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McDonald backs down in 'war' with Ceann Comhairle

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Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald,TD accompanied by Aengus O Snodaigh,TD  meet  the media at Leinster House yesterday. Picture: Tom Burke

Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald,TD accompanied by Aengus O Snodaigh,TD meet the media at Leinster House yesterday. Picture: Tom Burke

Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald,TD accompanied by Aengus O Snodaigh,TD meet the media at Leinster House yesterday. Picture: Tom Burke

SINN Fein is seeking a meeting with the Ceann Comhairle - despite the party insisting it does not have confidence in his independence in applying Dail rules.

The party's deputy leader, Mary Lou McDonald, yesterday said she was not continuing her direct confrontation with Ceann Comhairle, Sean Barrett.

Ms McDonald caused a Dail shutdown last Thursday over her failure to leave the chamber when told by Mr Barrett.

The incident meant she was also banned from the Dail yesterday and the party had indicated at the weekend that she may defy that ban.

But Ms McDonald told reporters she did accept she was banned for the day, mainly to avoid unpleasantness for the Dail staff, whom she likes and admires.

Instead the party is seeking a meeting with the Ceann Comhairle to see if they "can iron out their differences".

But Ms McDonald again repeated she had no confidence in Mr Barrett and she did not believe he was independent and neutral in applying the rules in the same way for everybody.

"I don't say this lightly. I personally have no confidence in Sean Barrett. That is based on three years' experience," Ms McDonald said.

Sinn Fein chief whip Aengus O Snodaigh said he had been a TD under four Cinn Chomhairle since he began as a TD.

"I believe he (Mr Barrett) is the worst of the four when it comes to fairness," Mr O Snodaigh said.

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