Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

13.27 19 Oct 2019


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Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley has explained how six of his votes were recorded Dáil votes last week despite not being present.

The Irish Independent revealed eight votes were carried out, but footage from the chamber shows the Clare TD was absent.

There were wide margins in all of the votes that took place and Deputy Dooley's vote would not have impacted the outcome.

Fine Gael's Noel Rock had called on the Fianna Fáil TD to clarify the situation surrounding the 'mystery votes', suggesting "the notion that any TD could be recorded as voting while absent from the chamber is very worrying".

Speaking with Clare FM this afternoon, Deputy Dooley explained what had happened.

He said: "I had to leave the Chamber to take a phone call, and yesterday I was told my vote was recorded.

"I understand from my colleague Niall Collins - who was sitting beside my seat - pressed my voting button under the mistaken belief that I was at the back of the chamber on my phone.

"Once it was made aware to me that that happened, I made contact today with the Ceann Comhairle just to explain the situation."

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin's Maurice Quinlivan has called for an Oireachtas committee to investigate the situation.

The Limerick TD argued: ʺI will be asking the Ceann Comhairle, in line with Standing Orders 76 and 77 which deal with irregularities of Dáil votes, to have these votes retaken next week, in order to remove this cloud of wrong-doing from the result.

“I will also ask the Ceann Comhairle to have the Committee on Procedure and Privilege to investigate the matter fully as well."

Deputy Quinlivan added: ʺI have no doubt the Ceann Comhairle will fully investigate serious wrongdoing, and I would expect Deputies Timmy Dooley and Niall Collins to at the very least apologise to the Dáil next week for their dishonest behaviour.ʺ

Main image: File photo of Fianna Fáil's Timmy Dooley. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

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