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These two politicians want the job of keeping order in the next Dáil

The Ceann Comhairle will be tasked with sorting out rows in the Dáil, and there’s been a few.

Independent TD Denis Naughten and Fianna Fáil's Seán Ó Feargháil are both throwing their hat in the ring for job as the next Ceann Comhairle.
Independent TD Denis Naughten and Fianna Fáil's Seán Ó Feargháil are both throwing their hat in the ring for job as the next Ceann Comhairle.
Image: RollingNews.ie

FIANNA FÁIL’S SEÁN Ó Fearghaíl and Independent TD Denis Naughten have both put their names forward to be the chairperson of the next Dáil. 

While there were a few names in the mix this week showing interest in the role of Ceann Comhairle, only two contenders remain.

The Ceann Comhairle is the chair of the Dáil and is expected to observe strict impartiality and keep order in the house – something that is not always easy to do during heated debates between parties.

Whoever is elected to the role is automatically re-elected to the next Dáil.

Fianna Fáil TD Seán Ó Feargháil was Ceann Comhairle of the 32nd Dáil and was the first to be elected by secret ballot in 2016. Previously, the government of the day would simply choose who would take up the role. 

He was the first Fianna Fáil Ceann Comhairle to be elected since Seámus Kirk who held the post in the 30th Dáil between 2009 and 2011.

Ó Feargháil is now seeking re-election for the role in the 33rd Dáil. 

There was unanimous support for Ó Feargháil, a deputy for Kildare South, during last night’s Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting. 

If Ó Feargháil is elected today, it will weaken Fianna Fáil’s Dáil voting numbers, which will go from 38 to 37. 

Roscommon TD and former Minister for Communications, Denis Naughten, is also putting his name forward for the role of Ceann Comhairle.

He said one of the consistent messages he received on the doorsteps during the recent general election was the public frustration with accountability.

Yesterday he said in a statement that “getting straight answers to straight questions is becoming more difficult in Dáil Éireann”. 

“While the office of Ceann Comhairle is very restrictive in terms of the reform of Dáil Éireann and the role of TDs, one of the primary functions of this office is to protect the existing rights of members,” he said, adding that he would like to get involved in Dáil reform. 

Naughten said he would set out his stall on the floor of the House today, and asked that all members “keep an open mind”. 

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While some consider the Ceann Comhairle job as an easy position to have, one that guarantees re-election, whoever gets the job will be tasked with sorting out the almighty rows that can break out in the Dáil from time-to-time.

Here is how former Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett dealt with matters: 

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Former Leas Ceann Comhairle Pat the Cope Gallagher has in the past had to remind TDs to “control themselves”. 

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Ó Feargháil is also no stranger to suspending the Dáil, but whether he will get the chance to do so again, we’ll find out later today.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

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