Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has denied dozing off during the Taoiseach’s Dail apology to the survivors of Mother and Baby Homes.
A video still of the TD was widely shared on social media in the aftermath of last Wednesday’s State apology speech broadcast by RTE and on Oireachtas TV.
The 15-minute speech was broadcast internationally as the damning findings of the Mother and Baby Homes commission of inquiry went global.
At one point during Micheal Martin’s delivery, Transport Minister Eamon Ryan can be seen with his head tilted to one side and his eyes shut.
Social media commentators were quick to condemn the minister, who they claimed had been caught sleeping on the job for a third time.
However, a spokeswoman for Mr Ryan denied any suggestion he had nodded off at the National Convention Centre.
She added: “Minister Ryan listened carefully to the entirety of the State apology made by the Taoiseach in the Dail on Wednesday.
“He fully supports his party colleague Minister O’Gorman in the work he and his department are doing to address the terrible wrongs that occurred in the Mother and Baby Homes.”
In July, the Green Party leader issued a statement saying he “deeply” regretted “nodding off” during a Dail vote on workers’ rights.
The TD was spotted catching some shut-eye during an amendment vote to a Social Democrats’ workers’ rights bill in the Convention Centre.
Oireachtas TV captured the moment the party leader’s name was called on twice before politicians woke him.
Ryan later told RTE Radio One’s This Week In Politics it was a “moment of human frailty”.
The Dublin Bay South TD said: “I nodded off briefly, but I voted, I think I was one of the few party leaders who were there.
“But I regret it deeply, it was a moment of human frailty but that’s something I regret.”
In September, he was accused of falling asleep in the Dail for a second time – but this was found to be inaccurate.
A video showed Mr Ryan with his head tilted downward with his eyes apparently shut.
But a wider shot showed him looking down at his mobile phone.
Source: Dublin News