Fianna Fáil TD Lisa Chambers needs to give a full and frank account of her questionable Dáil voting record, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Louth TD Fergus O’Dowd said: “The latest revelations of irregular voting behaviour among the Fianna Fáil front bench simply beggar belief.
“It is high time for a full account of what was going on amongst Fianna Fáil’s TDs and their voting practices. The matter from October regarding voting for absentee colleagues is being dealt with by a Dáil committee, but this episode from last January is highly concerning.
“Deputy Chambers’ assertion that her voting in Deputy Timmy Dooley’s seat for seven Dáil votes last January is ‘entirely normal’ stretches credulity. It isn’t entirely normal, it isn’t acceptable, and it isn’t democratic.
“Deputy Chambers has previously had to clarify statements she made on RTÉ’s This Week programme two months ago, where she denied she had voted for anyone before. In the interview she gave the following day to Morning Ireland on October 21 – she corrected her assertion that she had not voted for people before.
“She said she voted for Deputy Dara Calleary as the seats were identical and she sits beside him. ‘Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever done this before,’ Deputy Chambers said. She told RTÉ her incident in October was ‘very different’ from the issue with Deputies Collins and Dooley, as there were six recorded votes for their controversy and she ‘honestly thought’ she was in the correct seat for her ‘single vote in error’.
“Well we now know she has voted for other colleagues on more than one occasion – seven times in fact for Timmy Dooley over 50 minutes on January 17th last. It is high time Fianna Fáil and Micheál Martin come clean on this.
“In her previous assertions she asked people to have faith in her. Well, I don’t.
“How many more times are we to find she voted for someone else? Why didn’t she ask Stephen Donnelly to get out of her seat? Why didn’t she correct the Dáil voting record?
“If anyone, of any party, voted for someone else who wasn’t in the chamber, swift action needs to be taken,” Deputy O’Dowd said.