireachtas Update April 29
The Housing Bill 2013 will be discussed at second stage in the Dáil. The second stage discussion of the Industrial Development (Science Foundation Ireland) (Amendment) Bill 2012 will be resumed on Wednesday.  The main provisions of this Bill are to extend the remit of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) to enable it to fund applied research in addition to its existing remit to fund oriented basic research.  Nessa Childers, MEP will attend a meeting in the Seanad this week to consider EU Public Health legislation and the challenges for transparency in decision making and a role for the Seanad in scrutinising EU policy. 

Interim CEO appointed to Digital Hub Development Agency
Edel Flynn has been appointed as the interim CEO of the Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA), with immediate effect following the retirement of Philip Flynn. Ms Flynn has served as chief operations officer with the DHDA for over six years.  As part of the Governments programme for public service reform, the DHDA is to merge into Dublin City Council during 2013. Ms Flynn, in her capacity as interim CEO, will oversee this process. city.

Ø       Dáil
Wednesday May 1 & Thursday May 2
Industrial Development (Science Foundation
Ireland) (Amendment) Bill 2012 (Seanad)
Second Stage Resumed (Department of Jobs
Enterprise and Innovation).  With Second stage to be discussed on Thursday 2.

Ø       Seanad
Wednesday May 1
“EU Public Health legislation - the challenges for
transparency in decision making and a role for the
Seanad in scrutinising EU policy”
Address to Seanad Éireann by Nessa Childers, MEP

Ø       Committees
Thursday May 2
Health and Children
Committee Room 2, Leinster House
AGENDA: Private Meeting

Ireland's 1st suicide resource centre opens; National suicide prevention and bereavement charity Console opened Ireland’s first suicide resource centre in Tralee on Monday 29th April.
The Console Centre in Tralee will provide a broad range of community-based supports, services and resources for those affected by, or at risk of suicide. The facility is based at the McAuley Centre, Balloonagh, Tralee, which was acquired by the charity from the Sisters of Mercy and refurbished and redeveloped with financial assistance from Kerry Group
Over the coming months, the charity hopes to introduce a range of services at the centre including:
-Professional suicide bereavement counseling for individuals, families and children. This will be free of charge
-Peer suicide bereavement support groups
-Suicide crisis advice and referral support for anyone supporting a loved one in crisis
-Suicide prevention and bereavement training for professionals.
Mr Paul Kelly, CEO and founder of Console said Console was delighted to open the new centre in Tralee, as this will provide a ‘vital service' to the people of Kerry. The latest statistics available show that in 2011, 26 people died by suicide in Kerry and almost 300 people presented to emergency departments (EDs) following incidents of deliberate self-harm.
"Every suicide is such a devastating loss but it is important to highlight that there are many helpful services and resources that can help. In the case of suicide, the time around the inquest can be a particularly traumatic period for the bereaved families. We know in our own work that extra support or information is usually needed around this time," Mr Kelly explained.
The helpline number is 1800 201 890 or more information is available at http://console.ie/
Agreement at the Cabinet meeting today on the heads of bill for new abortion legislation is expected: The Protection of Maternal Life Bill is will provide for a panel of three specialist doctors to assess whether a termination is necessary in cases of suicide risk, with the right of appeal following this to other medical experts.  This is in line with proposals made in the Expert Group report on options for abortion legislation presented to the Government late last year.
In a medical emergency in cases where a mother's life is in danger, one doctor will be allowed to make a decision on whether to terminate a pregnancy. Again, this is in line with the Expert Group report options.

Supreme Court rejects the Fleming Case; The right to Life under the legislation does not import a right to die.  The Supreme Court ruled yesterday against terminally ill Marie Fleming in her action to over turn the blanket ban on assisted suicide, finding that there was no constitutional right to suicide or to arrange for the termination of one’s own life at a time of one’s choosing.  The Chief Justice noted that although suicide had been decriminalised it did not establish a constitutional right to take one’s life.  Her partner is considering an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

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