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Monday 11 December 2017

Doherty to lodge formal complaint against Norris' "sexist comments"

Fiach Kelly, Political Correspondent

Fine Gael TD Regina Doherty was accused of "talking through her fanny" by Senator David Norris over the abolition of the Seanad.

THE FINE Gael TD accused of "talking through her fanny" by David Norris is to lodge a formal complaint about the Trinity senator over his "sexist" remarks.

Regina Doherty is the Deputy Director of Elections for the Seanad Abolition Referendum, but Mr Norris also dismissed her opinions as "The Regina Monologues". In a statement, Ms Doherty said she was "upset" by the comments.

"I have to admit that I was upset by the personal nature of the remarks that Senator Norris made about me in the Seanad earlier today," the Meath East TD said.

"They were contrived and intentional. I will be making a formal complaint to the Leader of the Seanad in relation to Senator Norris’ comments.

“Senator Norris’ sexist and deeply inappropriate language certainly brought public attention to the Seanad today. But his comments have done absolutely nothing to strengthen his claim that the superior level of debate in the Seanad means the Upper House is worth saving.” 

In a particularly busy day in the Seanad, Jobs Minister Richard Bruton has been compared to Hitler over claims he made about the upper house.

Fianna Fail senator Mary White said Mr Bruton – Fine Gael’s director of elections for the upcoming referendum on the abolition of the Seanad – was spreading Hitler-like propaganda.

Mr Bruton issued a press release this morning claiming scrapping the Seanad will save €20m a year but Ms White said this was “like propaganda from Hitler". Mr Bruton was previously compared to Joseph Goebbels by former justice minister Michael McDowell.

Mr Norris called Mr Bruton's press release a "malignant and mendacious piece of tripe". "Seanad Eireann should immediately put out a press statement on a unanimous basis because this is...a tissue of lies."

He objected to the fact that people who were over 20 years in the Seanad "should have to listen to The Regina Monologues for somebody who is not a wet weekend in this house talking through her fanny, I object in the strongest possible way".

"We should have a revolution in this bloody place, we should take over, the members should take over."  Fine Gael senator Terry Brennan accused Mr Bruton of telling "lies and total lies" about the Seanad savings, and another party senator, Tony Mulcahy, also criticised the minister.

Fianna Fail senator Terry Leyden took issue with first time TD Regina Doherty being appointed Fine Gael's deputy director of elections.

Mr Leyden said Ms Doherty hadn't been in Leinster House a "wet week".

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