'Cavalier and arrogant': FG launch stinging attack on Vote Gate TDs

Senior Fine Gael figures have launched stinging attacks on Fianna Fáil TDs who voted on behalf of their colleagues in the Dáil, deeming their actions “cavalier” and “arrogant”.

'Cavalier and arrogant': FG launch stinging attack on Vote Gate TDs

Senior Fine Gael figures have launched stinging attacks on Fianna Fáil TDs who voted on behalf of their colleagues in the Dáil, deeming their actions “cavalier” and “arrogant”.

Government chief whip Sean Kyne led the criticisms after a Dáil report failed to recommend disciplinary actions for TDs involved in the voting scandal.

“The irregularities in voting that occurred in this chamber last Thursday have severely damaged the position of trust given to every member of this House.

“The quality of our decisions has been called into question, decisions which affect the lives of everyone in this country,” said the whip to the Dáil.

The committee on procedure report today stopped short of recommending any sanctions for TDs Timmy Dooley, Niall Collins or Lisa Chambers involved in the voting controversy last Thursday.

But Mr Kyne took aim at the main Opposition party, amid concern within government and Fine Gael circles that the report is a whitewash.

Mr Kyne added: “Everyone can make a mistake. A TD can sit in the wrong seat - even though the voting panels are numbered.

"A TD can press the wrong button and vote in an unintended way.

"But mistakes like these can be rectified easily as long as they are reported immediately, before the result is read into the official record.

“The deputies concerned have done a grave disservice to their mandate, to their constituents and to their colleagues. There is no way of explaining this away.

"It was wrong. It was thoughtless. It was cavalier. And it was arrogant.

Voting more than once is wrong and reckless. Voting for other deputies who are not in the chamber is wrong and reckless.

Fine Gael parliamentary party chairman Martin Heydon also was critical, saying the report had left outstanding questions.

These included why Mr Collins had voted on behalf of Mr Dooley six times and why he had no idea why he voted for his colleague.

Mr Heydon said: “There are many people outside of this house who would find it hard to believe many of the accounts included in the report.

"I myself, believe the facts as now confirmed in this report leave a number of unanswered questions.”

But Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin defended his TDs.

The Opposition leader said there had now been a “comprehensive” report and there was no evidence the irregular votes had influenced the outcome of Dáil motions.

Nonetheless, Mr Martin admitted it was "wrong" what his TDs had done and the practice of allowing TDs vote on behalf of a colleague had to end.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.