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The Dáil was suspended for 45 minutes after Alan Kelly went to a press conference

The opposition were NOT happy.

Updated 5.20pm 

THE DÁIL WAS suspended for around 45 minutes this evening after opposition TDs threatened to walk out of the chamber.

Environment Minister Alan Kelly, having announced the government’s new plan for water charges, left the Dáil to attend a press conference in Government Buildings to expand on the plans announced earlier.

Deputies from all opposition parties were threatening to storm out of the chamber in protest, calling Kelly’s departure “despicable” and “breathtaking.”

The Environment Minister departed the chamber during Fianna Fáil spokesperson Barry Cowen’s scheduled speech, in order to speak to the media just after 4pm.

Here’s what the chamber looked like at one point, with just four government ministers remaining to hear opposition speeches.

benches

As a result of the threatened walkout the Dáil was suspended for 45 minutes, until 4.47 pm, while Kelly attended the press conference.

Opposition parties and TDs took to Twitter to give out:

Kelly arrived around 10 minutes late for the press conference where he gave a short presentation before answering journalists’ questions and addressed his “walkout”… 

The Dáil resumed after Kelly returned to the house just before 5pm with Cowen continuing his speech and lambasting the coalition’s changes to the water charges regime.

Kelly, the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and other senior ministers were present.

- additional reporting from Hugh O’Connell

Confirmed: Here’s how much you’ll be paying for water – and what happens if you don’t

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Dan MacGuill

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