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Irish MP's F-word outburst sparks parliament review

Paul Gogarty (Source: Official website)
Mr Gogarty delivered his remarks "with all due respect" to Mr Stagg

The Irish parliament is to review its rules of conduct after a lawmaker swore heavily during a budget debate.

MP Paul Gogarty of the Green Party - a junior partner in the Irish government - used the F-word after being heckled by the Labour opposition.

He immediately apologised for the rant, which he admitted was "the most unparliamentary language".

It has emerged that the F-word is not on the list of banned words, unlike brat, buffoon, rat and scumbag.

Colourful exchange

Mr Gogarty launched into the outburst after being heckled by Labour party whip Emmet Stagg for "bleating and blathering" in the debate on welfare cuts.

Mr Gogarty used the F-word twice in his reponse to Mr Stagg - but immediately withdrew the comments, saying he had been "outraged" that someone had "dared" question his sincerity.

He later pointed out that parliament's 83-page document, Salient Rulings of the Chair, does not include the F-word in its list of abusive language.

Officials from the 18-member committee on procedure and privileges said they would review the matter on Tuesday, but could not confirm whether the document - last edited in 2006 - would be changed.

For his part, opposition MP Stagg told the Irish Times: "I think the whole thing is a storm in a teacup. The huge issue is the Social Welfare Bill and its nasty cuts."

The welfare cuts in Ireland's swingeing 2010 budget are the first since 1924. They have been strongly criticised by trade unions and anti-poverty campaigners.



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