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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Government defeated in Seanad vote to introduce free GP care for under 6s

Philip Ryan and Daniel McConnell

Published 09/07/2014 | 17:59

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Senator John Crown  at Leinster House. Pic Tom Burke 7/3/13
Senator Crown tabled an amendment to remove a gagging clause on doctors contained in the new legislation. Pic Tom Burke 7/3/13

The Government has been defeated in a Seanad vote on the controversial legislation to introduce free GP care for under 6s.

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The amendment on the GP Service Bill 2014 was initially rejected but Independent Senator Prof John Crown, who tabled an amendment, called for a walkthrough vote which was subsequently lost by the Government.

The initial vote was won 26 – 25 by the Government but after the walkthrough vote was called two additional opposition senators entered the chamber and the vote was lost.

The second vote was won 27 - 26 votes by the opposition.

Senator Crown tabled an amendment to remove a gagging clause on doctors contained in the new legislation.

Speaking to Independent.ie, Independent Senator Sean Barrett for Trinity College said: “This was a vote for democracy, we need whistleblowers in the HSE, in the guards, in education and in the Church.

Speaking in the Seanad, Taoiseach’s nominee and Abbey Theatre director, Fiach Mac Conghail said: “There is free speech in the Abbey Theatre and there should be in the operating theatre.”

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