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LABOUR PARTY LEADER STATEMENT ON AIB DÁIL VOTE

18 May 2017

Statement by Brendan Howlin TD
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Justice and Northern Ireland

"The sequence of events today in relation to the Labour Party motion delaying the sale of AIB shares is an extraordinary one.

"All parties were present in the Dáil chamber, and voted one by one on five amendments which had been tabled to our motion. Each of those was defeated in turn. This meant that the final decision was on the original motion, unamended. The Government, caught up in chattering about the Fine Gael leadership, neglected to oppose the motion. As the Dáil record clearly states, "motion put and declared carried".

"For several hours this afternoon, the Department of Finance sought to claim that there had been no vote, or that matters were unclear. Minister Noonan went so far as to tell the Dáil that there was a dispute over this. But there is no dispute, and it was only when I made public the text of the official Dáil record that this spin came to an end.

"The statement released by Michael Noonan this evening shows worrying contempt for Dáil Éireann. If the Government wants to override a decision of parliament, then they should table a new motion, and seek majority support. Their disregard for the views of parliament amounts to the final nail in the coffin of this do-nothing Dáil.

"The motion put to the House today was agreed, and has the same standing as any decision of Dáil Éireann. For this to be disregarded by the Government is not acceptable, and would be an immensely dangerous precedent.

"I will be taking further legal advice on this matter over the weekend, and will be raising it in the Dáil again next week."