Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that concerted actions by certain members of the Dáil Technical Group which led to the suspension of the House will reflect extremely poorly on the integrity of the Group in the public domain. Deputy McGrath was speaking after Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett had to suspend three members of the Technical Group for refusing to abide by a ruling of the Chair:
“The tactics displayed by some members of the Technical Group today were simply embarrassing and will do nothing to further what was an otherwise reasonable request to have the issue of speaking time rights by new and existing members clarified by the Ceann Comhairle.
I myself have recently sought the protection of the Chair in seeking speaking time from the group, of which I still remain a member, because despite numerous attempts I have been excluded from speaking in the Dáil through lack of a designated time.
The matter was clearly explained to Deputy Catherine Murphy and indeed to Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan who unlike Deputy Murphy, saw immediately that the Ceann Comhairle was being placed in a deliberately invidious position.
As it stands there were numerous important Bills and a Private Member Motion that were due to be discussed and which will now have to be put off because of this ridiculous carry on. They wanted to look like rebels for democracy but ended up looking like babies whose toys had been thrown out their pram. Is it any wonder people are losing faith in the Dáil to carry out an honest day’s work without juvenile histrionics being the order of the day,” concluded Deputy McGrath.