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Ming's challenge

Watch: Ming Flanagan challenges Minister to drink glass of 'glorified piss' (water)

The independent TD could be in trouble with Dáil authorities after an outburst in the chamber this morning.

INDEPENDENT TD LUKE Ming Flanagan could be in trouble with Oireachtas authorities after he gave a Minister a glass of dirty water which he described as “glorified piss”, during a debate on the Water Services Bill this morning.

The Roscommon-South Leitrim deputy was criticising the decision to charge for water provision pointing out that constituents of his in Castlerea are being “forced” to use tap water which is contaminated with cryptosporidium.

“The people in my area are expected to drink glorified piss and you’re going to charge them for it, but the reality is we’re not going to pay for it,” he said.

Flanagan then challenged the Minister of State Fergus O’Dowd to drink the water before marching across the chamber and placing it beside him and walking out.

(Watch in the video above from about 1 minute 20 seconds in)


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A short time later, the Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett described it as an “act of vandalism” which he had “never before” seen in the chamber.

He said he would be addressing the “outrageous and unacceptable behaviour” at an immediate meeting of the Dáil’s Committee on Procedures of Privilege later this afternoon.

He dismissed complaints from the opposition benches that it was “a peaceful gesture” saying it was not appropriate in the houses of parliament.

In a statement issued a short time later: “Whilst I fully appreciate the need for Members to attract publicity and inform their constituents of the work that they do in Leinster House but when a Member decides to pull a stunt such as this, it does nothing other than denigrate our National Parliament.”

Opposition deputies have been complaining about the lack of debate being given to the Water Services Bill which provides for the transfer of powers for water provision from local authorities to Irish Water which will be implementing water charges from late next year.

The bill is due to pass all stages of the Oireachtas before the end of this week when the Dáil and Seanad rise for Christmas.

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