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TD slams 'blatant abuses of power' after being suspended from the Dáil

Catherine Murphy got her marching orders this morning and later questioned whether what is happening in the Dáil is constitutional.

Catherine Murphy leaving the Dáil chamber after members voted to suspend her this morning.

INDEPENDENT TD CATHERINE Murphy has been suspended from the Dáil this morning after raising objections to the government’s handling of the legislation which will give effect to pay cuts in the public sector.

During the Order of Business this morning the Kildare North TD hit out at the lack of time being given to debate and raise objections to the legislation that will give effect to pay cuts for those earning over €65,000 in the public sector.

The FEMPI (Financial Emergency Measures in Public Interest) Bill 2013 will give effect to the pay cut aspect of the recent Haddington Road Agreement, but Murphy said that members of the Technical Group were being gagged.

Her objections led to Seán Barrett ordering her to leave the chamber and eventually calling a vote on suspending the TD which was passed by 75 votes to 48.

Afterwards Murphy tweeted:” Nobody should be allowed to gag 1/3 of the opposition that is why I forced the point in the chamber. Democracy demands opposition voice

“Disgusted to have been removed from chamber but I cannot be expected to sit back and watch blatant abuses of power being perpretrated daily.”

In a statement later, Murphy said that she had spent the past two years trying to change the Standing Order which currently restricts contributions from members of the Technical Group during the Order of Business as they are not leaders of parties with more one member.

She said: “I had anticipated this problem today and I have written to the Ceann Comhairle, I had flagged it as a looming issue and I’ve repeatedly tried to have the Standing Orders changed in order to deal with such a situation arising.

“I would question whether or not what is happening in the Dáil is Constitutional.”

Murphy added that she could not allow a third of the opposition to be “gagged on such a serious and significant issue”.

Responding later during the Order of Business, Taoiseach Enda Kenny insisted that the government had dealt with measures contained in the FEMPI Bill in a “comprehensive, thorough and open fashion” in contrast to the previous administration.

Read: Taoiseach on creche controversy: ‘God knows what has happened in other locations’

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Hugh O'Connell

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