FG TD calls for Dáil overhaul

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is guilty of hoarding too much power and sidelining cabinet government, a Fine Gael TD has warned.

Eoghan Murphy said the Irish Water controversy showed that “nothing has changed” in the three-and- a-half years Fine Gael and Labour have been in power.

The Dublin TD called for a radical overhaul of how the Dáil was organised to allow a greater scrutiny of Government business and make ministers more accountable.

Mr Murphy called for the scrapping of the four-person Economic Management Council made up of the taoiseach, tánaiste, finance minister and public expenditure and reform minister, because it had “too much control and sidelined cabinet”.

Mr Murphy, who was overlooked for promotion in the July reshuffle, denied his outspoken comments were due to him being “pissed off and worried about my seat”.

“If, in 2008, Fine Gael and Labour could not hold the Fianna Fáil government to account, in the future will Fine Gael and Labour in opposition be able to hold a Gerry Adams and Sinn Féin government to account? That’s worrying,” the TD told Newstalk.

Mr Murphy called for a major relaxation of the whip system in the Dáil to loosen the control of the executive on TDs.

He also called for a secret ballot for the key position of ceann comhairle in order to ensure more independence for the legislature.

Mr Murphy urged that a new budgetary office be created to ensure that TDs are better informed when dealing with financial matters.

The TD criticised the way the annual budget was handled and bemoaned the fact Fine Gael had not lived up to its election promise to open out the process.

“A small group of people decide in secret what the Government is going to do,” Mr Murphy said.

He accused some of his colleagues of suffering a touch of “Stockholm Syndrome” — when a hostage identifies with their kidnapper — during the Irish Water controversy.

The Fine Gael TD, who faces a tough fight in his Dublin South East constituency next time out against Fine Gael rebel Lucinda Creighton and others, accused the Government of “abusing” the Dáil.

Mr Murphy said he is not intending to leave Fine Gael at present as he believes the party remains the best vehicle for change.


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