Clare’s Fianna Fáil TD insists a situation where votes were cast in his name in the Dáil despite his absence is a simple misunderstanding.
According to The Irish Independent, Timmy Dooley is recorded as taking part in the votes on Thursday last but he’s not seen on video recordings from the Oireachtas website.
Every Thursday, time is set aside in the Dáil to vote on legislation and private member motions.
In this case, six votes were recorded from Timmy Dooley, on amendments to a Green Party motion on forestry and on a Sinn Féin motion on the living wage.
However, Deputy Dooley was not present for these votes but says his party colleague, Limerick TD Niall Collins, voted on his behalf on the assumption he was at the back of the chamber:
In each case, the margin was so wide that the votes in Deputy Dooley’s name would not have impacted on the result.
However, the record must now be corrected to reflect that his vote, which would have been in accordance with Fianna Fáil’s party whip, should not have been included.
Statement from Ceann Comhairle
The integrity of the voting system in Dáil Éireann is of the utmost importance.
As Ceann Comhairle, I have a duty to ensure that the public can have total confidence in the Dáil’s proceedings.
Further to media reports on votes in the Dáil last Thursday 17 October 2019, I have asked the Clerk of the Dáil to prepare a report on the conduct of the votes for my urgent attention.