Pairing arrangements for three Government TDs who will miss Dáil vote on eviction ban

Opposition ‘pairs’ arranged for absences of Helen McEntee, Simon Coveney and Joe Carey

Pairing arrangements were made to account for the absence of three Government TDs from Wednesday evening’s Dáil vote on the eviction ban.

Such arrangements involve Opposition TDs agreeing not to vote in the Dáil to allow for the absence of Government TDs.

A spokeswoman for the Government Chief Whip confirmed that pairs have been found for ministers Helen McEntee and Simon Coveney as well as for Fine Gael TD Joe Carey.

She did not say which Opposition TDs would sit out the votes.


Clare Independent TD Michael McNamara had been expected to pair for Mr Coveney, the Enterprise Minister, who is on a trade mission in Australia.

Earlier on Wednesday Mr McNamara told the Irish Times he did not think it would be a good use of Mr Coveney’s time or taxpayers’ money for him to have to return for a Dáil vote “only for our votes to cancel each other out”.

However, he ended up voting against the Government when another TD was selected to pair for Mr Coveney.

Ms McEntee is on maternity leave and the need to arrange a pair for her arose after Independent TD Violet-Anne Wynne withdrew from the arrangement that had been in place with her.

Ms Wynne said on Tuesday that she supports the extension of the eviction ban.

The Coalition decided to allow the temporary ban to start to expire from the end of the month as planned, though some tenants will remain protected until mid-June.

This evening’s vote is set to be on a Government counter motion which sets out the measures that have been taken to increase housing supply and plans to help tenants and landlords.

Ms Wynne said she was withdrawing from the arrangement with Ms McEntee “just for Wednesday’s Dáil vote” adding it is “too important not to be present”.

She added: “As someone who is homeless I couldn’t ignore a vote that could make another family homeless.”

Last year Ms Wynne took to social media to say she and her children had been made homeless after she had received a notice to quit her previous accommodation

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times