An Taoiseach, Micheal Martin, has accused Danny Healy-Rae of “making up a quotation” which suggested that he is in favour of reducing the national herd.
The heated exchange occurred during a Dáil debate on promised legislation on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021.
Reducing the national herd
Deputy Danny Healy-Rae told the Dáil that “The Taoiseach was quoted [as being in favour of a reduction in the national herd] as was the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.”
“He can go and find it, but it is a fact that he was quoted as saying that. This does not account for all the carbon that farmers are sequestering already.”
“Does the Taoiseach realise that the government is going to jeopardise the thousands of food processing jobs in this country, which provide quality food for Irish people and people all over the world? The Taoiseach been quoted. I would not raise it, but it is out there.”
Martin then when on to question: “Where was I quoted?” before asking the deputy to “produce the quote”.
Healy-Rae replied by saying: “they are going to reduce the national herd by 19%,” to which Martin once again said: “produce it [the quote]”.
Healy-Rae said he “did not make it up”, but Martin argued otherwise and branded this as misinformation.
“It is in the papers” he added, to which Martin replied: “it is in the papers, man. The deputy has produced something here but cannot tell me where he got the quote”.
The independent TD told him: “You are quoted widely,” before Martin proceeded to challenge the deputy through the chair, to “produce the quote where I said I am in favour of a reduction of the [national] herd because I never said in”.
Martin called on Healy-Rae to withdraw his “untrue” remarks, adding, “the deputy cannot come in here and make everything up every day”.
Healy-Rae asked the Taoiseach to “disprove me if I am wrong” and said, “I did not make it up any day”.
“The deputy made up the quotation in relation to the reduction of the national herd,” Martin said.
Before Leas-Cheann Comhairle, Catherine Connolly ordered Danny Healy-Rae to resume his seat; the independent TD said: “The Taoiseach said I was coming in here every day and making things up”.
“He should withdraw that remark because that is totally and absolutely unfair.”