Sinn Féin TD and member of the Oireachtas Commission Louise O’Reilly has requested clarification as to what motivated the communication sent by the Ceann Comhairle to TDs this week regarding the use of Oireachtas video feeds.
The communication informed TDs that their use of these public feeds is conditional, and that they could face legal action if they are deemed to have misused them.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“I will be writing to the Oireachtas Commission as I and others would like to know what prompted this communication from the Ceann Comhairle.
“Did it arise as a result of a complaint to the Ceann Comhairle from a member of government?
“These moves would appear to limit the ability of TDs to communicate with the electorate, and to limit the access of the public to information about what happens in the Dáil.
“Politics is not and should not be confined to the four walls of Leinster House or the Convention Centre.
“All TDs are elected to the Dáil to stand up for people and to legislate on behalf of our constituents.
“Our constituents deserve to know whether we are true to our word when we say we will represent them in the Dáil. Therefore the functions of the Houses of the Oireachtas must be fully transparent.
“We should be encouraging the public to engage with politics and to listen to the debates that affect their future. Instead this would appear to put barriers in place.
“Communication is at the very heart of what we do as parliamentarians, and we need to reflect that outwards on what is happening within the Dáil and Seanad chambers.”