By Eugene McGloin
THE DÁIL was suspended for seven minutes in a row and slagging match involving Sligo TD Marc MacSharry at lunchtime yesterday, Wednesday. Video below.
the row erupted over the use, on trial to Easter, of a new cards system
to ask questions in the Dáil. Only twenty are issued each day.
Deputy Chair Pat The Cope Gallagher said in a statement afterwards that
the row and suspension, which he proposed, was not about the cards.
Said Cope: “Today, the reason I had to suspend had nothing to do with cards - absolutely nothing.”
Another Sligo TD Tony McLoughlin was later refused permission to ask a question because he did not have a card.
Independent TD Mattie McGrath has labeled the new system “bingo cards.”
TDs Eugene Murphy and Aengus O Snodaigh both suggested “red cards” might be needed in Dáil rows.
Deputy MacSharry wanted to speak re: “Questions on Promised Legislation,” which deals with the Programme for Government.
later queried Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on the McKinsey consultancy
report, not yet completed, into the future of rural post offices.
Said MacSharry: “I want to know what is going to happen. In my constituency, we have Ballygawley and, most recently, Easkey.
there are ones in every constituency and county that effectively are
on death row with people wondering whether their local service will
close,” said MacSharry.
The row erupted
when the Sligo TD, who had a card, complained loudly as Michael Healy
Rae asked a supplementary on a query raised by his brother, Danny.
That has been the standard Dáil practice ie before the trial system with cards, the Dáil later heard.
the Unrevised transcript of yesterday’s Dáil row suggests the Deputy
Chair did ask Michael Healy Rae to “show” his card before speaking. The Healy-Rae brothers, Danny and Michael, arguing with Marc Mac Sharry. Photo: Screen shot Dáil TV
slagging match between the Healy Rae brothers and Marc MacSharry got
personal about the Sligoman seeking votes in Kerry to be elected to the
However, the Dáil was suspended when Marc MacSharry ignored repeated warnings from Leas Ceann Comhairle.
The unrevised record of the Dáil, published online last night, suggests the
Sligo TD ignored up to half a dozen cautions by the Deputy Chair.
The Dáil was suspended from 1.17pm to 1.24pm and when it resumed the Leas Ceann Comhairle addressed the issue:-
“I want to refer to the reason for the suspension which I proposed. Let me tell the House.
who have been here for many years will realise, that what I was doing
is established practice, irrespective of cards or no cards.
“In regard to the cards, it is a pilot scheme until Easter, when it will be reviewed.
“Today, the reason I had to suspend had nothing to do with cards - absolutely nothing.
“If there is a related question, then it is custom and practice that it is taken.
“It was not a question of me showing favouritism to anybody,” concluded the statement by the Acting Chair.
Link to Dáil transcript, see section titled “Questions on Promised Legislation,” pages 18-22.