The Government has escaped an embarrassing defeat in the Dáil after the Ceann Comhairle used his casting vote.
TDs were voting on a bill aimed at tackling evictions when it was announced that following a Government amendment,the numbers were tied 51-51.
In a rare move, Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl said that in keeping in practice and custom, he would vote in favour of the amended bill and side with the Government.
The move was followed by expressions of disapproval by opposition TDs.
The close scare underlines the fragility of the minority Government.
Fianna Fáil abstained on the bill, which was proposed by the Anti-Austerity Alliance/People Before Profit (AAA/PBP).
The bill aimed to provide greater security for tenants and to make it more difficult for landlords to issue eviction notices.