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Timmy Dooley and Niall Collins step down from FF front bench over voting controversy

Fianna Fáil TDs Timmy Dooley and Niall Collins have stepped down from the front bench over the Dáil voting controversy.

Footage of the Dáil chamber shows Fianna Fáil Mr Dooley appearing to motion his colleague Mr Collins toward his vote button ahead of his absence during votes.

Even though he was not present, Mr Dooley's vote was recorded on six occasions.

Party leader Micheál Martin has said it is “not acceptable” that a TD would ask another politician to vote on their behalf.

Speaking at the Wolf Tone commemoration in Bodenstown, Co Kildare, Mr Martin said: “No, I don't think it’s acceptable.

I think I agree with the Ceann Comhairle that the integrity of the voting situation in Dáil Éireann is of the upmost importance it should be protected and must be respected at all times.

He added: “I spoke the both deputies this morning and I asked them without prejudice and pending the outcome of the report that the Ceann Comhairle has initiated into this, that they would step down from the Fianna Fáil front-bench, and they both agreed to do that.

“I think that I think underlines the seriousness with which I take this issue. I think it's important that the Ceann Comhairle inquiry now gets underway.

"And they’ve both assured me that they will cooperate fully with the Ceann Comhairle in relation to this,” Mr Martin said