The Ceann Comhairle had to use his casting vote in the Dáil today to avoid defeat for the Government.
A vote on an anti-evictions bill from the Anti Austerity Alliance People Before Profit resulted in a tied vote of 51 apiece after Fianna Fáil abstained.
Earlier, Fine Gael and its independent colleagues suffered a heavy defeat in a vote on setting up a compensation fund for tillage farmers, tabled by Fianna Fáil.
The anti-evictions bill would have removed the sale of a property as a ground for terminating a tenancy, and would require landlords pay compensation to tenants if they were taking back the property for use by a relative.
Ceann Comhairle Sean O'Fearghail said he would do as his predecessors had done and cast a vote with the Government. It was the first time in seven years that the casting vote of the Ceann Comhairle was needed to help the Government avoid defeat.
He said: "The result of the vote is yes 51 no 51 being equal numbers. Abstentions 35.
"There is an equality of votes there so pursuant to article 15.11.2 of the constitution I must exercise my casting vote now and in accordance with precedent I vote for the question in this case the result of the vote now being yes 52, no 51, the question is therefore carried."