Labour TD suspended from Dáil after asylum bill row

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara

A Labour TD was suspended from Dáil Éireann yesterday after refusing to resume his seat during a row over the International Protection Bill.

Michael McNamara was denied the opportunity to speak during a debate on yesterday’s order of business, in which a number of TDs criticised the decision to “guillotine” the legislation instead of giving more time for debate.

The bill has been criticised by NGOs including the Irish Refugee Council and Nasc, the Irish Immigrant Support Centre.

Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett ordered that Mr McNamara’s microphone be turned off after he ignored calls to resume his seat.

Mr Barrett then accused the TD of “making a show of yourself and of the Chamber”.

TDs voted 65-43 to exclude Mr McNamara from the chamber. The Clare Champion reports that he will be excluded for three days.

Speaking afterwards, Mr McNamara said: “The International Protection Bill 2015 was rushed through the Dáil so we can go on Christmas holidays.

“Yet, the Holy Family, who fled to Egypt to avoid persecution, would be excluded from the protection it offers. As the Bill stands, if Joseph got to Ireland and was given asylum, he would have to leave Mary and Jesus to their fate and would not be able to bring them to join him.”

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