Tuesday 23 July 2019

Watch: Dáil suspended after Michael Healy-Rae launches scathing attack on Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe

Hugh O'Connell

The Dáil had to be suspended for a brief time this morning after independent TD Michael Healy-Rae launched a scathing attack on Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe.

Healy-Rae took umbrage at Donohoe’s suggestion that the Kerry deputy chose not to go into government in 2016. Healy-Rae was outraged by the remark and repeatedly told Donohoe: “You told a lie, you told a lie.”

Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy, who was chairing proceedings, was on his feet trying to quell the matter but Healy-Rae refused to sit down as he shouted across the chamber at Donohoe. Proceedings were then suspended for just over 10 minutes.

The row took place during questions to the Minister for Finance in the Dáil this morning.

After the Dáil resumed, Healy-Rae made a brief statement to claim that when the government was being formed in 2016 then taoiseach Enda Kenny told him “it would be a good thing if I was a minister in a future government that he was putting together”.

Healy-Rae said he told Kenny that he didn’t believe he was in a position to form a government having not at that stage spoken to Fianna Fáil. After Fine Gael struck a confidence and supply deal with Fianna Fáil, Healy-Rae said that Kenny “never picked up the phone and rang me when he was putting together his ministers”.

“I never got a phone call,” he said. “And what the minister [Donohoe] stated was factually incorrect.”

Donohoe did not respond directly to the remarks.

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