Last Thursday, the opposition parties in the Seanad (upper house) scored a victory over the Government and got a an amendment passed on the Charities Bill. The resulting debate is something you have to read. It shows Fianna Fail senators challenging An Cathaoirleach (Speaker)and Fine Gael Senators standing up for him. Amazing to see. Below is an extract from the Offical Report
An Cathaoirleach: Amendment No. 7 on section 2.
Senator Frances Fitzgerald (FG): I hope the Government will accept this result and not try to change it given the historic nature of this victory.
An Cathaoirleach: The result has been announced.
Senator Diarmuid Wilson (FF): Could I call a walk-through vote?
Senator Frances Fitzgerald (FG): Surely Senator Wilson is not trying to overturn it.
Senator Jerry Buttimer (FG): I do not think a walk-though vote can be called at this stage.
An Cathaoirleach: Please, just hold it.
Senator Jerry Buttimer (FG): I do not think one can do so under Standing Orders.
Senator David Norris (Ind): Will it be the same Members voting?
Senator Jerry Buttimer (FG): The Greens are here at last.
Senator David Norris(FG): This is disgraceful.
A Senator: The Greens have come to the rescue.
An Cathaoirleach: Section 2, Amendment No. 7 in the name of Senators Hannigan, White, McCarthy, Ryan, Prendergast and Kelly.
It does continue so read on
PS The Government lost the vote as the Greens forgot to turn up! The vote record is as follows:
Against the Amendment:
Ó Domhnaill, Brian.
Ó Murchú, Labhrás.
For the Amendment
Healy Eames, Fidelma.
Phelan, John Paul.