THERE WAS some rowdy scenes – but ultimately no dissenting voices – in the Dáil this morning as TDs agreed to send the house into recess for eight weeks.
The proposal for an eight-week summer recess was the last of six items to be agreed by Deputies this morning during the Dáil’s daily Order of Business session.
Socialist Party member Joe Higgins said he was seeking a “variation” of the proposal for an eight-week recess, just as threats from the IMF were “ringing in our ears”.
Unless the IMF was “suffering from acute policy schizophrenia,” Higgins suggested, it was inappropriate for TDs to suspend Dáil sittings for such a long period.
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, representing the government, suggested that Higgins was engaging in “scaremongering” and insisted the IMF’s recommendations were not binding – and also argued that the previous Dáil term had been particularly fruitfui.
Gilmore said the government had made “significant progress” on its agenda, with breakthroughs on legislation at both Irish and European level.
The Ceann Comhairle, Seán Barrett, sought to restore order as members appeared merry at the thought of an eight-week break from the chamber, at one point suggesting:
All I have to say is, schoolchildren leaving sixth class would be behaving better than what’s happening here.
Ultimately when the proposal was put to TDs, there were no members voting Níl, and the motion to suspend the house until September 18 was agreed.
The Dáil is due to go into recess shortly after 8pm this evening when it completes its daily business.