Tuesday 21 August 2018

Talk of three months' holidays from Dáil is 'speculation' - Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald

Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald. Photo: Tom Burke
Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald. Photo: Tom Burke

Cormac McQuinn Political Correspondent

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald has said that any dates suggested for Dáil holidays so far are "speculation".

She was responding to questions from opposition politicians who raised concern over the length of the TDs' break which could be as long as three months.

Fine Gael members had been told by Taoiseach Enda Kenny that the Dáil would rise on July 7 at a parliamentary party meeting yesterday. It would not sit again until mid September due to renovation work at Leinster House.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin last night indicated that he was opposed to the move saying "I think it's too early and too long".

This morning his party colleague Michael Moynihan questing Ms Fitzgerald on the matter in the Dáil asking how it could be justified. Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald said that if the renovation work was a problem, TDs could meet elsewhere and suggested that the Mansion House - where the first Dáil met - would be "appropriate".

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl said he understands that the refurbishment work will not require the Dáil to rise on July 7.

Ms Fitzgerald said that any dates suggested so far are "speculation" and she said the dates of the holidays are "a matter for the Dáil". She said the Dáil's business committee would discuss the issue and make recommendations.

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