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Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Senator says no one in Fianna Fáil told him he was expelled

Mark Daly claimed he hadn’t heard from anyone in the party after he defied the whip early on Saturday morning.

Updated 3.43pm 

SENATOR MARK DALY has claimed that no one in Fianna Fáil informed him he was expelled from the parliamentary party after defying the party whip in a vote on the Water Services Bill at the weekend.

The Kerry-based senator has since confirmed he is out of the parliamentary party but he strongly disputes that he voted against party policy and now expects to be readmitted in the New Year.

Daly voted against a procedural motion to guillotine the committee stage of the debate at 3am on Saturday morning following some 16 hours of debate despite the 13 other Fianna Fáil senators deciding to back the government’s decision to halt the debate.

Daly was one of seven senators who voted against the suspension of the upper house after the marathon debate, arguing that committee stage debate should continue through the night.

A Fianna Fáil spokesperson said that Daly had lost the party whip as a result of his vote which means he is automatically expelled from the parliamentary party.

They said: “When a member votes against us they automatically lose the whip, it’s in the party rules which date back to the early 90s.”

But Daly, a Kenmare-based senator, told this morning that no one from party headquarters had contacted him to inform him he had lost the whip and insisted he had voted with party policy.

“All I’ve heard from is the Irish Times,” referring to the story about his expulsion that is being carried by the newspaper this morning.

Daly was earlier seeking clarification from the party as he was of the belief that he was following party policy when he voted against halting the debate on Saturday morning.

He has since confirmed to this website that he has been expelled from the parliamentary party but is seeking clarification as to why this happened when he claims he did not vote against party policy.

“Last December, Fianna Fáil TDs walked out of the Dáil when the government decided to guillotine the debate and I voted against the guillotining of it on this occasion,” Daly said this morning as he defended his vote.

He later said: “My belief is there shouldn’t even be an issue, I’ve followed the party policy. Did I vote against party policy?”

Despite his expulsion Daly expects to be readmitted to the parliamentary party when it meets again in January.

Debate on the Water Services Bill, which gives effect to the new water charges announced last month, continues in the Seanad and is expected to conclude at 6pm.

Read: Senators start campaign to have a referendum on the Water Services Bill

Read: The Seanad debated the Water Services Bill well into the wee hours

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