Thursday, 30 June 1994
Dáil Éireann Debate
7. Proinsias De Rossa asked the Minister for Equality and Law Reform the progress, if any, made to date in implementing the terms of the Stillbirths Registration Bill, 1994; when the register will be established; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Mr. Taylor: I have made an order bringing the provisions of the Stillbirths Registration Act, 1994 into effect from 1 January 1995. All stillbirths which occur on or after that date must be registered and stillbirths which occurred before that date may be registered, if either parent requests this.
Proinsias De Rossa: Will the Minister indicate the reason for the delay in implementing this legislation, which was welcomed by all parties as an important step forward for the many thousands of parents who felt they were entitled to and needed such a register? Have all the administrative requirements been put in place to ensure that this legislation operates smoothly? Have all registrars agreed to implement the provisions of the Act?
Mr. Taylor: The date of 1 January 1995 was agreed following discussions with the General Register Office. It indicated that it would require until 1 January to make the necessary preparatory arrangements for the registration of stillbirths. The General Register Office indicated that it could not complete those arrangements in any shorter time scale. The steps that need to be taken include the training of registrars, the design and printing of new forms, the preparation of regulations and instructions and the dissemination of information to hospitals and the general public. I am not aware that any of the registrars have caused any difficulty in that connection.
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