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The Dáil was left waiting for 39 minutes today after too few TDs turned up

The Ceann Comhairle criticised TDs while Joan Burton called on Government chief whip Regina Doherty to apologise.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

THERE’S BEEN A row in the Dáil after the government failed to turn up to a debate on the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.

Today’s Dáil business was scheduled to begin at 10.30am but didn’t get underway until 11.10am, as there were only 15 TDs present in the chamber, five short of the quorum.

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl took TDs to task over the delay in the debate.

Joan Burton called on government chief whip Regina Doherty to come to the Dáil and apologise.

The Ceann Comhairle said: ”Before we proceed to the legislation, might I just that we have had a pretty unprecedented event this morning, given the failure to present a quorum at the appropriate time.

I think some people need to be aware of responsibilities they have to be here in the chamber when legislation is to be discussed and debated.

Responsibility

“And I would say to those who look for more time to discuss legislation, to be conscious of the fact that when the time is provided there is a responsibility on those people to be present.

But there is a particular responsibility on those who have the formal responsibility of ensuring attendance, that they ensure that attendance actually happens.

Fianna Fáil comprised the largest contingent to show up for the rare Friday debate, as they were quick to point out.

Labour’s Joan Burton criticised the government for the delay in starting Dáil business, RTÉ reported.

I think what happened this morning was really regrettable and I think the Chief Whip of the Government, or the Assistant Chief Whip, should come into the house and apologise for what happened.

“In fairness to Fianna Fáil they were here in very significant numbers, others were here as well, but I do think that an apology is due.

One of the most abused words in recent times has been ‘new politics’ and this morning was an absolute example of new politics at its worst where it is all about show and not about content.

Burton implicitly attacked her former coalition partners in Fine Gael.

“If deputies belonging to the government party of which I only saw three when I was here for 20 minutes… have a problem with coming here at 10.30 on a Friday morning, we should have been able to arrange a postponement for half an hour or so.”

The Labour TD was criticised herself for not being in the chamber, but is on the video arriving into the Dáil chamber at 10.35am and leaving again at 10.38am.

 

When business did finally get underway, the turnout was: 10 Fianna Fail TDs, four Fine Gael, and one TD each from Sinn Féin, the Social Democrats, the Anti-Austerity Alliance, the Independent Alliance and the Rural Alliance.

The Ceann Comhairle’s presence in the chamber provided the necessary 20th person.

Read: Taoiseach calls Egyptian president to seek release of Ibrahim Halawa

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