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eff off

Alan Kelly is sorry if he shouted a 'nasty expletive' at Mattie McGrath

Last night McGrath told the minister he was “making a show of Tipperary”.

ENVIRONMENT MINISTER ALAN Kelly has apologised if he shouted “eff off” at Independent TD Mattie McGrath in the Dáil last night in a debate on the water charges.

The Dáil continued to debate the controversial Water Bill last night and things became heated when McGrath told the minister that he was “making a show of Tipperary”.

Shouts from across the Dáil chamber can definitely be heard, but it is not clear exactly who they are coming from or what they are saying:

Video TheJournal.ie / YouTube

The Independent TD later challenged Kelly, saying he had not heard it himself, but it had been brought to his attention that the minister had “expressed a very nasty expletive” across the house. He said he wanted the Dáil records checked and an apology.

Responding to the allegation, Kelly said he was not aware if he did shout foul language at McGrath.

“If I did say something involuntary, I withdraw it and apologise”.

Junior minister Paudie Coffey, who was sitting beside Kelly, came to his defence:

Today McGrath said he accepts the minister’s apology. However he said his explanation of the comment as being ‘involuntary’ “accurately summarises this Government’s weak defence around the necessity of introducing the water charges”.

One a more relevant note to the Water Bill, Kelly has said he will consider calls by opposition TDs to change wording in the legislation from “may” to “shall” to ensure Irish Water can not be privatised in the future.

“I give a commitment that not only will I look at it, but I will bring forward an amendment to reflect it,” Kelly told TDs.

The debate continues this morning.

Read: Irish Water: No rules were broken when GMC Sierra won metering contract>

Read: These 38 sewage treatment sites are putting your health at risk>

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