Independent whip says Ming fiasco indefensible

The whip of the Dáil technical group, which includes Luke Ming Flanagan, has described the Roscommon TD’s penalty points fiasco as indefensible.

However, Independent TD Catherine Murphy said there was no mechanism within the group for disciplining or expelling a member and the question of what he should do next was a matter for himself.

Ms Murphy said she did not understand why Mr Flanagan had launched a crusade late last year against the removal of penalty points from people of influence when he himself had benefited from the practice.

“I was a bit astonished he wasn’t forthcoming with that information in advance of the position that himself and a few others took in relation to the writing down of penalty points. It makes the argument that he is making, well it weakens that argument very significantly.”

She also said of his behaviour this week in persisting with blaming gardaí and others for having his penalty points wiped: “You cannot defend the indefensible.”

Ms Murphy is one of a number of members of the technical group to criticise Mr Flanagan’s behaviour.

Earlier, Shane Ross described it as political insanity that was damaging to all TDs, while Finian McGrath said it affected the reputation of all Independents.

Ms Murphy said it would be “unfortunate” if Mr Flanagan’s behaviour reflected badly on other members of the technical group but she stressed their association as members was purely for practical purposes.

“It’s a vehicle to allow us speaking time in the Dáil. We don’t have any common policy position, we don’t have structures for disciplining members and you can’t refuse to admit someone to the group,” she said.

Mr Flanagan did not return calls yesterday.


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