Independent TD for Roscommon/South Leitrim, Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, has clarified his voting record during the first few weeks of the Dail pointing out that at that early stage he “didn’t know my proverbial from my elbow”.
Earlier this week the national media highlighted how a number of TDs, including Deputy Flanagan, had signed in as attending the Dail but had failed to participate in Dail votes.
The figures quoted by thee Irish Independent on Tuesday claimed Deputy Flanagan missed eight votes over the first two months of the Dail despite being clocked in for work at Leinster House on 21 days.
Speaking with the Leitrim Observer, Deputy Flanagan clarified that he had, in fact, missed 12 votes not eight.
He went on to point out that these had all been in the initial weeks of the Dail when he was still being trained in procedures and he said that since May he had a 100 percent record in Dail votes.
“I say now judge my attendance over the whole five year period and not on the period where people like me are familiarising themselves with the Dail,” he said.
“At the time (when he missed a number of votes) the controversy regarding turf cutting was at its peak and I was very busy attending meetings and organising meetings,” he added pointing out that the turf-cutting issue was a key platform during his campaign and of primary importance to a significant portion of his voters.
He explained that he was faced with the choice of voting in the Dail and working on behalf of the turf cutters and he chose the latter during this time.
“And next April if the turf cutting situation is not resolved the I won’t be around to vote in the Dail either because I will be out fighting this issue on the ground with the people,” he said.
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.