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Fine Gael TD ‘got in trouble’ with Ceann Comhairle for bringing nitrous oxide canisters into the Dáil

TD brought canisters in as she discussed dangers of 'laughing gas'

Fine Gael Dublin Mid-West TD Emer Higgins “got into trouble” with Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl after she brought nitrous oxide canisters into Dáil Eireann.

The TD held up a silver nitrous oxide canister in a sitting of Dáil Eireann in the Convention Centre in Dublin while discussing the dangers of the recreational use of the “laughing gas” drug yesterday.

However, she “got into trouble” with the Ceann Comhairle for bringing the canister into the chamber.

The Deputy was speaking about how easily accessible the gas is and can be bought online for as little as €1.

“I didn’t have to search very hard last night to find this used canister,” she told the Dáil, while holding it up.

“They litter my local parks in Lucan, in Clondalkin, in Rathcoole and in Palmerstown. Minister, we need to act now to protect our young people.”

After she made her speech, the Ceann Comhairle said: “I thank Deputy Higgins. As she is a new Deputy I am sure she is not aware of the protocols of displaying devices in the Chamber so I will just draw her attention to that.”

The TD defended her decision to bring the canisters in saying that it would raise awareness.

“I got in trouble for that,” Ms Higgins told Independent.ie.

“I think it’s important, parents are at home, they might be hearing about this, but they don’t know what they look like and people are seeing these when they’re out and about in the park.

“But I’m happy to defend that, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with bringing it in and showing it to people because that’s how parents can understand, some people are getting these delivered to their home and parents are completely oblivious.

“[Ceann Comhairle] was okay, he got over it, I’m a newbie so it’s not too bad, but I genuinely didn’t realise."

“I picked up two but they’re everywhere,” she said.

The Fine Gael TD said the use of the gas amongst young people is a “huge issue” and that two teenagers have passed away after using nitrous oxide.

“All of a sudden, it just seems like an epidemic. [The canisters] are just everywhere. If you’re going for a walk or a run, there are piles of them.

“Most generations have a drug craze unfortunately but this one seems to be particularly dangerous,” she added.

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