Fianna Fáil Senator Marc MacSharry has accused Taoiseach Enda Kenny of behaving in a dictatorial manner for his comments in the Dáil yesterday, that the Government must have a majority on the banking inquiry for it to proceed.

A row over the inquiry began when a number of Labour senators, including the Labour party's proposed nominee Senator Susan O'Keeffe, missed the selection committee meeting.

Senator O'Keeffe's absence from the meeting at Leinster House left the Government without a majority on the inquiry.

Ms O'Keeffe said she had made arrangements to be in Sligo with her daughter who was sitting her Leaving Cert exams.

There have been objections to the selection of Mr MacSharry alongside Independent Senator Sean Barrett.

The full Seanad has to approve the two names, but Government sources in the Upper House say they will block any motion that might be put forward seeking to endorse the selection of Senator MacSharry.

The Dáil was suspended briefly yesterday, after angry exchanges between Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Taoiseach Enda Kenny over the issue. 

Mr Kenny insisted the Government needs a majority on the committee saying "if you don't have a majority you can't have terms of reference."

Mr Martin accused the Government of undermining the impartiality of the committee.

The Fianna Fáil leader said the Government wanted the terms of reference all its own way. 

In the Seanad today, Senator MacSharry said the Taoiseach's comments were extraordinary and very alarming and he called on Mr Kenny to explain his remarks.