Members of the Oireachtas Transport Committee have unanimously rejected a request by the Department of Transport to fast-track a new Bill governing the investigation of marine casualties.
Minister Eamon Ryan’s Department was seeking a waiver on pre-legislative scrutiny, a move opposed by a number of campaigners who had expressed concern about some of the Board’s previous investigations.
A report of MCIB probes deemed it “not fit for purpose”, and on foot of this Bernard Lucas, whose wife Caitriona died in an incident during a Coast Guard operation off Kilkee in September 2016, told Clare FM that he does not have faith in the Board.
Hours after these comments, Oireachtas Transport Committee members voted to reject the Department’s request.
While this needs to be approved the Oireachtas Business Committee, it is now almost certain that there will be a formal scrutiny of the Bill, and an opportunity for those with concerns to appear before TDs and Senators.
Maritime lawyer Michael Kingston, who’s father died in the 1979 Whiddy Island Disaster, has thanked the people of Clare following the move, and says it’s a ‘great day’ for the maritime community.