‘A Choking Of The Workings Of Dáil Éireann’



This shameful 47 days and counting delay is obstructing and impeding us from doing the urgent work we were elected to do. Although in a different time, this delay, this level of obstructionism would put in the ha’penny place, the obstructionist tactics deployed by Irish parliamentary MP Joseph Biggar in the House of Commons in the late 19th century.

Whereas the obstruction then was due to excessive talking, the obstruction now is due to a refusal to talk, a refusal to seek solutions. The stance adopted by political parties in refusing to even consider forming the most stable government to serve the people has been disingenuously represented by some as being somehow linked to being in the national interest.

How can the current strangulation of representative democracy, a choking of the workings of Dáil Éireann be in the national interest.

The reckless approach cares little for the tackling of the unprecedented crisis of homelessness, the escalating rental crisis, hospital waiting lists and climate justice. In case any party has forgotten, perhaps it is important to remind ourselves of the obvious, no one party won the general election but unfortunately it seems as if the people have lost.

Some political parties refuse to face up to and accept this new political reality, refuse to accept the change for which the people voted for in February. We should remember the words of George Bernard Shaw who said, ‘progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything’.

A Ceann Comhairle, it is all too easy to make noise, to instil division, to create dissent, to divide, to score points. The contrived party policy differences and the point-blank refusal of some to even consider talking to others, who also have a democratic mandate is simply unacceptable.

Enough is enough, the only losers in this charade are the people. It behoves political parties to act in the true best interests of the people of Ireland, not themselves or their parties.

While some members have worked very hard and displayed some political courage, others certainly have not. Instead, choosing to sit on their hands for the past seven weeks.

TDs are not elected to be silent or to run for the hills to take cover when the going gets tough. Now is the time when members should step up and speak up for the people who elected you. Put people before party politics

Green Party TD Catherine Martin speaking in the Dáil during her maiden speech yesterday.


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Deputy Enda Kenny has made every effort and shown his commitment since the general election to form a stable Government. The offer would have brought together the two largest parties in the State in an historic partnership and was, I believe, a bold offer and one worth making.

I regret it has not been accepted to date, but Deputy Enda Kenny remains determined to ensure Ireland will have a stable Government to address the many challenges facing the country and work to improve the lives of the people.

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” We have taken on the responsibility of doing something.

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock speaking in the Dáil yesterday, as he nominated Enda Kenny for Taoiseach for the third time.

On March 10, during Mr Rock’s first nomination for Mr Kenny, he said:

When I was younger the Taoiseach gave me the advice of Thomas Jefferson – “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

I will stand with him today and always. He brought this party back from being written off. Far more important, he brought our economy and our country back when many had written us off. We should not lose sight of that.

As we mark 100 years of independence, we can look forward to a brighter future. I believe Deputy Enda Kenny is the man to bring us towards that brighter future. I am proud to nominate Deputy Enda Kenny today.

On April 6, during Mr Kenny’s second nomination, Mr Rock said:

Unfortunately, there are those who wish to take their seats in here while permanently committing themselves to hugging the Opposition benches tightly and pursuing their so-called ideological perfection instead of the reality of compromise and governance. Good for them. However, the reality is this country needs a government.

As Robert F. Kennedy once rightly said, “one fifth of the people are against everything all the time”.

I think the public can rightly guess which fifth of the people in here that phrase might describe. Let us hope they stay at that level of just one fifth.

Parliaments simply cannot afford too many passengers. We need decision-makers and people who are serious about forming a government.

Transcripts: Oireachtas.ie

43 thoughts on “‘A Choking Of The Workings Of Dáil Éireann’

    1. Mé Féin

      Should go in to government with fine fail and save the country. No wait…

  1. Vote Rep #1

    While I don’t like FG or FF, I think all the other TDs are getting an easy ride over this. If people want any type of government to get formed they can quite easily just abstain from voting against the different nominations but they repeatedly vote against them and then complain about the lack of a government.

    1. ahjayzis

      I really can’t understand how people blame the left wing parties for the problem of our two largest identikit right-wing parties refusing to exercise their majority.

      These parties oppose the entire world view of FF/FG – of course they won’t abstain or be neutral on the prospect. However FF and FG share a worldview – it is they who are solely responsible for the deadlock – the right won the election, the right are refusing to form a government because the more socially-conservative economically liberal right won’t coalesce with the more socially-liberal, economically conservative right.

      Any other analysis is a transparent shifting of blame.

      1. Kieran NYC

        FF and SF both claim to be the ‘republican’ parties. Why no clamour for them to form a government? It’s not as if SF are really any more left-wing than FF.

          1. Kieran NYC

            SF up north are quite close to FF.

            The only difference with the crowd down south is they have the luxury of following opinion polls when making policy as opposed to actual difficult decisions.

  2. Harry Molloy

    Catherine Martin nailed it!

    And a relevant and accurate quote from Bobby Kennedy, that 20% gets too much airspace tbh, they’ve really proved themselves to be unproductive and laclomg in any real contribution this time

      1. Harry Molloy

        If I was leading any of those parties my main aim would be to implement our policies, which is why people voted for you.

        That can only be done by being in Government. In the absence of an outright majority, you can NEVER be in government without compromising.

        If you are unwilling to compromise, you are unwilling to go into government and are therefore unwilling to implement any of your policies.

        These so called leaders have shown themselves to be ineffectual spoofers.

        1. Harry Molloy

          And am very disappointed at the Soc Dems in this regard as I would have seen them to be one of the more practical parties with a social conscience.

        2. MoyestWithExcitement

          Well, no they haven’t. If the SDs go into give with either of the scummy main parties in FF and FG, they’d go the way of Democratic Left or Greens or Labour. FF and FG supporters know this hence the ridiculous post above. If they concentrate on building the party, we could have a very real new alternative.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            Who said I was trying to change your mind? I’m just pointing out the dishonest motivation in your post. Happy Friday. :)

  3. DubLoony

    I think people have been more than patient with with this farce.
    The silence from the back benches from people who normally have loudhailers in their hands is noted.

  4. Clampers Outside!

    Backbenchers be still convinced there is a difference between FF/FG… and I don’t believe those coming out saying their constituents demand they don’t go into coalition. I call bull on that.

        1. Cabbage Bazooka Firing Squad

          He’ll be a devastatingly effective politician if a dead US president tells him he can be.

  5. Frilly Keane


    I think the Big Parties want to go back to the electorate
    Most of the Independents won’t be able to put out a good canvas this soon

    Another Election, whether its before the June Bank Holiday or even after the Summer
    Will scatter a handy few of those Independents and treble A’s Alliance Party Wurkers

    That’s what the big 3 want
    And lets be honest they’re the only ones that can form a Government
    Any 2 ov’em will do

  6. some old queen

    Go Catherine. More of this please?

    As I said in the other thread, both arrogant(FG) and obstinate(FF) might yet regret their behaviour. Their cynical behaviour bestows an even more cynical electorate. You reap what you sow. They do not own the democratic system in Ireland. They are public servants and have a duty to serve the people, not the other way around.

  7. Eoin

    I’d like to apologise to the nation on behalf of my constituency for voting in Noel ‘I’m a big boy now!’ Rock. First blueshirt we’ve returned in 25 years. And it’s this boot licking toad. Fresh FG blood. Unreal. I had hoped the next generation might have more sense and FG/FF pig headed die hards might start to die out, but no. By the way, I can’t find anyone in the whole area who’ll admit to voting for this clown either. He’s been going up for years and now after the last few years of FG screwing up…he’s gets in? Makes no sense to me. If I didn’t know better I’d be suggesting they rigged the election. I’d rather believe that than believe that people are DUMB enough to vote for him.

    1. Cabbage Bazooka Firing Squad

      In the words of Harry S. Truman, the man may be a clown but he’s a somewhat likeable clown, so suck it up h8ers.

    2. Yep

      Not sure where you are from Eoin but borders of Dublin North-West were extended to include parts of Glasnevin and Botanic. It is thought that this is where the extra support for FG, not necessarily Rock, came from.

      Not exactly rigged just a little rejigged.

    3. Dave

      It was transfers from Labour that put him in. Looking at where Labour transfers came from and went to it’s fairly clear the Labour vote was a right wing vote.

      1. Bonkers

        Rock only got the last seat by 600 votes over FFs Paul McAuliffe who incidentally had tiny FF logos on his posters so my guess is he has a decent personal vote. If there’s an election in the next year McAuliffe will be back snapping at his heels

    4. Tom McAllister

      “Running for years”? Ehhhh that was his first time running for the Dail.

      Don’t think FF man will be back.

    1. Bonkers

      Well she unseated Alan Shatter so thats a great start she’s had so far. Mick Wallace claimed the scalp of the Minister for Justice, Catherine Martin put the final nail in his coffin. .

  8. DHKane

    Rubbish. The world and his dog know that the only parties that have the numbers are the center right FG and FF.
    For decades, we have seen smaller parties suffer for the neoliberal ethic of the civil war parties. Any Party would want to be power hungry mad to join in coalition with either. If the Socialists and the Shinners do not stand by their beliefs, they too will follow the P.D’s, Greens and Labour.
    People forget that Pbp,Sinn Fein and a number of independents and small parties came together under one banner in the Right2Change platform. They had done to the work to create a government before the election. While Soc dems and the Triple A did not sign up, it was only a matter of negotiations on a program for government, IMO.

    The neoliberal ethic of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail has destroyed lives right across this country. Their pandering to the Troika and their attempted privatization of our water supply finally shook the scales from people’s eyes. For the first time in history, the civil war parties have less than 50% of the vote. The campaigns against the bailout, the evictions and repossessions and against the water charges have helped make this a reality. The generation that stayed will not forget the crippling deprivation and poverty rampant in this country, while another election now may not bring the considerable change we require, it is only a matter of time.

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