Deputy Thomas Pringle said the change in speaking rights the Government pushed through just before midnight last Thursday was another attempt to silence alternative voices.
“It’s simply about this Government using their dominant position to control this House and break up the opposition voices,” Deputy Pringle said. “It was disgraceful to see a change of this nature pushed through without a proper debate.”
The change in speaking time rotas during Dáil debates pushes smaller opposition parties and groupings back to much later in the debate than they had been.
The change will also see speakers from government and larger parties alternate speaking times with speakers from smaller opposition parties and groupings as the debate goes on.
“They’re breaking up the voices of the opposition,” Deputy Pringle said. The previous rota had given every party and grouping a chance to speak up front.
The new rota creates the impression that it’s only Government parties and Sinn Fein in the Dáil, the deputy said. “They don’t want to see any other opposition,” he said.
Deputy Pringle had prepared a counterproposal with opposition colleagues and when this was defeated, opposition TDs walked out in protest before the vote on the measure was taken.
“This is the first time there has been a change like this to the system, and it is because this Government is frightened by the strength and the power of the opposition voices in the Dáil,” Deputy Pringle said.Tags: