Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae
RTÉ Investigates analysed official attendance records published by the Oireachtas, together with TD voting records, to find instances where TDs signed in electronically and then failed to attend any votes.
Those who most frequently missed every vote on days when they clocked in include Independents Michael Healy-Rae, Danny Healy-Rae, as well as Fine Gael’s Enda Kenny, Independent TD Noel Grealish, and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and his party colleague Willie O’Dea.
RTÉ Investigates found that between March 2016 and the end of July 2019, Michael Healy-Rae recorded his attendance in Leinster House for 76 days on which he missed the entire day’s votes.
In that period, there were 155 days when he signed in and a vote took place- meaning he missed 49% of the voting days for which he was recorded as present at Leinster House.
Michael Healy-Rae told RTÉ Investigates that he sometimes had meetings when votes took place. He also said that, on occasion, he would be asked to ‘pair’ – an arrangement whereby two opposing TDs agree not to vote, which generally occurs when one or both of the TDs have other commitments and can’t attend.