The decision to suspend a sitting of the Irish Parliament has been defended.
Ceann Comhairle (speaker) Sean O Fearghail told TDs on Tuesday evening that he had received “very serious information” around the Cabinet restricting their movements, before announcing the Dail would be adjourned.
However, TDs returned to their seats at 8pm to resume business.
The Ceann Comhairle told TDs that earlier having received an “extremely urgent communication” from government, in accordance with that communication he took the decision to adjourn.
“We are now at a position on a request from the Taoiseach to proceed so we are proceeding,” he said.
But he faced demands for further explanation from a number of TDs.
Labour TD Alan Kelly described the ruling to adjourn as “very strange”, and requested that the Ceann Comhairle outlined his ruling in writing.
“I rang the Taoiseach to question what was happening and to say I didn’t understand why the Dail was adjourned, and subsequently he rang me back to say he agreed and he had asked for the Dail to be reconvened,” he said.
Our party are demanding a full explanation how this place was adjourned and how our business has been so badly disruptedPadraig MacLochlainn
Sinn Fein TD Padraig Mac Lochlainn slammed it as an “incredible shambles”, adding he was informed by social media that the Dail was to be adjourned.
“This is absolutely outrageous what’s happened this evening, so I totally support the proposal from deputy Kelly, our party are demanding a full explanation how this place was adjourned and how our business has been so badly disrupted.”
The Ceann Comhairle responded, explaining he had been “approached by a very senior member of the team who had received a message from government to the effect that there were problems with the availability of ministers to transact business”.
I have no difficulty with how I acted, I don’t think anyone else would have acted any differently.Ceann Comhairle
“The advice that we were receiving from government was that the House should adjourn and that it would be recalled in due course by the Taoiseach,” he told TDs.
“Now, that’s quite simple and straight forward, and the Taoiseach has now clarified the matter and recalled the House.
“I have no difficulty with how I acted, I don’t think anyone else would have acted any differently. How we came to be asked to take that action at that particular time is another story … I hope my explanation is crystal clear to everyone.”