Dáil to sit next week after making U-turn on mid-term break

FF had initially voted in business committee for the break before later voting against

A number of weeks ago Regina  Doherty proposed to the business committee that the Dáil should sit during the mid-term because of the lengthy summer break. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

A number of weeks ago Regina Doherty proposed to the business committee that the Dáil should sit during the mid-term because of the lengthy summer break. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

The Dáil has made a U-turn on a decision to take a mid-term break next week after Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin claimed it was “sending out the wrong signal to the public”.

The House will now sit on Wednesday, November 2nd and Thursday, November 3rd.

There was uproar in the House after Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and the AAA-PBP voted against a proposal to adjourn for the mid-term break.

TDs agreed by 111 vote to 9 to sit next week.

Independent TD Michael Harty abstained. The Green Party, and Independents Clare Daly, Mick Wallace, Tommy Broughan, Maureen O’Sullivan, Joan Collins, Thomas Pringle and Mattie McGrath voted for the proposal.

The business committee orders the work of the House and is represented by all parties and groups. TDs on the committee agreed not to sit the first week of November.

But Mr Martin questioned the decision in the House and said the Dáil had an extended summer recess to allow for renovation works, none of which went ahead.

Government Chief Whip Regina Doherty accused Mr Martin of “completely undermining” the business committee, saying “you are the one who wanted Dail reform”.

A number of weeks ago Ms Doherty proposed to the business committee that the Dáil should sit during the mid-term because of the lengthy summer break.

She was however outvoted and the committee decided to take the mid-term break.

However that decision was then overruled in the Dáil on Tuesday when the House voted to sit next week.

Ms Doherty pointed out that at the meeting of the business committee Fianna Fáil had voted for the break.

Labour leader Brendan Howlin asked what the point of the business committee is when its decisions are being undermined.

Mr McGrath echoed Mr Howlin’s point, saying the committee was pointless when its decisions were being overtaken by a “populist decision of the House”.