Tuesday 23 January 2018

Independent TD Peter Mathews faces censure after Dail shouting match

Peter Mathews, former Fine Gael deputy for Dublin South
Peter Mathews, former Fine Gael deputy for Dublin South
Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

FORMER Fine Gael TD Peter Mathews was told he would be reported to the Dail's oversight committee following a heated row with Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett.

The confrontation, which Mr Mathews described as an "unfortunate episode", could now lead to an official reprimand for the politician if the complaint is upheld.

Mr Barrett took exception with Mr Mathews when he walked across the Dail chamber to hand Finance Minister Michael Noonan a document he claimed would help with the forthcoming banking inquiry.

"That is a total abuse for the deputy to leave his seat and approach the minister," Mr Barrett said.

The chairman of the Dail told Mr Mathews he would be reported to the Oireachtas Committee on Procedures and Privileges for breaching the rules of the chamber.

The shouting match kicked off when Mr Mathews began a question for the Finance Minister by telling the Dail he had bumped into the chief executive of Permanent TSB, who had "immediately recognised" him.

Laughter filled the chamber after his comments with one deputy noting that Mr Mathews' appearances on 'Tonight with Vincent Browne' had not been a "complete waste".

Mr Barrett intervened to tell the deputy he should pose a question as time allocated for debates had passed.

Mr Mathews protested until the Ceann Comhairle asked for his microphone to be turned off.

"I don't need a microphone," Mr Mathews responded. Mr Noonan joked that Mr Mathews "should not be surprised at how well known he is".

A clearly irritated Mr Mathews sarcastically said "that is a wonderful joke" and left the Dail. However, a few moments later he returned brandishing a document for the minister.

As Mr Barrett told him to return to his seat, Mr Mathews said: "I do not think the minister was very fair in his remark to me and I am helping him with the starting point of the banking inquiry."

Irish Independent

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