Bríd Smith facing Dáil sanction after comments criticising High Court judge

Bríd Smith stands over what she said and says the people who voted for her are behind her. Picture: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

Dublin TD Bríd Smith faces sanction, including suspension, at a hearing of the Dáil's ethics committee over her criticism of a High Court judge.

It is after the court struck down Sectoral Employment Orders as unconstitutional last month.

The laws had set legally binding minimum pay rates and employment terms in construction, contract cleaning, building services and electrical contracting.

Fine Gael TD Charlie Flanagan made the complaint claiming her remarks were "sinister" and undermined democracy.

But Deputy Smith stands over what she said and says the people who voted for her are behind her.

"If I'm silenced in the Dáil then I find that very difficult," Ms Smith said.

"If they suspend me then I suppose I have to accept it because they just suspend my pay and suspend my ability to get in and out of the Dáil.

I will appeal whatever decision they make and I robustly defend my right to be critical of that judgement and to stand up for workers for their pay, conditions and pensions.

"The people elected me in Dublin South Central know what I stand for and they wouldn't expect any less of me."

She said that she has never made a remark about a judge before and she did not do so as a matter of course.

"I did it because the judgement has had such a serious impact on tens of thousands of workers who will be protesting on Friday and who are calling on the government to robustly appeal this decision to protect their terms, conditions and pay.

"If they tell me I'm not to open my mouth anymore that's hardly likely to work on me."

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