Ireland: Fianna Fáil's Lisa Chambers cast Dáil vote for party's absent deputy leader - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Ireland Fianna Fáil's Lisa Chambers cast Dáil vote for party's absent deputy leader

00:50  21 october  2019
00:50  21 october  2019 Source:   independent.ie

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Lisa Chambers et al. standing in front of a crowd: Dara Calleary and Lisa Chambers celebrate after they were elected for Mayo in 2016. Picture; Gerry Mooney Dara Calleary and Lisa Chambers celebrate after they were elected for Mayo in 2016. Picture; Gerry Mooney

FIANNA Fáil’s Brexit spokesperson Lisa Chambers cast a vote for the party’s deputy leader while he was absent from the Dáil last Thursday, Independent.ie can exclusively reveal.

The party’s rising star says she “inadvertently” sat in Dara Calleary’s voting position before moving to her seat and voting again.

“I pressed the button once in error on the first vote, no one asked me to do this and when I realised, I immediately moved to my own seat,” she said.

It comes after Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin told two of his most experienced TDs, Timmy Dooley and Niall Collins, to stand down from his frontbench over ‘phantom votes’.

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Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley has admitted that he was absent from the Dáil chamber when his vote was recorded six times last Thursday. The Clare deputy said he went into the Dáil when the voting bell sounded but he then left to take a phone call.

Dooley has faced criticism after he said that a fellow party member cast a number of votes for him while he was absent from the Dáil .

The Irish Independent revealed how six votes were cast by Mr Dooley last week despite him being absent from the Dáil chamber.

Lisa Chambers smiling for the camera: Fianna Fáil’s Lisa Chambers. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins Fianna Fáil’s Lisa Chambers. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

Having initially said he couldn’t explained the anomaly, Mr Collins who was seated beside the Clare TD’s voting station, admitted he voted on his behalf.

Mr Collins said he thought his colleague was on the phone in the chamber. 

The revelation that Ms Chambers also cast a vote for a missing TD will create a major headache for the party leadership. She only asked for the Dáil record to be corrected today – after her colleagues were publicly criticised by Mr Martin.

She was also asked very directly on RTÉ Radio this afternoon whether she had ever voted for a colleague or had a colleague vote on her behalf. She replied: “No, I haven’t.”

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  Four Fianna Fáil TDs to be quizzed as part of 'phantom voting' probe Four Fianna Fáil TDs to be quizzed as part of 'phantom voting' probeTimmy Dooley, Niall Collins, Lisa Chambers and Dara Calleary will also be given the opportunity to give statements to the Dáil on Thursday if they wish.

Earlier the party ’ s deputy leader Dara Calleary said the actions of Mr Collins in voting for Mr Dooley who was absent from the Dáil was “unusual” . ‘Pressed my voting button’. Mr Dooley said on Saturday he was present in the Dáil on Thursday and went to the Dáil chamber after the voting bell

The 2011 Fianna Fáil leadership election was called by party leader Brian Cowen on 22 January 2011, when he announced that he was resigning as president and leader of the party . He remained as Taoiseach until after the 2011 general election.

However, Ms Chambers failed to give any mention to the vote she made “in error” on Thursday.

Dara Calleary holding a sign: Fianna Fail’s Dara Calleary (Niall Carson/PA) © PA Archive/PA Images Fianna Fail’s Dara Calleary (Niall Carson/PA)

She apologised tonight, saying: “The vote was lost by a large number so I did not inform the Teller. It was a genuine mistake and not intended.

“I have informed the Ceann Comhairle this evening”.

She added: “I genuinely believed that this error was insignificant and when asked on RTE today had I ever voted for anyone else I answered no as was never asked to vote for anyone else. For this I apologise.”

Her constituency colleague, Mr Calleary, told Independent.ie he was not in the Chamber at the time as he was taking part in a live radio interview.

“I understand that Deputy Chambers inadvertently voted in my seat for the first of those votes but not for any of the remaining ones for which I was absent.

“She mistakenly did not correct the record on the day hence my name is registered. She has contacted the Ceann Comhairle this evening to advise him of this.

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Lisa Chambers (born 24 August 1986) is an Irish Fianna Fáil politician who has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Mayo constituency since the 2016 general election. Chambers is from Castlebar.

The 32nd Dáil was elected at the 2016 general election. When it met on 10 March 2016, the Dáil failed to elect a Taoiseach, resulting in the formal resignation of Enda Kenny who continued in a caretaker

“I did not and would not ask any other Deputy to vote for me in the Dail,” he said. 

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