Thursday, 30 July 2020
Gnó na Dála - Business of Dáil
Mattie McGrath (Tipperary, Independent)
I thank the Leas-Cheann Comhairle, I remind the Tánaiste that he is depending on a small party who were in opposition recently to stay in government. He has 11 of that party now - one gone and more to go. That is the way it is now, sadly. We take no lecturing from the Tánaiste about that.
There was a convention that worked well in the previous Dáil. We have had 32 meetings of the Business Committee in this Dáil so far and they have all been civil and they have worked very well. We have always worked things out without ever having a vote of the Business Committee, I think. What we see here is - and the Leas-Cheann Comhairle knows - that the Government backbenchers do not turn up for their time and they collapse the debates. This is a three-card trick. Put them all in first, they will not turn up for the debates and the legislation will fall and be closed down.
This is an attempt to muzzle the Opposition. I am not from a far left party at all or anything like it. We want fairness and equality. We represent the people of rural Ireland and they need to be heard. The Government pushed through a Bill here earlier to report the vulture funds. That is who the Government represents. We represent the ordinary people.