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'Family comes first': Irish MEPs explain poor voting record in Europe

Ireland ranks last out of all Member States for attendance at plenary sessions.

b3aa65bb-1749-4bb6-b359-edc19d78d57a Source: VoteWatch.eu

THE IRISH MEPS with the worst participation rates in parliament votes have defended their scores.

Data from VoteWatch.eu, a website that monitors the voting habits of MEPs, has ranked Ireland bottom of all Member States for attendance at plenary sessions.

These sessions last a week, take place each month (except August), and consist of MEPs taking part in debates and votes.

Ireland’s low score is due to Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan’s 16.59% rate of attendance, and Brian Crowley’s 0%.

Flanagan said this morning that he has been unable to attend sessions due to his wife being ill.

Flanagan told Newstalk Breakfast he is restricted in what he can do from Ireland.

“I have been doing my damnedest from Ireland to deal with all issues via email and telephone,” he said.

“Ultimately, for me, my family comes first.”

He added that it wasn’t his intention to attend so infrequently – “You don’t get elected to stand by the sidelines”.

European_Parliament_Strasbourg_Hemicycle_-_Diliff A plenary session in Strasbourg Source: Wikimedia Commons

Crowley has been in hospital for several months, a spokesperson said.

If both of these MEPs were removed from Ireland’s score, the attendance rate would rise to 87%. We are currently last at 72.73%. Austria comes first with a rate of 96.26%

Here’s the full list:

  1. Seán Kelly – Fine Gael/EPP – 100%
  2. Nessa Childers – Independent / S&D – 99.08%
  3. Brian Hayes – Fine Gael/EPP – 99.08%
  4. Liadh Ní Riada – Sinn Féin / GUE/NGL – 83.41%
  5. Matt Carthy – Sinn Féin / GUE/NGL – 82.95%
  6. Lynn Boylan – Sinn Féin / GUE/NGL – 82.03%
  7. Deirdre Clune – Fine Gael/EPP – 81.57%
  8. Mairead McGuinness – Fine Gael/EPP – 81.57%
  9. Marian Harkin – Independent / ALDE – 73.73%
  10. Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan – Independent / GUE/NGL – 16.59%
  11. Brian Crowley – Formerly Fianna Fáil/ECRG – 0%

Read: Can the ECB be forced to come to Dublin for the banking inquiry? >

More: Cork hotel ‘gave into mob rule’ by cancelling Fine Gael event – MEP >

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About the author:

Nicky Ryan

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