Dáil suspended following row over ‘anti-Semitic’ Nazi remark

TDs react angrily as Marc MacSharry compares Government campaign to work of Joseph Goebbels

The Dáil was suspended on Wednesday after a row over remarks by Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry that were labelled “anti-Semitic”. Video: Oireachtas TV

 

The Dáil was suspended on Wednesday after a row over remarks by Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry that were labelled “anti-Semitic”.

Mr MacSharry shouted “Goebbels” at the Government benches, a reference to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, as he spoke about a lack of funding for his Sligo constituency despite the Government launching its new €116 billion National Development Plan in Sligo town.

The remark was in reference to the work of the Government’s Strategic Communications Unit, which is at the centre of controversy over the advertising of Project Ireland 2040, which includes the plan.

The Government called for Mr MacSharry to withdraw the reference to the Nazi minister.

Minister for Health Simon Harris said the remark was a “slur” on the Jewish community in Ireland. Other TDs said it was anti-Semitic.

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl said that Mr MacSharry had not referred to any individual when making the remark and that it was a general political charge.

However, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan insisted the TD should be made to withdraw the remark.

Mr Ó Fearghaíl said he would not change his ruling but if Mr MacSharry wanted to be helpful in the circumstances he could withdraw the remark.

There was further heckling between the parties, with Social Democrats TD Róisín Shortall saying the “Civil War parties” were still at war.

The Ceann Comhairle then adjourned the House for five minutes.

This is the second time Mr MacSharry has been involved in a Dáil row in which the House has been adjourned.

Two weeks ago, the House was suspended briefly when the Fianna Fáil TD became embroiled in a row with Independent TDs Michael Healy-Rae and Danny Healy-Rae over speaking times.