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18.08 21 Oct 2019


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In a survey of TDs by Newstalk this afternoon 44% admitted to voting on behalf of someone else in the Dáil chamber.

While 4 in 10 said they had asked someone to vote on their behalf.

57 of the current 154 TDs replied with many admitting they had asked someone to cast their vote when away from their seats.

TDs often leave the seat to try and talk to a Minister or other colleagues during the block voting in the Dáil on Thursdays.

However, every TD surveyed insisted they had never voted on behalf of a member who wasn't inside the chamber at the time.

TD Niall Collins last week voted six times for his colleague Timmy Dooley, who was outside the Dáil chamber.

Both have been stood down from the front bench.

Lisa Chambers also wrongly voted on behalf of her deputy leader Dara Calleary.

A number of Fianna Fáil TDs admitted they can't understand the logic behind it, and feel it's damaged the party.

No logic for two senior politicians to do what they did. Can't get the head around it. I thought we were going well, this is a real kick in the teeth

It's also led to calls for a new, stricter system of Dáil voting. Some have suggested keycards or fingerprint scanners - with one TD saying the Dáil should have an 'arse recognition system' to makes sure TDs are actually in their seats.

Reporting by Sean Defoe and Shane Beatty


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