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dáil suspended

'They're trying to pull a sly one': Dáil suspended over Irish Water row

TD Mick Barry would not resume his seat after claiming the government had handpicked the chairperson for the water committee. / YouTube

THE DÁIL HAS been suspended this afternoon after AAA-PBP TD Mick Barry accused Fianna Fáil and the government of handpicking the chairperson on the water committee.

The anti-austerity TD refused to sit down as he said independent senator Pádraig Ó Céidigh had been specifically chosen by Fine Gael to chair the committee.

Addressing the chamber, Barry said: “Let’s be clear on what’s going on here. This is an attempt on the part of the government with support on the Fianna Fáil benches to pull a sly one on the issues of the water charges committee.”

He said in previous committees, the chairperson had been elected and said that “backroom conversations” had led to the appointment of Ó Céídigh.

Ceann Comhairle Sean O Fearghail repeatedly asked him to resume his seat as he was using his allocated time to “start a political debate” where the rules of the house dictate that “a point of order is something which is made briefly”.

Anti-water charge protest Protesters earlier this year PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

The Expert Commission set up to examine the water charges is due to hand in its report in the coming days.

It is this report which the committee would then debate.

It has been reported earlier this week that the commission could conclude that some form of water charges should be introduced.

The report is expected to be delivered to the Oireachtas in the next 10 days.

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