There were angry scenes in the Dáil as a row erupted between Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin.
Sinn Féin Wicklow TD, John Brady, accused Fianna Fáil of trying to hijack his party’s efforts to reverse tough pension rules which are described by both parties as discriminating against women.
Leading the debate, Fianna Fáil’s Willie O’Dea hit back and rejected the Sinn Féin claims. Soon the matter degenerated into a loud shouting match.
“You bully young women – but you won’t bully me,” Mr O’Dea declared.
The Limerick TD noted that his party colleague, Michael McGrath, had already castigated Sinn Féin for shunning any involvement in government last year. Mr McGrath had described Sinn Féin as “hurlers on the ditch.”
“But I say ye’re the snipers behind the ditch,” Mr O’Dea added.
Deputy Brady demanded that Mr O’Dea retract those comments but Mr O’Dea continued to accuse the Sinn Féin deputy of trying to shout him down.
Eventually, deputy Dáil chairman, Pat The Cope Gallagher, restored order and instructed both TDs to “stop shouting across the chamber at each other.”