Government continues losing run of defeats in Dáil votes

Latest vote brings to more than 20 the number of defeats since Coalition formed

The Dáil rejected a Government amendment by 77 votes to 48 and supported the motion by Fianna Fáil agriculture spokesman Charlie McConalogue to support the families, businesses and communities affected by the extensive flooding in Donegal in August.  Photograph: Alan Betson

The Dáil rejected a Government amendment by 77 votes to 48 and supported the motion by Fianna Fáil agriculture spokesman Charlie McConalogue to support the families, businesses and communities affected by the extensive flooding in Donegal in August. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

The Government’s habit of losing Dáil votes has continued into the new term with another defeat this week on a Fianna Fáil motion on flooding in Co Donegal.

The Dáil rejected a Government amendment by 77 votes to 48 and supported the motion by Fianna Fáil agriculture spokesman Charlie McConalogue to support the families, businesses and communities affected by the extensive flooding in Donegal in August which cost an estimated €15.3 million.

Mr McConalogue’s motion called for extensive funding in a range of areas including the immediate implementation of a Government commitment to alleviate the financial burden on those affected by the floods as well as ring-fenced funding for repairs and the provision of flood insurance.

However despite losing votes which causes some embarrassment for the ruling parties and TDs, there is little pressure on the Government to act on these votes in the Dáil and they have become almost a meaningless norm.

The latest Government defeat on Thursday brings to more than 20, the number of votes on private member’s motions in the main, that the Coalition has lost since it formed a Government in May last year.

The most recent loss for the Government before the summer included the first defeat for new Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy in June when the Dáil accepted a Green Party motion to strengthen building standards and regulations and fix the “appalling construction quality” of homes built during the boom.

TDs accepted the Green Party proposal and a Sinn Féin amendment without a vote. The House then rejected the Minister’s amendment by 84 votes to 46 and also refused a Fianna Fáil amendment by 93 votes to 37.

And in early June the Government lost a vote when Fianna Fáil abstained in a Dáil vote on the Fair Deal scheme and its impact on the assets of farmers and small businesses.