Monday 21 May 2018

Coppinger calls TD a 'friend of Islamic State' in Dáil

Ruth Coppinger. Photo: Frank McGrath
Ruth Coppinger. Photo: Frank McGrath

Philip Ryan and Niall O'Connor

Left-wing TD Ruth Coppinger accused a member of Government of being among "friends of ISIS" during a heated confidence motion in Joan Burton's leadership.

Ms Coppinger associated the Islamic terror group with an unnamed member of Government during fiery exchanges in the Dáil.

Her remarks came after she was criticised by the Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett for allegedly suggesting Ms Burton was "corrupt".

Ms Burton strongly refuted the suggestion she was in anyway corrupt.

During the same debate, Independent Alliance TD Shane Ross admitted he regularly lobbies ministers to have individuals appointed to State boards.

Mr Ross said he was "not ashamed" of seeking to have people appointed to State boards and claimed he was asked to name candidates for these roles because he was "such a critic" of cronyism.

The Independent TD was speaking during the motion of no confidence in Ms Burton which he tabled after it emerged she appointed former Ictu boss David Begg to a State board without going through the public appointment process.

During the debate, Labour TD for Kerry Arthur Spring threatened to reveal the name of a "crony" who Mr Ross sought to have appointed to a State board if the deputy did not come clean himself. Mr Spring called on Mr Ross to name the individual who he sought to have appointed or he would use the Dáil to name the person this morning.

Mr Ross said since he was elected to Leinster House he has "frequently" made suggestions on who should be appointed to State boards.

"I have done (it) and I am not ashamed of it and I'm not going to name them here tonight at the whim of Mr Spring," he said.

The Government won the motion of confidence in Ms Burton's leadership by 82 to 32 votes.

Irish Independent

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