Sunday 19 November 2017

It's time our politicians showed proper respect for the House - and each other

Anti-Austerity Alliance TDs Ruth Coppinger and Paul Murphy speak to journalists on the plinth at Leinster House. Photo: Damien Eagers
Anti-Austerity Alliance TDs Ruth Coppinger and Paul Murphy speak to journalists on the plinth at Leinster House. Photo: Damien Eagers
James Downey

James Downey

Deputies enjoy the Leaders' Questions slot in the Dáil, but for the wrong reasons. When this procedure was introduced a few years ago, some thought it would improve the standard of debate and make it easier for opposition party leaders to extract information from the government of the day.

Instead, it has contributed to the debasement of the system. Deputies attend the Chamber in the hope of "a good row". Too often, they get what they wish for.

Mind you, they have little difficulty finding occasions for good rows in addition to Leaders' Questions. The Dáil descends into disorder with dismaying frequency, sometimes when discussing issues on which there is no disagreement - like their notorious fondness for long holidays.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss