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Old 25-10-2019, 11:38 AM
SoundMan SoundMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryDavid View Post
Sorry seemed to be the easiest word. Again and again the chastised Fianna Fáil deputies said it in the full knowledge that not even their own colleagues, never mind the public, were buying it.

Timmy Dooley was sorry for "giving the impression" he would be in the chamber for last Thursday's votes.

Niall Collins sincerely apologised "for my role in what happened".

Lisa Chambers expressed regret for "a genuine mistake" - suggesting her teammates' might not be entirely candid about their errors.

And Barry Cowen repented for playing musical chairs.
But you could feel the seething indignation radiating from their side of the House as Fine Gael and Sinn Féin fell over themselves to express their disappointment at the terrible damage they had done to the corporate reputation of all who toil in parliament. Of course, they spoke more in sadness and disappointment than in unbridled glee, which has been unconfined all week in the corridors, corners and their party rooms.

The apologies came at the end of a string of statements on the outrage. Micheál Martin and his crestfallen Buttoneers had to sit and take it for the most part. But not before the Fianna Fáil leader made a speech accepting responsibility for the actions of his TDs while lambasting the other two parties for hypocrisy, vindictiveness and triumphal point-scoring.

The Government Chief Whip, Seán Kyne, opened proceedings by giving a comprehensive rundown of why what Timmy, Niall and the other pair did was “entirely wrong”.

This was on a different level “completely and utterly” to the unacceptable practice of voting for colleagues within eye contact in the locked chamber. Which is what some Government members have done.

Fine Gael chairman Martin Heydon carried on the baton with his questions about the credibility of exculpatory statements made by Dooley and Collins to an Oireachtas inquiry.

“I believe the facts leave a number of unanswered questions,” he said, sounding like a poor man’s Poirot as he tried to nail the two miscreants with the evidence.

The more he went on, the more it sounded like we should have been gathered in the library with the corpse of Dáil credibility lying on the carpet beside a bloodied candlestick.

Independent TD Catherine Connolly was highly amused by the melodramatic carry-on, a reaction which wasn’t helped by Micheál Martin’s over-sensitive response.

The Opposition was behaving badly, he felt.

“Get to the issues, Micheál,” drawled Eoghan Murphy from the Cabinet benches. “I think the heckling reinforces my point,” sniffed the FF leader, while tearing strips off Fine Gael and Sinn Féin.

‘Quite disgraceful’
“Not everyone has been at it,” said Mary Lou McDonald. “Named and identified Fianna Fáil TDs have been at it.” Sinn Féin’s David Cullinane took over from his party leader, describing Micheál’s speech as “partisan, defensive and quite disgraceful”.

“You’d be outraged if it was another party,” he said to him, outraged.

He would have a few things to say to Deputy Dooley too, but he “isn’t here”.

But Timmy was there. Only in the wrong seat, looking wretched.

We must not prejudice ourselves, quivered Labour leader Brendan Howlin, because they will be investigating themselves again once next week’s investigation is finished.

The whole affair “has cast a cloud over our democratic prerogative” he cried, saying the scandal reduced the parliamentary party week to a “slug-fest”.

Which is no way to describe his fellow TDs.

Then Brendan produced the “fob” deputies use for signing into the Dáil and said he’s been privileged to represent Wexford since 1798. Or something like that.

Like Heydon and Cullinane before him, Paul Murphy of Rise rose. “I now want to go over some details.” How come Collins only voted six times on the double when he could have done it eight times? He had lots of questions.

Bríd Smith thanked Paul for his “forensic” contribution.

“Many countries around the world are on fire because of the lack of democracy, including Hong Kong, Lebanon, Chile, Peru and Catalonia – and that is to mention just a few.”

Timmy looked very stressed. Niall Collins seemed catatonic, sitting stock still, like a statue.

Meanwhile, Catherine Connolly said she only got three minutes earlier in the day to talk about the 38 people on hospital trolleys in Galway. “I’ve more time to talk ab

Not sure where you lifted this piece from Dan, but regarding Collins only voting 6 of 8 votes for Dooley it transpired on an RTE report that Collins took a phone call after voting the 6th time and he didn't vote for the subsequent two.

When asked who the call was from Collins claimed he couldn't remember.
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