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Tuesday 28 November 2023 Dublin: 3°C

'Sit down and grow up': The Dáil just had its first big row since the general election

Shenanigans. / YouTube

THE 32ND DÁIL has been suspended for the first time as a row erupted between Anti-Austerity Alliance/People Before Profit TDs and the Ceann Comhairle.

The argey bargey came as opposition TDs complained that Fempi (Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) legislation was being extended without a vote.

The government was accused of using ‘old politics’ to bulldoze through legislation without opportunity for discussion or debate.

Discussing the proposed extension to Fempi laws, the AAA/PBP’s Mick Barry said it was “somewhat strange that financial emergency legislation is being renewed at a time when there is not a financial emergency in the State”.

His party argued for a debate and vote to be held in the Dáil before the legislation is extended before ripping up a copy of the laws.


“Do you not feel that there is a serious issue looming here?” he asked Minister Richard Bruton. “You couldn’t face down the water charge protest? You weren’t strong enough to face down the bin charge protest.”

This is the Fempi legislation here. What makes you think you’ll be strong enough to face down organised workers, organised trade unionists, sections of the organised working class movement in this country when so many people in this country feel this legislation should be ripped up?

At this point Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the deputy asked him to conclude and resume his seat, warning him that he was ”completely out of order”.

“This is not the time or the place for this debate,” he added, noting he was taking time from other deputies.

Matters seemed to calm down – but only for less than a minute.

As Bruton responded to Barry – to promise that Fempi would be unwound in a balanced manner – Ó Fearghaíl could be heard disciplining somebody else.

This time, it was AAA/PBP’s Bríd Smith who was being told she was “not in order”.

“Deputy Smith, you are not in order. This is not a TV studio,” the Ceann Comhairle said as he rose out of his seat – and she ripped up the second copy of Fempi.

Please restrain yourself. Please, please deputy. Please, I implore you to please restrain yourself.

“You can tear up all you like but please resume your seat,” he concluded.

As the Ceann Comhairle resumed his own seat, jeers of “Sit down and grow up” could be heard in the Chamber.

Eventually – after another intervention from Sinn Féin’s David Cullinane – the Dáil was suspended for five minutes to allow for the deputies dust themselves off.

Read: Boris Johnson is NOT running for Conservative party leader

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