TDs at centre of voting controversy apologise in the Dáil

TDs at centre of voting controversy apologise in the Dáil
File image of Dáil chamber.

The four Fianna Fáil TDs at the centre of the voting controversy have apologised in the Dáil.

It comes after an inquiry into Dáil voting recommended that no disciplinary action but a wider review of the voting system is needed.

The inquiry found that Fianna Fáil frontbench TD Niall Collins was of the belief that party colleague Timmy Dooley would return to the chamber when voting on his behalf.

The speaker of the Dáil, Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl said the voting scandal of a week ago was a “political failure,” which eroded public confidence in politics.

Speaking in the Dáil today, Mr Ó Fearghaíl was commenting after a report into the incident involving two Fianna Fáil TDs Timmy Dooley and Niall Collins and confirmed neither will be subject to sanction.

“Let me say, the problems of last Thursday were not of a technical nature. The failure was political, and – as politicians and parliamentarians – there is an onus on us to deliver the solutions which are now required,” he said.

“The controversy that has ensued following the voting one week ago has further eroded public confidence in how our National Parliament conducts its business.

"Like many Members I have received emails, phone calls and correspondence from the public, which has been highly critical of our voting practices,” he told the chamber.

He said TDs have a fundamental duty to behave in a manner that supports and reflects this and should endeavour to avoid comment or action that undermines the institution of parliament or how it is perceived.

- Additional reporting Daniel McConnell

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