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Taoiseach and Ceann Comhairle at odds over Dáil dress code

The Ceann Comhairle says the Dáil must hold a vote on introducing the new dress code – but there’s no place on the agenda.

Would a formal suit be permitted in the Dáil if it happened to be pink? It seems we won't get to find out for a while.
Would a formal suit be permitted in the Dáil if it happened to be pink? It seems we won't get to find out for a while.
Image: Stephen Kilkenny

THE CEANN COMHAIRLE of the Dáil has urged the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, not to shelve proposals on the introduction of a new formal dress code for the Dáil.

The Irish Times reports that tensions are brewing between the two over the government’s decision to shelve the new sartorial rules, which were approved by a meeting of the Dáil Committee on Procedure and Privilege the week before last.

The Ceann Comhairle, who chairs that committee, insists that the motions must be brought before the Dáil for its ultimate approval – but the draft order of business for next week’s sittings don’t include any proposal to vote on the suspension.

It is understood that the government decided to drop the plans in the wake of the public furore over ‘Piggygate’, when independent TDs queried whether the dress code would also be applied to the colours that female TDs could wear.

The Times had reported yesterday that it was feared the government would “have a field day” if a TD was ever kicked out of the Dáil over their failure to comply with the dress code.

The Dáil’s provisional agenda for the coming week also fails to include a vote on banning phone calls to premium phone numbers, as had been agreed by the committee at the same meeting two weeks ago.

Deaglán de Bréadún’s report today states that the committee is to meet again this week to propose a package of Dáil reforms for introduction after the summer recess, but the meeting does not appear on the draft schedule of committee meetings for this week.

This week is the last week of Dáil sittings before the summer recess, though committees may still continue to meet throughout the summer.

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Gavan Reilly

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