Ex-PD boss McDowell brands the Dail 'a joke'
FORMER Progressive Democrats leader Michael McDowell has launched a stinging attack on the Irish political system, complaining that the Dail "is a joke".
Mr McDowell, also a former attorney general, said elected representatives are expected to behave "like sheep in a pen" and risk being punished if they don't toe the established party line.
"Look at the Dail – it's a joke," said Mr McDowell, slating the treatment of former minister Lucinda Creighton, who lost her job for voting in accordance with her conscience on the abortion debate. "That's the price of Irish democracy," he added.
Mr McDowell said, by comparison, when MPs in Westminster defied their party whip to vote against declaring war on Syria, they weren't expelled from their parliamentary party.
He added that politicians in Westminster and in the US Congress can stand up for what they believe in "when push comes to shove".
"You lose your career as a politician if you stand up for what you believe in," Mr McDowell said on local radio in Kerry.