Fianna Fáil leader warns TDs to avoid voting controversy 'own goal'

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin had told his leading TDs that "discipline is important" in the wake of the Dáil voting scandal that has rocked the party.

Fianna Fáil leader warns TDs to avoid voting controversy 'own goal'

Additional reporting by Digital Desk

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin had told his leading TDs that "discipline is important" in the wake of the Dáil voting scandal that has rocked the party.

Speaking to front bench members at a 12pm meeting in Leinster House today, Mr Martin told TDs that the media and others would go to town on you for "an own goal".

He told TDs to knuckle down and to work hard.

Leading Fianna Fáil TDs Timmy Dooley and Niall Collins have both been removed from the frontbench.

The two Fianna Fail TDs have been removed after it emerged that somebody voted for Mr Dooley six times last week in the chamber, despite the fact the Clare TD was not present.

Mr Collins later admitted he had voted for him as well as himself.

The controversy was briefly discussed at the meeting this afternoon.

It was also announced that TD Jack Chambers, the defence spokesman, will temporarily take charge of issues related communications instead of Mr Dooley.

However, party members and voters are said to be "livid" over the scandal.

A larger meeting of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party is scheduled to take place later today in Leinster House.

An investigation into the Dáil's voting controversy is due to be completed tomorrow evening.

It will focus only on votes from last Thursday and the four TDs involved - Timmy Dooley, Niall Collins, Lisa Chambers and Dara Calleary.

Dáil statements on the controversy will then be held on Thursday.

It is understood complaints have also gone into the Oireachtas ethics committee about the matter.

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