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Dublin: 14 °C Tuesday 26 May, 2020
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Dáil suspended TWICE after Enda Kenny tells Socialist TDs 'where to go'

Róisín Shortall took great exception to the remark.

THE DÁIL HAS been suspended twice in quick succession this afternoon after a row erupted following a discussion on water charges.

Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy asked Enda Kenny how many people have failed to pay water charges so far.

The Taoiseach responded by telling Murphy he won’t “spoonfeed” him, adding he should “toddle along” to the AV room in Leinster House at 4pm today to ask Irish Water any questions he might have.

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

When Kenny referred to telling Murphy and his colleague Ruth Coppinger “where to go”, former Labour and no independent TD Róisín Shortall took great exception to the remark, asking Kenny to withdraw it.

“Every member  of this house has a mandate and has a right to be treated with respect,” Shortall said.

Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett said he didn’t hear the remark, telling Shortall: “This is nothing to do with you, Deputy Murphy is quite capable of defending himself”.

ceann c new

When she refused to resume her seat, Barrett suspended the Dáil for ten minutes.

Upon resumption, Shortall immediately asked Kenny to withdraw the remarks again.

Then then had essentially the same conversation, with the Ceann Comhairle telling the Dublin North West TD: “You are not getting away with it. It’s none of your business, with all due respect.”

ceann comh newest

When Murphy raised the issue of water charges, he claimed more people have failed to pay than the government had hoped, otherwise they would be “shouting from the rooftops”.

He asked when the legislation in relation to getting the money from people who don’t pay will be brought before the Dáil, asking if the delay was “intentional” as it would be “political suicide to pursue court charges before a general election”.

At this rate Godot himself may ramble by before the legislation comes before the house.

When told to direct his question to Irish Water, Murphy said:

A bit like Blue Peter we prepared in advanced and we asked Irish Water what the figures are.

He added that the utility refused to give him the numbers.

Kenny went on to compare Murphy to Julius Caesar, saying he likes to “dictate”.

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The Taoiseach said the government expects to have legislated for this before the summer recess, adding he “looks forward to hearing” Murphy’s “constructive suggestions”.

Screenshot 2015-05-13 at 16.35.19 Paul Murphy Source: Oireachtas.ie

Responding to Coppinger, Kenny said the purpose of Leaders’ Questions is to inform deputies of things they may not know and tell them “where to go”.

He seemed pretty happy with that remark, giving a little wink.

enda wink 2

After the second suspension, Coppinger accused the Ceann Comhairle of viewing some TDs as ”more important than others”.

He was not impressed, calling on her to withdraw the remark.

In response, Coppinger said the whole situation was “an absolute farce”.

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Órla Ryan

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