File photo of Deputy Bernard Durkan
Solidarity TDs Paul Murphy, Ruth Coppinger and Mick Barry have included Fine Gael’s Kildare North deputy Bernard Durkan in a formal letter of complaint sent to the Ceann Comhairle concerning remarks made in the Dáil earlier this week.
The three Solidarity deputies are alleging that comments by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar last Tuesday and several of Fine Gael deputies the following day, concerning the Jobstown protests, are defamatory.
The Taoiseach described Deputy Murphy’s behaviour during the November 2014 incidents, in which Tanaiste Joan Burton was unable to leave her car, as “thuggery”.
In their letter of complaint, which was also made public today, the three Solidarity TDs also claimed Deputy Durkan was in breach of Standing Order 61 during Leaders’ Questions on Wednesday last.
Standing Order 61 prevents TDs using Dail privilege to make defamatory statements about other members.
The three Solidarity TDs are claiming that Deputy Durkan alleged or implied that Deputy Murphy had falsely imprisoned two people at Jobstown, and that Deputy Murphy led the protest.