Dáil suspended after row breaks out during cost of living debate

Rural Independent TDs put forward motion calling for ‘urgent mini-budget’

The Dáil was suspended briefly on Wednesday morning after a row broke out between Independent TD Carol Nolan and Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh over speaking time.

Mr Ó Snodaigh, who was chairing a debate on the cost of living, would not give Ms Nolan extra speaking time after she said she had been interrupted by Government Ministers.

Mr Ó Snodaigh told Ms Nolan that her time was up and asked her to sit down or that he would suspend the Dáil.

Ms Nolan refused to sit down and said Sinn Féin was “as good as Government now, supporting the carbon tax”. Mr Ó Snodaigh asked that she withdraw the remarks, which Ms Nolan said she would not, and he suspended the Dáil for five minutes.


Rural Independent TDs had put forward a motion calling for an “urgent mini-budget” to address the “spiralling” cost of living crisis and that it must be recognised by the Government as a “national emergency”.

Independent TD Michael Collins said the current cost of living was "financially crippling" all lower income earners including pensioners, struggling mortgage holders and the unemployed.

“It is also having a disproportionate impact on all rural residents and farmers across the country,” he said.

The Cork South-West TD said the €200 electricity credit announced by the Government was “nowhere near enough” and “nothing short of an insult to people who are struggling”.

“Irish farms are facing crippling costs for feed, fertiliser and fuel, which has the potential to wipe out many viable farmers,” he added.

Mr Collins accused the Government of sitting on their hands while young families and pensioners were “frozen in their homes”.

Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae said low-income earners had been “abandoned” by the Government.

“People are really hurting and finding it extremely difficult to work today. Working people are finding it expensive, they can’t go to bloody work and they’re working, because of the cost of fuel and the cost of everything,” he said.

The Kerry TD said the Government would be abandoned by voters and “thrown to one side” at the next election.

“Not [only] have you shot yourselves in one foot, ye have shot the bloody legs out from underneath ye with the height of stupidity,” he added.

“If a robber had a choice this minute between going to a bank and robbing a ball of money or robbing a pallet of fertiliser, he would be better off to rob the pallet of fertiliser because it’s worth more.”

Ms Nolan said St Vincent De Paul has had an “unprecedented” number of calls this year to their service and that “people can’t continue like this”.

She said people could not wait until the budget in October and that they were “struggling to heat homes and pay for the basics”.

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said he had announced a €7 million support scheme for pig farmers on Tuesday.

The package is worth €20,000 to about 300 farmers and will be paid out to all finisher pig farmers who are members of the Bord Bia quality assurance scheme.

Mr McConalogue said the support scheme reflected the challenges pig farmers face and his department and agencies would “do all they can to support pig farmers throughout the difficult period ahead”.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said the Rural Independent TDs were asking for a mini-budget with "no recognition of the cost" and that their proposals would cost €3 billion.

He claimed the TDs were “devoid of credibility” and that their proposals would cause further difficulty as more debt would be heaped on people.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times