Dáil suspended in row involving Healy-Rae brothers over speaking rights

Kerry TDs and FF TD Marc MacSharry in shouting match over whose turn to speak

Michael and Danny Healy-Rae have become involved in a furious Dáil row over allocated time for questions with Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry.

 

The Dáil was suspended for five minutes on Wednesday after a heated row between the Healy-Rae brothers and Fianna Fail TD Marc MacSharry over speaking rights.

Mr MacSharry claimed nobody else could get a look in to speak with the Independent Kerry TDs Danny and Michael Healy-Rae always getting to speak in the Dáil.

The Sligo-Leitrim TD raised his laminated numbered card which is used in the new pilot queuing system to allow TDs raise an issue with the Taoiseach.

Mr MacSharry said his number 11 card entitled him to speak but the Healy-Raes rounded on him over entitlements to speak and both sides started shouting at each other.

Danny Healy-Rae had asked the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar about payments to farmers in Kerry and his brother rose to speak on the same issue, when Mr MacSharry intervened.

Under the experimental queuing system, the first 20 TDs into the chamber get a card with a number on it allowing them to ask a question, but another TD is entitled to intervene to ask a question on the same topic even if they do not have a number.

After the suspension Leas Cheann Comhairle Pat ’The Cope’ Gallagher pointed out that the queuing system was a pilot scheme until Easter and would then be reviewed.

He was using the established practice irrespective of the pilot scheme because if there was a related question it is custom and practice to allow that as follow-up “and not me showing favouritism to anyone”.