Dáil sitting will go ahead despite objections; Labour boycotts debate

The Dáil sitting planned for today is going ahead after what was described as a "heated" meeting of the Business Committee.

Fine Gael Junior Minister Patrick O'Donovan had argued it should not go ahead amid health and safety concerns.

The statements on the Coronavirus will happen between now and 5pm.

But it has been decided the Dáil will not sit for two weeks after today.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said TDs should be meeting every week to scrutinise the Government's response to the crisis.

Earlier: Junior Minister attempts to get Dáil sitting cancelled; Labour boycotts debate

A Junior Minister has written to the Dáil's Business Committee trying to get today's planned sitting cancelled.

Patrick O'Donovan argues the risk attached to all those who would attend Leinster House far outweighs the reasons for the meeting.

Dáil sitting will go ahead despite objections; Labour boycotts debate

People before Profit's Richard Boyd Barrett said it is essential for the Dáil to sit every week during a national crisis.

The Dáil's Business Committee has been meeting in the last hour to decide.

One of the ideas on the table is TDs teleconferencing for committee meetings rather than having to attend in person.

Earlier:Labour Party boycotts Dáil sitting today

A controversial sitting of the Dáil takes place later with the Labour Party boycotting it.

Labour has argued TDs should be supporting the 'stay at home' message and not having non-essential sittings of the Dáil.
Labour has argued TDs should be supporting the "stay at home" message and not having non-essential sittings of the Dáil.

The House will meet this afternoon for a three-hour session to debate the response to Covid-19.

There will be measures in place to allow social distancing, with no more than 30% of TDs allowed to attend.

However, Labour has argued TDs should be supporting the "stay at home" message and not having non-essential sittings of the Dáil.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald says she won't be in attendance because she is feeling under the weather and is taking all necessary precautions.

Meanwhile, Seanad leader Jerry Buttimer has topped the Labour panel poll and been re-elected to the Seanad.

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