“And then there was Arthur Morgan…”

An RTÉ report notes that a couple of TDs have been disciplined by their parties following yesterday’s vote in the Dáil which resulted in a ban on stag hunting, but not stalking.  And Harry McGee makes a sharp observation at his Irish Times blog

And then there was Arthur Morgan. Like the Labour Party, Sinn Fein has done a complete U-turn on stag hunting. A motion was passed at the 2009 Ard Fheis calling for a ban on all blood sports. Then the hare coursing fraternity within the party got to work and managed to completely reverse the decision at this year’s Ard Fheis.

Sinn Fein’s position now? It now opposes only three or four extreme forms of blood sport – bull fighting; cock fighting and dog fighting – but is no longer opposed in principle to any other form of blood sport. It presumably judges them on a case-by-case basis.

Arthur Morgan has a very strong view on all this. He supports the ban on stag hunting passionately. He was in a bit of a quandary yesterday. He would have voted to support the Bill if there was a free vote or even if it looked like the Government had the numbers to easily psas. But if it was close and the Government looked like falling, he might have been persuaded to vote against, as a protest against all the other Government policies and decisions he opposed.

The solution?  He kicked up a racket yesterday afternoon and got chucked out of the Dáil. It essentially solved the problem at a stroke.

There was no such shenanigans in the Assembly last week, when the Assembly voted to ban hare coursing in Northern Ireland.

Here’s the vote from Hansard

Question put.

The Assembly divided: Ayes 23; Noes 18.

AYES

Mr Beggs, Mr Bresland, Mr T Clarke, Mr Easton, Dr Farry, Mr Ford, Mr Frew , Mr Givan , Mr Hamilton, Mr McCallister, Mr McCarthy, Mr I McCrea,  Mr McDevitt, Mr McFarland, Miss McIlveen,  Mr Poots, Mr G Robinson, Mr Ross, Mr Spratt,  Mr Storey, Mr Weir, Mr Wells, Mr B Wilson.

Tellers for the Ayes: Mr Beggs and Mr Wells.

NOES

Ms Anderson, Mr Bell, Mr Boylan, Mr D Bradley, Mrs M Bradley, Mr Brady, Mr Butler, Mr G Kelly, Mr Leonard , Mr F McCann, Ms J McCann,  Mr McGlone, Mr McLaughlin, Mr Molloy,  Ms Ní Chuilín, Mr O’Dowd, Mrs O’Neill, Mr Shannon.

Tellers for the Noes: Mr Leonard and Mr Shannon.

Question accordingly agreed to.

New clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.