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Keaveney in talks with Ceann Comhairle to secure speaking rights in Dáil

A group of Labour TDs who are no longer part of the Labour parliamentary party are hoping to secure additional rights.

Labour Party chairman, Colm Keaveney TD (file photo)
Labour Party chairman, Colm Keaveney TD (file photo)
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

LABOUR TD COLM KEAVENEY is currently in talks with the Dáíl’s Ceann Comhairle, Sean Barrett, to secure speaking and other rights within the Dáil chamber.

In a statement released to TheJournal.ie, the Labour chairman confirmed that he, along with “other Labour TDs who are no longer under the party whip” had been in talks.

Other Labour TDs, including Tommy Broughan, Róisín Shortall and Patrick Nulty are also believed to be engaged in talks.

“We are pursuing this matter as we believe that we must be enabled to carry out our constitutional mandate to represent our constituents,” Keaveney said.

The group is looking to form a group similar to the current technical group, which is comprised of independent and United Left Alliance TDs.

Under current rules, however, there can only be one of these groups. Keaveney is hopeful that this will change, however.

All parties went into the last election campaigning on political reform. Reform of the antiquated Dáil procedures is an essential part of any such reforms.
The whip system and the dominance afforded to political parties within the chamber needs to be challenged so that all TDs may fulfil their constitutional duties and speak for those they represent.

The grouping will not be a new party, with the Labour chairman saying that he would continue to “seek the implementation of Labour party policies as agreed at conference and the manifestation of Labour’s values as expressed in the Party Constitution.”

Read: Tweeting the election: How one TD really saw the 2011 campaign >

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Paul Hyland

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