THIS is the picture that the Oireachtas refused to release – Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny in the Dáil waving a copy of the Irish Examiner highlighting cutbacks to disability services.
In advance of yesterday’s protest march to Leinster House, the Irish Examiner published on its front page yesterday morning a letter from Noreen Noone to Health Minister Mary Harney.
Ms Noone wrote the letter on behalf of her seriously-disabled 22-year-old daughter, Orla, whose respite care has been cut.
Both Mr Kenny and Labour leader Eamon Gilmore raised the cutbacks in the Dáil.
Mr Kenny waved a copy of the Irish Examiner as he did so, criticising the Government over the cutbacks. But the Oireachtas refused to release a so-called “screen grab” – or photo image – of Mr Kenny doing so.
The Oireachtas said Mr Kenny had broken Dáil rules that prohibit the waving of newspapers or similar material.
“Posters, placards, photographs and other exhibits, newspapers and magazines are distractions from and do not contribute to debate. Accordingly, they should not be displayed,” the regulations state.
“As the picture in question was not consistent with these regulations, it was decided to refuse the request on this occasion,” an Oireachtas spokesman explained.
The Irish Examiner obtained the image by taking its own photo when Mr Kenny’s actions were relayed on television.
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