Latest: Joan Burton demands apology from chief whip after TD no-show delays Dáil

Update 3.25pm: The Government chief whip is facing calls to apologise after Dáil business was delayed this morning because not enough TDs showed up.

Twenty TDs are needed in order for business to begin - but only three Fine Gael TDs showed up in time, along with 11 from the Opposition.

Labour's Joan Burton - who left the Chamber in frustration during the hold-up - said an apology is needed.

“I think the chief whip of the Government, or the assistant chief whip, should come in here and apologise to the House for what happened,” she said.

“There are people who are here – in fairness to Fianna Fáil they were here in very significant numbers, others were here as well, I waited myself for over 20 minutes – and I do think an apology is due.”

Government chief whip Regina Doherty says it isn't her job to make sure there's a quorum of TDs in the Dáil, however.

Update 12.27pm: The Ceann Comhairle has criticised tardy TDs today after Dáil business was delayed because not enough deputies were present.

Today's business was due to start at 10:30am but didn't get underway until 11.10am, as there were too few members in the Chamber.

Dáil rules require a minimum of 20 TDs to be present before business can start - but for half an hour, only 15 were present.

When business did finally get underway, Ceann Comhairle Sean Ó Fearghail was critical of the delay.

“I think some people need to be aware of the responsibilities that they have in order to be here in the Chamber when legislation is to be discussed and debated,” he said.

“And I would say to those who look for more time to discuss legislation, to be conscious of the fact that when the time is provided, there’s a responsibility on those people to be present.”

Update 11.35pm: Nineteen TDs have now turned up in the Dáil and including the Ceann Comhairle they have reached the quorum of 20 required.

It means Dáil business has now begin for the day, over 35 minutes late.

Earlier: Today's Dáil business may be abandoned because there are not enough TDs in the house.

The Dáil was due to debate legislation to resume the inquiry into the sale of SiteServ, however despite being due to start at 10.30am business has not yet begun.

This is because Dáil rules require 20 TDs to be in the chamber before business can begin, and so far only 15 have shown up.

If the minimum of 20 cannot be gathered the Ceann Comhairle will have no option but to abandon business for the day.

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