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Independent TD calls for Ceann Comhairle protocol to be cleared up

Following a spat with the Ceann Comhairle, John Halligan said he will not be apologising and has requested his own apology for accusations he verbally abused Seán Barrett.

Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett
Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

JOHN HALLIGAN, INDEPENDENT TD for Waterford has called for procedures associated with the Ceann Comhairle dealing with Dáil members to be cleared up.

This follows allegations of verbal assaults by Halligan and Deputy Luke Ming Flanagan on Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett after the two independent TDs protested that a vote had not been taken on the Personal Insolvency Bill.

Flanagan and Halligan broached the subject with Barrett after a Dáil sitting and both were sent letters by the Committee on Procedures and Privileges (CPP) requesting they apologise to the Ceann Comhairle in the Dáil.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Halligan said he was not aware of procedures relating to the Ceann Comhairle’s interactions with Dáil members but said it would be “a sorry state of affairs if a member can’t approach a chairperson and have a few words”.

The Irish Independent reported Luke Ming Flanagan accused the Ceann Comhairle of being “biased” and “guzzling pints” with TDs in the Dáil bar earlier this week.

Halligan commented, “If he wants to have a few drinks in the bar with members that’s fine but if the rules are that we’re not supposed to approach him he can’t have it every way.”

Halligan said he would not be apologising and would be seeking an apology himself from Barrett for the allegations of a verbal assault.

He said the situation had been blown out of proportion and that it was “an attempt to have a go at the independent TDs”.

In defence of Ming Flanagan, Halligan said he was “doing his best and that doesn’t sit comfortably with government parties”.

A spokesperson for Seán Barrett said he was on his holidays and not available to comment.

Read: VIDEO: Rowdy scenes – but no disagreement – as Dáil votes for eight-week break>

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