A fresh complaint has been made to the Oireachtas ethics committee about the “voting practice” of Fianna Fáil Brexit spokesperson, Mayo deputy Lisa Chambers.
According to Independent.ie, Fine Gael’s Fergus O’Dowd wrote to the clerk of the Dáil yesterday asking for an investigation to be launched into a voting session on January 17 this year (2019).
Deputy O’Dowd’s formal complaint is now likely to be considered by the Oireachtas Committee on Members’ Interests which just last week criticised deputy Chambers over a separate incident in October last.
On that occasion deputy Chambers admitted casting a vote using a pad registered to her constituency colleague Dara Calleary.
Footage has now emerged showing deputy Chambers sitting in a seat assigned to Timmy Dooley during a 50 minute voting session in January of this year.
Deputy O’Dowd says the revelations, first revealed by the ‘Sunday Independent’, warrant further probing.
“This further information indicates that Deputy Chambers sat in the seat of and voted on behalf of Deputy Timmy Dooley on seven occasions on January 17 this year. I understand that votes were also recorded on behalf of Deputy Chambers on this occasion,” the Louth TD wrote in his letter.
He noted a radio interview in which Ms Chambers said the Calleary incident was the only time she had voted inappropriately.
“That was clearly not the case,” Mr O’Dowd said.
“In relation to the Standards in Public Office Act 2001 I would contend that this new information is extremely important to the investigation carried out by the Clerk of the Dáil into the Calleary complaint, and previous repeated voting for a colleague by Deputy Chambers should have been brought forward during the Calleary complaint.”
He alleges the failure to disclose this previous incident is serious and “is one of significant public importance”.
“I would therefore appreciate it if this matter could be investigated by the Committee on Members Interests,” Mr O’Dowd concludes.