A row erupted in the Dáil yesterday afternoon (Tuesday, November 3rd), between Michael Healy-Rae and Taoiseach, Micheál Martin.
The heated exchange occurred over a decision to delay the annual pheasant shooting season due to Level 5 restrictions.
Healy-Rae slammed the ban on pheasant shooting, saying it is a “nonsensical decision”. “How could anyone say that there is anything prejudicial to anyone’s health or safety by going out shooting?”
“Perhaps that might be true if a person goes out with somebody else. But, most cases, one person goes out with a dog, predominantly shooting land that person has been shooting on for many years.”
“The date of November 1st is a very special day for those people. They do it in a responsible way,” he added.
“On behalf of those clubs, I ask the Taoiseach to please exercise common sense. He has failed the farmers, the publicans, and many people at this stage.”
“If he is trying to alienate himself from everyone in Ireland, he should keep going the way he is going.”
‘Against every restriction from the get-go’
Micheál Martin responded by saying: “Covid is not popular and Covid-19 restrictions are not popular, but Deputy Healy-Rae has been against every restriction from the get-go”.
Healy-Rae said: “that is not true” and asked Martin to withdraw “the wrong and untruthful allegation he made about me on the record of the house”.
“The Taoiseach said that I was totally opposed to every restriction under level 5. Will he withdraw it? It is untrue. It is a lie. Is he going to withdraw it, yes or no?”
Make comments ‘in the best of good faith’
Martin said: “In the parliamentary chamber, I am entitled to make comments. I make them in the best of good faith. The deputy has opposed everything as far as I can see.”
He asked the deputy to “stop shouting” which led to intervention from Danny Healy-Rae. Leas-Cheann Comhairle, Catherine Connolly.
Connolly continued to ask Michael Healy-Rae to resume his seat and “show a little respect for the Leas-Cheann Comhairle”.
“Out of respect for the seat of democracy, resume your seat. Thank you, I am going to adjourn the Dáil. That is, it.” Connolly concluded.