“You Certainly Don’t Ask Your Buddy To Press The Button For You”


From top: Minister for Health Simon Harris and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the Dáil yesterday.

Earlier this morning.

Health Minister Simon Harris spoke to broadcaster Audrey Carville on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland about the Dáil voting controversy.

It follows reports in the Irish Independent this morning that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar voted for colleagues in the Dáil chamber, while the colleagues were in the chamber.

A spokesman for Mr Varadkar said he never voted for anyone who was absent from the chamber.

From the interview…

Audrey Carville: “Just finally, our political correspondent reporting this morning that the Taoiseach has confirmed he voted for colleagues who were in the Dáil chamber but who weren’t in their seats. Did you ever do that?”

Simon Harris: “You know I’ve been in the Dáil nearly nine years and voted thousands of times and I don’t recall a specific time I did it but I’m not ruling it out because the rules do allow it and I think what we’ve seen is, it has become quite commonplace. But there is a huge difference.

“There’s been a very, very successful job done to muddy the waters in recent days here. There’s a very big difference between doing that and breaching the constitution of Ireland.

“The constitution says you must be present in the Dáil chamber.

“We know Timmy Dooley wasn’t present. We know Niall Collins voted when he wasn’t present. We know Lisa Chambers voted for someone who wasn’t present.

“There has been no evidence…and this, by the way, wasn’t started by Fine Gael. This was investigative journalism by the Irish Independent that showed Fianna Fáil TDs, in my view, breaching the constitution.

“And tomorrow we’ll have the Ceann Comhairle’s report. I’ve full confidence in his ability to get to the bottom of this. We need to tighten up this thing of, you know, voting and seats, I fully agree with that.

“But that shouldn’t be allowed to distract from people, you know, heading out the M8 down to Clare while somebody else stays in the Dáil and votes six times for them. We’re legislators, you turn up, you do your job and you vote.

“And if you can’t vote, if you’re busy or you’ve something on, you certainly don’t ask your buddy to press the button for you.”

Carville: “Thank you very much, indeed, Health Minister Simon Harris in our Dáil studio.”

Varadkar admits he has voted for colleagues who were in chamber (Cormac Quinn, Irish Independent)


Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin

This morning.

Via Independent.ie:

The instance where a vote was cast for Mr Martin in his absence happened during a Dáil debate on reducing the number of seats in the EU Parliament in February. Mr Martin is recorded as not being present for two of the three votes on the legislation. However, for the last and final vote the Fianna Fail leader’s vote is recorded as being present.

for the third and final vote, Mr O’Brien is not recorded as voting in his own seat. Mr O’Brien last night admitted he may have incorrectly pressed Mr Martin’s voting button during at the end of the debate.

Vote cast for Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin when he was not in the Dáil chamber (Independent.ie)


10 thoughts on ““You Certainly Don’t Ask Your Buddy To Press The Button For You”

    1. Jerry

      And the bills passed ?
      So now the law like drink driving ?
      Single sex marriage?
      All these bills should be Re presented to be voted on

  1. GiggidyGoo

    So has Harris just confirmed that Dooley was on his way to Clare when his button was pushed?

    And ‘the rules allow’ pressing of buttons on behalf of colleagues?
    Leinster House makes its own rules, but it makes them in line with the Constitution and the Constitution is very clear: Article 15 says all questions in each house (of the Oireachtas) shall be determined by a majority of votes by members present and voting.”
    “Members present and voting” But if a present member does not physically vote (and some FFGLABer does it ‘for them’) then I’d read that as not doing it in line with the Constitution.
    Cue Cian.
    In the meantime, recent legislation passed in the Dail is being scrutinised to establish if it passed with the inclusion of Ghost votes. The FFGLAB mire tide is in.

  2. Skeptik

    They’ve solved this problem a long time ago for paid-by-the-hour jobs where people clock in and out: Biometrics.
    Put a fingerprint reader on voting station.

  3. Ron

    So what’s the Irish electorate going to do about it? The Irish electorate need to take accountability for electing the political filth that take our constitution and use it to wipe the their behind.

    What’s the Irish electorate going to do about it? the same thing they do when any scandal arises, Sweet FA.

    1. garrett

      It’s certainly not funny, all votes taken are now null and void constitutionally.

      11 1° All questions in each House shall, save as otherwise provided by this Constitution, be determined by a majority of the votes of the members present and voting other than the Chairman or presiding member.

      1. Rob_G

        It’s certainly a troubling development, but:

        “… all votes taken are now null and void constitutionally.”

        – I would take that with a grain of salt, until I hear some constitutional expert express same.

        1. Ron

          Experts! Any bototmhole can call themselves an expert, and it’s the same experts that constantly do a shit job and cream of the daw jawed taxpayers money! sit down you twit

  4. Liam Deliverance

    They need to re-confirm the rules regarding voting in the Dail, state clearly in plain English so the chancers can fully understand – “Voting on behalf of another member is strictly forbidden, anyone caught doing this will be immediately dismissed from their position”. Problem solved for future voting at least.

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