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The Dáil will NOT be recalled next week

The government has come under pressure to recall TDs next week.

dail-chamber-empty The Dáil will be like this next week Source: Wikimedia Commons

THE GOVERNMENT HAS confirmed that the Dáil will not resume until the week after next despite growing calls from opposition parties and TDs for the house to sit next week.

The calls have come in the wake of independent TD Catherine Murphy yesterday making a number of statements in the Dáil regarding businessman O’Brien’s dealings with IBRC, the former Anglo Irish Bank.

O’Brien’s legal team has warned reporters that publishing the comments would be a potential breach of a temporary High Court injunction that was obtained last week.

A statement this evening said: “The Dail will resume business on Tuesday June 9th as scheduled.”

It added that the government Chief Whip Paul Kehoe will consult with the opposition whips at that point on “the issues of concern they want debated in the House and how to facilitate such a debate”.

Earlier, Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and Renua all called for the house to resume next week to debate the implications of the events of the past 24 hours. Labour Senator John Whelan and TD Robert Dowds also called for the Dáil to reconvene next week.

Micheál Martin said that TDs should come back to Dublin “next week to reassert the basic principle that Dáil speeches and the reporting of them are protected by absolute privilege”.

Gerry Adams said: “Parliamentary privilege is a cornerstone of how the Oireachtas operates. Protected by the constitution, TDs and Senators must be secure in the knowledge that they can speak freely and frankly on issues of grave national importance.”

Lucinda Creighton called on all 166 TDs to defend their individual right to comment and raise issues of public interest in the chamber and said it was a matter for the Oireachtas to determine whether Murphy’s comments are right or wrong.

Speaking to reporters in Dublin this evening, Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin said the situation was a cause for concern, but admitted he hadn’t given the matter much thought as he was locked in talks on public sector pay.

However, he added: “It is an important hallmark of a functioning democracy that any member of the Oireachtas can speak, without fear or favour, in our national parliament.”

Read: RTÉ will seek permission to broadcast Catherine Murphy Dáil comments

Read: That’s a grand break, isn’t it?

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Hugh O'Connell

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