Wednesday 24 January 2018

Almost 60 TDs fail to take part in Dáil vote

Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin insisted on ending break Picture: Colin O'Riordan
Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin insisted on ending break Picture: Colin O'Riordan
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

It was supposed to be a week off for our TDs before Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin insisted on the Dáil skipping its mid-term break.

Despite the decision that there would be two days of debates this week, almost 60 TDs failed to take part in a Dáil vote yesterday.

The unscheduled vote came as Independent TD Mick Wallace sought to have a debate on the signing of a European Union trade deal with Canada added to the Order of Business.

The proposal was defeated by 79 votes to 20. Fifty-eight TDs - more than a third of the total number - didn't take part either because they were absent or did not register a vote in the chamber.

It follows last week's row over whether or not the Dáil would sit during the mid-term break. Mr Martin said the decision by the Dáil's Business Committee to have a Halloween break sent out "the wrong signal completely", given the long summer recess.

Government chief whip Regina Doherty said she had not wanted to schedule a week off, but was forced to by a majority of the Business Committee.

The matter was put to a vote and Fine Gael and Sinn Féin joined Fianna Fáil in ensuring that the Dáil would sit this week.

Asked about the absence of so many TDs, Ms Doherty said some had made "family commitments" based on the scheduled break that had previously been agreed weeks ago.

She said some TDs had been willing to attend but couldn't get accommodation and that others were at the civic forum on Brexit at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham.

Irish Independent

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