Simon Harris to vote-gate TD: You were caught red-handed

It has emerged that Ms Chambers, who was cleared in an initial voting controversy, also voted on behalf of her party colleague Timmy Dooley in the Dáil in January.

Simon Harris to vote-gate TD: You were caught red-handed

Health Minister Simon Harris has hit out at vote-gate TD Lisa Chambers claiming she was not singled out but was simply caught red-handed.

It has emerged that Ms Chambers, who was cleared in an initial voting controversy, also voted on behalf of her party colleague Timmy Dooley in the Dáil in January.

The Fianna Fáil TD said she has been targeted because Fine Gael is now trying to deflect attention away from the scandal surrounding the Dáil attendance of former TD Dara Murphy.

Reacting, Mr Harris said: "She should explain what she means by that.

She hasn't been singled she has been caught. I think there's a very big difference.

Mr Harris said the TD had first stated on radio that she had never voted on behalf of another politician, but then changed this to say she had on one occasion pressed Mr Dooley's electronic ballot button.

"We now know she did at least seven other times over 50 minutes," he said.

He added: "I'm not the judge and jury here. There are Oireachtas authorities that look into these matters. I note the Oireachtas committee that looked into deputy Chamber's [first] incident was willing to accept that she made a genuine error, but they did say that if she did it again it could potentially be seen to be intentional and reckless.

"The Oireachtas Committee is there, I'm sure it will want to examine the matter.

"If a school teacher had to do this in a Junior infants class, I think people would think was an awful waste of his or her time."

Mr Harris was speaking at the launch of a new programme which will see Vhi patients receive ongoing diabetes care through their GP instead of requiring a hospital visit.

As part of the programme, Vhi customers in pilot areas who either have Type 2 diabetes or are at risk of developing the disease, will attend regular monitoring check-ups to help reduce complications.

Mr Harris said: "We know these conditions can be better cared for in the community where patients want to be and keeps them out of busy emergency departments as well."

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