On Wednesday 22nd of February, ATD Ireland was kindly invited by Sinn Féin’s TD Chris Andrews and Independent TD Violet-Anne Wynne to attend the debate about the Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2021 — Second Stage in Private Members’ Business. This debate will tackle what the #Addthe10th alliance have been striving for. It is necessary for people with lived experiences of poverty to have protection in the Irish Equality legalisation.
Prior to the debate, we were given a tour around Leinster House and learned about the efforts to include more women in the interior design, particularly the art work which was previously dominated by past male politicians.
Following this, we were shown to the public gallery. Here, we were able to witness Andrews and Wynne supporting the #Addthe10th campaign. Labour leader Ivana Bacik and Irish Social Democrats TD Gary Gannon concurred with their points and urged Minsters Roderic O’Gorman and Joe O’Brien to make the bill a priority. The TD’s were concerned about the Irish Equality legislation review being 18 months away and pushed for a shorter time period as socio economic discrimination is prevalent in the country, especially with poverty rates rising. The two ministers responded positively and were in agreement that socio economic discrimination must be included.
TD’s and ministers had the opportunity to vote on this bill on the 1st March debate.
Unfortunately the vote wasn’t past but we continue to remain hopeful that a 10th ground will be added to the Equality legislation once the review is completed. It is a pivotal issue that needs to be pushed into the further stages of Dáil.