Gogarty apologises for Dáil expletive

 

A Green Party backbencher apologised in the Dáil this afternoon after he told a Labour TD to "fuck you" during heated exchanges on the Social Welfare Bill.

Paul Gogarty, who represents Dublin Mid West, had been challenged by Opposition TDs to vote against the Bill later this evening.

Mr Gogarty said that the Green party had succeeded in getting the size of the social welfare cuts reduced. As he continued to speak, defending his support for the Bill, he was heckled by Labour party TDs.

Turning to Labour TD Emmet Stagg, he shouted: "Fuck you, Deputy Stagg, fuck you."

Mr Gogarty then apologised for his “unparliamentary langugage". He said he was outraged that somebody should question his sincerity.

Mr Gogarty said he would take at face value the sincerity of TDs on the opposite benches, “although I know, also, that perhaps some of your colleagues were more interested in point-scoring and political opportunism than sincerity’’.

He added that if he was on the Opposition benches, without knowing the figures, he would be clamouring for blood.

Mr Gogarty said that he had received texts from public servants and those drawing social welfare saying that the Budget was shameful and a disgrace.

Throughtout today’s debate, a succession of opposition TDs have criticised the social welfare cuts.

Minister for Social and Family Affairs Mary Hanafin said that there were difficult choices to be made in dealing with the social welfare budget.

“Nobody relishes having to do that, but we also made choices which were positive," she added.

The final vote on the Bill will take place at 6.30pm, when the Government is expected to have a comfortable majority.