Mary Lou McDonald calls for meeting with Sean Barrett

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has called for a meeting with Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett after accusing him of bias.

Saying that other opposition TDs shared her concerns that Mr Barrett failed to be impartial, and was unfair, Ms McDonald insisted she had no confidence in him as Ceann Comhairle.

However, Sinn Féin held back from tabling a formal motion of no confidence in the Ceann Comhairle following Ms McDonald’s three-day suspension from the Dáil.

“I personally have no confidence in the Ceann Comhairle,” she said.

“I don’t believe he carries out his duties in a way that is fair and impartial. I know many people on the opposition benches, not just within Sinn Féin, would have concerns.

“I suppose matters have come to a head and I genuinely hope the Ceann Comhairle will be amenable to a conversation and to resolving this issue.”

The TD said she had not attempted to gain entry to the Dáil chamber yesterday because she understood that ushers had been tasked with blocking her and she did not want to put them in an “embarrassing” position.

Ms McDonald said that her sit-in was not an attempt to deflect attention away from allegations that Sinn Féin colluded in the cover-up of sexual abuse.

Oireachtas authorities have stated that Ms McDonald was suspended after a vote on the matter by TDs, and that the Ceann Comhairle implements the rules of the Dáil. Any complaints about Mr Barrett should be taken-up with the Dáil’s Committee on Procedure and Privileges, Oireachtas authorities said.


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