Premium rate phone calls have been banned in the Irish parliament after the Ring of Kerry scandal which turned Dail Eireann into Dial Eireann.

Kerry deputy Michael Healy-Rae was forced to pay a $4,000 phone bill after calls were made from the House to a reality TV show voting line.

The recently elected deputy remains adamant that neither he nor his father Jackie, sitting deputy at the time, made the expensive calls for a TV show which he subsequently won.

Now the committee in charge of parliamentary procedures in Ireland has taken steps to ensure that no such actions ever happen again.

The Committee on Procedure and Privileges has announced that a complete block will be placed on access to premium rate calls from telephones in the Irish parliament buildings.

In a statement, the committee said: “Access to facilities such as telephones is essential for the work of the Dáil (parliament) and its members.

“But it is equally important to act where it was clear that facilities were being abused. This committee found facilities had been abused in this instance.”



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Michael Healy Rae