Thursday, November 10, 2022

Kenneth Fox

A fresh complaint made about the way former Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry spoke to Leas-Cheann Comhairle Catherine Connolly is being referred to the Dáil’s disciplinary committee, the Irish Examiner has learned.

As the Irish Examiner reports, Independent TD Thomas Pringle wrote to the Oireachtas Business Committee, which met on Thursday morning, describing Mr MacSharry’s comments as a “verbal attack” on Ms Connolly.

The letter reads: “I believe we need to discuss the actions of Deputy Mark MacSharry yesterday and his verbal attack on the Leas after questions on promised legislation.

“It was an attack on a woman as well that was calculated I believe to have the most effect at that time.

“Not only did he attack the Leas, but he also attacked all independent members of the house in his language and I believe that is not on.

“While I have no problem with a member addressing what they may see as an issue in the house the personalised nature of the comments was uncalled for and should be addressed.”

It is understood Mr Pringle gave an account of what was in his letter to the Business Committee on Thursday.

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl told the committee that the matter will be referred to the Committee on Parliamentary Privileges and Oversight.

The Dáil was suspended on Wednesday after what was described as an outburst by Mr MacSharry.

He claimed he was being discriminated against in terms of speaking time, refusing to accept a ruling by the chair that his point was not in order.

Mr MacSharry raised a point of order with Ms Connolly.

He said: “You have consistently put me into the last three (speakers), where I’m lucky to get 30 seconds — while others enjoy the benefit of celebrating the local sausage manufacturers and the prizes they win for a minute and 10 seconds.”

Told to resume his seat, he said: “I haven’t the slightest intention of doing so, unless you show a little less discrimination and positively discriminate for people who are actually independent, rather than those like yourself who join and form de facto parties and get to speak three or four times a day.”

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