independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Ming complains his children are being teased about dress row

INDEPENDENT TD Luke 'Ming' Flanagan has said his children were being teased at school because of his choice of clothes in the Dail

He became involved in another public spat with Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett, which led to the suspension of the Dail for five minutes.

It was based on comments Mr Barrett made in an interview with the Irish Independent about his desire for a formal dress code that would see all male TDs wearing a jacket and tailored shirt.

"My children are being teased because of the comments the Ceann Comhairle is making about me," Mr Flanagan said.

But Mr Barrett pointed out that he had not mentioned any individual TD by name in his interview.

He had simply stated his desire for a formal dress code for all TDs.

"What we were saying in our recommendations was a jacket and a tailored shirt, in other words a collar, and there would be no denims," Mr Barrett said in the interview.

This would only affect TDs such as Mr Flanagan and fellow Independent Mick Wallace, who persist in wearing T-shirts and jeans in the Dail chamber.

Almost all other TDs wear suits and shirts with the obvious other exception of Richard Boyd Barrett.

The Dail Committee on Procedures and Privileges has so far decided against introducing a Dail dress code because of fears that it would be impossible to enforce.

An angry Mr Flanagan refused to take his seat in the Dail yesterday while he complained about Mr Barrett's comments about what should be worn.

As a result, Mr Barrett suspended the Dail, which was about to begin discussion of the financial measures in the Budget.

It is the latest clash between Mr Flanagan and the Ceann Comhairle. The Roscommon-South Leitrim TD criticised Mr Barrett outside the Dail chamber last July over the failure to have a vote on the Personal Insolvency Bill.

He repeatedly called him a "disgrace" during an encounter that was witnessed by several other TDs.

Mr Flanagan has refused to apologise to the Ceann Com-hairle, despite receiving a request from the Committee on Procedures and Privileges.

'Biased'

He later escalated the situation by referring to Mr Barrett as a "biased chair" on his Facebook page.

No further action has been taken by the Dail Committee on Procedures and Privileges because the comments were made outside of the chamber.

In his interview with the Irish Independent, Mr Barrett said he did not wish to comment on the corridor confrontation.

Irish Independent

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