Mingin' jeans banned in Dáil dress code
on 08/08/2012 00:00:00
New rules would see speaking rights withheld from TDs who do not abide by the stricter dress code, which will demand that male deputies wear formal trousers, a collared shirt, and a jacket while in the chamber or at committee meetings, while women members will be barred from wearing jeans.
A member of the committee said the issue was discussed at the watchdog's last session and the new restrictions would come into force when the Dáil resumes in late September.
The rules would be enforced via the Ceann Comhairle, who has the power to call, or not to call, members to speak.
The move could provoke another clash between the Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett and Independent TD Luke "Ming" Flanagan.
Mr Flanagan has so far refused to apologise to the Ceann Comhairle for an ugly altercation in a Leinster House corridor last month.
The committee on procedures and privileges wrote to Mr Flanagan insisting he make a public apology to the Ceann Comhairle for what it called a "vicious, unprovoked verbal assault".
This was on foot of Mr Flanagan and fellow Independent TD John Halligan confronting Mr Barrett in a corridor to complain about the way the Personal Insolvency Bill was handled.
The TDs deny they verbally assaulted Mr Barrett and have refused to apologise to him.
Flanagan has also used his Facebook page to make highly personal remarks about the Ceann Comhairle.
In one entry, Mr Flanagan claimed he had been told it was against the rules to approach the Ceann Comhairle in the corridor, adding: "That rule must not count in the Dáil bar where I understand he regularly freely associates with TDs while guzzling pints. He can't have it both ways."
Mr Flanagan has accused Mr Barrett of being biased in his conduct and a "miserable failure in carrying out his responsibility".
Currently, the Leinster House dress code merely instructs members to "dress in a manner that reflects the dignity of the House".