Michael Healy Rae has defended his shouting match with Marc MacSharry in the Dáil, saying that the Fianna Fail TD was “completely out of order”.
Last Wednesday, the Dáil had to be suspended due to the argument between the Healy Rae brothers and Fianna Fail TD Marc MacSharry over speaking time in the chamber.
When asked if he had any regrets, Mr Healy Rae said “you’re aiming that question at the wrong politician”.
“Another member took it upon himself to heckle me and try to stop me,” he told RTE Radio One.
“The Ceann Comhairle called on me first. That means I actually was in position when I was continuously interrupted by another person,” Healy Rae said.
Mr MacSharry became annoyed after failing to get his question to the Taoiseach during the 'Order of Business'.
A new system has been introduced in which TDs must take a numbered card to determine the order and amount of speaking time in the chamber.
“I’d say now that the people who thought that that system was a good idea has a bad fright got,” Mr Healy Rae said.
“I think we might be seeing the end of that system because to be honest with you that was a load of rubbish anyway.
“I mean it’s not playing bingo we are. We’re there to speak up for our constituents, we’re there to be treated fairly. We don’t need to queue up to get numbers, the system that was there for decades and it worked fairly and adequately,” Mr Healy Rae said.
Mr MacSharry objected that some TDs were skipping the queue in the limited speaking period, and the Healy Rae brothers got to their feet to argue for their right to question the Taoiseach.
Mr Healy Rae said it is important to raise local issues during debates in the Dail.
“If I’m talking about post offices, I am talking about post offices in County Kerry and Ireland,” he said.
“To be a national politician you have to be elected locally. Many of the local issues we have are national issues also.”