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Seanad referendum

Brian Hayes on why he told John Crown: 'You lick yourself every night'

The junior minister got into a heated argument with senator John Crown during a recent debate on the Seanad abolition.

YouTube: Thejournalvideo

JUNIOR MINISTER BRIAN Hayes has explained the reasons behind his unusual remarks to Senator John Crown in the Seanad recently, saying “if you are prepared to give it, you have to be prepared to take it”.

Hayes was on the receiving end of some stinging criticism from senators during his time in the upper house as it debated the legislation for the referendum to abolish it last week.

At one point, as Crown asked for the Minister’s attention, Hayes hit back, saying: “You lick yourself every night before you go to bed.” Crown later recounted the incident on his blog and accused Hayes of being uninterested and unprofessional.

But the Fine Gael TD insisted in an interview with this week that his comments were borne out of frustration at senators using a filibuster and of “shouting, roaring and screaming at the government.”

“Listen, in politics, if you are prepared to give it, you have to be prepared to take it as well and it’s as much a lesson for him [Crown] as it is for anyone else,” Hayes said. (See his full comments about the incident in the video above)

Hayes also admitted that no one in Fine Gael expected Taoiseach Enda Kenny to call a referendum on the abolition of the Seanad but said the judgement of Irish people on its future was better than that of any politician:

YouTube: Thejournalvideo

- camera and editing by Michelle Hennessy and Nicky Ryan

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