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Róisín Shortall kicked out of the Dáil after a big row

The dispute over the cost of the water charges grant has been the subject of heated exchanges this morning

Updated 4.07pm

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

INDEPENDENT TD RÓISÍN Shortall has been expelled from the Dáil after a row with the Ceann Comhairle this morning.

TDs voted 72 to 33 to suspend the Dublin North-West deputy.

Shortall had a lengthy row with Seán Barrett after she accused him of “shutting down” a debate over the costs of the grant to be given to every home that registers with Irish Water.

It was claimed during a debate on amendments to the Water Services Bill last night that 1.65 million households are entitled to the €100 grant – more than the 1.3 million houses the government claims will get it.

The row today broke out as the Dáil debated other amendments and in a statement issued this afternoon, a spokesperson for the Ceann Comhairle said that TDs’ contributions must be relevant to the amendment being discussed.

“It is not in order to deal with extraneous matters. Nor is it in order to debate amendments that have already been discussed and agreed/not agreed,” they said.

If this were the case then the grant would end up costing €35 million more than was first claimed.

Shortall said there had been no clarity from Environment Minister Alan Kelly this morning and accused Barrett shutting down the debate which she described as a “charade”.

TDs took to Twitter to voice their displeasure at events this morning:

The Ceann Comhairle’s spokesperson pointed out that members are not entitled to “re-run the debate on amendments to that section which have been disposed of”.

They added: “The rules governing Committee Stage strike a fair balance between on the one hand the right of Members to properly debate and scrutinise legislation, and on the other, the need to ensure that legislation can be processed in an orderly and efficient way through the House.

“It is the role of the Ceann Comhairle to ensure that Members adhere to these rules as set out in Standing Orders when making their contributions.”

Read: Alan Kelly is sorry if he shouted a ‘nasty expletive’ at Mattie McGrath

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Hugh O'Connell

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