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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 3 June, 2020
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Plans underway for Dáil to sit in Convention Centre or Dublin Castle for Taoiseach election vote

The Covid-19 outbreak means the full contingent of TDs are not allowed sit in Leinster House.

The vote for the Taoiseach could be held in the Convention Centre in a couple of weeks.
The vote for the Taoiseach could be held in the Convention Centre in a couple of weeks.
Image: Shutterstock/trabantos

PLANS ARE UNDERWAY for the Dáil to sit in either the Dublin Convention Centre or Dublin Castle for the election of a new Taoiseach in the coming weeks. 

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl has confirmed that arrangements are being made for the Dáil to sit away from Leinster House, in order to allow a full contingent of elected TDs to vote on a new Taoiseach when a new government is formed.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus Leinster House has remained open for essential workers, and in order for politicians to pass emergency legislation.

However, TDs and senators have had to adhere to social distancing guidelines, with only a limited number of TDs permitted in the Dáil at one time.

A maximum of 50 TDs are allowed in the chamber for votes and 20 for normal debates.

It is believed that such arrangements would not be satisfactory for such an important vote as the election of the next Taoiseach.

While compromises have been made for the passing of emergency legislation, in order for the process of the election of the Taoiseach to have any validity, all 160 TDs will need to be present for the vote. 

While the plans are understood to be at an early stage and a number of locations are being considered, Dublin Castle and the Convention Centre on Spencer Dock in Dublin’s North Wall Quay are likely to be the top choices. 

The Seanad election votes are currently being counted in Dublin Castle’s Printworks. Due to the success of the count so far, it is believed it is also a contender for the important sitting. 

The Convention Centre’s ground floor area can hold over 3,000 people. The venue’s auditorium also has 2,000 seats

Earlier today, Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin said he hopes a government can be formed in the next two to three weeks. 

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