Monday 23 September 2019

Revealed: What was really said in that astonishing Dáil shouting match

Kofi Annan, Strictly Come Dancing and a trip to Kilgarvan... can reveal exactly what was said in that astonishing Dáil shouting match

Kevin Doyle Group Political Editor

As Dáil shouting matches go it was in the Premier League – but you’d be forgiven for not having a clue what was being said.

The Oireachtas descended into chaos earlier today as TDs rowed over who would get to ask Taoiseach Leo Varadkar questions.

Fianna Fáil’s Marc McSharry complained that the Healy Rae brothers (Danny and Michael), along with fellow Independent Mattie McGrath are constantly jumping to the top of the queue.

What followed was an exchange that involved Kofi Annan, Ban Ki-moon, Strictly Come Dancing, a trip to Kilgarvan and Christ himself.

Here is a full transcript of the debate that led Leas-Cheann Comhairle Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher to suspend proceedings until all sides calmed down:

Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher (Leas-Cheann Comhairle): I go to No. 1,  Danny Healy-Rae, on promised legislation or the programme for Government.

Danny Healy-Rae: In the programme for Government, there is a promise to protect farmers' incomes and payments.  Indeed, the promise covered cases in which payments were held up for one reason or another and a consensus was arrived that two thirds of outstanding payments would be made until the problems were sorted out.  However, where commonage was burned in Kerry, some farmers received no payments at all for Christmas.  They have no other income.  In the fullness of time, they will win their battle because their commonage was burned from outside.  They had nothing to do with the burning of the commonage.  I ask the Taoiseach and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine to intervene to ensure these farmers get fair play.  It is wrong to take their whole payment from them.  They were told they would get payments in 2018.  That is totally wrong.

Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher (Leas-Cheann Comhairle): We will let the Taoiseach answer.

Michael Healy-Rae: On the same issue-----

Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher (Leas-Cheann Comhairle): Does he have a card?

Michael Healy-Rae: Of course, I have.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Show it to me.

Michael Healy-Rae: It is the same issue.

Charlie McConalogue: Same issue also, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle.

Marc MacSharry: Oh, stop. This is making a joke out of it altogether.  It is every ten minutes.

Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher (Leas-Cheann Comhairle): Hold on,  MacSharry.

Marc MacSharry: We have 44 Deputies here but we have Kofi Annan McGrath and Ban Ki-moon Healy-Rae up every day, undermining this country's-----

Michael Healy-Rae: That is outrageous.

Marc MacSharry: There are either 168 Deputies here or there are not.

Danny Healy-Rae: Do not call us names.  We were elected here in our own names and we will take no rubbish from MacSharry.

Michael Healy-Rae: When  MacSharry was looking for Seanad votes, he was damn glad to come to Kilgarvan.

Danny Healy-Rae:  MacSharry's party is here supporting the Government and saying it has nothing to do with it.

Marc MacSharry: This is a joke.  It is "Strictly Come Dancing" and they are the half-time performers.

Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher (Leas-Cheann Comhairle): I am going to move on.   MacSharry, control yourself.

Marc MacSharry: For Christ's sake, control them.  The Business Committee of the House is a joke.

Michael Healy-Rae: MacSharry came into Kilgarvan.

Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher (Leas-Cheann Comhairle): Deputies, I will take action if it is necessary.

Michael Healy-Rae: Sorry, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle.

Marc MacSharry: I am going to set up the Sligo-Leitrim technical group to get a few words in here; myself and Deputies Tony McLoughlin, Martin Kenny and Eamon Scanlon.

Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher (Leas-Cheann Comhairle): Listen,  MacSharry.  Everyone one is circumventing the regulations.

Marc MacSharry: This is a disgrace.

Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher (Leas-Cheann Comhairle): I will suspend the House.

Marc MacSharry: Suspend it if you like.  It may as well be suspended.  The same people have the floor all the time.

Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher (Leas-Cheann Comhairle):  MacSharry will not speak to the Chair like that.

Marc MacSharry: I cannot speak to anybody.

Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher (Leas-Cheann Comhairle): You will not speak to the Chair in that way.  I will suspend the House for five minutes.

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