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Dublin: 16 °C Tuesday 2 June, 2020

Repairs to Leinster House 'shouldn't result in early holidays for TDs'

Sinn Féin said the Mansion House’s Round Room could be used if repair works closes the Dáil chamber.

REPAIR WORKS TO Leinster House should not result in the Dáil rising early, Ceann Comhairle Seán O Fearghail has said.

Yesterday, Fine Gael TDs were told at their parliamentary meeting that the Dáil would rise on 7 July and would not sit again until around three months later.

A Fine Gael source said they were told it was to allow badly needed refurbishment works to be carried out in the Dáil chamber and Seanad. The source said the electronic voting system needs to be updated.

“There’s a lot of work to do,” they said.

Last night, Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin said he was “surprised” to hear about the plan as he had been informed the Dáil would sit until 18 July.

20/9/2013. Culture Festivals Nights Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

“I think it’s too early and it’s too long,” he said.

This morning, there were calls from the oppositions for clarity on the issue.

The Tánaiste said the date was a matter for the business committee, which oversees Dáil proceedings.

However, the Ceann Comhairle clarified that it is not a matter for the business committee, but a matter for the House.

The business committee may well and probably will make a recommendation.

20/9/2013. Culture Festivals Nights Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald said if that was the case, then “why on Earth would her [the Tánaiste's] party be briefed on any date?”

Having stalled for ten weeks while there were negotiations and no small amount of sham battling between different parties, it would be absolutely unthinkable that the House would rise on 7 July and not return until the end of September.
If works need to be done in the Chamber, alternative accommodation should be sourced.

She suggested the Round Room in the Mansion House would be the most appropriate venue for the Dáil to meet.

As the commemoration of t

Business committee or no business committee, we cannot have a situation where we are barely in and just about off to a spluttering staff with Dáil business and then we go into recess again. There are too many serious issues to be dealt with to allow that to happen.

The Ceann Comhairle said no decision on a date had been decided.

For the information of the House, no decision whatsoever has been made in respect of when the Dáil will rise. That is a matter for the House to decide and it is my understanding that while there is important work to be undertaken, such work would not require the House to raise on 7 July.

Yesterday the Government Chief Whip, Regina Doherty tweeted about the matter:

Sources say that if the Dáil does rise early, it will not impact on committees which will work on through July and early September.

Read: ‘It’s too early and it’s too long’: TDs set to take three months’ holidays>

Read: The government has defeated Sinn Féin’s plans to get rid of Irish Water>

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