Friday 22 November 2019

TD calls for 'overhaul' of Dáil rules in wake of controversies

Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy has written to Seán Ó Fearghaíl seeking reforms to how TDs carry out their business. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy has written to Seán Ó Fearghaíl seeking reforms to how TDs carry out their business. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

The Ceann Comhairle has been urged to explore an overhaul of Dáil rules in the wake of controversies over the fobbing in system for expenses and irregular voting in the chamber.

Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy has written to Seán Ó Fearghaíl seeking reforms to how TDs carry out their business. It comes after questions were raised about the system of fobbing into the Dáil to record attendance.

TDs must be in the House for at least 120 days every year to qualify for a Travel and Accommodation Allowance and there have been claims that the system is open to abuse if TDs get others to fob-in for them.

Separately, there are concerns about irregular voting in the Dáil after the Irish Independent revealed that senior TD Timmy Dooley's vote was recorded six times despite his absence from the chamber.

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Ms Murphy referred to both issues as she told RTÉ why she has written to the Ceann Comhairle. She said she has looked for an "overhaul" and that the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission should examine a fully vouched system for expenses.

"We've got to be capable of reforming ourselves as well and I think this is an opportunity to do that," she said.

Irish Independent

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