Independent TDs Mick Flanagan, Mick Wallace and Clare Daly have come under fire from Deputy Willie Penrose for copying his year old Bill on wind turbines and re-submitting it to the Dail in their own names.
The trio tabled the bill on wind energy guidelines last week, just over 12 months after it was first submitted by its author Mr Penrose. Bar the title, their bill was a word for word copy of the Labour man’s original document including the accompanying memorandum.
While Deputy Flanagan informed Mr Penrose in advance of his intentions, the Ballynacargy native was far from impressed.
“He was on to me and he said: ‘I’m going to use your Bill’,” Mr Penrose told the Irish Times.
“There’s nothing on the order paper that can be used to stop him. I was disgusted, I see it as nothing but naked political opportunism. I didn’t give anyone permission or authority to use my Bill.”
Mr Penrose, who was unware that Mr Wallace and Ms Daly would also be adding their names, says that he carried out extensive research preparing the Bill.
TDs can submit their own Bills which are then put into a lottery and if picked will be debated in the Dail. Mr Penrose’s original bill has not been selected up to now.
Defending his actions Mr Flanagan said that Mr Pernsose was displaying an “unhealthy ownership of an issue”. He also noted that given the current system, the bill stood more chance of being selected if tabled a second time.
“The deputy is well entitled to feel astounded at my doubling up on his Bill, as this is indeed an unusual route to take,” he said.
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