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Dáil votes to adjourn for 12-week recess

The Dáil is to adjourn this evening for a 12-week summer recess, returning on Sept. 29, RTE reports.

Opposition parties objected to the length of the recess, but the government had a majority of six in the vote on the adjournment.

Fine Gael's James Reilly said ordinary people could not fathom the length of the recess, and accused the government of having no time or regard for the jobless.

Labor leader Eamon Gilmore urged the government to sit for one day at the beginning of September to pass legislation to allow the Children's Referendum and three pending bye-elections to be held while the Dáil is not sitting.

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Sinn Féin's Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said that rather than adjourning the Dáil, the Government should dissolve it and hold a General Election.

For the government, Tánaiste Mary Coughlan said it was wrong to create the impression that TDs would not be working during the recess.

She said there would still be Committees sitting and constituency work to be done.

Coughlan said work was continuing on the Children's Referendum, while no decision has been made on the three bye-elections.

For the past decade, the Dáil has usually returned from its summer recess on the last Wednesday of September. The exceptions were last year, when it returned on September to debate NAMA, in 2002 when it came back on Sept. 4 to pass the legislation to hold the second referendum on the Nice Treaty and in 2001 when it came back on Sept. 18 for statements on the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. In 2000, TDs did not return until Oct. 3.

The Dáil and the Seanad held late night sittings as TDs and Senators cleared the legislative list before the recess.