13 July 2015
By Tom Collins
Cork City Anti Austerity Alliance councillor Mick Barry has welcomed the removal of nearly 6000 obsolete laws from the statute books – but has criticised the State’s reliance on JobBridge internships for the research that preceded the removal.
The 1533 proclamation banning criticism of the marriage of Henry VIII to his second wife Anne Boleyn, the 1665 order that the first Wednesday of every month be set aside for penance and fasting for the relief of the bubonic plague in London and the 1817 proclamation that consumption of potatoes and oatmeal should be kept for the “lower orders” are all about to be removed from the statute books following the passage of the Statute Law Revisions Bills through the Dail and Seanad.
The Bill will see the removal of 5782 such obsolete proclamations, directions and orders made before 1821.
However, it has emerged that all the research work conducted by the State in preparation for the removal of these proclamations, directions and orders was conducted by JobBridge trainees – interns who are allowed a 50 euro top up on their social welfare entitlements.
Cllr Barry said this morning: “I am sure that the general population will breathe a sigh of relief today that they are no longer banned from criticising Henry VIII’s marriage and are now free to eat oatmeal. However, I am not so sure that people will be quite so happy that the State is employing young people at slave labour rates in order to do the research necessary before scrapping these rules. It would seem to be a case of a Government which will soon be obsolete themselves using obsolete slave labour practices in order to scrap obsolete laws.”