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Dáil suspended after heated row between Carol Nolan and Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Dáil suspended after heated row between Carol Nolan and Aengus Ó Snodaigh

SINN Féin was accused of being in government and supporting the carbon tax in an ill-tempered row that saw the Dáil suspended on Wednesday morning.

Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh, who was chairing Dáil proceedings, got into a heated row with his former party colleague Carol Nolan who said “you’re as good as Government” and “part of Government” during a debate on a Rural Independents Group motion to scrap future carbon tax increases.

The row began after Ms Nolan, an Independent TD for Laois Offaly who quit Sinn Féin nearly four years ago over its stance on abortion, became incensed at Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue for failing to listen to her contribution on the motion.

“I’d just appreciate if you could actually give me the courtesy of listening to the message I have here from my constituents in Laois-Offaly,” she said. “I am refusing to continue until the minister gives me the few minutes that I have left and the courtesy of that.”

At that point Ó Snodaigh told her speaking time had expired to which Ms Nolan reacted angrily. “No sorry chair, I was interrupted there and disrupted. I am sorry, no sorry, as a party that claims to be fair and just, excuse me, excuse me, I was interrupted and disrupted and distracted,” she said.

Ms Nolan repeatedly said she would not resume her seat, prompting Ó Snodaigh, who had been ringing the bell to conclude her speaking time, to stand up and ask her to leave the chamber.

“If you will not sit down you will have to leave the house, you were not interrupted, I am the chair,” he said.

Nolan responded: “How dare you, where’s justice gone? Where’s justice gone in Sinn Féin?”

Mr Ó Snodaigh, a TD for Dublin and former Sinn Féin chief whip, said he was suspended proceedings. Ms Nolan responded that Sinn Féin were “as good as government now anyway supporting the carbon tax”.

Sinn Féin has argued against future increases in the carbon tax in its most recent pre-budget submission, but has factored the revenue collected from it into its budget figures.

Ó Snodaigh asked her to withdraw that remark, which Nolan refused to do prompting the chair to suspend the Dáil. Ms Nolan concluded her contribution by calling on the Government and “maybe” Sinn Féin to support a mini budget.

As proceedings were suspended and Ó Snodaigh proceeded to leave the chamber he was shouted at by Nolan’s RIG colleague, Limerick TD Richard O’Donoghue, who said: “The next time you might do your chair job and correct the people who are talking.”

Nolan added: “They don’t want to correct government, they’re part of government.”

Ó Snodaigh came over towards the benches where Nolan and O Donoghue were sitting and pointed at them. While his response was not audible, O’Donoghue could be heard saying to the Sinn Féin TD: “Put on your mask when you're talking to me, put on your mask!”

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