Seanad vote wasn’t Fianna Fáil ‘stroke’, says Norris, it was me

Senator says he voted FF’s Marc McSharry onto banking inquiry to make it ‘truly independent’
Sat, Jun 14, 2014, 01:00
Fiach Kelly

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said yesterday the long-awaited investigation into the banking failure is about searching for the truth, not about “inter-party rows and personalities”.
There were scenes of uproar in the Seanad this week when the Government added two more members onto the inquiry and re-established its majority. Speaking in Guernsey yesterday, Mr Kenny defended the decision to add two extra Government Senators.
“Every Oireachtas committee, since the foundation of the State, is set up to reflect the decision of the people and that is to reflect the various strengths of the parties in parliament,” he said.The Seanad Committee on selection last week put two Opposition senators on the inquiry: Fianna Fáil’s Marc McSharry and Independent Sean Barrett.

Health concerns
Senator David Norris rejected accusations the vote, which saw the Government lose its majority on the banking inquiry, was a “stroke” by Fianna Fáil. Mr Norris said he cast his vote to ensure the Government was in the minority and make the inquiry “truly independent” and above party politics.
Mr Norris yesterday released a statement, from St Vincent’s Hospital, saying, “It was my deliberate and informed vote that created this situation.”
He said he “listened with incredulity” to claims that it was a “Fianna Fáil stroke, adding: “It was nothing of the kind. In fact the Fianna Fáil representatives at the meeting were unusually quiescent. What was required and what was mandated by the Oireachtas was a parliamentary inquiry and not a Government inquiry.
“I greatly regret that the Taoiseach has rammed an additional two Government nominees through the Senate in defiance of the democratically expressed wish of the committee.
Fianna Fáil leader Michéal Martin said, on Raidió na Gaeltachta , Mr Kenny “is attempting to control everything in terms of the inquiry”.

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