An Independent TD says he is disappointed that rural Government TDs stuck with the party, rather than the people, in a motion around a turf ban.
A motion to scrap the proposed ban on the commercial sale of turf and cancel the carbon tax increase next month was defeated in the Dáil on Wednesday night.
TDs voted down the Sinn Féin motion by 72 votes to 63, after coalition backbenchers were persuaded to vote with the Government.
A second motion put forward by the Rural Independent Group to remove carbon tax was also defeated by 77 votes to 58.
Sinn Féin had called for the upcoming carbon tax increase to be abandoned, and for the temporary removal of excise duty on home heating oil.
Government defeats Sinn Fein motion on turf ban and fuel costs pic.twitter.com/9s6g21IeR2
— Seán Defoe (@SeanDefoe) April 27, 2022
Rural TDs in Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael voted with the Government, despite voicing their anger at the turf ban in recent days.
Speaking to his parliamentary party prior to the vote, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin said no proposals will affect traditional turf practices or the sharing of turf in rural Ireland.
Independent Roscommon/Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice said he was disappointed at the actions of rural Government TDs.
"Over the last fortnight in most radio stations around the country, we've heard these same TDs telling the public in their constituency that it was scandalous what was being proposed, that they wouldn't stand for it, that it could split a government.
"But a funny thing - when they went to the Dáil, their finger seems to go a different way".
"It's disappointing to see rural TDs basically sticking with the party, rather than sticking with the people that elected them.
"I think we need to do a motion specifically in relation to the sale of turf, upcoming regulations, and clarify where these TDs stand."
While Fianna Fáil Senator Eugene Murphy branded the Sinn Féin motion a 'set-up'.
"You have to realise that over the past 36 hours, there has been those meetings with Eamon Ryan.
"There has been clarification of certain issues, the Dáil vote was basically a set-up to embarrass the Government - there was nothing concrete in it.
"And I think that from a Fianna Fáil perspective, and I'm sure from Fine Gael as well, that we will now be engaging with the minister in terms of the legislation and ensuring what we want in there - that will be looked after.
"We have already been told that anybody with turfing rights, their bogs are OK, also to gift your turf will be OK.
"There is an issue about the 500 people in the village [limit], I personally don't think that's workable and that is one issue we will have to work on".
Reporting by: Adrian Harmon